|One of two failing ratty fixed ports|
Last summer while doing gelcoat repair, I mentioned that the ratty fixed ports on Eolian's aft-facing cabin house were long overdue for replacement. Well, now is that time.
|Even Plexiglas eventually falls prey to the relentless UV from the sun, tho it lasts far, far longer than Lexan - this port is 38 years old. If it had been polycarbonate, it would have looked much worse after only 5 years.|
|Tho there are no leaks (yet!), the bedding is overdue for replacement, as well as the port.|
The next problem was that the new port is a little larger than the old one (well, I guess that's better than the reverse...). First I taped over the entire area with some white duct tape I had on board to protect it from the vibrating sabersaw table. Then I used the outer trim ring of the new port as a stencil, and marked a cut line. My trusty (but crummy - I gotta get a better one) saber saw with a grit-edge blade cut thru the 1" thick sandwich of fiberglass, foam, fiberglass with relative ease. To constrain the mess, Jane was inside with a shop vac positioned to catch the dust and chips.
(Note to self: Next time, just tape some plastic over the inside and clean up afterwards - that will be more effective and easier.)
|The new opening port is a little larger than the old one.|
Then I removed the port and laboriously cut off the extra spigot length with a hand hacksaw (the same one I used to cut the exhaust hose...). I preferred to use a hand tool for this job because, tho it cut slowly... it cut at a speed that permitted me to maintain a uniform 1/8" from the pen marking. After cutting, I used a fine file to smooth off the saw cut markings, and break the resulting sharp edges slightly.
|Trimmed and ready for final caulking|
Now, one more to go, and then all the fixed and opening ports on the boat will have been replaced, giving us a total of 11 opening ports.
* I hate the use of silicone on a boat, but this is one of the few places that I will use it. In this case, it is because Beckson specifies it.