SV Pilgrim - 1979 Morgan 382 - Homeport: Beaufort, NC

Friday, September 4, 2015

Replacing the Leaking Quarterberth Port, the Interior Story.

While sanding in the engine compartment, a passing a rain shower alerted me to how badly the old, plastic quarterberth port was leaking.  All the other ports in the Pilgrim are New Found Metal Stainless Steel ports, installed by a previous owner.  Replacing the only remaining original plastic port was on the project list.  Watching row of steady drips along the starboard side wall of the engine compartment elevated the project priority.

We believe the plastic port in the quarterberth was installed at the factory in 1979.

Frequently after rains I check the quarterberth area for water intrusion.  Never found any signs the port was leaking.  It never occurred to me to check the engine compartment.  The leak originated around the outer flange of the port. The water then dripped down thru the void between the fiberglass wall of the cockpit foot well and the ¾” plywood cabinetry wall of the quaterberth.

The original port, set in copious amounts of silicone sealant, heartily resisted removal.  Ultimately the combination of a razor knife and pry bar won the day. 

The exterior view of the hole remaining after the port was removed.

After sanding down the surrounding surfaces, I filled the nearly 1-1/2” wide void around the perimeter of the opening with trimmed down pieces of a pressure treated 2” X 4”.

Fitting treated wood plugs into the void around the perimeter of the opening.

The wood plugs fit snuggly.  Once in place, I mechanically fastened the wood filler to both the outer fiberglass and the interior plywood using flat head stainless steel screws.

Filling gaps and irregularities around the opening with thickened epoxy.

Next, the remaining gaps and irregular surfaces were filled with cabosil thickened epoxy.  After sanding down the initial round of epoxy filler, the fairing began.

Round one of fairing viewed from the interior.

Fairing required two rounds of epoxy thickened with a micro-balloon filler (q-cells).  Each round of filler was followed by additional sanding.

Two rounds of fairing completed.  Now ready for primer.

The interior surfaces were finished with two coats of latex primer and two coats of exterior grade latex paint.

The interior completed.  Test fitting the masked acrylic window pane.

Since we intend to use Pilgrim’s quarterberth  as a storage area only, we chose to install an acrylic window pane rather than a new opening port.  We realize not installing an opening port will reduce ventilation in the area.  We have scrap pieces of tinted acrylic on hand.  New ports are very expensive.  Using the acrylic will save us money.  The window will provide natural lighting for the storage area.

View from the interior with the new window installed.

See our Quarterberth Refit Photo Album for images and notes current progress on this project.

Next up, the outside story… fabricating and installing the new acrylic window pane.

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