Extraction, cleaning, and reinstallation of four fixed ports on 1975 Ericson 25.

Aaron Lifschutz

Junior Member
I recently removed all four fixed ports on my 1975 Ericson 25, and am preparing to clean and reinstall them after I find new gaskets and possibly modify openings. I recently watched a video of a Catalina owner demonstrating same on his 27, and noticed the window frames appeared to be identical to mine. Wondering if I can purchase Catalina's gasket replacement kit for new u-channel and molding? Kit also includes sealants, although I have not decided 100% on bedding methods I will use. Input appreciated.
Also, there is no core between the two fiberglass layers surrounding the ports, and I wonder if that 1/8" gap should be filled/reinforced with thickened epoxy all the way around to reduce and equalize compression around ports when reinstalling glazing and frames, and to prevent leaks into the bilge
 

frick

Member III
re bedding my E29 portlights

For what is worth.
I referred all my portlights 15 years ago.
I used good old white 3m silicon seal. She you can squeeze it it works really well.

I cleaned the surfaces, applied a large amount of silicon to the ring and carefully pressed them in.
Then went down below and screwed the ring portion of the portlights to pull the frame in.
After a few days I went back and tightened the screws the rest of the way to squeeze the mostly dried silicon.

two year later my rubber gaskets started to leak. I used Capt. creaping crack cure to stop the little leaks. It lasts for two to three years at the time.

I also needed a rubber mallet to "help" the frames back into the holes.

It might have been easier to get the butal tape gasgets.

Also a friend took his portlights to an auto glass shop. They took the aluminum frames a part and replaced the rubber gaskets around the glass. They did a great job.

Rick
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
>>>I have not decided 100% on bedding methods I will use. Input appreciated.
Also, there is no core between the two fiberglass layers surrounding the ports...

Your choice of bedding--caulk or butyl rubber tape. Having done it both ways, I prefer caulk, which fills gaps. "
I went ahead and re-bedded the fixed lights with Life-Caulk. Turned out to be as easy as the butyl tape. I found the best technique was to lay a heavy bead into the 90° corner of the exterior flange, so it oozes into the cutout some and onto the exterior cabin some. Painters tape around the outside makes cleanup simple."

There are several threads on this topic, some specific to the E25.

I'd definitely seal the gap between layers, probably just by troweling in epoxy thickened with colloidal silica. Dunno if there was ever balsa core in there, but sealing the edges is easy and probably enough.

 

kapnkd

kapnkd
For what is worth.
I referred all my portlights 15 years ago.
I used good old white 3m silicon seal. She you can squeeze it it works really well.

I cleaned the surfaces, applied a large amount of silicon to the ring and carefully pressed them in.
Then went down below and screwed the ring portion of the portlights to pull the frame in.
After a few days I went back and tightened the screws the rest of the way to squeeze the mostly dried silicon.

two year later my rubber gaskets started to leak. I used Capt. creaping crack cure to stop the little leaks. It lasts for two to three years at the time.

I also needed a rubber mallet to "help" the frames back into the holes.

It might have been easier to get the butal tape gasgets.

Also a friend took his portlights to an auto glass shop. They took the aluminum frames a part and replaced the rubber gaskets around the glass. They did a great job.

Rick
.


The first port I replaced on our ‘73 E32-II was the slider for the head. Never used the slide feature and it leaked. Put in a new one in the early 80’s bought from Ericson and made the mistake of sealing it with 3M 5200. Removal years later was a PAIN!!

We just pulled ALL ports/windows, took them apart, replaced dried out glass to aluminum seals and rebedded the ports using butyl rubber purchased from an RV store (cheaper). 2 years later - NO leaks other than a minor glass to aluminum one easily resolved with “Capt. Jolly” liquid silicone sealant.

There are are lots of previous posts on this subject for you to choose from, including mine with how to put the larger port/windows back together again (a bit of a challenge!).

GOOD LUCK!
 
Last edited:

tpcorrigan

Member I
Extraction, cleaning, and re-installation of fixed ports

I am in the middle of doing the same on our E27. the Catalina kit gasket and trim has worked excellent. be careful not to over bend the frames when taking out the glass. the E27's only have one joint and one rivet so it's hard to pull apart due to 40 years of gunk and PO fixes. ( The Catalina boats appears to have 2 joints, way easier). Of the port light I have reinstalled I used butyl tape and not the stuff from Catalina kit. no reason other than just made sense after all the silicon and other stuff I had to remove from the frame and boat. Butyl seamed cleaner. The kit for a E27 (C27) was about $80 or so.

Hint: when reinstalling the glass in the channel with the supplied gasket material leave about an inch or more overhang at the joint or you will be short when re-seating the glass. when you start to squeeze and get close to having it together, cut any extra material off and finish squeezing the unit together and reinstall the rivet. I used two of those trigger clamps to carefully do the squeezing.

