Catalina 320: DIY Guide to Replacing Portals.


To replace portals on a catalina 320, follow these steps. Firstly, remove the old portals and clean the area thoroughly.

Next, apply a new layer of sealant and position the new portal in place. The catalina 320 is a highly popular sailboat that comes with standard plexiglass portals. Over time, these portals may become scratched, cracked or otherwise damaged, leading to a need for replacement.

To replace portals on a catalina 320, you will need to remove the old portals and clean the area carefully. With a new layer of sealant and the new portals in place, this process can be accomplished with relative ease, and will restore the beauty and functionality of your beloved vessel. With that said, let’s delve into the specifics of how to replace portals on a catalina 320.

Catalina 320: DIY Guide to Replacing Portals.


Assessing The Condition Of The Portals

The portals on your catalina 320 are crucial components of your boat’s structure. Over time, these portals may suffer wear and tear, and this might require you to replace them. Before embarking on this diy project, you need to assess the condition of the portals.

This will help you determine the extent of the work required and whether a replacement is necessary.

Inspection Of Damaged Portals And Evaluation Of The Extent Of Damage

To assess the condition of portals, you need to look out for signs of damage such as cracks, corrosion, and leaks. Here are key points on inspection and evaluation.

  • Inspect the portals closely for any visible damage, including cracks, chips, or discoloration.
  • Use a flashlight to check the edges of the portal for signs of wear and tear.
  • Check the edges of the portal for any corrosion that may affect the strength of the fiberglass around it.
  • Inspect the surrounding area for any signs of water leaks or any other damage that may have affected the portal.
  • Determine the extent of the damage by measuring the damaged area, depth, and shape of the damage.

Factors To Consider Before Proceeding With Portal Replacements

Now that you have evaluated the extent of the damage, you should also consider other factors before diving into the project. Below are some factors to keep in mind:

  • The age of the portals and the likelihood of other portals needing replacement soon.
  • The cost of replacing the portals and the tools and materials required.
  • The level of expertise required for the job and whether you are capable of completing it.
  • The level of difficulty of the project and the time required to complete the work.

Tools And Materials Required For The Job

To do this job right, you will need the following tools and materials:

  • Drill, saw, and screwdriver
  • Adhesive sealant, such as 3m 5200 or polyurethane adhesive
  • Fiberglass repair kit, which includes repair cloth, resin, hardener, and application tools
  • New portals that match the size and shape of the damaged ones
  • Sandpaper or grinding tool to finish rough spots

Assessing the condition of the portals on your catalina 320 is crucial before you embark on the diy project of replacing them. By inspecting the portals for damage and evaluating the extent of the damage, you can decide whether it’s best to replace them.

Additionally, considering other factors such as tools, cost, and time required is important in making an informed decision about the project. Finally, make sure you have all the necessary tools and materials before starting the project.

Removing The Old Portals

The process of replacing old portals on your catalina 320 sailboat can be a daunting task, but with the right approach and precautions, it can be done without causing any damage to the surrounding structure. Here we outline the step-by-step removal procedures, precautions to take, and common mistakes to avoid.

Step-By-Step Removal Of Old Portals

  • Start by preparing the work area. Cover the deck with a protective blanket to avoid any accidental damage to the deck’s surface or marking of the fiberglass surface.
  • Remove all the screws holding the portal in place. Use a drill or screwdriver for this process.
  • Using a flathead screwdriver, slowly work the blade around the perimeter of the portal to loosen it from the caulking.
  • Gently pry the old portal out of the opening if it is not loose yet. Exercise patience to avoid damaging the nearby structure.
  • In case the portal is completely adhered, insert a saw blade between the gap and cut through the sealant carefully.
  • In case the portal is a sliding type, you need to remove the tracks and positioning bolts, then push the frame out.

Precautions To Take To Avoid Causing Any Damage To The Surrounding Structure

  • Make sure to wear gloves and protective eyewear when handling tools and removing the old portal to avoid injuring oneself.
  • Use a flathead screwdriver to scrape any old caulking or adhesive from the edges of the opening. Make sure to be gentle and avoid scraping the deck.
  • Avoid using excessive force when removing the portal, as it can cause damage to the surrounding area or crack the fiberglass.
  • Always have someone hold the portal from the outside as you work on the inside to prevent it from falling.

Common Mistakes To Avoid During Removal

  • One common mistake that people make during the removal process is to use too much force when prying off the old portal. This can cause structural damage to the fiberglass.
  • Another mistake is failing to remove all the screws before attempting to take the old portal out. This can cause the portal to crack during removal.
  • Do not use power tools when removing the screws, as this can lead to the screw heads getting stripped.
  • Do not reuse the old caulk, as it may not form a proper seal anymore, which could lead to leaks.
  • Do not discard the old portal before taking measurements for the new one. This can cause issues in getting the correct size or orientation of the replacement portal.

By following these guidelines, you can safely and effectively remove old portals from your catalina 320 sailboat without causing any damage. With the correct approach, updating your portals can be a breeze.

Preparing For The New Portals

If you’re looking to replace your catalina 320 portals, then knowing how to prepare for the new ones is vital. Follow this detailed guide to ensure everything is in order before installation.

