Port to Port


Our 42′ Whitby, Trini has a few cracked, old ports that leak.  One port is over the captain’s side of our berth (bed).

When it rains he wakes up to drops of water landing on his forehead.  This causes a chain reaction, starting with his cussing, then his shuffling out of bed to look for a bowl and a dry place to sleep.  This commotion wakes his beautiful boat wife who was peacefully sleeping on the dry side of the berth.

The leak had to be fixed!

Old, Leaky Port
Cracked knobs prevent the port from forming a tight seal

The remedy!  We had two options.  Replace the gasket or replace the port.  Since the port over the Captain’s head had cracked knobs and a cracked window, a new gasket would be useless.  So we replaced the port.

This is how we did it.

Take out old port
Taking out the port – A two person job

First we took off the bolts.  Pretty easy but a 2 person job.

Then we had to pry off the port from the hull of the boat.  This wasn’t so easy since the port was adhered with 5200, a very aggressive adhesive.  (Luckily the other ports we’ve taken out had caulk instead of adhesive.)

old port gone
Clean the area around the port

The new port had an outer ring.  We had a choice of adhering it to the hull with caulk or drill the ring so we could bolt and caulk it to the hull.  We chose to bolt and caulk.

The Captain lined up holes and marked them before drilling.

Drilling the holes
Drilling the holes

Now the port is ready for caulk.

Port opening and outer ring ready for caulk


The caulk we used and our tools
The caulk we used and our tools

A good covering of caulk for the interior ring.

Make sure to put enough on – You don’t want water leaking through
Applying caulk from the exterior to fill in gaps before apply the ring

Caulk was also apply from the exterior to fill in any gaps.  Then the ring full of caulk was set in place and the thru-bolts.

Wa La!  The new port is installed.

New Port
New Port

After a few rain showers, we’re happy to report there is no more leaks over the captain’s head.

A little tip:  This installation process took longer than we thought it would.  After taking off the old port, we discovered the Beckson ports we purchased were wrong and new ports would take over a week to arrive.   We had a hole in the boat.

A cruising buddy of our, Bryan from Salty Dog gave us a good tip.  When he replaced his ports, he bought a roll of plastic rug covering (Its the stuff used to protect carpets from staining in high traffic areas when showing a house for sale).  It’s an awesome product and has adhesive on one side that will temporarily adhere to the boat and is watertight.  This did the trick.  There were several days of rain and this tip saved us from many wet nights.