Good luck and Merry post Christmas

tpcorrigan
1976 E27
Cleveland, OH
 

mjsouleman

Member III
I for one and I am sure there are several others that have the Catalina kit with lots of left over gaskets and sealants. If you need "stuff" just say so and it's yours.

MJS
 

Aaron Lifschutz

Junior Member
In the kit from Catalina, they include two sealants. One is 3m 795, used to seal glass to frame, and the other is either 4200 or 4000 FC to seal frame to fiberglass. I will probably use 'bed it' butyl to rebed frames, due to the pain it was to clean frames because of PO fixes. But I do have questions as to how and where to apply sealant of glass to frame. Is that covered in kit instructions? If I do purchase the kit, I will become one of the owners with lots of leftover stuff, as they include 38 feet of gasket and molding. I may make measurements and return to the forum with requests for 'stuff'. Thanks for the offers and advice.
 

Parrothead

Member II
Something to look out for

The glazing vinyl in the Catalina kit is for 3/16" glass, Ericson glass, at least the few I've done, is 1/8".
 

cagarren

Member I
Gasket material?

The glazing vinyl in the Catalina kit is for 3/16" glass, Ericson glass, at least the few I've done, is 1/8".
Is there any place else to get the correct gasket material besides the catalina kit? I'm about to do this same project on my E 25.
 

garryh

Member III
"I used good old white 3m silicon seal"
just to clarify... quite often people use the term 'silicone' as a generic term for 'goop in a tube'.
But- caulking material actually containing silicone should never ever be used on fiberglass surfaces. The silicone oil impregnates and contaminates the fiberglass and nothing will ever stick to it ever again. (not even silicone)
 

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Yes. The right caulk, sealant or adhesive is important, and rarely on hand.

https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvisor/How-to-Select-Sealants-and-Caulk

Many good choices aren't on the WM list, but are widely discussed here and elsewhere.

For example, I concluded that Sikaflex 291 LOT was best for bedding aluminum rub rail.

For acrylic hatch lenses, Dow 795.

Anyhow, think it through. One size doesn't fit all.
 
Last edited:

Glenn McCarthy

Glenn McCarthy
Now ready to do the rebuild on the 9 port lights. My question is after reading through these forums:
This thread suggests using a Catalina Port Light Rebuild Kit that comes with everything - two gaskets and two caulks. Whereas this other THREAD suggests buying the gaskets from Wefco Rubber and buying the two caulks separately. I have not disassembled a port light yet, and I have seen discussion of 1/8" (apparently Ericson) and 3/16" (apparently Catalina) glass thickness which is obviously an important factor in getting the right gasket. So, what is the definitive answer, where should I buy the gaskets from and how do I make sure it fits for the right glass thickness?

I've got the 9 fixed port lights out of the boat. I syringed West Epoxy with filler in between the deck fiberglass and the interior ceiling liner to make a solid surface to reinstall the port lights into. I can't believe the clam shell was attached both sides to very flexible surfaces, no wonder there are leaks. Before you could press the inner glass or outer glass with your pinky and it flexed in and out. Now it is rock solid and doesn't move at all. Then if water came in around the frame before, where would it go? In between the deck fiberglass and the liner to come leaking out somewhere else in the cabin. No more water will go this route ever again. I cleaned the inside walls with 409 which looks like new, and repainted the deck where the windows will be reinstalled.

DSC02507.jpg

Meanwhile at home I have been scraping silicone caulk off the 9 port lights for hours on end and just got the last one cleaned last night.

DSC02485.jpg
 
Last edited:

cagarren

Member I
Now ready to do the rebuild on the 9 port lights. My question is after reading through these forums:
This thread suggests using a Catalina Port Light Rebuild Kit that comes with everything - two gaskets and two caulks. Whereas this other THREAD suggests buying the gaskets from Wefco Rubber and buying the two caulks separately. I have not disassembled a port light yet, and I have seen discussion of 1/8" (apparently Ericson) and 3/16" (apparently Catalina) glass thickness which is obviously an important factor in getting the right gasket. So, what is the definitive answer, where should I buy the gaskets from and how do I make sure it fits for the right glass thickness?
I used the Catalina kit on my E 25 and it worked great. I also used buytle tape to re-bed the frames and that didn't work at all. They leak worse than before I started. I even used two layers of it on the frames. So now I will re-pull the frames and use the sealer supplied in the kit.....
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Leaks and Ports

When using a very high viscosity material like that gray butyl may be problematic for any older port frames that have relatively thin aluminum frames. Those frames can warp a bit when pressed into place.
Note that newer frames like the Lewmar ports starting in the late 80's have a pretty rigid outer frame flange and that they are comprised against the side of the cabin by being pulled inward by the screws from the inside part of the port frame.
My guess (and it's just a guess) is that the newer products can uniformly compress even thick materials like the butyl.

