Leaking Portlight

chrisoelder

Member II
Hi All,

Hope everyone is doing well! I wanted to reach out and get some expert advice on how to fix my leaking portlight.

About a week ago we got some heavy rain and I noticed a very small drip coming from my portlight. The leak seems to be coming through the area between the glass/acrylic and the metal frame.

here are some photos
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-0SV7zjXu4VSvsZed6oeZEZSGZogTR8f?usp=sharing

I am planning on removing the portlight and follow this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yBaQr6LrZg&feature=youtu.be to reinstall it.

Before I get started I wanted to ask to see if this is the best solution for my issue.

THanks!
 

cruis-n

Member II
Recommend Butyl Tape

You can follow the video up to the point where you use a tube of caulk. I've switched to using buty tape. It's easy to work with and does a great job of sealing. Plus, it's easy to remove if need be. No matter how good a job you do, if you use caulk, you will find yourself re-doing the job in a few years. Butyl tape is available from many suppliers on eBay. You can double it up if necessary. Don't over-tighten it at first. You will get some squeeze out, which you can trim with a razor blade.

My $0.02

Regards,
Paul
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
That looks like a portlight crying out for a rebed and maybe re-gasket. If water is coming from between the glass and the frame, I think the most likely suspect is the seam where the ends of the gasket that wraps around the glass come together. Sometimes it shrinks as it ages (or someone didn’t stretch it right upon installation :rolleyes: don’t ask me how I know...) and a tiny gap develops. You can pull out that inner gasket - it’s just filler - to see the inside of the frame, and perhaps spot your leak. If water is coming through a gap in the gasket, forcing a drop of polyurethane sealant into the gap from both sides seems to stop it.
 

kapnkd

kapnkd
Hi All,

Hope everyone is doing well! I wanted to reach out and get some expert advice on how to fix my leaking portlight.

About a week ago we got some heavy rain and I noticed a very small drip coming from my portlight. The leak seems to be coming through the area between the glass/acrylic and the metal frame.

here are some photos
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-0SV7zjXu4VSvsZed6oeZEZSGZogTR8f?usp=sharing

I am planning on removing the portlight and follow this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yBaQr6LrZg&feature=youtu.be to reinstall it.

Before I get started I wanted to ask to see if this is the best solution for my issue.

THanks!

I'm willing to bet there are a LOT of us out here wearing the "Been There Done It" T-shirt when it comes to fixing leaky ports. :rolleyes: ...You will probably get LOTS of suggestions to say the least.

We completely re-beaded and replaced the old seals on ALL of our ports, including the large ones a year or two back. It's definitely a chore to remove the frames (especially if silicone was ever used in the past on them.) and take them apart but well worth the efforts when done. The advise of using butyl rubber tape is HIGHLY suggested as it's so much easier to work with and remove should you need to remove the ports at a later date again.

The older 70's boats used double pained safety glass whereas replacement glass today is usually tempered and slightly thinner. There is a place close to Cleveland, Ohio that still makes the gasket seal shape that goes between the glass and aluminum frame (Miller Enterprise - I think (???). AND they're cheaper than the Catalina kit offered.)

The smaller ports are fairly straight forward when clamping them back together BUT the large ports needed a special jig to properly tighten the frames at the pointed ends. (See photos)

Also, there is a product you may want to check out called "Capt. Tolley Creeping Crack Cure" which is a thin penetrating liquid sealer that will creep down into small openings to seal those pesky leaks. ...Worth a try first.

Hope this will be of some help to you....
Good Luck!

Large Port Frame Gap.jpgLarge Ports Compression Jig.jpgLarge Port Clamping Jig.jpgCapt Tolly Sealer.jpg
 
Last edited:

Christian Williams

E381 - Los Angeles
Moderator
Blogs Author
Many Ericsons have quite ragged holes cut for portlights, and butyl tape does not seal gaps. Caulk does.

In my opinion, butyl is suitable for small jobs such as deck fittings, and caulking a much better choice for large areas.