Detailed Guide On How To Prepare For New Portals

To prepare for a seamless portal replacement, follow this detailed guide:

  • Remove the old portals: Using a screwdriver, remove the screws holding the old portals in place. Do not damage the surrounding area.
  • Properly measure the portals: Measure your new portals to ensure they fit correctly.
  • Check for damages: Inspect the surrounding areas of your portals. If your portal is damaged, then repair the area before installing the new portals.
  • Clean area: Clean the area thoroughly. Remove any debris or dust that could affect the installation.
  • Make a template: Create a template by tracing the shape of your new portal onto a piece of cardboard. Use this to check for fit and cut the opening in the boat to the correct size.

Choosing The Right Type Of Portals That Suit Your Needs

When replacing portals, selecting the right type is important. Here are the different types to choose from:

  • Fixed portlights: If you’re looking for a constant view, then fixed portlights are the way to go. Choose between tempered or laminated glass.
  • Opening portlights: If you’re looking for ventilation, then opening portlights are a great option. These come in a variety of sizes and shapes.
  • Combination portlights: If you’re looking to have a view and ventilation, then combination portlights are a great option.

Installation Of Reinforcing Plates

Once you have decided on the type of portals, reinforce the openings by installing reinforcing plates. Follow these steps to ensure successful installation:

  • Cut the reinforcing plate: Measure and cut the reinforcing plate to size.
  • Trace the plate onto the boat: Place the plate over the portal opening and trace it onto the boat.
  • Cut the opening: Using a saw, cut the opening in the boat.
  • Attach reinforcing plate: Using epoxy, attach the reinforcing plate onto the boat.
  • Install new portal: Once the reinforcing plate is properly attached, install the new portal using screws.

Preparation is key when replacing your catalina 320’s portals. Follow this guide for a seamless installation. Don’t forget to choose the right type of portal that suits your needs and reinforce the opening with the appropriate plates.

Installing The New Portals

Installing new portals is an essential aspect of maintaining your catalina 320 yacht. This comprehensive guide will help you to replace your portals with new ones quickly and efficiently. Here are the key points that you must keep in mind while installing new portals:

Comprehensive Guide To Installing New Portals

  • Start by measuring the opening, which will give you an idea about the right size of portals you need.
  • If the holes are too big, you must fill them with epoxy and allow it to dry before installing the new portals.
  • The next step is to clean the area around the opening, including the edges and the surrounding surfaces. Ensure there is no debris or dirt on the surface since it might interfere with the installation process.
  • Position the new portal in place and ensure that it fits firmly into the opening and sits flush against the surface.
  • Screw the backing plate into the portal and secure it tightly with screws.
  • Apply a sealant around the edges of the portal, making sure that there are no gaps or spaces.

Proper Positioning Of The Portal In Place

  • Ensure that the opening is clean and dry before positioning the portal.
  • Align the portal with the opening slowly, making sure that it fits precisely and sits flush against the surface.
  • Use masking tape to secure the portal in place, ensuring that it does not move while you tighten the screws.
  • Confirm that the portal is levelled using a spirit level.

Materials Needed To Ensure The New Portals Are Properly Sealed

  • Marine sealant
  • Tape measure
  • Epoxy filler
  • Screwdrivers
  • Spirit level
  • Gloves
  • Microfibre cloth

By following these steps, you can replace your portals without having to seek professional help. The process is quite simple, but it requires meticulous attention to detail. Consider using high-quality materials and tools to ensure that the portals are adequately sealed and secured.

Remember to stay patient and take your time during the installation process. With these guidelines, you can easily replace your portals and enjoy your sailing experiences without worrying about leaks or drafts.

Frequently Asked Questions On Catalina 320. How To Replace Portals

How Can I Tell If I Need To Replace My Portals?

If your boat’s portals are cracked, crazed, or foggy, it is time to replace them. Deformation, discoloration, or a loose fit are also signs that a portal replacement is necessary.

What Equipment Do I Need To Replace My Portals?

To replace your portals, you will need a jigsaw, a drill with various bits, sealant, screws, a screwdriver, and a marker.

Are There Any Safety Precautions I Should Take During The Replacement Process?

Yes, it is important to wear safety goggles, gloves, and a dust mask while replacing portals to protect yourself from debris and fiberglass dust. It is also advisable to work in a well-ventilated area.

Can I Replace My Portals By Myself Or Should I Hire A Professional?

With the right tools and instructions, replacing portals can be done by a boat owner. However, if you lack the confidence or experience, it is advisable to hire a professional.

How Long Does It Take To Replace Portals On A Catalina 320?

Portal replacement time varies depending on your experience, equipment, and whether you are replacing one or multiple portals. On average, it takes about 2-3 hours to replace one portal.


Replacing portals on a catalina 320 may seem intimidating, but with proper preparation and careful execution, it can be done smoothly. This blog post has outlined the necessary steps to complete this task successfully. One important point to keep in mind is that safety should always come first.

It’s crucial to wear protective gear and follow all safety precautions when working with power tools and sharp objects. Taking the time to measure and prepare before beginning, as well as carefully sealing and finishing the portals, will ensure that the finished product meets your expectations.

By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to enhance the appearance and functionality of your boat. With patience and attention to detail, replacing portals on a catalina 320 can be a rewarding project for any boat enthusiast.

Latest articles


Related articles

Leave a reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here