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Author Topic:   Pry-out Deck Access Plate Replacement
jimh posted 08-24-2011 08:56 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
[For the impatient reader, jump to much later in the thread to get a concise summary.]

I want to replace the 8-inch diameter pry-out (or press-fit) deck access place on my 1990 Boston Whaler REVENGE 22. I bought a replacement from BECKSON several years ago, but never got around to replacing the plate in the boat. The color of the BECKSON replacement is perfect, but the access plate is not an exact match.

I was hoping to be able to just replace the pry-out plate portion and to leave the outer ring in the deck. There is nothing wrong with the outer ring, but the pry-out portion has cracked. The BECKSON pry-out portion does not match my original access plate. They have different diameters:

OEM = 8.0-inch diameter removable portion
BECKSON = 8.25-inch diameter removable portion

Based on some prior discussion on this topic, I believe that the OEM pry-out access plate may have been originally made by PHYI (pronounced by several people in the trades as "pie-eye"). In the typical consolidation of manufacturers in the marine hardware business that has occurred in the two decades since my boat was made, I think PHYI has become BOMAR which is now part of POMPANETTE.

A knowledgeable marine parts person, Sue Lodel at TWIN CITIES MARINE, told me that the color of the BECKSON plate was known as Khaki and was a very good match. I can confirm this. Also, Sue said that BECKSON was no longer making the access plate in this color, they had run out of the raw materials for this color, did not plan to make more, and that she had purchased their remaining inventory. I can partially confirm this; when I bought mine several years (c.2008) ago the fellow at BECKSON said they only had a few left in this color and were not planning to make any more. (I suppose the market for pry-out deck plates for 20-year old boats of a specific manufacturer is not extremely large or lucrative.) Unfortunately, when Sue checked her inventory, she had zero 8-inch pry-out access plates on hand.

Sue also said that the color match of the PHYI-type plate from BOMAR-POMPANETTE was not as close as the BECKSON. Their off-white plate was said to be a bit yellowish.

Now for the $64,000 questions:

--Is the hole that is cut out in the deck to accommodate the access plate outer ring--the part that stays in the deck--the same for the BECKSON as for the OEM? I would very much like it to be in order that I don't have to re-cut the hole to fit the non-OEM BECKSON replacement ring. I think that the outer diameters of the outer ring is a good match and the bolt-hole layout seemed close. But, since the ring is still in the boat deck, I cannot compare the OEM with the BECKSON.

--Is the diameter of the PHYI-BOMAR-POMPANETTE replacement part precisely the same as the OEM? I would very much like to to be since I may have to replace a second pry-out access plate and, since the color-matching BECKSON plate is now rare--I would get consider getting the POMPANETTE. If I could find a pyr-out plate which would just drop in I could worry about the color match later. I could fix it with some paint, if it were really bad. And most of the time the access plate in the aft cockpit is covered by a cooler and not seen.

Another parts counter fellow with a lot of experience said a perfect drop-in fit for the pry-out plate was "not gonna happen." I suspect he might be correct, but before I give up I would like to canvas the many classic Boston Whaler owners to see if they have an opinion.

The current OEM plate ring is held in place with rivets. Are rivets the best choice for the replacement?

What adhesive sealant is recommended to hold the plate ring to the deck?

jimh posted 08-24-2011 09:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Here are some older threads on this topic, which I mention because their URL's have changed over the last ten years:

I think the BOMAR plate most likely to fit the OEM 8-inch is shown in e50944406d8be2e3852567bc00053e45?OpenDocument

and would be the 8-inch, off-white, press-in-cent, model G831.

The money questions now become:

Will a BOMAR G831 be a drop-in fit to the OEM on my boat? Will the color match well?

lizard posted 08-24-2011 09:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for lizard  Send Email to lizard     
jimh--I don't know if you've recently checked with Beckson, but I have been to their website, about two weeks ago, and they have a link that they have done a run of the Whaler plates. I did not call, I assumed the website was current. I need two replacements. At the bottom of the page for the link below:

I just checked the link above, clicked on "order". When you get to the order page, depending on which plate you are requesting, there is a notation that these were added between Sept. and Dec. 2010, suggesting they may be available. Good luck.

jimh posted 08-25-2011 08:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Thanks for the information about the BECKSON website. I have BECKSON plate on handd. It is a perfect color match, but not the same size as the OEM.
dfmcintyre posted 08-25-2011 02:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre's either one that fits but is the wrong color, or one that's the right color but requires some cutting?

