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Old 11-26-2017, 12:26 AM   #1
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Defever leaking portholes !

Hi All,


Going to contract on a 53 Defever LRC (1983 ) closer inspection has shown that a number of the SS portholes in the master, vip and head have leaked at some point (or may still be leaking ) , there appears to be significant damage (wood rot) beneath each of the leaking porthole surrounds. In some cases the rot is extending 6 inches or so below the porthole. Does anyone have experiance with similar issues and if so was it a major project to repair?


Thanks in advance for any insight.
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Old 11-26-2017, 03:23 AM   #2
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It is not usually that hard to renew the sealing strip on these ports. They tend to stiffen and break down over time. They tend to vary in dimension and shape, so one needs to take one of them, or a sample of the seal, to a chandlery to match material. The discolouration under the port may be more cosmetic that actual rot, but if it is rotted, that can be replaced, but is a bigger job.
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Old 11-26-2017, 07:41 AM   #3
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Damage around portholes

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Originally Posted by Peter B View Post
It is not usually that hard to renew the sealing strip on these ports. They tend to stiffen and break down over time. They tend to vary in dimension and shape, so one needs to take one of them, or a sample of the seal, to a chandlery to match material. The discolouration under the port may be more cosmetic that actual rot, but if it is rotted, that can be replaced, but is a bigger job.
Thanks Pete,

It is hard to see in the photo but Unfortunately the wood beneath each porthole is rotting press a thumb and it gives way very soft and sponge like . Is it a case of having to cut away the whole area and the replace with fresh wood? No obvious signs of damage to the exterior but worried about potential moisture in the core. Trying to figure out if this a major project and potential $$ for repair budget?
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Old 11-26-2017, 08:19 AM   #4
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If you are thinking this is an easy fix you could be mistaken. I recently purchased a 1996 IslandGypsy 36 with similar issues. The price reflected the cosmetic condition of the interior-I offered 50% of the asking price and got the boat. If I had not been willing to spend the time and effort to fix this myself it would have cost so much I could have bought one in perfect condition. Rot can spread pretty far. One leaky window in the galley rotted the bulkhead all the way down thru the aft head into the engine room. I replaced everything the rot was about one foot away from getting to the engine stringers. The bottom line is I have saved this boat, the project was part of the fun for me, but it would have cost more than the boat was worth if I hired it out. It is more about you than the boat --if you can handle a big project as part of your interest in this boat it could be okay. If you are otherwise busy, and must pay to fix this it might not be worth it. John P
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Old 11-26-2017, 08:51 AM   #5
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When it comes to maintaining a boat it seems that everyone forgets about changing the gaskets in the portholes. The seals in my plastic-frames portholes (steel boat) were so bad that during one storm my sleeping crewman thought that I tossed a bucket of water on him to wake him up! My engine room bilge filled with water since the ports were practically under water the whole time. And obviously your two boats mentioned above have rotted out cores.

Big, bad lesson-learned for everyone
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Old 11-26-2017, 09:46 AM   #6
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Need to check and confirm bith gaskets and bedding are sound.
Could be both need attention.
A little troubleshoiting w a hose should help isolate the problem.
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Old 11-26-2017, 12:52 PM   #7
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If you are thinking this is an easy fix you could be mistaken. I recently purchased a 1996 IslandGypsy 36 with similar issues. The price reflected the cosmetic condition of the interior-I offered 50% of the asking price and got the boat. If I had not been willing to spend the time and effort to fix this myself it would have cost so much I could have bought one in perfect condition. Rot can spread pretty far. One leaky window in the galley rotted the bulkhead all the way down thru the aft head into the engine room. I replaced everything the rot was about one foot away from getting to the engine stringers. The bottom line is I have saved this boat, the project was part of the fun for me, but it would have cost more than the boat was worth if I hired it out. It is more about you than the boat --if you can handle a big project as part of your interest in this boat it could be okay. If you are otherwise busy, and must pay to fix this it might not be worth it. John P
All noted thanks JohnP, best of course action seems to be to get an experianced carpenter on board and get a hull surveyor with a moisture meter to see the extent of the damage and therefore cost to repair. She is a 30 year old boat so expected to have a list of projects but trying to figure out the must do’s from the nice to haves and pull together a reasonable budget. This looks like a must do have to believe they will only get worse.
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Old 11-26-2017, 03:50 PM   #8
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I am in the process of changing out 11 original plastic portholes on my boat. As stated before, it could be either the gasket or the bedding that has failed. Either way it will only get worse if not corrected. I had some damage to the paneling by a couple of my ports from long term leaking. However the damage is nowhere as bad as your photos. I was able to repair the damage with some thickened epoxy and the damage will not show when the new ports are finally installed. I am waiting and waiting on New Found Metals to send me a correct template for my ports. They sent one that was a 1/2 too small... Repairing the paneling is going to be a major job if the photos are to be believed in your boat. The problem is that you have to replace a large area of paneling, not just right around the port. It may be really difficult to get the new paneling to look good. However I love working on boats and love a challenge, so good luck if you buy it.
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Old 11-27-2017, 05:59 AM   #9
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"When it comes to maintaining a boat it seems that everyone forgets about changing the gaskets in the portholes."

Gasket material is a snap to replace.

The hassle is with most TT the ports are bedded into the woodwork , and bedding only lasts so long.

Hard to accept that re bedding the windows and ports is part of required PM , especially when plugs have to be pulled from varnished trim , but it is TT reality.
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