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  #1  
Old 09-13-2009
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Lewmar, Bomar, Beckson ports...

I'm planning the replacement of my 30 year old ports at the moment, and am trying to make a decision on what to use. I'm hoping someone out there can provide some input that will help.

First off, the subject is a 1977 CS 27. It's the one that originally has one normal port fore, and a large double-width one aft. Neither open at the moment. The boat is probably never going to see salt water unless for short bursts, and will spend 99% of its life on Lake Ontario doing day sails and weekend trips. Might as well be an ocean at times the way it pounds sometimes though.

I'd like to put in one non-opening port fore, and replace the double-width (48" long) with two opening ports so I can really vent the cabin well. So, my only real requirement is that the non-opening ports look like the opening ones from outside. I do NOT have an unlimited budget, and the boat is not worth buying jewelry-grade stainless hardware. It's a "good old boat."

Here's the question... It seems that Lewmar and Bomar are the primary suppliers at the moment. Also looked at Beckson. All have ports that would fit. Can anyone give input about quality of these manufacturers, or distinctive features that might help differentiate? Have I missed any that I ought to look at?

Getting sick of reading what their marketing people think, and hoping I can read what real sailors think

Thanks in advance,
Chris
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Old 09-13-2009
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Chris,

Lewmar and Bomar both make ok ports but you may not find them in your CS 27 sizes from either manufacturer. New Found metals makes a far better port than either Bomar or Lewmar and they even cost less in most sizes.

The forward one should be easy as I think it's a 4X14 but the aft may need to be custom.. Bomon in Canada can do custom stuff very reasonably. Don't confuse Bomon with Bomar it's not the same company.
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Old 09-13-2009
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We installed a Beckson screened opening port (cockpit mounted for aft cabin) a few years back, and just this summer replaced two "Lewmar" (structurally similar but no markings - suspect some sort of knock-off) with Bomar hatches.

The Beckson's been fine - no issues whatsoever in 4 years but of course it never gets flooded by green water as it's in the cockpit.

So far, but it's only been a few months, the Bomars are holding their own and have not leaked a drop (unlike their predecessors). They fortunately fit the existing deck cutouts pretty much precisely and were an easy retrofit. The screens are a bit dodgy - not the tightest fit and the glue has parted on one corner of one already.

We went with the Bomars mostly based on the price and the type of sailing we mostly do - salt water but otherwise similar to your use. I'm sure that for serious offshore work these hatches would not be adequate, whereas the Lewmars (at nearly twice the price) would have been.
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Old 09-14-2009
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I have a 1977 CS27 with the three equal size ports each side (19"). The problem I see is except for size, the cabin side is not flat - it curves - so that will make port installation problematic. My plan is to replace the ports with thicker plexi in custom frames so that the plexi floats as opposed to having bolts through it (non opening). I plan to mold these frames out of epoxy myself. I will probably install a small 8" x 12" or thereabouts hatch aft of the mast for better ventilation. If you replace the large ports with 2 opening each side you'll have to glass in the old openings after grinding a good taper (12 to 1 or about 3") first and then recut to match the new ports. The gap because of the curve should not be made up with sealant but with fibreglass to create flat sections for the new ports.
Brian
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Old 09-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Chris,

Lewmar and Bomar both make ok ports but you may not find them in your CS 27 sizes from either manufacturer. New Found metals makes a far better port than either Bomar or Lewmar and they even cost less in most sizes.

I saw your guide on port replacement - very impressive job, and those look to be very, very nice ports. I'll give them a closer look as they are clearly very well made.

My plan is to not worry about matching the size of the existing holes. The forward port openings are 5-5/8 x 21 1/4, which I can find some models to fit with "minor adjustment" whether it be glassing-down or cutting out.

The long ones are 5-5/8 x 48". My plan there is to glass-in the center with about a 6" or 8" divider and install two smaller ports. Not looking forward to that glass work, but I think it will be well worth the effort. And, since the cabin + deck painting is on my off-season to-do list, it the right timing.

At this point, I don't think anything I could buy would degrade the boat. The oringal ports are pretty bad. I'm mostly trying to find out of there's any difference between Bomar and Lewmar beyond marketing photos, or if it's just a Ford and Chevy kind of thing.
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Old 09-14-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
I have a 1977 CS27 with the three equal size ports each side (19"). The problem I see is except for size, the cabin side is not flat - it curves - so that will make port installation problematic. My plan is to replace the ports with thicker plexi in custom frames so that the plexi floats as opposed to having bolts through it (non opening). I plan to mold these frames out of epoxy myself. I will probably install a small 8" x 12" or thereabouts hatch aft of the mast for better ventilation. If you replace the large ports with 2 opening each side you'll have to glass in the old openings after grinding a good taper (12 to 1 or about 3") first and then recut to match the new ports. The gap because of the curve should not be made up with sealant but with fibreglass to create flat sections for the new ports.
Brian
CS27 Sunspot
Victoria B.C.

Yeah, I did notice that the curve will make my life challenging. I'm planning to laminate a flat surface for the new ports, although to be honest I haven't quite figured out exactly how I'm going to do that and make it blend in an appealing way. I have plenty of time to figure that out though, and I'm sure something will come to me if I stare at it long enough.
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Old 09-14-2009
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Please keep me posted - I would like to see the results and how they might apply to my issues. Good luck.
Brian
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