Butyl oozes, caulk doesn't. Caulks such as Life Seal, Life Calk, 3M 4200, sikaflex and so are are well proven, flexible, and designed for marine environment. .
 

Brad Johnson

Member II
Hi All,

Hope everyone is doing well! I wanted to reach out and get some expert advice on how to fix my leaking portlight.

About a week ago we got some heavy rain and I noticed a very small drip coming from my portlight. The leak seems to be coming through the area between the glass/acrylic and the metal frame.

here are some photos
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1-0SV7zjXu4VSvsZed6oeZEZSGZogTR8f?usp=sharing

I am planning on removing the portlight and follow this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yBaQr6LrZg&feature=youtu.be to reinstall it.

Before I get started I wanted to ask to see if this is the best solution for my issue.

THanks!
I had a similar situation on a boat I had gotten , The windows look to be sealed with a calking between frame and glass (1983) and not as latter boats (mine is a 1988) What I did was Remove all caulking that is glass to frame , Clean up all dirt and calking,clean glass and frame with denatured alcohol( this is the most important step), carefully tape frame and glass leaving a nice even space for caulking as original, use 4200, or boat life calking.,place bead of caulking between taped area. smooth out caulking with finger, remove tape carefully trying not to touch calking, clean up . after i did this not a drop of water.
 

kapnkd

kapnkd
Many Ericsons have quite ragged holes cut for portlights, and butyl tape does not seal gaps. Caulk does.

In my opinion, butyl is suitable for small jobs such as deck fittings, and caulking a much better choice for large areas.

Butyl oozes, caulk doesn't. Caulks such as Life Seal, Life Calk, 3M 4200, sikaflex and so are are well proven, flexible, and designed for marine environment. .

Hi Christian,

You have an excellent point about Ericson’s rough cut openings. ...Guess we were lucky as all our ports now sealed with butyl have not leaked a drop since their re-installation over 2 years ago. What we liked about the butyl was the ease of clean up VS the silicon based caulking mess.

Also a word of caution on a comment I heard was the silicon sealants can make the laminate between the older boats safety glass cloud/haze in time. (This is when silicons are used along the glass to aluminum frame seals.) AND - Most certainly the smaller ports I did seal that way MANY years ago with silicon did exactly that whereas the untouched larger ports did not haze/cloud up over the years (???).

I guess those who remove and rebed their ports need to consider their options in respect to how bad the cut openings are for them and proceed from there. Perhaps some more detailed comments from others on how best to clean up and remove the silicons would be of great help too.

Fair Winds!
-kerry
 

toddster

Curator of Broken Parts
Blogs Author
Well I had to refer to my blog on that point. I guess it is good for something. The old frames had a combination of old butyl and old silicone. "Heat gun, Goof-Off, and Elbow Grease," seems to have been the winning combination. I seem to recall using a bit of acetone on the silicone. BTW: One of the main ingredients in Goof Off is being banned, because some people just can't seem to follow the directions. IDK if you can still get the "good stuff" (hint: don't inhale it or slosh it around in a closed space) or if there's a "new" formulation and if so, whether it works.
 

chrisoelder

Member II
Thank you!

Hi All!

Sorry for the delay, life has me all over the place right now. Thank you all for the help and support, i will be starting on this project soon and will let you know how it goes!

I am planning on doing this to all my portlights since they all seem to have been done ages ago.

Cheers,
Chris!
 

Leslie Newman

Member III
If nobody else mentioned this. Your leak is probably coming from around the glass to rubber junction, not the bedding of the portlight to the cabin. As a stop gap until I wanted to tackle such a major undertaking, I used UV resistant clear silicone and squeezed it all the way around the rubber lip. Basically raised the rubber where it rests against the glass and squeezed in silicone. Has not leaked all summer.

Now my plan is to have BOMAN ( NOT BOMAR) make me four new portlights. I talked to them at the Annapolis boat show and think I would be very happy with new portlights from them. They can make me ones with a sliding glass so I can have opening ports over the galley stove.
 
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