Making New Portlights

This is part 1 of 2 showing the process for making new frameless / fixed portlights. Is this episode it’s all about the cutting and shaping which generally isn’t very exciting, hence the short abbreviated video 😉 Installing them will be a bit different!

The material I use for all my portlight installations is a product called Makrolon GP made by Sheffield Plastics. In this instance it was a 3/8″ polycarbonate, but this material is available in many other thicknesses.

The one thing that I look for is that the poly is UV stabilized. Without this added coating the poly will have a tendency to craze and look like crap within a couple years depending on geographic’s. There is also the option to get this material with a scratch resistant coating (which would obviously be nice, but it carries a larger price tag!). On vertical(ish) surfaces I personally don’t see the need, but if using this material (or any other poly) on a horizontal surface like a deck hatch that could see some foot traffic, it may be worth the added cost in the long run.

The profile I routed into the edges was a standard 45 degree chamfer; depending on the boat this profile may vary.

One point that I really want to stress about doing a project like this is that you need to pay very careful attention to orientation as you’re laying the pieces out and knowing which sides get rounded over, chamfered, etc. Overlooking this detail could mean that the pieces get cut and shaped OPPOSITE of what they need to be! Its not difficult, but does require some thought 😉

I think that’s about all for this (everything I think is pretty self explanatory).

As always, if you have any questions or comments please leave them below!

Thanks for watching 🙂


5 Responses to “Making New Portlights”
  1. Tyler says:

    what do you use to bed the polycarbonte?

  2. Shane says:

    Hi Andy, First let me say that I think you are the best on Youtube for clearly explaining, and showing, how to complete various boat projects.
    I re-cored the decks on my 1975 O’Day 27 last year and the whole job went really well due to your videos. Again, thank you.
    I am replacing the windows this year. I have removed the old ones (inner and outer frame) and would like to put new surface mount ones back in. Mine are almost vertical. Would you recommend Acrylic or polycarbonate?

    • ~Andy ~Andy says:

      Hi Shane!

      Personally I’d go with poly. Much easier to work with unless you have the equipment to work with acrylic… Plus, it’s much less brittle!!!

      Hope this helps!

      Good luck 😉

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