Catalina 320: DIY Guide to Replacing Portals.


To replace portals on a catalina 320, locate the screws holding the portal in place and remove them. Gently pry the portal out of its frame and replace with a new portal, securing it with screws.

The portals on your catalina 320 add light and ventilation to the cabin. However, wear and tear, age, and damage can cause them to become worn and detract from the boat’s aesthetic appeal. The good news is that replacing your portals is a straightforward process that can be done with a few basic hand tools.

Whether you’re dealing with leaks, cracks, or simply outdated portals, this guide will show you how to replace them with ease. Read on for our step-by-step instructions to give your boat’s portals a much-needed refresh.

Catalina 320: DIY Guide to Replacing Portals.


Assessing The Damage

If you own a catalina 320, there’s a high chance you’ll need to replace its portals at some point. Portals are essential pieces of equipment that allow light and air into the cabin while also protecting against water intrusion. However, before you can begin the replacement process, you must assess the damage to the portals.

Here’s how to identify damaged portals:

How To Identify Damaged Portals:

  • Cracks and holes: These are the most apparent signs of damage. If you notice any cracks, holes, or chips in the portal, it poses a risk and must be replaced immediately.
  • Discoloration: If you notice any discoloration around the edges of the portals, it’s a clear indication of degradation. Discoloration is a sign that the portal is no longer protecting against uv rays and needs to be replaced.
  • Warped or bent: If the portal has a noticeable curve or does not fit squarely in the frame, it may be warped or bent. This type of damage will cause leaks, so it’s necessary to replace it as soon as possible.

Tools And Materials Required For The Job:

Now that you know how to identify damaged portals let’s take a look at the tools and materials required for the replacement process. Proper preparation is vital to ensure a smooth and efficient replacement process. Some necessary tools and materials include:

  • Safety glasses: Wearing safety glasses is crucial when removing old portals and installing new ones. This will prevent debris and broken glass from getting into your eyes.
  • Drill or screwdriver: To remove the old portals, you will need either a drill or a screwdriver.
  • Razor blade: You will need a razor blade to remove any excess sealant around the portals.
  • Sealant: You need to have the right sealant for portals and the ability to use it. Ensure to choose marine-grade sealant and apply a generous amount under the lip of the portal before installing it.

Remember, before purchasing your new portals, be sure to measure the opening first to obtain the exact size portals you will need.

Assessing the damage and determining what tools and materials will be required are crucial first steps when replacing portals. By following the steps mentioned above, you can spot damaged portals before they cause larger problems and ensure a successful replacement process.

Removing The Old Portals

Steps For Removing The Old Portals Safely

Removing old portals is a crucial step in replacing them. Doing it right will guarantee that your new portals fit correctly and prevent any damage to the surrounding areas. Here are the steps for removing old portals:

  • Before you begin removing the portals, make sure you remove any screws or bolts holding them in place.
  • Use a heat gun or hairdryer to soften the sealant around the edges of the portal. Move the heat gun or hairdryer in a back-and-forth motion, being careful not to damage the fiberglass underneath.
  • Once the sealant is soft, use a putty knife to start breaking away the sealant from the portal. Try to do this without damaging the fiberglass.
  • After you have broken away most of the sealant, use a suction cup handle to lift the portal out carefully.
  • Once the portal is removed, use a scraper to remove any remaining sealant.

Tips For Avoiding Damage To Surrounding Areas

Removing old portals can be a tricky process, and if you’re not careful, you could end up damaging the surrounding area. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when removing portals:

  • Cover the surrounding area with painter’s tape to prevent any scratches or damage.
  • Be sure to remove all screws and bolts before trying to remove the portal. Leaving them in can cause damage to the fiberglass.
  • Use a heat gun or hairdryer to soften the sealant, but don’t overdo it. Too much heat can warp the fiberglass and make it difficult to fit the new portal correctly.
  • Take your time when removing the portal so that you don’t damage the fiberglass or any other parts of the boat.
  • Use caution when using a scraper to remove any remaining sealant. It’s easy to scratch the fiberglass with a scraper, so be sure to use a gentle touch.

By following these steps and tips, you should be able to remove the old portals without any major damage to your boat. Always remember to be patient and take your time, and you’ll be rewarded with a smooth and successful diy project.

Choosing The Right Replacement Portals

Factors To Consider When Choosing New Portals

When it comes to replacing portals on your catalina 320, choosing the right replacement portals is crucial. Here are some factors you should consider when doing so:

  • Material: The material of the portal should match the rest of the boat. If you have a wooden boat, wood portals are the best choice. For a fiberglass or steel boat, plastic or aluminum portals are better options.
  • Size: The new portals should be the same size as the old ones. You can measure the old portals to ensure you get the correct size.
  • Style: There are several styles of portals available, including fixed, opening, and sliding. Choose the style that works best for your needs.
  • Price: Replacement portals can be expensive. Keep your budget in mind when choosing new portals.