Back when those older ports were built, the space under the outside flange was either going to be filled with a more fluid adhesive-sealant or in some cases a gasket of double glued foam.

That's only a guess, but I have used the butyl from MaineSail and because it is really viscous it works really well when uniformly compressed between something strong like a SS foot or brace, against an unyielding FRP structure like a cabin side, top, or hull. i.e. the viscous butyl is "forced" to fill all the minuscule gaps by compression forces when the bolts clamping the part(s) to the boat are fully taken up.

That's just one opinion; and if wrong, I have others.... :)
 

bigd14

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
First, silicone is a bear to remove from portlights. You might try a brass brush wheel on a bench grinder along with many different types of nasty solvent.

Second, count me as one who actually likes butyl tape to install portlights. It's easy to remove the portlights if needed, it cleans up with mineral spirits and its non-messy to apply. I have successfully bedded 12 portlights on two boats with butyl with only one leak that appeared immediately and was easily fixed by pulling the portlight out and adding a bunch more butyi to an area that was a bit thin. The Bed-It butyl from Maine Sail is superior to all others. Loren is right, the butyl will deform the portlight frames if it is cold. Use a heat gun to soften it up (or pick a hot day), and tighten the frames down slowly over a day or two. Don't pull off the squeezed out butyl until you have done several rounds of heating and tightening (it's easier to get a clean line pulling it all off at once). Might be worth a try on one and if you don't like how it turns out it's easy to remove all traces of butyl and start over with a sealant of your choice (SikaFlex 291 gets my vote too).

Also, if you aren't happy with the rubber gasket (I ordered two different sizes from CatalinaDirect but never found one that fit the thick tempered glass in my portlights), you could use a heavy bead of Dow 795 in the frame and bed the glass directly into it. 2 years and holding on mine so far. Note that this is a fairly permanent solution. Hopefully it will last many years. Its used to install glass in aluminum channels on high rise buildings so it should be pretty good. I figure when it starts leaking I will have moved on to the next boat, or I will replace all the portlights with newer versions rather than trying to excavate all that 795. Also a $5 rubber profile caulking tool is great for getting a clean edge.

Oh and make sure if any silicone is on the cabin top, to remove it, you may need to be sand down the gelcoat a bit to give the butyl or sealant something to grab onto.

Good luck
 
Last edited:

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
The Catalina kit has the correct gaskets for 70’s Ericsons. Thickness issue is that everyone uses 1/4” glass nowadays, but those old ports were 3/16 (or closest metric equivalent.) The issue I had was due to trying to replace the (fogged, cracked) laminated glass with new. Allegedly, they had to actually manufacture some for me, because nobody uses it any more in 3/16. Would certainly go with acrylic instead, if I did it over.

I actually found the butyl tape to be more foolproof than the polyurethane caulk. Certainly easier to clean up on the next go-round. And you can apply it in the rain, if you have to. Don’t have to wait for the right weather.

One issue that may affect this is the gap between the deck and cabin liner on 70’s boats. They are just not super- rigid with respect to one another. Especially when you start tightening those screws. My current opinion is that filling that gap with thickened epoxy or closed-cell spray foam (bonding the two layers together) is a good idea.
 

Glenn McCarthy

Glenn McCarthy
In the kit from Catalina, they include two sealants. One is 3m 795, used to seal glass to frame, and the other is either 4200 or 4000 FC to seal frame to fiberglass. I will probably use 'bed it' butyl to rebed frames, due to the pain it was to clean frames because of PO fixes. But I do have questions as to how and where to apply sealant of glass to frame. Is that covered in kit instructions? If I do purchase the kit, I will become one of the owners with lots of leftover stuff, as they include 38 feet of gasket and molding. I may make measurements and return to the forum with requests for 'stuff'. Thanks for the offers and advice.
Aaron, do you have the Catalina Installation Instructions? I hear they are pretty good. Please scan and email them to me at glenntmccarthy@yahoo.com Thanks!
 

Parrothead

Member II
As has been said already, there are two vinyl extrusions in the Catalina kit, glazing vinyl for 3/16" glass and mullion vinyl for interior cosmetics. Glazing vinyl can be easily found all over the internet for various glass thicknesses and for reasonable pricing. If all you are doing is chasing leaks, the glazing vinyl is what you need BUT you are asking for trouble if you don't use the size that fits your glass. How good of a seal do you expect, for example, if you use 3/16" vinyl with 1/8" glass? You are way better off sourcing the proper size.

Cost
Catalina kit = $150 including mullion vinyl and caulk
CR Laurence glazing vinyl only from DK Hardware and the right size = $20 for 100 feet

I keep mentioning the thickness of the glass because the Ericson ports I've done were 1/8". Whatever thickness yours might be, I would think you'd want the proper size glazing vinyl for the best chance at a successful project.
 
Top