With the old ports torn out it was now time to prepare the installation.
A template was made out of plexiglass so it could be used on either side and I could view details under the template.
Well the Tartan 37 has to be one of the worse case boats to install the New Found Metal Ports in a simple way. Here's a couple of the problems I found and how I worked through them.
Note: Normal designed installation into a cabin trunk 1" thick would only require you to drill a 5/8" hole 1/2" deep to securely insert these hubs.
OK, now I have over thought this project seemingly way to much (for 3 years). But wait, I have held back on the starboard port by the hanging locker and the port in the head because I know there will be more modifications to consider with these in those confined areas.
All teak spacers are varnished with 5 coats of Interlux Schooner and taken to Nicknack.
All port holes were enlarged for the new ports. I found the fastest way to cut or grind out the hole was a 1/2" sanding drum on a Dremmel tool. I also tried various raspers on a drill which didn't work as well for general removal but worked well in certain areas. Remember, we're only removing about 1/4" of material around 2 sides of the hole plus the drain area.
A port and spacer were picked for each hole to make sure they fit, including the outside frame aligned in its holes. After a few adjustments with the dremmel tool and a sanding drum, the frame and inside teak which was in less than perfect condition was coated with epoxy to help solidify and water proof things. The spacers actually extend about an inch over the teak ply.
Now, it's time to install a port and see what I'm really in for. Make sure you have some good clamps. I tried and like the wide jaw plastic grip clamps and had an ample supply of plastic spring clamps in various sizes. First, the galley port because it seems like it will be the easiest. I decided to go with the butyl rope recommended by NFM and I think it was a good decision. It can be messy if you let it get out of control, but that's your fault. First, I applied a strip of rope around the inside of the port. With the Butyl roping you can control the "bead size" by stretching the roping as you push it into place. It was in the 70s in April in Cleveland while I did this, maybe warmer under the boat cover and I found the Butyl too soft so I kept it chilled in the icebox.
The first inside bead I made big enough to make sure there would be a good seal between the port and the teak spacer. Then I added a second bead stretched a little smaller so the spacer would fit over. I then took the grip clamps and squeezed the port and the spacer together slowly. I used an ample supply of spring clamps to hold this all together as I moved the grip clamps around squeezing the port and spacer. I have dozens of the spring clamps in various sizes as they find many uses with boat projects.
Once all this was together I filled in the spacer to port gap with more roping as necessary to the lip plus a little more to seal between the spacer and the interior wall.
I then removed all the clamps and placed this in the hole, BUT, before applying too much pressure I tested the outside frame to make sure it fit and aligned with the holes. THIS WAS VERY IMPORTANT!
I then removed the outside frame and used 2 grip clamps to hold the port in place. At this time I added another strip of Butyl roping (more if necessary) from the outide to any gaps and to make sure there would be an overlap to make the seal.
With all this in clamped in place I applied a bead of 3M 4200 to the frame rim and then removed the clamps, placed the frame in place and held everything together again with the clamps.
Next from the inside I started inserting bolts trying to get a bite on the frame hubs. Not long enough? A little more pressure on the clamps. Remember those longer bolts? Get the first bolt started and then try an opposite side. Carefully, screw them in until they bottom out and then try some adjacent holes with the shorter bolts. Work your way around the frame pulling things together like you would hub nuts on a wheel. Remove the longer bolts and insert the shorter bolts. Not too tight for now.
Check the outside frame for any gapping. The caulking bead should fill the frame gap on the outside and the Butyl should slightly ooze out between the port flange and the outside frame. Re-adjust the inside bolts as necessary but not too tight. You maybe compressing a lot of Butyl roping depending on all the spaces. Tighten the bolts the next day.
The first port didn't go quite this easy but by the third port this system was going quite smoothly.
Installling ports in the head and over the hanging locker required other considerations. The teak spacer frame had to be cut to fit in the narrower space of the cabin trunk in the head. The hanging locker trim had to be modified to allow for the locking arm to turn and to make room for the port to open. I also notched out a corner of the spacer to allow proper vertical spacing of the port.