How To Ensure Proper Fit And Compatibility

Once you have chosen the right replacement portals, you need to ensure they fit properly and are compatible with your boat. Here are some steps to follow:

  • Measure the old portals: Measure the old portals to ensure the new ones will fit properly.
  • Check the cutout: Check the cutout to ensure it matches the size and shape of the new portals.
  • Compare the screw holes: Compare the screw holes on the new portals to ensure they match the screw holes on the boat.
  • Double-check everything: Double-check the fit and compatibility of the new portals before installing them.

By following these steps, you can ensure your new portals fit properly and are compatible with your boat.

Remember to choose portals that match the material and style of your boat, and keep your budget in mind when making your selection. Finally, measure everything carefully and double-check the fit and compatibility of the new portals before installation.

Installing The New Portals

If you’re looking to replace the portals on your catalina 320, you may be wondering how to install the new ones correctly. Follow these steps to ensure a successful installation:

Steps For Installing The New Portals Correctly

  • Remove the old portals by unscrewing the screws that hold them in place.
  • Clean the old sealant from the surface where the new portal will be installed.
  • Apply a new layer of sealant to the surface where the new portal will be installed.
  • Align the new portal with the hole and screw it in place.
  • Repeat the process for each portal.

Common Mistakes To Avoid During Installation

To avoid damaging your new portals during installation, be sure to avoid these common mistakes:

  • Over-tightening the screws can crack the glass of the portal. Tighten just enough to create a secure seal.
  • Not applying enough sealant can lead to water leaks. Apply a generous layer of sealant.
  • Installing the portals crookedly can cause the portal to stick out or not seal properly. Make sure the portal is aligned and straight before tightening the screws.
  • Using the wrong type of sealant can cause damage to the portal or lead to water leaks. Check with the manufacturer for recommended sealant.

Follow these steps and avoid common mistakes for a successful installation of your new portals on your catalina 320.

Sealing And Finishing The Job

If you’re looking to replace your catalina 320 portals, the sealing and finishing process is crucial in ensuring a professional look and preventing any water from entering through the edges. Here are some tips and steps to properly seal your new portals, making sure your boat interior stays dry and secure.

Tips For Properly Sealing The New Portals:

  • Clean the area: Before beginning the sealing process, make sure that the surfaces of both the portal and the boat are clean and free from dirt. Use soap and water to remove any debris, followed by a de-greasing agent such as acetone or rubbing alcohol to ensure a clean, dry surface that the sealant can properly adhere to.
  • Use the right sealant: It’s important to use the right sealant for your portal replacement project. A marine-grade sealant like 3m 5200 is ideal for sealing portals due to its strong adhesion capabilities and resistance to water, weather, and uv rays.
  • Apply the sealant properly: Apply a continuous bead of sealant around the portal’s edge, making sure to cover the entire surface. Use a caulking gun for consistent pressure and control, and smooth out any bumps or gaps in the sealant with a finger or a caulking tool.

Steps For Finishing The Job And Ensuring A Professional Look:

  • Wait for the sealant to dry: Allow the sealant to dry completely before continuing with the finishing process. Check the instructions on the sealant for recommended drying times.
  • Trim the excess sealant: Once the sealant is dry, use a sharp knife or razor blade to trim away any excess sealant that may have spread beyond the edges of the portal.
  • Apply the finishing touch: To achieve a professional finish, apply a coat of marine-grade paint to the portal’s edge, covering any exposed sealant. This will protect the area from uv rays and prevent any potential corrosion. Be sure to choose a paint that matches the original color of the boat to maintain a consistent appearance.

By following these tips and steps, you can ensure a proper seal and professional finish for your new portals. Happy boating!

Frequently Asked Questions On Catalina 320. How To Replace Portals

How Can You Tell When It’S Time To Replace Catalina 320 Portals?

If you notice cracks, breaks, or leaks, it’s time to replace your catalina 320 portals. Portals are made of plastic, and over time they will yellow, warp, and lose their seal. Once compromised, they will not repair themselves, so it’s best to replace them to prevent further damage.

What Steps Do You Need To Take Before Replacing Portals?

Before replacing portals, you need to clean the area around the portals, remove the old silicon, and measure the existing hole dimensions. Buy a new portal that can fit these dimensions, and make sure it has the same hatch configuration as the existing portals.

What Tools And Materials Do You Need For Replacing Portals?

You will need a utility knife, sandpaper, razor blades, 3m 4200 marine adhesive, screwdriver, a caulking gun, butyl tape, saw, and your new portal.

Can You Replace The Portals Yourself, Or Do You Need A Professional?

If you have basic knowledge of tool use and have completed minor repair jobs before, you can replace the portals yourself. If you lack the skills or do not feel confident, hire a professional to do it.

How Long Does It Take To Replace The Portals?

It can take as little as three hours to replace one portal. However, the time required to replace all portals may vary depending on the number of portals you need to replace and your level of expertise.


After reading this article, replacing portals on your catalina 320 should not seem like a daunting task. By following these simple steps and tips, you can ensure that the job is done properly and efficiently. It is important to keep in mind that safety should always be a top priority when working on a boat, and taking the time to carefully assess the situation before diving in can save time and potentially prevent accidents.

By having the right tools and materials, and following the advice of experienced professionals, you can have your portals replaced in no time, and get back to enjoying your boat with peace of mind. Remember to take your time, be patient, and never hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to successfully replacing your portals.

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