Replacing port gaskets

When we bought our boat in September of 2000 the original rubber gaskets on the ports (the rubber that seals the port or window to make it watertight when it’s closed) were dried out and shot. No doubt they were still the original ones from 1979. With the recommendation of some fellow members of the Hans Christian Owners Association I picked up some 3/8″ round EPDM foam rubber from McMaster Carr part number 8605K43 and replaced the gaskets. They’ve sealed well ever since and if I ever need to replace a gasket again I’ll be able to do it in about 5 minutes.

2 Responses to “Replacing port gaskets”

  1. Tony Garland says:


    I have a Hans Christian 33′ and read about your gasket replacement using the McMaster Carr EPDM round foam rubber on the Hans Christian association website.

    I noticed, in that discussion, that several other people said that the channel in the porthole is square and that they had used a 5/16″ square gasket material from another source–although it appears to be considerably more expensive.

    Can you comment on how your 3/8″ round material fit into the channel? Was the channel on your ports square or round? And, if square, how did you fasten the round material so that it did not come out–just by compression? Or was an adhesive used?

    Thanks for any help you can provide!

  2. Todd says:

    Hi Tony, while the recesses in the ports for the gasket are squared the round gasket material has worked well for us for the past 8 years. It’s thick enough that it just stays in the port when you put it in and when you want to replace it you just pull it out. I’m not a fan of using adhesive on gaskets like that because it makes it a pain to replace the gasket later. We’ve never had port leak with the gasket material. The material is so cheap I would just try it and if you don’t like it go with the more expensive stuff.