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Author Topic: Lewmar port side port light  (Read 160 times)

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weseitz

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Lewmar port side port light
« on: July 17, 2020, 01:06:38 AM »

I have a new to me C34 MKii made in 1998. The forward port side portlight is the Lewmar "old standard" style with the rotating dogs and was leaking. I tried new gaskets but still leaked. I also verified that water was not leaking through the rotating dogs seal. I finally bought a "new standard" portlight and installed it. Still leaks. While installing the new port light, I discovered that the wall thickness of the cabin core is not uniform around the entire opening. It is not due to adhesive build up. Looking out the portlight, the top, bottom and right side wall thickness all measure 20 mm, but the left side is 25 mm. This seems to be a flaw in manufacturing and probably the reason the port light always leaked. Disappointing.  :angel

Has anyone had this situation with this port light and how did you (if you did) fix the problem?
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ewengstrom

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Re: Lewmar port side port light
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2020, 04:17:41 AM »

Ours is a 1988 MK1 version and has 6 "old standard" ports on it. When we got the boat, several leaked...to the point several cushion covers rotted....it was bad.
The gaskets were replaced as well as installing new (upgraded) lenses....and a couple of the ports still leaked. In the end I had to remove the two offending ports and reseal them with butyl tape bought from the "Marine How-to" guys and that did the trick!!!! One of them leaked a bit a few weeks ago and I found a few of the screws had loosened up. (Yeah....I know....I've got a screw loose.... :D) So check those screws again, it's possible a few have backed off a bit and created a gap.
NOTE*** I did notice that the cabin side thickness was uneven on most of the ports, but the trim ring and length of the screws should make this a non issue with sealing the ports, the trim ring will adjust to the thickness change, it shouldn't affect the way the port seals.


 
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Eric Wengstrom
s/v Ohana
1988 Catalina 34 MKI SR/WK
Hull #564
Universal M25XP
Rocna 15

derekb

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Re: Lewmar port side port light
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2020, 01:48:21 AM »

Weseitz,

I have a 1986 Mk I and I'm in the middle of replacing all 6 original Beckson portlights with Lewmar Standards (finished the first one so far). I also noticed big differences in the wall thickness of the cut-out. I had a variation from 25mm (forward edge) to 10mm (aft edge). The previous owner had leaks with the Beckson portlights, and had sealed the gap between the outer deck molding and the inner ceiling liner with silicon sealant. I toyed with cutting this out and filling with epoxy, but decided not to do this yet. With the big difference in wall thickness, when I attached the inner ring I found that the screws were too long at the 10mm thick end and the outer ring didn't seal at all. I purchased shorter screws and I was able to clamp the outer ring and get a good seal. Like Eric I also used butyl tape from Rod at "Marine How-To", 2 layers to accomodate the slight curvature in the outer surface of the cabin. So far I haven't noticed any leaks.

Cheers,
Derek
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Derek Buckmaster
Esprit, 1986 C34 Mark I #29. Fin keel, Universal M25.
Geelong, Victoria, Australia

scgunner

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Re: Lewmar port side port light
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2020, 07:52:57 AM »

Derek,

Replacing the Beckson ports for the Lewmars is a move you won't regret. I did mine about 10 years ago and I've been very happy with the result. The Lewmars shed water much better than the Becksons, consequently my boat stays much drier. I messed with the Becksons for years, replaced gaskets, replaced knobs, drilled drain holes, cut down the outside cowl, they still leaked. I think they were a bad compromise to keep the price of the boat down, maybe that's why Catalina decided to upgrade to Lewmars a year or two later.
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273

Stu Jackson

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Re: Lewmar port side port light
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2020, 09:25:26 AM »

One of the most recurring questions in the early to late 1990s on the old email List and this forum was leaky Lewmar portlights.

The repairs to the Beckson ports was written early on, with a great set of instructions as to how to remove and repair them.
https://www.c34.org/faq-pages/faq-leakyports.html

I made that handy tool out of a few pieces of wood and a couple of long bolts, and used it on one or two of my Beckson ports.  I also posted some pictures of this tool at work here on the forum:

Beckson Portlights 101 ("removal tool" with pictures and guides for sealants)
http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,3241.0.html
and great installation tips
http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,9437.0.html

I also recently learned that you could seal them from the outside without total removal.  I wrote a recent tech note about this.  Thanks again to Jeff Tancock (Stray Cat) for that idea.

Of my eight Beckson ports, I've replaced one or two, sealed one from the outside, and replaced the screens and gaskets on five of them.  In 23 years.

Beckson has used the same design and has continued to produce the same ports since they first started, with one minor modification in the 1980s, IIRC.  I have even had no trouble obtaining parts for my Becksons (all 8 of them) here in Canada at competitive prices, which is not true for many other boat parts.

Meanwhile, Lewmar has made many changes and I recall the difficulties many skippers had years ago in obtaining parts for older models.  The older units had a seam midway up the sides that reportedly leaked.

I like my Beckson ports.  And, yes, replacing the gasket is a royal finger pain.  :cry4` But if you follow the very good Beckson instructions...

Also, there are many, many more Lewmars on Catalina 34s because they switched to Lewmars in like 1987.

Your boat, your choice.  :D
« Last Edit: July 19, 2020, 09:27:27 AM by Stu Jackson »
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Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  Cowichan Bay, BC  Maple Bay Marina  SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."

scgunner

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Re: Lewmar port side port light
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2020, 07:03:27 AM »

Derek,

While you're in port light replacement mode you might also want to think about replacing the cockpit port lights as well, your ankles will thank you.
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Kevin Quistberg                                                 Top Gun 1987 Mk 1 Hull #273
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