resealing "Old style" Lewmar Portlights - SailNet Community
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-28-2013 Thread Starter
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resealing "Old style" Lewmar Portlights

I noticed water pooling beneath one of my portlights the other day so I tested the seal with a water hose and it looks to me like that the water is getting past the frame bedding.
My plan is to remove the screws and separate the inner and outer frame sections, then use a thin putty knife to gently separate the outer frame from the hull, clean off the old bedding from the affected parts and re bed with 4800 and re-assemble.
Any tricks or tips before I start from Sailnetters that have done this job?
Thanks in advance , James
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-28-2013
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resealing "Old style" Lewmar Portlights

Are you sure the drips are coming from behind the frame and not due to worn out gaskets? It is not a majorly difficult job to remove a port light, just that there is increased odds that you can damage the port light in your attempt to free it from the bonds of caulk that really wants to keep it attached. Putty knives also tend to scratch the gelcoat so use with care.

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post #3 of 8 Old 01-28-2013
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Re: resealing "Old style" Lewmar Portlights

My experience is with Beckson portlights, but I have to agree with Gladrags--be careful, don't pry up a portlight unless you have to. I rebedded two leaky portlights last year because both were leaking around the frame. Just as you plan, I used a thin putty knife, but I had to pound on it with a mallet to cut past the bedding compound. The effort it took to pry them up made me worry that I had hurt the seal with the lens, so I ended up tossing the old portlights and putting in new ones. I didn't want to go through all that effort (which included in my case replacing a wood panel inside) just to watch them leak again.

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post #4 of 8 Old 01-28-2013 Thread Starter
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Re: resealing "Old style" Lewmar Portlights

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Originally Posted by Gladrags1 View Post
Are you sure the drips are coming from behind the frame and not due to worn out gaskets? It is not a majorly difficult job to remove a port light, just that there is increased odds that you can damage the port light in your attempt to free it from the bonds of caulk that really wants to keep it attached. Putty knives also tend to scratch the gelcoat so use with care.

Tod
The gasket appears to sound, the water is coming from behind the frame.
Prying off the frame was the part I thought would be tricky, I think now I may make a puller that applies pressure evenly.
Thanks for the info.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-28-2013
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Re: resealing "Old style" Lewmar Portlights

I have just completed fixing (I hope) some old portlights. 3 leaks were caused by faulty gaskets; for one I had to rebed the frame. I did use a putty knife, but a very thin one with rounded edges. Worked a treat. It was also useful to have a friend helping, gently pushing from the inside while I pried from the outside. Mine was bedded with caulk and 2-sided rubber tape(!!!).

For you, the key question is what bedding compound was originally used. Caulking is easy to deal with (but a pain to remove prior to refitting). If it was 5200, you may end up replacing the portlight; but I have been told a Dremel with a variety of cutting tools may release it.

4800 is a good option. I used butyl tape, which I am finding easier overall to use than caulking, and am told if is a great performer over the long term. A friend who rebedded his portlights opted for Silkaflex, as he was concerned that the large void around the porthole would be not be as usefully filled with butyl tape.

Installing New Found Metals Stainless Portlights Photo Gallery by Compass Marine at pbase.com is not totally relevant, but worth looking at!
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-28-2013
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Re: resealing "Old style" Lewmar Portlights

If you are dealing with plastic ports like the Becksons, then I would not try to re-bed them, its too much work to take a chance having to start over. With the Becksons, the drill is to buy a new unit and all new attachment fixtures, then bed carefully with a quality silicone as per Beckson instructions.

If dealing with good quality metal frames, I would try to clean and reuse.

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Re: resealing "Old style" Lewmar Portlights

The frames are anodized aluminum but I don't think it would take much to warp them. As far as bedding material is concerned it would be what Beneteau used back in 1998 - can't imagine they would use 5200 (I hope!).
I'll give it a go as soon as we get a dry weekend and report back.
Thanks for all the input!
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-28-2013
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Re: resealing "Old style" Lewmar Portlights

You should be able to get these off with a couple of good putty knives (and hammer). I don't know if the frames will distort or not. To keep from possibly scratching your gel coat; take a grinder to the corners of the putty knives and round them over a little. About a 1/8 radius. you would be surprised how much this helps. I haven't pulled any port lights yet, but, i did pull a hatch. No 5200.
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