Sunday, February 28, 2016

Porthole replacement Part 3

This is what was left of the porthole assembly in the head after we cut, drilled and used a cut-off saw on it. That thing just didn't want to come out but once it did, it was obvious why it leaked from time to time. No sealant anywhere.

This weekend, we continued with the project by bolting down the new porthole in the starboard side of the v-berth and then went after the old porthole on the head.  This one was almost worse than the other two and we had to use a little more effort to get the old one out

Note 1 "Effort" here means that Bill ran up and down two ladders at least 25 times in one afternoon.

Note 2: Bill will go to bed early tonight.

Things like these old ports are to be expected when owning an older boat.Not a big thing to make the boat more comfortable.

But as you can see, we got the damn thing out.

Weather this week looked like typical spring in Connecticut.

After 2-3 inches of rain, the river came up and invaded a little of the boatyard. Nothing bad. We've seen it many times higher than this.

At this point, we have two of the four new portholes installed and a third half-way done. Next weekend, we'll bolt the third one down and then head back up forward to last bad boy, the porthole in the starboard side of the v-berth. From what we've seen, that one won't be easy but since that's were Frances sleeps it better be nice and dry.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Replacing the portholes Part 2

As you can see, the used hardware is beginning to pile up as we slog through our port hole replacement project. Last weekend, we learned how difficult it was going to be to remove the old port hole assemblies. Each one is held in place with ten 10-32 bolts, each 1-1/4" long and in the 36 years since they were installed, the stainless nuts and bolts have, in many cases, fused together.

We've had to hack away at the old port hole mounting points and in some cases, saw the bolts out.

On Saturday, we were ready to install the first new port hole assembly, the one the easiest to access in our guest berth. We had everything staged but couldn't figure out how we were going the tighten the bolts from the outside (on a ladder) and still hold the mounting nuts in place from the inside.

Just as we got to that point, our old friend Stu stopped by to say hello. As luck would have it, Stu, who is Portland High School's art teacher, is spending Saturday mornings designing and building scenery for Portland High's upcoming production of "Mary Poppins." With Stu holding the socket on each mounting nut and Bill turning the bolts from outside on the ladder, the first hatch went in perfectly.

Luckily, Stu will be back next Saturday and perhaps, even the Saturday after that. What a Godsend!

The sealant we used was recommended by Defender Marine. It's BoatLife Life-Seal and we made the mistake of putting it in front of our electric heater for a while before attempting to apply it. Once it's nice and hot, the stuff has a mind of it's own as soon as you pull the trigger on the caulking gun. Luckily, we had a roll of paper towels handy to mop up the excess.

On Sunday, we tackled the next port hole replacement candidate, the one in the starboard side v-berth. We spent 90 minutes sawing and drilling the six bolts out of ten that refused to come out.

Now we're ready to install that second port hole assembly next Saturday.

We did learn a few things, as we almost always do. First, the new bolts should be 1-1/2" long, not the 1-1/4" bolts used by the factory. Back each nut with a stainless washer. We also found the removal of the old port hole easier if we took the window out of the port out first.

Another invisible project
We often laugh about how we spend all of this time and effort on upgrades that no one will ever see or appreciate. The old port holes wouldn't stay open, had been repaired poorly numerous times and leaked when we ran in a good seaway but the new ones look exactly like the old ones so no one will ever know.

Guess it's all part of owning and older boat.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Replacement portholes found

Braving the cold on Saturday morning and finally getting out one of the old porthole assemblies was certainly worth doing. We were on the boat by a little after 9 am and in less than two hours drilled out the one remaining bolt (after breaking at least one new drill), taped a tarp in place over the opening and were in the car headed to Defender in Waterford.

I really wanted to get there today because Defender was having a sale that we thought would be to our advantage if they had a porthole unit that would fit.

With our old port as a sample, we went through every one they had and the salesperson seemed to think that none was exactly the right size. We finally got him to bring out one from the warehouse that looked close. Close? It was exactly like our old one in every dimension, including the position of the ten mounting holes. Luckily, the new ports have a vastly improved locking mechanism and better hinges plus they stay open at any angle.

We bought the two they had in stock and ordered two more. We saved about $145 from Defender's regular price. Frances always says to look for a sale and she is certainly right!

Sunday was too cold to install one of the new ports and we have misgivings about applying the BoatLife Life-Seal when it's this cold. Hopefully, we'll do that next weekend.

We shot some video to improve our editing skills. Don't look for us at the Academy Awards.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Rmoving a porthole (Part 1)

One of the things on our winter list is to remove the four old original Silverton portlights and replace them with new ones and we started that today, February 7. (Bill says on the video that it's February 8, Super Bowl Day, but that just shows how little he cares about professional football.)

Anyway, we've found that portlights come in dozens of sizes and before we can even go shopping for new ones, we need to know the exact size of the originals and even more precisely, the size of the cutout in the hull. To get that information, we decided to remove the easiest one in the guest berth.

Why replace them now? The originals always seem to need repair and they have weathered badly over the 36 years since the boat was built. They also leak from time to time, so now is the time to bring them up to date.

Our idea was to remove just one of them and get a a new one that fit the hull cutout size. That way, we'd be able to learn from that installation process. Once we were happy with that one, we'll order three more.

It turns out that getting one of these things out isn't easy. That's due to the fact that its been in there for 36 years, of course, but also because the original porthole assembly wasn't very good quality to begin with and wasn't installed with much care.

When we got all but one mounting bolt out today, we could see that there was no apparent use of sealant around the outside trim piece or between the hull and the portlight itself.

We couldn't get he portlight out but we will be able to next week when we come equipped to drill out one remaining bolt.

Then we go shopping for something that will fit the opening, has proper gaskets and will be really usable.

On another ongoing project, we continued to work on our sink insert.

After sanding a nice bevel on the underside edges, it actually slipped right into the sink. Not perfect, but it will work. Now we  can apply 6-8 coats of Sikkens Cetol to it. We love things we can do in the evening after work and make the whole house smell like varnish.

Some video from today: