R 22

Rhodes 22


Opening Portlights

After speaking to the Beckson rep at the Annapolis show last fall I contacted Stan at GB and purchased them from him, $56.00 each and I also sent $10.00 for freight. Same cash type deal as you mentioned earlier. He urged me to not try and replace any but the two most aft due to the compound curvature of the cabin top. You have to look closely but it is there.

Roger, who is a list member, also mailed me a copy of an article he wrote for the class association newsletter outlining his methods for replacement. After a major PITA getting them out, by far the worst part of the job, I cut some treated wood into the thickness and lengths I needed and installed them into the cabin outer and inner wall interstices to give the new hatches a good support foundation. I used white RTV silicone to secure the wood and using the new hatches for a template drilled the holes necessary for the new hatch.

There is an option from Beckson to either use countersunk truss head bolts and silicone the trim ring over top or use flush mount truss head bolts through the trim ring. I chose the latter, thinking it may be easier to remove them if I have to. (I sure hope not) I finished up this past Saturday in the comfort of our tank truck repair garage. The boat has been outside in a miserable steady rain ever since and I'm (extremely) happy to report there are no leaks.

Being an amateur woodworker and very critical of my own work I'll tell you they also look GREAT. Actually "they" is a bit of a misnomer as I only did one at first, to see how it would go. BTW, Beckson will not sell you the 10-24 screws as there are too many sizes for them to stock. I went to a local supply house that we use at work and bought a box of (50) 1-1/2" screws and cut them down to the lengths needed, anywhere from 1-1/8" to 1-1/4" depending on the location of the screw.


I'm finishing up the opening hatch installation. The only 2 problems I had were getting the old portlights out (took me 2 hours they must have used 10 tubes of RTV each) and getting the correct length of machine screws. I finally wound up buying a box of 1-1/2" screws and cutting them down to size.


Since you will be forcing the port to make a curve; what I found useful was to tape "match sticks" onto the fiberglass. This way you can force the bend and still not press out all your silicone. Worked for me, anyway.


What I did was to put one thin bead of silicone around the port and let it cure most of the way.

Then I put a good thick bead (or two) of fresh silicone around and set the port in place. The cured bead held the port far enough out so that all of the fresh silicone didn't get squeezed out. I tightened the port down most of the way and let it cure up.

When cured, I tightened it up. That way I didn't have to re-fill the holes from the matchsticks. It seemed to work well, but you have to make sure that the "spacer" bead is cured well enough that it doesn't get squished out.


The opening front & side ports on my 1976 Rhodes 22 were manufactured by Beckson. Specifically, they are Beckson part #: PO512DBS-10, a 5" X 12" Camlock port, 1" spigot, black smoked glass, with insect screen. In October, 1988, Beckson sold me two of these complete port assemblies direct at a cost of about $45.00 each.

Beckson Marine Inc. 165 Holland Ave. PO Box 3336 Bridgeport, CT 06605 203/333-1412

I believe the fixed ports are also Beckson's, although I don't have their part number.

Roger Pihlaja

A boat can never have too much ventilation. Itís possible to upgrade two of the fixed ports on the Rhodes 22 to opening type ports. Because of the shape and curvature of the sides of the cabin, only the sternmost ports are suitable for this upgrade. Without a set of custom made shims, opening ports in the other four positions would have to tend so much to conform to the curvature of the cabin walls that they would inevitably leak. After two hard sailing seasons, the two opening ports I installed still don't leak a drop. Opening side ports are not a ventilation cure-all. Obviously, they must be secured when the boat is rail down, beating to weather. In addition, wind driven rain or spray will blow in through an open port. However, at anchor or at a dock, the extra ventilation above the port settee and galley makes a significant difference in cabin comfort.

With a boat as beautiful as the Rhodes 22, the appearance of the side ports is very important. It turns out that a black Beckson 5" X 12" camlock port is a very close match to the existing fixed ports in terms of color, size, and shape. Figure 1 shows how the boat looks with the new port installed.