Tom W Clark posted 08-25-2011 02:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
I recently replaced one of the large OE deckplates in my 1988 Revenge 25 Walk-Through. I used a "Khaki" colored Beckson deck plate and it was both a perfect fit (8" diameter, removable portion) and a perfect color match.

macfam posted 08-25-2011 02:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for macfam  Send Email to macfam     
Several years ago on our Revenge 25 WT, the pry-out portion cracked in several places, but all the pieces remained intact.
I turned it over and used fiberglass cloth, a few popsicle sticks and West System 2-part epoxy, nad set it on the workbench to cure overnight.
The next day it was as good as new, and lasted well.
I sold that boat several years ago, but I assume that it's still in one piece.
jimh posted 08-25-2011 03:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Thanks for the advice on how to make a repair to the pry-out portion of the deck plate. I have already made those repairs, and I used exactly the same method as suggested.

Tom--Your report is interesting and makes me think perhaps the BECKSON deck plate I have on hand is something of a bastard model. I was looking at their web literature and the dimensions for the plate I have do not correspond to the web dimensions.

Tom W Clark posted 08-25-2011 04:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Jim -- The deck plate you want is the Beckson model DP83-K

jimh posted 08-25-2011 05:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
That's how I read it, too. If that was a drop-in fit on your 1988 boat, I think it should also be good for my 1990 boat. I am going to call BECKSON tomorrow and chat them up about this.
lizard posted 08-25-2011 09:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for lizard  Send Email to lizard     
I have read so many articles on this that I can not remember if it was here on CW or on Joe Kriz's site, about "thin rim" and "full rim" Beckson plates. I am sure if you search on both sites, you are likely to find your answer about the fit. Some of the fit problems were related to PHYI products and (I think) about changes in Beckson over the years.
jimh posted 08-26-2011 09:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Liz--Thanks for suggesting that this discussion seek its answers at an unspecified location on another website. If you don't mind, I'd like to continue the discussion here until I resolve the problem. In that way the information on this topic will be freshly updated and be useful for other readers.
Tom W Clark posted 08-26-2011 10:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
The special Thin-Ring deck plates are only in the smaller size, not the large.

andygere posted 08-26-2011 11:23 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
A few years ago, I replaced two of the Beckson plates in the deck of my 1989 Outrage 22. I ordered them directly from Beckson, and they were an exact fit for color and size.

I did not use rivets to install the replacement plate rings. Instead, I filled the old rivet holes in the deck opening with a paste of polyester resin and chopped glass fiber, faired flush with the top of the holes. When I installed the new ring, I rotated it a few degrees so the new fasteners would bite into the underlying plywood rather than the repaired holes. I used stainless steel pan-head sheetmetal screws to fasten the ring to the deck. The tops of the screws sit within the countersinks molded into the ring, and look much better than the rivets. I bedded the ring in the same Starbrite silicone caulk I used to bed the rest of my deck seams with. I recommend this method of installation.

jimh posted 08-26-2011 02:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Andy--I like your installation recommendation. I will follow it.
jimh posted 08-26-2011 08:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I called BECKSON today (Friday) but they are closed. I will follow-up on Monday with them, and I hope to resolve the mystery of the odd deck plate I have on hand. If the recommended BECKSON plate is a drop-in fit, I will get two of them and report on the outcome.
jimh posted 08-29-2011 08:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I spoke to Mike at BECKSON's today. The pry-out deck plate I have on hand is the same as the one they currently offer. There is a difference in the diameter of the pry-out section from the old plate; the pry-out is wider on the newer version by about 0.25-inch. However, the outer diameter of the deck plate ring and the hole layout on the ring are intended to be exact matches to the older style seen in c.1990 and older Boston Whaler boats. My prior observation was that the hole layout and outer diameter are perfect matches.

As mentioned already numerous times, the color is a perfect match. It is called KHAKI by BECKSON.

Here is the back story on the design change. In about 2000 the molds used by BECKSON to make the pry out deck plate were worn out, and new molds had to be made. They decided to keep the outer dimension and hole layout exactly as the prior mold provided, but they slightly increased the diameter of the pry-out, in order to make the actual opening that resulted when the deck plate was removed to be closer to the 8-inch dimension.

The hole that has to be cut in the deck to accommodate the ring should be just about exactly the same with this new deck plate assembly as with the old ones. In the old deck plate there was a sloping fillet between the top surface of the deck plate and the circumferential wall that makes the opening for the pry-out portion. In the new plate the circumferential flange is a 90-degree angle joint to the top plate. This means rings from the new mold should fit just about perfectly in holes cut for the rings from the old molds. A particular hole might have to be enlarged a small amount here and there, perhaps a 1/16-inch or less, if the existing hole is a tight fit for the new plate.

