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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #21  
Old 03-21-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djodenda View Post
It is really good that you are doing something about those windows. A Downeaster 38 sunk about 15 years ago when a wave took out those windows.
My dad circumnavigated on A Downeaster 38, and had a wave take out a window as well.
He did something to reinforce them and he was satisfied with the results. I will ask him.Please stand by.
Man...that says it all for me! I mean, lots of light and a view is nice, but how much do you really need below? My small dead lights give me 180 degree view and plenty of light. I've always wondered about some of the Columbia's which have similar large dead lights, on boats which seem to be designed for offshore work. Worse yet, I assume back in the day they were glass. Seems like they would not only be a bigger target for a wave, but for a shackle, winch handle, Whisker pole or other hardware that might be flying around in heavy weather. In addition, reducing them would give you the option of installing opening port lights. If you're sailing in hot, humid areas, air circulation makes a BIG difference below!

Last edited by L124C; 03-21-2011 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 03-22-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L124C View Post
Man...that says it all for me! I mean, lots of light and a view is nice, but how much do you really need below? My small dead lights give me 180 degree view and plenty of light. I've always wondered about some of the Columbia's which have similar large dead lights, on boats which seem to be designed for offshore work. Worse yet, I assume back in the day they were glass. Seems like they would not only be a bigger target for a wave, but for a shackle, winch handle, Whisker pole or other hardware that might be flying around in heavy weather. In addition, reducing them would give you the option of installing opening port lights. If you're sailing in hot, humid areas, air circulation makes a BIG difference below!
this is the big decision. I plan on tropical cruising, do I want the view and light from big windows, or added airflow from small opening ports? I need to figure out which is more valued by people who have done tropical cruising, and a little soul searching to figure out what I want.
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Old 03-22-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beersmith View Post
this is the big decision. I plan on tropical cruising, do I want the view and light from big windows, or added airflow from small opening ports? I need to figure out which is more valued by people who have done tropical cruising, and a little soul searching to figure out what I want.
Dont know how feasible this is, but you could get some custom ports made up like Beneteau's are providing in their yachts. Large windows with inset ports ala the new Beneteau 34. Now whether they're open ocean worthy or not is a different question.

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Old 03-22-2011
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The ventilation IS nice to have in the tropics.. but in many areas the wind is steady enough that an open hatch and/or a windscoop will funnel half a gale though the cabin areas. You do need to balance that need for ventilation with the potential for leaks as well.... also, open ports like these usually mean a bit of a chinese fire drill every time a rain squall passes in the night.... everyone up closing ports, and up again opening them after the rain passes. (covers and screens may be available to help here.. also depends on the angle of the cabinside where the port is located).

The way the newer boats are doing this (previous post) is a very attractive compromise as long as the main port lenses are up to the task...
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Old 03-22-2011
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Hey Beersmith,

I can tell you what I did/plan to do, with the same boat. My big opening ports were very leaky, actually all my ports were leaky, so I had to at least remove them for re-bedding anyway.

For the small ports, I replaced them with SS ports from New Found Metals. They make a size that's more or less a drop in from what you already have. After 4 years, so far so good.

The big windows, I considered all options, but for now, I just extracted them, reinforced the frames with a layer of glass cloth and epoxy and re-installed with new bedding. I cruise Long Island Sound for now so I'm not too worried about boarding waves.

My current plan (subject to change) is to simply install some window boards for any offshore cruising. Basically you just make a frame, such that you can slide the boards in from the top, around each window. When offshore or if a blow is coming, but slide the boards into place over each window. You can lock them into place with a simple door lock or something similar.

Since you are already getting rid of your vinyl lining and replacing it, you have more options to re-engineer the whole thing. This is doubly true if you are also planning on repainting the cabin trunk. I looked into doing all of that but had bigger fish to fry at the time.

For replacing the whole thing, I would probably find the largest windows/opening ports I could find that will fit into the holes. In addition to New Found Metals, these guys have some cool products:
Marine Ventilation Products - Mariner's Hardware Although I can't vouch for their quality their stuff does pass the eyeball test.

I would then use a dremel or something to grind away as much of the coring as possible from around the empty frames. Then get some marine grade plywood (or solid pieces) that is just thick enough to fit into the slot where the coring was. Cut the plywood into a frame for each new window then epoxy the plywood into place, with the edges sandwiched into the gap where the coring used to be. You will have to cut the wood into a few pieces so it will fit. Then build up the inside and outside of the assembly with cloth and epoxy, fare paint, install and bed the windows, etc. Piece of cake.

-Argyle
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Old 03-22-2011
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Thanks for the reply Argyle. I plan on using NFM opening ports for the small ones, they seem to be the consensus best option. Not sure if I will splurge on the bronze or stainless ones, or go for their new TRI-MATRIX ports.

I think I am leaning towards bolting on lexan or plexiglass, making some sort of trim ring for the inside, and possibly getting some stormboards for offshore work. But since I have the boat completely deconstructed, I better decide on it now so if I want to glass in the big holes for smaller opening ports, I need get it done before deck painting and such.
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Old 03-22-2011
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I don't mean to sidetrack the conversation, but this has brought up something I have always wondered about. We have the technology to make large windows that are just as strong as the hull. Why, then, do the large windows on many modern boats have smaller opening ports inside them? Surely we have the technology to make large (full window size) opening ports that are strong? This seems like the win-win solution, if it exists.
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  #28  
Old 03-22-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
The ventilation IS nice to have in the tropics.. but in many areas the wind is steady enough that an open hatch and/or a windscoop will funnel half a gale though the cabin areas. You do need to balance that need for ventilation with the potential for leaks as well.... also, open ports like these usually mean a bit of a chinese fire drill every time a rain squall passes in the night.... everyone up closing ports, and up again opening them after the rain passes. (covers and screens may be available to help here.. also depends on the angle of the cabinside where the port is located).

The way the newer boats are doing this (previous post) is a very attractive compromise as long as the main port lenses are up to the task...
ahhh thanks for this. Not many people have chymed in about the ventilation issue. I think with the 6 small-opening ports, the hatches, and some dorade vents I should be set.
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Old 03-22-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeador View Post
I don't mean to sidetrack the conversation, but this has brought up something I have always wondered about. We have the technology to make large windows that are just as strong as the hull. Why, then, do the large windows on many modern boats have smaller opening ports inside them? Surely we have the technology to make large (full window size) opening ports that are strong? This seems like the win-win solution, if it exists.
Short answer is that having cabin structures that are "just as strong" as the hulls IS the problem. While there are some boats well enough engineered to -almost- eliminate hull flexing, most boats actually have some flex in larger seas, even tho you do not notice it.
Flexing of the cabin and deck is common. The larger the unsupported length or height of a port, the more likely that flexing will break the sealant bond around the flange and let water drip in. Overall, it's darned difficult to have large opening ports that really dog down water tight over many years' time.

Further, the weight of, say, lexan polycarbonate that will stop solid water is a factor. You have to have enough thickness to not flex inward and pop out of the opening. If you use acrylic there is the chance that it will stay on the cabin but simply break under pressure.

Your hull is magnitudes stronger because it is made up of Glass Reinforced Plastic, and not just cast resin.
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Old 03-22-2011
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ahhh thanks for this. Not many people have chymed in about the ventilation issue. I think with the 6 small-opening ports, the hatches, and some dorade vents I should be set.
Oh yes, forgot I was going to comment about that. While sunny Connecticut is in no way tropical, it does get plenty warm in the summer, and with the six opening ports, forward hatch, butterfly hatch and companionway all open, the boat airs out in about 5 minutes or less in just a light breeze. No problems at all with ventilation.
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