Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
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Once again, thanks very much for the input for this thread. For anyone else contemplating a similar repair, the messages make an excellent "how to do it" work plan.
I would like to add a few points. My first attempt at it was unsuccessful because I didn't use enoughput tape and/or because there were pits and holes in the fibreglass cabin side. These weren't easily noticed but probably contributed to the failure of the first attempt. I removed the portlight once again (warming with hairdryer really helped), cleaned up, filled the pits etc. with gel-coat micro-balloon filler, smoothed everything and then reapplied the butyl tape at double thickness. I put one strip on the fibreglass around the opening and another one on the aluminum frame. Trying to add a layer of tape on top of another layer of tape was a little tricky as the tape sticks to tape very well and is difficult to move if you make slip during application.
Since it was quite cool on the day I was working (~45 degrees F. ), I used a hairdryer to soften the tape while I was re-applying the screws. Worked very well.
One warning about this kind of job is that if the inner frame screws directly to outer frame (not through-bolted) you have to make sure that you have enough tape at the joint that it will actually squeeze out the edges before the screws bottom out. This just barely happened to me and I think I would have been ok, in my case, with perhaps a third layer of tape, though it might entailed doing a lot more clean up afterward.
Cheers and thanks again for the help,