On the new plates there is a feature molded onto the pry-out's reverse side. There is a post with a six-sided splined hole molded into the back side. This post is intended to be used to attach a #6 screw fastener, which will retain a short length of small wire rope cable (aircraft cable) or other flexible cable. The other end of the flexible cable can be fastened under a nut and bolt on one of the outer ring mounting screws. In this way the deck plate pry-out will be retained when removed from the hole. This will prevent the pry-out from be lost overboard or perhaps when trailering at high speed from blowing out of the cockpit.

The recommended sealant is silicon caulk. Poly-sulfide caulk is not recommended.

By the way, Mike owns two Boston Whalers, the oldest a 1963. He was at work today even though the Bridgeport, Connecticut factory was without power due to the aftereffects of tropical storm IRENE passing this weekend.

andygere posted 08-30-2011 02:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Excellent information Jim. The new feature that allows you to leash your plate is interesting, though I can't imagine one of these ever coming loose on it's own. They fit tight! More likely it's there to keep a sloppy mechanic from losing the plate after providing some service to whatever lies below...
lizard posted 09-01-2011 11:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for lizard  Send Email to lizard     
Excellent update and information. I am with Andy, I can not imagine my plates coming loose, the fit is very snug. Perhaps the newer plates have a slightly different seating in the ring and hence the option to leash the pry-out.

When I get back to CA, I plan to survey all of the Beckson plates and order new ones. Great to hear that Beckson is producing color-matched products for our older Whalers.

jimh posted 05-08-2013 01:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Andy writes:

I bedded the ring in the same Starbrite silicone caulk ...

Did you use clear caulk? White caulk? Or something closer to the Khaki color?

I am finally getting around to installing my replacement pry-out deck access plate. I was considering using a GE premium waterproof silicon sealer that I can get at the hardware store. I used that same product for my replacement deck hatches, and they have not leaked.

The original caulk that I have removed was colored and matched the gel coat color perfectly--well extremely closely.

andygere posted 05-09-2013 01:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
The Starbrite brand caulk was a very close match to the desert tan interior of my Whaler, but it is not available anymore. I originally purchased it from Twin Cities Marine. The last time I needed to caulk a joint in my Whaler's floor system, I used GE Silicone II caulk in the almond color. It looked good, however it was not a perfect match to the Starbrite caulk it was adjacent to. For a deck plate (away from other seams), you would have a hard time noticing the difference. So far, it has held up nicely.
saumon posted 05-09-2013 03:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for saumon  Send Email to saumon     
andygere and jimh,

the previous owner of my Outrage find out that, even if it's not available anymore from Twin Cities, the Starbrite almond caulking can now be ordered in small quantities directly from the company.

Here's what's on the receipt dated May 2012, when he ordered 2 tubes:

Star Brite Inc.
4041 S.W. 47 Avenue
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33314
Tel: (954) 587-6280
Fax: (954) 587-2813

Item number: 082155EA
Description: Each, 300 ML-SIL.SLNT/Almond 10.3oz
Unit price: 12.25

andygere posted 05-09-2013 08:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
saumon, that's great news, thanks for the information. The Star Brite caulk has held up very well on my boat.
jimh posted 05-09-2013 09:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have used the Premium Silicon GE II caulk before with good results. I couldn't find it in the almond color. I settled for the hardware store brand (ACE). It didn't come out of the tube as easily and it seemed a bit weird in its consistency. But I couldn't wait any longer to get this job done.

I used No.-8 stainless steel screws to retain the deck fitting ring. These screws only bite into the laminated portion of the deck. They really do not hit any backing wood. For this reason, I used a great deal of care in making the holes for these self-tapping screws. I drilled the holes to 1/8th-inch, then slightly relieved the initial opening in the hole with a 3/16th-inch drill to avoid cracking the gel coat.

I used West System epoxy and thickener to fill the old holes. I used one of the ketchup packet kits and a bit of the white filler material.

When I made the new holes, I located and marked the first hole. Then I drilled that hole, temporarily installed the outer ring, and retained it with a screw in that first hole. Then I spot drilled the other five holes using a 3/16th-inch drill to mark the location. Next I removed the ring and finished drilling the other holes. It seemed to me that the hole location in the outer ring is not precisely symmetrical. For that reason, it is best to figure out the orientation of the ring that you want, then mark the holes for that orientation. If you mark the holes with another orientation, they might not align perfectly if you rotate the ring out of the initial position. I am sure the holes are close to being symmetric, but it looked to me like there was a bit of variation.

