Removal of ports

I’m trying to remove the ports from the cabin sides. I’ve removed all the bolts, but none of the ports will not budge. Anyone have any suggestions for removing them without damaging the surrounding areas?

Dioscouri #064

I’m not sure this is pertenant, but Shaula had paint peeling off on the inside around most of the ports, indicating leaks. I removed the bolts and the outside ring, and rebeded the ring and bolts with polysulfide. There has been no evidence of further leaks. This was after about 25 yrs, so I think the original bedding compound had dried out and allowed water in. There was very little sealant between the ring and the outer cabin side.

If you want to break the seal of the bedding compound, applying some heat to the metal parts usually works. I use a small butane torch with a sharp-pointed flame that I move around a lot. Have you removed the outside seal rings? I used a putty knife with the edge filed to make a bevel to lever them off. Dioscouri, being #64, probably had the same sealant as Shaula, #59. The heat treatment even works on 3M 5200, but of course only if you can heat metal.
Dan Shaula BCC 59

They can be a real bear to get loose. What worked for me was a hammer and chisel. I know that sounds harsh but it worked. Get a sacrifical chisel that is at least 1" wide and sharpen it to a real keen edge. Pick a spot on the underside of the portlight, as far under that you can get and still allow the chisel to be struck. Lay the edge up against the junction of the port and fiberglass and tap until you get the port to break its bond with the fiberglass. Once you get it started you are home free and can use less aggressive tools to get the port out.I work on the underside of the ports as any damage will be out of sight. I never had anything get damaged but just in case it happens it is less likely to be seen down there. Don’t be afraid to hit the chisel and if you use a dead-blow hammer all the better. It will take some force to get the bond to break. Using heat is not much use as it takes some care not to scorch the fiberglass. Good luck. The chisel will have to be resharpened after each use as the edge will be wasted.
Bob & Lois
BCC Jolie Brise

Thanks to both of you for your advice. I am not sure how the port fits together. Is the outer ring (i.e., on the exterior of the boat) more or less just a plate? It might help if I better understood how the port is assembled.

Thanks again!



The outer ring is a flat plate that basically acts like a giant flat washer with holes for the bolts. I strongly recomend that you mark all ports individually for their specific location in the trunk cabin to insure that they go back to the same location. I also would suggest that you keep the parts for each port together and not mix with other port parts.

They may all appear to be the exactly the same at a glance but in fact may have the bolt hole pattern slightly off from one another. I found this out the hard way after I had the parts gooped up with boat life and some of the hole patterns in the ports were slightly off from the hole pattern in the trunk cabin.

Apparently, these ports (ABI) were made in the lowest labor area du juor which makes the parts not always interchangeable.

You may also want to use the 3M adhesive remover for another stubborn remaining adhesive on the parts or trunk cabin sides. My ports were unfortunately installed with 5200 originally.

Good luck
Best to you
SV “Grey Seal”

Yes, the outside ring is just a flat plate. If it is sealed to the cabin side, and the machine screws are sealed, you should be dry inside. In any case, if you want to remove the port, you should first remove the outside plate as it should be sealed to the lip of the port. Using a sharpened putty knife that you can hammer on, allows you to work around the plate, breaking the seal, without damageing the fiberglass. You could also use the putty knife on the inside flange. I agree with Bob and Lois that it’s very easy to scorch adjacent areas with the torch–I consider it a last resort.

Shaula’s ports were made by Rostand, who shut down sometime in the '80’s I think. So BCCs don’t all have identical ports, and I don’t know how the non-Rostand ports are put together.

Why are you removing the ports? Maybe you’re removing the liner on the cabin sides? Good luck!

Dan Shaula BCC 59