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edward cortese 05-04-2011 02:34 PM

The Lewmar portlights in my '95 36' Catalina MK ll leak, with the water gathering in the small wells created for the dog latches. Any solution other than stuffing them with cotton?

JimMcGee 05-04-2011 03:05 PM

$2 fix
Had the same problem when we bought our 95 Catalina 30. This fix assumes the seals aren't broken or torn.

First clean the rubber and the portlight with a paper towel soaked in water and dish detergent. Once you've got them clean, get a small jar of vaseline and gently work it into the seals. Really work it in with your fingers, I spent a good ten minutes per port.

When you're done, wipe them down with a clean paper towel to remove any excess and leave the ports open for a while. The seals will swell a bit. Close the ports and dog them down and they should seal now.

I did ours in '08 and they still don't drip unless it's blowing a 'nor 'easter.

Hope this helps,

fallard 05-04-2011 05:31 PM

I don't have a Catalina, but I do have 1990 vintage Lewmar portlights, which have dripped on occasion. Cleaning the plastic lens and the gasket made a difference, but I haven't tried vaseline or any other kind of conditioner.

I considered replacing the gaskets but talked to the folks at Select Plastics, who encouraged me clean things carefully and only consider a gasket replacement--which is apparently a pain--only as a last resort. They do all kinds of hatch repairs and sell Lewmar hatch repair parts, but so far the only thing I've gotten from them is free advice which was helpful. You might check with them on the long term effects of vaseline.

ambianceack 05-04-2011 06:24 PM

We used Captain Tulleys. It looks almost like water but seals even the smallest of gaps.

jimrafford 05-04-2011 07:02 PM

I had select plastics recondition all my hatches and ports this past winter. They replaced the poly and all the seals. No more drips and you can see thru again. Well worth the investment.

Omatako 05-05-2011 02:41 AM

If yours are the same portlights as I have (circa 1989), the cap in the lock handle is removable and with care and a sharp tool it can be done without damage.

If you can get the plugs out, the screw needs just a small amount of tightening to make a real difference to the seal on the rubber. Also check whether the "glass" (parenthesised because they're not glass) is distorted. I have seen some that look very wavy. If yours are then there's no alternative to replacement.

I have replaced some glass, some rubbers but mostly the solution above has worked (I have 12 of these little buggers on my boat)

JimMcGee 05-06-2011 07:14 AM

That's a good point about the handles. Tightening them was the first thing I tried and didn't think to mention it.

There were no caps on mine. They must've been removed by a previous owner.

As for long term effects of the vaseline, I did mine in '08 and the seals are still soft.

Now if I could find replacement screens that work well...

donlofland 05-09-2011 12:34 PM

Howsabout this from Catalina Direct?

Catalina Direct: Aluminum Window Reseal Kit C-30, C-36

Omatako 05-10-2011 01:56 AM


Originally Posted by donlofland (Post 728578)
Howsabout this from Catalina Direct?

Catalina Direct: Aluminum Window Reseal Kit C-30, C-36

To be fair, the images are not that great quality so I may be wrong but the profile of the rubbers doesn't look to me to be anything like the original Lewmar extrusion.

Another thing while we're on the subject of these portlights, behind the hinge there is a little plastic gadget with two wings that acts as a spring and provides the "ratchet" effect when the glass is lifted. It's the little odd-shaped thing next to the pin in the drawing below.

With time the sharp tips break off or go soft and the glass won't stay up. I'm sure we've all experienced this.

If you strip the hinge (knock the little pin out), there are two holes where the two screws go in, into which one can insert a small piece of rubber (I use pieces cut off the old rubber seal I remove) on top of the screws. The little wing thingy then goes on top of the rubbers and the ratchet effect works just great. The little wing thingies are really expensive and this is a durable fix - mine are a few years old now and still working great.

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