New Port Lites
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  • Old Port Light...Original glazing completely shrunk off weathered Plexiglas.  No wonder we had water pouring in while well healed or during a rain.  Plywood backing soaked with some separation.  This is still wet in February even after being covered since November.  The decking was delaminated which required an epoxy and clamp repair.

  •   Each piece of Lexan was first cut to size (1/4" taller and wider than the stock aluminum frame).  Then the profile of the frame was drawn on the Lexan (the curved ends).  Most of the excess was removed with a few passes on the table saw.  The remaining excess material was removed with a drum sander sanding to the line drawn previously.  This was the only reliable way to get a good curve and not risk damaging the pieces with reciprocating bladed or melting with it with a spiral cutter.

  • Then each frame was taped to a lite (accounting for a 1/8" margin of the larger lit than frame) to keep it from moving while drilling the frame and Lexan.  This ensured alignment of holes between frame and lite.  I used a socket to keep the drill far enough away from the frame edge to get a nut on a bolt during installation.  If I did not use the socket, the drill bill would have wanted to walk to close to the frame since there was already a screw hole there from when it was mounted on the boat.  I then used a 1/8" round-over router bit on the router table to round the edge of the lite.

  • The frames were first painted black, but I decided to change to blue to match the seat cushions a bit.  After the blue paint was dry, I cut the paper the frame was painted on with a razor pressed on the inner edge of the frame.  This gave me the exact size of the opening of the port.  I then sprayed this paper and with tack spray and placed it on the lite.  I could then paint the lite with black satin krylon plastic paint and the paper would keep the paint out of the area where you look through.  I called this painted area of the lite; the mask.  It masked the glazing tape and drilled hull from the outside viewer.

  • The washers placed under the truss heads are made from Minicell foam (MiniCell Foam at Foam by mail) .  It has proved to be partially successful.  As long as you don't over tighten the nut, the washer stays in place.  Otherwise, the washer squishes out.

  • Syd loaded the bolts with the Minicell washers.

  • Bolts in ready piles;  12 bolts per window.

  • Norseal v992 glazing tape placed on the lite at the outer edge.  3/8th" tape comes up to the bolt holes but not over.  Each lite is 1/4" taller and 1/4" wider to allow for this tape.

  • The glazed lits are placed in ready state on the table.

  • Each lite has a mask painted onto the inner side.  This hides the glazing and the mess on the hull/deck.  I used tape to keep the orientation of the frame and lite correct.  Blue tape was always on the bottom.

  • The frames for the two forward ports need to be notched.  Also, since the pites were out for quite a while, I used weather seal tape to keep the rain/weather out.  During assembly, two bolts (one on each end) are set through their holes and the other holes are re-drilled to make sure the bolts go through without to much binding.  The lite is Lexan (makrolon polycarbonate).

  • I worked on the inside while Syd was on the outside driving the screws while I backed the cap nuts with a 3/8" open end wrench.  The finished window is seen here from the outside and inside.  Notice the painted mask is hardly visible unless there is light behind.

  • Finished look.