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3 Important questions to consider when replacing boat windows, Hatches & Port lights

When a boat has been on the water for a few too many years, it starts to age and things start to wear out, rot and leak. The most common problems in older boats are crazing in acrylic lenses, leaking hatches and rotting teak boat windows. So let’s take a look at three of the most important factors you need to consider if you are faced with any of these issues.

1.  What materials were used to construct the boat windows, Hatches and portlights?

The material used to construct the hatches, portlights and boat windows will most probably determine the approach you take to repairing or replacing it. For example, portside lights can be made from acrylic or tempered glass, and of course, glass always looks better than acrylic. The problem is however, that because glass is brittle it needs to be installed in a rigid frame, but these rigid metal frames still need to flex, so glass is not suitable for fixed portlights.

If your problem is a leaking hatch lens, you need to know whether it’s made from polycarbonate or acrylic. Whilst acrylic is cheaper than polycarbonate, it’s also easier to crack, however polycarbonate scratches much easier than acrylic. Nevertheless, acrylic seems to be the most popular choice of material for hatch lenses.

Boat windows can be made from either Vinyl or a composite material, and you can either replace like with like or replace Vinyl with composite material. If you want new boat windows, you will likely need a custom order, however, there are plenty of composite doors that come in standard sizes, although you can also order custom composite doors.

2.  Can it be fixed or does it need to be replaced?

When it comes to restoring acrylic lenses in portlights or fixing leaking hatches or boat windows that won’t close properly or are rotten, you need to decide whether to repair or replace them. You might think that repairing will be the cheaper option, but often, it’s more cost effective to replace it completely.

3.  Can you do it yourself or do you need expert help?

Something like repairing an acrylic lens, you might decide will take too long, so it’s quicker to just buy a new lens, but then someone needs to install it. Other issues such as a leaking hatch can be repaired by replacing the seals and should be a quick DIY fix. With boat windows, you might only need to replace certain, but sometimes they just have to be replaced with new. Only you can decide if your DIY skills are up for the job, because if you want a really good finish, it’s often worth the expense of paying an expert to do the job for you.

If you need new quality boat windows, either standard or custom made, call us on 07 3262 2384 or shoot us an email today.

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