Inspection Ports

Discussion in 'Sunfish Talk' started by rhetthatfield, May 11, 2004.

  1. rhetthatfield

    rhetthatfield New Member

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    I am wanting to install some inspection ports on a 2001 fish and I am wondering where and how many to install? I have heard everything from one behind the splash rail to four, two on the back deck and two on the forward wall of the inside of the cockpit. I was leaning in the direction of putting two on the forward wall of the cockpit. Is four too many?

    Thanks in advance for any advise ...
     
  2. Paul_D

    Paul_D Member

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    I guess it depends on the purpose. If you need to dry out then 1 fore and 1 aft makes sense. If you want to repair a leak in the mast step then it would be a tough reach from the cockpit. If you are looking for a little extra "dry" storage then the cockpit ports make sense.
     
  3. rhetthatfield

    rhetthatfield New Member

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    Thanks Paul, makes sense. Have you ever installed any and is it easy to use a hole saw to cut through the deck. Any considerations on MISSING the foam blocks or anything else inside?
     
  4. Paul_D

    Paul_D Member

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    I have installed 1 port behind the splash rail. check out the windline site listed in many of the other threads. Mask the area and use a small toothed blade.

    Behind the splash rail will miss all foam.
    In the cockpit will miss all foam.
    The aft one is where the foam comes into play. Others will have better info here.

    The hardest part is pushing the drillbit into the deck. Once you get over that the rest is easy. :)
     
  5. Tim Polaski

    Tim Polaski 79429

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    Rhett

    You do not use a real "hole saw". You would start with a drill hole and then switch to a sabre saw with a fine toothed blade....perhaps a metal cutting blade. There is quite a bit of "play" between the dimension of the port and the dimension of the lip that covers the deck. So if you are worried about cuting a perfect circle, don't be. There is a good bit of wiggle room. Just remember.....measure twice cut once. Good luck. It really is an easy task. :)

    Tim
     
  6. rhetthatfield

    rhetthatfield New Member

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    Thanks, I was told by a person at APS that I needed a "hole saw" and also in the sunfish bible he talks about a hole saw but says that "not many people will probably have one." It is a little scary to think of cutting a huge wrong hole in my boat. Thanks for your advise. Do you know the website for windline?
     
  7. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

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    http://windline.net/

    What the "gotta use a hole saw" crowd forgets is a 6 inch hole saw takes a really good drill to drive it and they aren't cheap for something you'll use one time.
    Make sure to tape up the deck, jig saws can scratch the heck out of it. We always started with a 3/8 drilled hole that fit the blade and cut slowly along a heavily marked line that we could see while cutting. You can always file the opening if it's a touch to small but there's not much you can do if you get bigger than the bolt circle used to hold it on the deck.
     
  8. Wayne

    Wayne Member Emeritus

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    Re: Inspection Ports - Cutting a hole

    2ยข Worth

    A tool no one seems to consider is a router. I used a Bosch router with it's compass attachment and got a clean precise hole. I have even used a Dremmel with a depth collar, compass attachment and tile cutter bit to cut 2" repair holes or route out cracks to a specific depth.

    Routers work extremely well on fiberglass - no ragged edges from chatter - precise circles when you need one.
     
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  9. dphoye

    dphoye Regular Member

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    Use the lid of the inspection port to trace an outline of the hole you are about to cut. The outside diameter of the lid should be the diameter of the hole for the inspection port flange to just fit. I use a dremel tool to dress the edge out if it seems to be too snug in places.
     
  10. mike4947

    mike4947 Member

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    Wayne very good idea using the compass attachment for a router. Give a nice precise hole and you're right a router bit does do a nice job cutting fiberglass.
    Although if I had to freehand it I'd still go with a jig saw.
     

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