Inspection Ports/Deck Plates

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by Swede, Aug 3, 2007.

  1. supercub

    supercub Member

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    Here are four photos of my rear port;

    1 - Lid, no bag
    2 - No lid, no bag
    3 - Bag, no lid
    4 - Bag and Lid

    As you can see from picture 3, the cat bag has just a drawsting closure that is in no way water tight.
     

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  2. Porpoise2

    Porpoise2 New Member

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    I used the pop-in type ports in six inch size—they're cheaper.

    The fit is too tight to pull out by hand, so I drilled the port for a plastic loop and sealed the drilled holes from underneath the lid. I put a glob of lube under the lid to keep the seal supple each time it's used.

    I'll have to try a six-inch-diameter plastic bag to store my camera. It would be sealed by the port lid. Maybe that will work wonders with both problems.
     
  3. Porpoise2

    Porpoise2 New Member

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    Now I remember what I was going to say.

    If you have the option of a rough surface or smooth surface for the lid, go for the textured surface. There's too much sliding around as it is.
     
  4. supercub

    supercub Member

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    Why textured? The port in front of the daggerboard is too far forward to sit on and the rudder port is too far back. All the texture does is trap dirt and look ugly.

    Saving a couple of bucks by getting the snap in style does not make "cents". You had to modify them to put a handle on them to be able to use them. The screw in type require no mods, extra tools or anything to open, check and close, much easier to use.
     
  5. Porpoise2

    Porpoise2 New Member

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    After capsizing, I crawl back aboard over the transom. My port is fully to the rear where I get some initial traction. Then I can skid myself forward. Most other times, I need more "grip" than "skid". They do trap dirt. :(

    I bank the bucks towards a new sail! :)

    Among my three presently-owned catamarans, I have both types in three sizes.

    I don't know whether the screw-in types froze or got stepped on, but the clear ones have cracked. They don't leak through the cracks, but they look unsightly. The pop-ins are designed to be removed with a pry tool, but there never seems to be a pry tool around when I need—say—the paddle stored inside the hull. For ease of access, I modified them with a bendy handle. None have cracked.

    Another feature:
    Where I sail, there are a lot of 80-MPH+ speedboats. I keep a discarded CD handy to use as a mirror. Upon the distant, but direct approach of one, it is surprisingly effective on the skipper. As of yesterday, I found that the CD can be glued onto the underside of the 6" pop-in for emergency signaling.


    The pop-ins are very tight, whereas the screw-ins aren't all that tight.
    The screw-ins can also bind. On those, I use the wrong end of a pair of pliers (the handles), and twist it open with a big screwdriver.

    It's a good idea to put Vasoline or some mineral grease around the black part of the seal at any opportunity.

    Just my 2 ¢. (OK, maybe 3 :D )
     
  6. BrainCorrel

    BrainCorrel Member

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    You might want to find out where the older boat has internal supports or spars. If you are putting in more than one for ventalation and niether are on the centerline consider putting them on opposite sides. This way you can have slightly more airflow over your boat.

    BTW does anyone know what the inside of a scorpion looks like? I am also trying to figure out where to put in some ports.

    BrainCorrel
    ________
    the volcano vaporizer
     
  7. aa.aunins

    aa.aunins New Member

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    I've heard of using a CD for an emergency signal, but never thought about it on a boat. Not a bad idea. Heck might even turn a hobbi float into a mirrored ball just for safty. It would also double as a party starter with some spreader lights pointed on it at night. Can you tell I'm packing to go to the lake right now. I got the fever in my blood.
     
  8. Porpoise2

    Porpoise2 New Member

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    I hadn't thought of the spreader lights, but that can't hurt if you've been reading of some sailboat/powerboat events in Canada—and BoaterEd.com's topics.

    The "performance boats" all say, "We can't see kayaks". :eek:

    Well, what do they see when a Sunfish sail is pointed into their line of sight?
    Ans: Not much more than a kayak. (Or in my case, not pointing a sail anywhere—while capsized :eek: ).

    The CD doesn't work on cloudy days (like today), but I think I'll "brave the waters" anyway. ;)

    Remember, "A Sunfish in the harbor is safe, but that's not what Sunfish were made for!"

    :cool:
     
  9. supercub

    supercub Member

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    Porpoise2,

    OK, I climb back in over the side by the cockpit, there I have the cockpit rim, hiking strap and top of the daggerboard for places to grip and pull myself on (haven't had any problems with the SF wanting to turn over "again"). No port in the way to crawl over. And we both agree that the textured ports trap dirt.

    Haven't had any problems with the screw lids jambing up, except when the mounting ring was tightened too tight to the deck and bent. I don't crank on the lid either, just snug it up (no water ingress, even turned turtle or playing submarine with power boat wakes). Vaseline on the "O" ring seems to help. Seldom open the port on the water, mostly just use them for ventalation to keep the hull dry inside. The CD "signal mirror" is not a bad idea.

    It's going to take a lot of ports to get a new sail :).

    I can see why you modified the ports with a handle to make them "no tools needed". It is hard to keep a pry tool handy on a SF (or Cat) just to open the ports, one of the reasons I prefer the screw lid. My paddle (5' wood from Wal-mart), I store on the fore deck with a Velcro wrap at the bow handle and flat bungee across the deck in front of the splashguard. The 5' paddle does make paddling easier than trying to use the daggerboard, praddle or short paddle.

    Haven't had a screw lid crack, either in white or clear. Have lost :mad: the "rudder" lid by forgetting to put it back in place and driving away with the SF on the trailer (Duct tape allowed me to sail that day). The "daggerboard" lid ended up in the cockpit (lucky there).

    Just different outlooks on what works for us. Cheers.
     
  10. Porpoise2

    Porpoise2 New Member

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    True enough.

    Catamarans aren't normally stored in garages or upside-down, so expanding ice on the screw-in ports is only a problem for boats stored outdoors in half of the continent.

    Hardly anybody stands on Sunfish decks to break the clear lids either, but it could happen when dropped or stored. My Hobie screw-ins—usually snugged by hand—frequently are discovered to be jammed shut, so it's a tie for "ready access". The pop-in ports are resoundingly watertight.

    Nobody (no body) is built the same, nor do they have the same re-boarding technique after a capsize.
     

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