Are your ports and/or hatches starting to look a little tired? Are the lenses crazed, cloudy or heavily scratched? There are a number of reasons for this happening over time, but there isn't a whole lot you can do about it now that they have reached this point. Unfortunately, your only choices are to either replace the lenses, or replace the entire port or hatch with a new one. And, by the way, going forward, the new lenses will last far longer with proper care and cleaning products, something your old crazed and scratched ones likely did not have, which is why they are in their present condition.
If you choose the latter option, full replacement of the port or hatch structure itself, then ask yourself, "Do I really like the way these look or would I rather have something better...or stronger?" You don't necessarily have to replace a hatch or port with the exact same uninspiring or budget-grade model that was there to begin with, installed by the factory. You have other, often much better and newer choices.
Maybe you'd like opening ports for a little breeze and cross ventilation where you presently have a non-opening port. Or, you want something more substantial, that seems like it could take the stresses of rounding Cape Horn in a gale. We have replaced many static plastic ports with stronger, very attractive stainless steel opening ports. They are not only much more stout and seaworthy-looking, but much more functional as well. We can have them custom-made in stainless or bronze to fit the style and design of the boat. When it's all said and done, with labor and new upgraded ports, the cost difference over replacing them with the same old manufacturer-installed model is not always that much more expensive. So much depends on how much work will be required, if any, to resize the old openings (not just fill them with caulk) and/or to re-cut the cabin sides for the new ports, which might require a slightly bigger cut-out.
If your hatches are good, but the lenses just need replacing as a result of clouding, scratching or heavy crazing, we can take care of that for you by having just those panels rebuilt with new lenses and gaskets. This will require some very exacting work and is done by an outside source who specializes in it. We come to the boat and remove the panels from the main bodies of the hatches, then package them up and send them to Select Plastics, the primary lens replacement facility in the U.S., where they will rebuild it like new with polycarbonate or acrylic lenses and send everything back to us. We'll then make another trip back to the boat to properly re-install them.
Our time to remove the lens panels, temporarily weather-proof the openings, send them to and review them with Select Plastics, pick them up and re-install them back on board usually averages about 2.0 billable hours per hatch. We charge you the same thing for the rebuilding portion of the job that Select Plastics would charge you if you took them there yourself.
Once you have new ports or hatches with new lenses, here's a tip: Never use Windex on them. In fact, only use cleaners that are specifically made for polycarbonates/Lexan/acrylic.
Finally, maybe you just have a leaky port or hatch and don't want to replace anything with new. Well, of course we do that too. See our Cabin & Deck Leaks page and our Proper Hardware Installations page for more information.
Ports & Hatches--Through the Looking Glass (or Acrylic)
Serving Long Island Sound to the Caribbean and Beyond, since 2001
Quality Care for the Finest Yacht. Yours.
Copyright 2015 DAKOTA MARINE YACHT SERVICES