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Inspection port installation

water rat

Member
Geting ready to install inspection ports next week. Mine have screw holes in them and I am wondering whether to screw them into the deck after bedding the plate...or just bed the thing to the deck. Boat is circa 1968. Plan to substitute bolts for screws and use largest washers it will take.
 

fhhuber

Member
Nuts, bolts and washers is better than just wood screws into the glass.

I would cut a segmented ring from 1/4 inch "aircraft" plywood (craft stores should have it) epoxy the ring to the underside of the deck and coat it well with epoxy. Then the wood screws will be fine.

just gluing it down with sealant, without screws, is asking for the port to pop off.
 

JohnCT

Active Member
10-24 stainless machine screws, nylock nuts and 3/16 washers.
Did all of mine like that, bed with butyl tape
 

Wavedancer

Upside down?
Staff member
You do want to use the screws that were provided. And sealant. But there is no need to go beyond that. The port 'sees' no forces to speak of.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Geting ready to install inspection ports next week. Mine have screw holes in them and I am wondering whether to screw them into the deck after bedding the plate...or just bed the thing to the deck. Boat is circa 1968. Plan to substitute bolts for screws and use largest washers it will take.
A previous owner installed a nice 6" inspection port on my Sunfish; unfortunately, the sun has taken a toll on it :( and it will soon need replacement. I'd suggest spray-painting your new inspection port—unless, of course, it has a transparent center. :confused:
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Since I need to replace my deteriorated inspection port (next Spring), let me "kite" this idea. :)

My experience with ports in catamarans—including two catamarans whose lightweight hulls were manufactured entirely of epoxy (!)—is that a curved surface makes removing the covers difficult. With four ports per catamaran—sometimes tools are required! :( (I had to make one of a 1"x2"x18" and two 3/8" diameter wood dowels—actually "leftover dowels" from discarded foam brushes :cool:).

The Sunfish deck is compliant-enough to bolt down the port—bending it a bit—and not affect the strength of the deck. However, I see no harm in forming a base with 3M 5200, pressing the new port onto it, faring it as it sets up. (Making it level with the cover's threads not in tension—not stressed). But first, paint the port on both sides to permit "release" at a later time. Then drill the port for very short S/S screws.

Whaddayathink? :)
 

JohnCT

Active Member
Sounds like a lot of work for no real benefit.
My ports work fine.

Bed with butyl tape, if replacement becomes necessary, bolting in a new one is an easy process.
I use the same size and type fasteners for everything so I only need to carry a screw driver, nut driver, roll of butyl tape, some spare screws and nuts, and I can repair pretty much anything anyplace with a kit that fits in a pocket.
 

water rat

Member
Since I need to replace my deteriorated inspection port (next Spring), let me "kite" this idea. :)

My experience with ports in catamarans—including two catamarans whose lightweight hulls were manufactured entirely of epoxy (!)—is that a curved surface makes removing the covers difficult. With four ports per catamaran—sometimes tools are required! :( (I had to make one of a 1"x2"x18" and two 3/8" diameter wood dowels—actually "leftover dowels" from discarded foam brushes :cool:).

The Sunfish deck is compliant-enough to bolt down the port—bending it a bit—and not affect the strength of the deck. However, I see no harm in forming a base with 3M 5200, pressing the new port onto it, faring it as it sets up. (Making it level with the cover's threads not in tension—not stressed). But first, paint the port on both sides to permit "release" at a later time. Then drill the port for very short S/S screws.

Whaddayathink? :)
Good idea..I'm a big fan of 5200
 

water rat

Member
Sounds like a lot of work for no real benefit.
My ports work fine.

Bed with butyl tape, if replacement becomes necessary, bolting in a new one is an easy process.
I use the same size and type fasteners for everything so I only need to carry a screw driver, nut driver, roll of butyl tape, some spare screws and nuts, and I can repair pretty much anything anyplace with a kit that fits in a pocket.
I am a big fan of keeping it simple and since safe storage on a fish is limited..uniformity is the way to go. I throw this out for what it's worth. Stainless Steel dates back to the first world war and there are at least 120 grades of it. Be interesting to know which company has the best when it comes to hardware Stainless...was originaly Stain Less...meaning it has better rust resistance then other steel. Once the two words got combined many people thought it did't rust at all. Not true in all cases. Some , but not all of the so called S.S from overseas is real crap.
 

L&VW

Well-Known Member
Some , but not all of the so called S.S from overseas is real crap.
Thirty years ago, I had a great source of aluminum and stainless products, and bought boxes of 100 at every visit. I used ¼" lag bolts for many of my wood projects, and when I needed them for other projects, I just reused them. They're tough, but they can be broken. :oops: Save the pieces. The threaded ends can be ground to a point at the broken end, and reused as a joiner. The bolt head end can be used in place of a ¼" pin.

I bought about 35 feet of S/S chain for a mooring I have yet to install. (For a boat I have yet to buy). :( It's sitting in a pressure-treated wood box in a wet location, and still looks new, although it's been stored at least 25 years. There's stainless steel screens in my windows and one screen door.

The thing about those boxes of 100—they were all marked with the disclaimer, "The items inside are a product of the Taiwan (some other Asian countries), or the US". China wasn't mentioned, so I expected decent quality, and was happy with what I got. :)

Working with S/S is another story. :confused: I usually use a "chop saw" to cut S/S. To drill through, I first use a grinder to cut down on the drilling needed. S/S is very hard to cut, bend, or drill. Drill bits break off—and dull very quickly—but I have since learned how to grind new cutting edges on drill bits. (Dull bits under 3/16-inch are a "lost cause").

When I need backing plates, I look in the kitchen drawer for dinner knives! The handles are usually hollow so, except for cutting donut-shaped spacers (which I've done), there's not much that can be done with them. Subjected to salty air, blades and handles rust readily.

I don't know what that dealer did with barrels upon barrels of used jet-turbine blades he had. :confused: I couldn't think of a use for them, and they aren't economically reusable. (There's no "melt" value on S/S). A family firm, they're still in business—according to the Web.

Prices keep going up, so I continue to hoard S/S , and think of my S/S hardware as jewelry. :)
 
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water rat

Member
Many of the 120 kinds of S,S, have different hardness. For example knives made of 220 are alot easier to sharpen then 440. Most but not all stainless steel knives with well known and trusted American names are now made in China.. The exceptions are those made by small shops. This is in many ways an endorsement of China S.S by Major American companies. like Buck and Gerber.. . Look for a grade or ask the manufacturer what the hardness is. Retail outlets are clueless. . This way you may get something fairly easy to work with. There should be a chart on the internet that can be helpfull. And to make things more confusing. The word "stainless" is not regulated. . That is one of the reasons some so called stainless products rust..
 
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