Rain Cover for Port Light

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by papabravo, May 12, 2013.

  1. papabravo
    Joined: Sep 2012
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    papabravo Junior Member

    The attached pic is of a port light I have on the boat.

    It is in a bulkhead with an incline and as you might see in the picture, it accumulates rain water, which has no place to go. It eventually evaporates and/or drips onto the V-berth below.

    I'd like to install a cover on the port light to keep rain out when I am away from the boat.

    Do you have any suggestions.. DIY or commercial?
     

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  2. JSL
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    JSL Senior Member

    Ignor my last
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2013
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Well, you could install a fitted shape, that will shed water easily, from one a of a number of materials. I'd be inclined to go with 'glass or acrylic, as they're inert. A 'glass hood or insert would be an easy thing.
     
  4. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Portlights and morning dew or rain sprinkles are troublesome.

    When they are fitted into cabin sides Ive always used a quick and dirty canvas Mini dodger.

    Luff tape track around the port and a thin batten sewn into the canvas to give a baseball cap shape.

    You could fabricate a hard cover but I find them not friendly to legs and hard to store when not needed.
     
  5. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Another option that conveniently has no moving or detachable parts, would be a scupper or two on each light/port. Naturally, each assembly will need a specific approach, but a little goo and fabric can solve this issue without the need for shades, or covers. It looks like the light shown has an inclined lower edge, but this isn't sufficient considering the cabin side slope, so it doesn't drain. My first thought would be, to make semi-circular shaped scuppers near each corner, on the lower lip, notching into the cabin side and of course also modifying the light frame itself. If the frame is metal, you could hard solder (Sil-Fos brazing rod) or weld (stainless) tubing that's been cut length wise. This does require some fabrication (metal or 'glass) effort, but solves the issue, without moving parts.
     
  6. JSL
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    JSL Senior Member

    One suggestion - to reinforce Pierzga's comment;
    If fitting a permanent rain shroud or hood that stands proud of the cabin side make sure there are no sharp edges or make the 'hood' flexible. I was crewing on a boat once and a fellow got his ankle bruised and cut by an improvised (cabin side) port 'brow' while walking along the deck.
    A lot more painful than a wet bunk
     
  7. ecflyer
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    ecflyer Junior Member

    These port visor's should easily solve your problem and they are reasonably priced. Buy these: http://www.seaworthygoods.com/store.html
    They are called port visors and sold from the mfg in Bradenton Fl.
     
  8. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A visor or eyebrow is fine for light rain, but a driving rain or boarding waves will cause water to pool in the lower portion of the frame, which is what I think is the problem (too little slope for drainage, with the cabin side inclination).

    Scuppers fix the problem, rather than mask or semi address the issues.
     
  9. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Water in the frame is the problem.
    In certain installations its possible to drain the water with scuppers . I you decide on scuppers, use best practice craftsmanship and make them easy to clean, unplug. The small diameter is prone to clogging
     
  10. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I'm thinking an open scupper, which is generally self cleaning and doesn't plug. Simple "U" shaped drains, at each end of the frame or a single centrally located scupper. No moving parts, noting to get a line hung on, nothing to break or get lost, etc., etc., etc. The simplest choice is often the best way to go. The port or light looks to be an old bronze unit, which is very easy to work with hard solder or welding. You could even soft solder, though it's not very strong compared to hard.

    If it was me, I'd use short lengths of copper pipe, from the local hardware store, cut them down the middle with a saw, then shape as required to fit a slot in the frame. A good, fairly precise fit is necessary, but also easy to do with both materials. I'd use Sil-Fos 5, which has some gap filling properties, while still keeping it's strength. If you're good at making fits, Sil-Fos 15 is the stuff I normally use and considerably stronger. Naturally, you'll need a good flux too, but this is standard fair with brazing.
     
  11. SamSam
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    SamSam Senior Member

    It's hard to tell, but if that dark wavy line is the water, it looks like it's trapped between two panes of glass and is way above the level of being trapped by the angle of the frame. If that's the case, and you can't caulk the leak, drill a small hole through the outer pane, as low as you can and probably at each corner. Or replace the glass or the whole portlight.

    If that water is between two pieces of glass and is above where a frame would hold it, it's either leaking in from above somewhere or, when rain or nighttime cools the space and creates a vacuum, standing water in the frame gets sucked in.
     
  12. papabravo
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    papabravo Junior Member

    Sorry for my bad photograph. That is one pane of glass... with the water sitting on top.
     
  13. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Then it is a frame angle to cabin side slope issue and a scupper will solve the problem with no moving parts or anything to catch a line or pant leg.
     
  14. papabravo
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    papabravo Junior Member

    Yep. Scupper is the direction I'm going in. I was thinking of various covers.. building my own, and every thing I could think of came out as a kludge in the end.

    Scupper simplicity can't be beat.

    Now I just need to think through the fabrication.
     

  15. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    A hunk of pipe or tubing, with a reasonable diameter, say 1" will do. Cut it down it's length then trim to fit. Cut the lower portion of the frame to match, then braze them in place. Some additional downward slope to these bits of pipe, should solve the drainage issue.
     
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