How do I Re-Bed Leaking C34 Beckson Ports?
Re-Bed Leaking C34 Beckson
PortsWritten by: Chuck Hughes, "Sand Save"
Here are the Basic steps to re-bed leaking C34
Beckson ports if working in a perfect world.
Farther down the page you will see the reality
that we all find is quite different.
Remove the mounting screws from the inside side of the ports.
Remove the trim rings from the exterior side of the ports.
Remove the ports by pushing them into the boat from the outside.
Clean the old adhesive/sealant from the hole in the boat and
from the old port.
Dry the hull hole using denatured alcohol.
Fill any existing gaps in the hull with closed cell sealant
From inside the salon, hold the port in place and rub
dishwashing liquid around hull/salon areas just adjacent to the
port, to prevent sealant from sticking to unwanted areas.
Repeat the dishwashing liquid process around the trim ring on
the exterior of the boat.
Put new sealant on the clean port; reinstall in the existing
hole, screwing the screws in all but the last turn.
Force additional sealant into the gaps between the port and the
hull, both from the inside and the outside of the boat.
Put new sealant on the new trim ring, then press into place from
After the sealant has cured for 24-48 hours, turn the screws the
- New trim rings from Beckson
- 3M Adhesive/Sealant Remover (available at West Marine)
- Silicone Sealant (1/2 tube per port)
- Dishwashing Liquid
- Denatured alcohol
- Closed cell sealant foam (available at West Marine)
- Dremel Tool with wire brush attachment
- Sharp knife
- Various flathead screwdrivers
- Phillips head screwdriver
- Hammer or small sledgehammer
- Piece of heavy plastic, like a paint bucket lid
- Paper Towels/rags
- Some short lumber if you use Capt Al's removal method
The reality is quite different.
First, I removed the gaskets from the ports, just to get them out
of the way. Then I unscrewed all the screws, marking each one with a
piece of white electrical tape and a number corresponding to the
hole it came from, to be sure they went back into the same holes.
(As I removed them, I cleaned all of the screws by rubbing/turning
in emery cloth to remove any rust that had formed.) As far as
getting the trim rings and ports off, unfortunately there's a bit
more than just unscrewing the screws (at least on the first one I
did). The sealant Catalina used is extremely adhesive (or perhaps
the previous owner used adhesive, if he re-bedded the ports). I
ended up using a sharp knife and then progressively larger
screwdrivers to pry the trim ring away from the outer hull. (By the
way, I definitely recommend buying all new trim rings from Beckson
before starting the job. They look great and there's no fear of
damaging the existing ones in the prying process. Theyíre about
$13 each, if memory serves Me.).
After prying off the trim ring, I used 3M Adhesive/Sealant
Remover on a rag to soften the adhesive between the perimeter of the
port and the exterior hull. I then used the knife (outside the boat)
to cut as much of the adhesive as I could that was between the
perimeter of the port and the hull. Unfortunately, the port still
didnít move. I then used the knife inside the salon to try to cut
as much of the adhesive as I could from between the port and the
inner hull. Still no movement.
Here was the scary part, standing on the deck, I took the thick
plastic cover from a paint bucket, held it against the outside of
the port, and smacked it repeatedly with a hammer toward the
interior of the boat. Eventually, it broke loose. The port seems to
have stood up to the abuse with no ill effects, as did the hull. I
suppose there is a danger of damaging the fiberglass inside the boat
if the adhesive doesnít give way. If someone has a better way of
breaking the port loose, please let me know.
Your in luck Chuck! I have a sketch that will help
others outÖfor you, it is too later. SORRY!
I took a few pieces of 2x3 lumber as shown in the sketch and
tighten the bolts, putting pressure on the window till the caulk
breaks. You might be able to help the process along as you said,
freeing the caulk with a sharp knife first.
Good luck, Capt Al
Click on picture to enlarge
As far as getting the old adhesive off, I used the 3M
Adhesive/Sealant Remover, a knife & sandpaper to clean off the
hull, inside and out Ė basically, elbow grease. Removing the
adhesive from the port is a two-step process. The perimeter (or
circumference) of the port is smooth plastic. The Sealant Remover
and knife does a good job of taking the adhesive off these areas,
though itís still a chore. The portion of the port that rests
flush against the interior of the hull (in the salon) and through
which the screws are mounted has a grooved pattern where it meets
the hull. The grooves will be completely filled with old sealant. I
originally spent about two hours trying the Sealant Remover and
knife on this part of the port, with only limited success. I then
went out and bought a rotary tool (like a Dremel tool) and some wire
brush attachments. Worked like a charm! I saved hours on the
remaining ports, plus I had a valid excuse to buy the rotary tool
I've been wanting and putting off. The process now is to use the
Sealant Remover on the smooth portions of the port and the Dremel
tool on the grooved portions.
Before re-installing the port, I used a piece of 220-grit wet/dry
sandpaper to clean up the portions of the port that had become
weathered and discolored.
To re-install, I first held the port in place from the inside,
then rubbed dishwashing liquid on the surrounding areas of the
salon. This is recommended by Beckson and prevents excess silicone
sealant from sticking to visible portions of the salon wall. I did
the same thing with the trim rings outside the boat. I then spread
liberal amounts of silicone sealant on the port and pushed the port
back into the hole from the inside. I screwed in the screws all but
the last turn or two (again recommended by Beckson). Donít bother
trying to clean up any excess sealant that squeezes out from the
port at this point. Itís much easier to just cut away with a sharp
knife after it cures.
I then moved to the outside of the boat, adding more sealant to
the hole between the hull and the perimeter of the port, using a
knife to force as much sealant as I could into the hole. Then I
added another bead of sealant around the perimeter of the port. I
put a generous amount of sealant to the underside of the trim ring
and pressed it into place. Again, donít try cleaning any excess
sealant at this point.
After 24-48 hours, turn the screws the final turn or two, cut
away any excess sealant and enjoy dripless ports.
Iíve got the re-bedding process down to about two hours per
Chuck Hughes, "Sand Save" C34, #223
Important: The opinions expressed here are
those of the individual contributors to this page, and not those of
the Catalina 34 National Association or Catalina Yachts, Inc.
Additionally, this material has not been reviewed by Catalina
Yachts, Inc. for technical accuracy. This page's maintainer cannot
guarantee the accuracy of this information or the desirability of
suggested modifications or upgrades. Please obtain assistance from a
competent marine mechanic or boatyard prior to making any
significant modifications to your vessel.