Table 1 gives the parts required for this project:

Table 1
# Required Part Number Description
2 P0512DBS-10 5" X 1211 Camlock, Drain, 1" Spigot, Black Smoked Glass, With Insect Screen
1 Pack of 25 BB187-02/25 -24UNC X 1/21' Barrel Nuts, Phillips Head, Nickel Plated Steel
20   10-24UNC X 1-1/4" Round Head Machine Screws, 18/8 Stainless Steel
4   5-1/2" X 1" X 3/4" Pressure Treated Wood
4   15" X 1" X 3/4" Pressure Treated Wood
1 10.3 oz Tube   Dow Corning RTV Silicone Caulk, White

Remove the old ports and clean away any old caulk from the inside and outside of the cabin. Use the outer trim ring from one of the new ports as a template to determine where the opening in the cabin wall will have to be enlarged. Position the trim ring so that it is aligned with the other ports and mark the outer cabin where material must be removed. You may find it convenient to use masking tape to establish a line from the other fixed ports. The safest way to enlarge the hole is with hand wood rasps, round and flat. However, before you start, tape a garbage bag over the port inside the cabin to catch the shavings. Take your time and insert the port in the hole from time to time to check the fit.

When the port fits properly, try to fit the pieces of wood around the hole in between the outer cabin wall and liner. If your boat is like mine, you will find blobs of resin on the backside of the outer wall and liner. These must be removed before the pieces of wood will uniformly fill up the space between the outer wall and liner. A Dremel mototool [tm] is handy here, although the job can also be accomplished with your hand wood rasps. When the pieces of wood will slide in and out with no tight spots, glue them in place with silicone RTV and clamp the whole sandwich together with blocks of wood and C-clamps.

After-the silicone RTV cures use your round wood rasp to clear away the wood in the spigot drain slots. Then, insert the port into the hole. Mark the locations for the through bolts onto the cabin liner. Remove the port and drill 1/4" diameter holes through the liner, wood, and outer cabin wall on these marks. Enlarge the holes through the cabin liner to 5/1611 diameters to permit the barrel nuts to fit. Assemble the port dry to check fit and alignment. You are trying to achieve a solid sandwich of outer trim ring, outer cabin wall, wood, inner liner, and port all held together by the thru bolts. You may have to slightly enlarge the holes or trim the machine screw lengths to get everything to fit properly. When you are satisfied, clean the inner liner and outer cabin wall with isopropyl alcohol or acetone, apply silicone RTV, and assemble the port for real.

Even in the sternmost port position, there is still a slight amount of curvature to the cabin walls. It is important not to torque the thru bolts up to the point where you warp the frame of the port as this may cause the port to leak. The best procedure is to lay a straight edge on the frame of the port inside the cabin as you are tightening the thru bolts. Tighten the thru bolts, a little at a time, in a criss-cross pattern. When the ends of the port frame are touching the liner and the remainders of the thru bolts are snug but not so tight as to cause the frame to warp, the port is fully seated. At this point, the middle of the port frame will be not quite touching the liner and the gap will be filled with RTV. If your straight edge shows you have torqued the center thru bolts too much; then, slightly back them off until the frame of the port is straight again. On the outside, the much more flexible trim ring will have bent to uniformly conform itself to the curvature on the side of the cabin. Wipe off the excess RTV, which has squeezed around the inside and outside of the port and you're done!

In October 1988 this project cost me about $150.00 and was accomplished over a weekend.

Beckson Marine sold me the ports and barrel nuts direct. Their address is:

Beckson Marine Inc.
165 Holland Ave.
PO Box 3336
Bridgeport, CT 0660

I'd be happy to give advice to anyone who tries this project.

Roger K. Pihlaja
5326 Sanford Lake Road
Sanford, MI 48657-9327
989/689-3757 (Home)

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