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Cascade 42 Portlight Replacement

Cascade 42 Portlight Replacement
May 31, 2018 nfmetals

Cascade 42 Portlight Removal and Installation Instructions

We recently installed six 8×18 stainless ports on Dean Halvers Cascade 42. Dean had already replaced the six forward ports with 4ea 7×15 stainless and 2ea 4×10 stainless. Dean had enlarged the forward cutouts to accommodate four of NFM’s 7×15’s. Dean asked us if we could remove his remaining ports and install six 8×18’s.

Here is what we found. The original opening ports were manufactured in Aluminum. The four in the main salon were substantially larger than NFM 8×18’s and the aft cabin ports were actually of similar size to our 7×15’s. Dean wanted more light aft and opted to replace the smaller ports with our 8×18’s.

The First Step – Removal

The first step was to remove the old ports in the main salon. We were able to remove the outside frame by first removing the screws and then heating a thin putty knife which was used to push under the frame cutting the 5200 bond. Here we discovered that the installer (we think it was the original customer) had drilled holes in the one inch thick cabin side to match the 20 fastener holes in the port. He had deeply counter sunk the holes on the outside surface of the cabin to accommodate flat head machine screws. The port was then installed using 5200 and bolted into place using hex nuts on the inside port frame.

image of the removal process of an old portlight on a cascade 42.

Our first step was to dig out the 5200 that was covering the heads of the machine screws. Now we could get a screw driver into the machine screw to hold it in place while we backed off the nuts from the inside.

The port was installed with 5200 and we wanted to remove Them with minimal damage to the cabin wall.

We constructed a simple bridge using a scrap piece of 2×4. We added a couple of wood feet so we could bridge the entire port. From here we used metal C-clamps clamped from the bridge to the outside edge of the port spigot. We wanted to push the port out gradually so we put some pressure on the clamps and then heated the port from both the inside and outside. Patience is required here, so you need to apply pressure on the clamps gradually. In a few minutes we were able to slip in the putty knife under the frame as the 5200 began to break down from the heat and pressure. As the port was rather large, we worked the bottom first and as the bottom edge of the port broke free we switched the bridge to the top of the port and soon we were able to push the port free. We had removed the port without damage however it was necessary to removed any of the old 5200. A palm sander handled the flat surfaces and a rotozip with a carbide burr easily took care of the 5200 left on the cutout edge.

another image of the removal process of an old portlight on a cascade 42.

Next Step – Preparation for Installing the New Portlights

The cutout of this port was substantially larger than the standard cutout of NFM’s 8×18 but using our template drill guide we could see that we would still have about 5/8” clamping surface top and bottom though the fasteners would be in mid-air. We went ahead and drilled the fastener holes using the template. The four corner holes went through the cabin wall. We then ran the drill through the top and bottom holes which cleared any interference from the cutout edge. The hard steel drill guides in the template kept the drill bit from wondering when basically drilling a half hole. At this point we sanded and filled where necessary the inside cabin wall and repainted. The outside required masking off a border around the outside of the cutout to match the new port. We painted that white as it would not have been possible to match the faded blue paint on the cabin wall. The white border around the port looked good and matched the total paint scheme of the boat.

image of the preparation process for the new new found metal portlights on a cascade 42.
another image of the preparation process for the new new found metal portlights on a cascade 42.

From here on we added an extra wrap of butyl (see our install video on our website) to fill the larger gap between the port and the cutout and proceeded with the install of the four ports in the main cabin.

Finally, we removed the aft cabin ports in the same fashion. We then lined up the 8×18 template, clamped into place (three clamps) and drilled the fastener holes. We drew a pencil line using the inside edge of the template and then removed the template. We taped the surface of a saber saw so as not to scratch up the cabin surface and easily sawed out the excess material. The cutout now matched the template and we proceeded to install the port. (a precise cut is not required)

Time wise you ask. Well much depends upon having all of the right tools at hand and having an extra pair of hands when dealing with the larger ports. The total time not counting rain delays and travel time was 24 hours. Most of this time was the removal, clean-up and painting.

image of the finished new found metal portlights installed on a cascade 42.

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