I took a few pictures. I will add them to the thread later.

jimh posted 05-10-2013 08:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Two things surprised me about the deck access plate OEM installation. I was worried that the original outer ring might be hard to remove. I drilled off the tops of two adjacent rivets, and tried to lift the ring in that sector. It came free immediately. It was not really adhered to the deck at all by the sealant. I don't think the sealant used was much of an adhesive at all. It was barely bonded to the ring. Once the other rivet heads were drilled out, the ring came off as if it were just held in place by gravity.

I am not sure what I was expected to find for the deck cut out. I guess I was thinking that a rough circular opening would have been cut in the deck laminate for the access hatch. That was not what I found. The mold for the deck incorporates a very nicely finished circular opening that is a precise fit for the replacement part. The replacement ring dropped into this molded circular access hole with very tight tolerance. The wood reinforcement for the deck is not cut as precisely, and there is a gap between the deck opening and the wood reinforcement that varies from about 0.25 to 0.5-inch.

The gap causes the holes for the fasteners on the ring to land in areas of the deck which will not have any wood backing or might only be partially backed by wood. The use of pop-rivets to retain the OEM installation of the ring may have been influenced by this. In order to use a self-tapping screw fastener, the pilot hole for the screw has to be very carefully made. The hole needs to be large enough that the self-tapping screw won't break out or chip the laminate, yet just small enough to get good purchase for the threads into the laminate.

To install self-tapping screws into laminate like this, I have found it useful to use a small electric screwdriver with a torque-release. I set the torque rather low, and run the screw in and out several times, removing any material from the threads as they cut their way into the laminate, and only cutting a turn or two of threads at a time. This method results in a nicely tapped hole for the screw without cracking the laminate. It takes some time, and that time requirement is probably why a pop-rivet was used in the OEM assembly--it is much faster to install six pop-rivets than to drill and tap six holes very slowly.

jimh posted 05-10-2013 09:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Deck of Boston Whaler 22-footer showing access hole for installation of pry-out plate.
The opening in the deck for the forward deck access plate on a Boston Whaler 22-foot hull. The original holes are larger and have been filled with epoxy resin. New holes are smaller and have been pre-tapped for No-8 screws.

The original hole location put one of the holes directly above the main fuel fill line. This required that drilling out the rivet be done with extreme care. The new holes are rotated 30-degrees from the original alignment. This put a hole directly over the fuel tank vent line. Again, drilling this hole has to be done very carefully. Also, the screw fastener must not be too long or it will create a hazard for the vent line. Note how the cut-out for the access plate is very precisely molded and finished. The replacement drops in with a perfect fit.

Also note the glob of resin on the inner face of the opening at upper left. This was left over from the original fabrication. It caused an interference-fit for the replacement ring. I had to carefully use a chisel to knock off most of that glob of resin. It was probably the result of a bit of sloppy work when the plywood backing was bonded to the deck laminate.

When the OEM ring was removed, the seat for the ring was filled with sealant. I had to remove all the old sealant. Using a not-too-sharp Exacto knife, I found I could peel off long pieces of the dried sealant from the ring seat. I followed up with careful scraping with a dull chisel and the best sealant removal tool there is, a human finger nail. Don't trim your finger nails for a week before performing this repair; you'll have the best tool for getting the last remnants of the old sealant from the ring seat.Close-up of deck of Boston Whaler 22-footer showing access hole for installation of pry-out plate.
Close-up of the holes and molded seat for the ring.

As seen above, the laminate was cracked on two of the older holes. Also, in spite of my best efforts, the gel coat cracked off on the new hole I drilled on the left.

Image of replacement deck pry-out access plate.
The color match of the replacement pry-out deck access plate to the original gel coat is excellent.

This image reminds me it is time to give the deck a good scrubbing. I put the boat away in a bit of a rush last fall.

Image: removed caulk
The old silicon caulk could be removed in large strips if a slighlty dull eXacto-blade knife were very carefully used.

jimh posted 06-10-2014 10:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     

BECKSON has updated their website. They now note:

Due to demand for Beckson plates for restoration and to renew older boats, we ran some in the original OEM colors.

Note these very useful links:

For the smaller, clear deck plate that covers the fuel tank level gauge:

For the larger, 10-inch diameter, non-skid surfaced deck plate:

Despite the warning of a slightly larger diameter, this new product fit perfectly into the opening on my Boston Whaler boat when I used it to replace the c.1990 deck plate. See my comments above in this thread.

For the smaller, 7.5-inch diameter, non-skid surfaced deck plate:

For general information on Beckson deck plates:

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