Resealing/Replacing Beckson Ports? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-07-2012 Thread Starter
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Question Resealing/Replacing Beckson Ports?

Hi,
We have two ports that are leaking.
The ports are original, and we are wondering about the best approach.
Re-seal with new gaskets?
We've been warned that the frames can crack during removal.

Any advise/tips are welcome.
With new upholstery on the way, we need them to seal tightly!

Thanks!

Kim
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Resealing/Replacing Beckson Ports?

HB, if it is just the gasket that is leaking, those are replaceable and they do wear out. If it is the seal around the port itself that is leaking, the only way to really cure that is by removing and rebedding the entire port. Patching and plugging never really solves that problem.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-07-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Resealing/Replacing Beckson Ports?

This may sound dumb, but how will we be able to tell what has let go?
I guess we start with replacing the gasket, and if it still leaks, we go for the entire port...

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Kim
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Re: Resealing/Replacing Beckson Ports?

Put someone outside with hose, someone inside with a towel. Peek and poke, try to confirm just where the leaking is. Before you buy new seals, you could try a cheap seal like window putty/gasket rope from the hardware store, just put a thin layer in over the existing gasket and if that's the problem, it should stop the leak, at least the first time you close it. Still leaking? Then it probably is the port itself.
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post #5 of 15 Old 03-07-2012
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Re: Resealing/Replacing Beckson Ports?

If you need to reseal the frame, buy a new unit, and use new bolts. Removing the old, cleaning the partition opening, then properly sealing and installing the replacement is major pain...allow 3-6 hours to do the job right and have a second pair of hands for the installation.

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post #6 of 15 Old 03-08-2012
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Re: Resealing/Replacing Beckson Ports?

I believe Beckson specifies silicone sealant only. If you are rebedding with silicone you need to remove ALL traces of the old sealant otherwise it will not seal.

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Re: Resealing/Replacing Beckson Ports?

Mark Plastics, who still supply Islander and other "original" replacements, also say silicone sealant only. I can only guess that some makers spec silicone simply because it can be pulled out at a later date when it always will create new business. I've never heard an "engineering" reason to use it.
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post #8 of 15 Old 03-09-2012
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Re: Resealing/Replacing Beckson Ports?

This from left field.
A friend of mine has a 32' Endeavor with original Beckson ports in it. Many of them.
Replacement ports from Beckson are < $150 a piece. They are cheap and cheaply made. I am happy that my boat does not have them as on my friends boat from @ 1980 (which is newer then mine) many of the 'dogs' and plastic hinges have cracked and they leak consistently.
Beckson plastic port lights do not inspire 'Blue Water' confidence in me. If they break by normal mis-handling then what will a wave of angry water do to them?
Not that my friend wants to take his Endeavor 32' to Bermuda anytime soon as he is happy tooling about the Chesapeake with them in his boat, and that is just fine.
I'd also think about scrapping using Silicone and use a good brand of Butyl tape to bed them. I would also seriously think about scrapping Beckson's ports altogether if I planned to use my boat anywhere offshore for more then a few days.
Considering how cheap ($$$) these port lights are I understand why builders and owners continue to use them. They just do not inspire much confidence in me.
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Re: Resealing/Replacing Beckson Ports?

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post #10 of 15 Old 03-09-2012
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Re: Resealing/Replacing Beckson Ports?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Mark Plastics, who still supply Islander and other "original" replacements, also say silicone sealant only. I can only guess that some makers spec silicone simply because it can be pulled out at a later date when it always will create new business. I've never heard an "engineering" reason to use it.

They spec it because unlike some polyurethane sealants, and more importantly polysulfides, silicone does not leech the plasticizers out of the plastic and make the ports prematurely brittle.

If anyones ever tried to remove a port put in with Dow 795, or another quality architectural grade silicone, they know how tenacious it can be. It can be as bad as 4200 to remove and often the Beckson ports crack in the process....


I'd suggest going straight to a port that will both increase curb appeal and be far more robust...

Installing New Found Metals Port Lights (LINK)

These were the old Becksons that came out of my own boat. Does not give you the warm and fuzzies when off-shore in rough water....




At the time we converted from Beckson to a SS ports we paid about $48.00 more per port than Beckson. Today that pricing spread may be different?? With 8 ports that made the difference about $384.00, port light to port light for 8, and one that was well worth it...

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 03-09-2012 at 08:20 AM.
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