I am looking for a source for glass replacement for my round 6" portlights. Any suggestions?
More than one BCC owner has made similar inquiries (see: Portlight maintenance? - #13 by MCilenti).
One marine product supplier in the US did have a stock of laminated glass on hand. More recent reports were that that stock had been exhausted.
You should be able to find a glass business that makes laminated glass to custom size.
We were sailing Zygote down the Malacca Strait on a voyage to Singapore when we heard one of her portlights crack. No trouble finding a business to make laminated glass. Deal is to measure the final thickness of the glass in one of your portlights, then work out what two sheets of glass could be laminated together to produce that final thickness.
We now have a small number of spare laminated lights, because all glass professionals work with rectangular sheets and then cut the final product. As always, carrying a spare or three guarantees you will not need them!
If you’re keen, you could make your own laminated glass, it seems:
And after using your oven or toaster, you need to do some cutting:
I used quarter inch Lexan for my circumnavigation. You could hit it with a sledgehammer, and it won’t break. After a while the laminated glass will start to fog from the outside in.
James- I’ve looked and been unable to find any standard replacements. As Bil mentioned, you likely have to get it custom made.
Bil- Any reason you didn’t go with acrylic or polycarbonate? If my research is correct, it seems that both are stronger than glass. Also, when you replaced the glass, what did you use as a seal between the glass and the bronze bezel that screws in to keep the glass in? I haven’t pulled our apart yet, but I understand it was a thin rubber seal. It seems some folks have just replaced that with a bead of silicone caulk.
In terms of sealant, unless you HAVE to use silicone, I’d stick with butyl tape. Silicone “poisons” anything it touches and makes it hard for anything else to stick again. Horrible stuff.
I don’t like silicone for one the reason you state - residue is next to impossible to remove and rejects all other coatings. But this is one place I did use silicone when replacing port lights on Calypso. Squeeze a bead, drop the new port light in, press as little as possible until full seal is achieved, allow to cure, install screwed in backing ring and apply some compressive pressure (prep threads with some anti-seize compound and do the next guy a favor), then use plastic knife, scraper, blade, spludger to clean up the cured silicone.
I did the forward hatch fixed lights on Calypso this way 30 years ago and they have been maintenance free.
Thanks for all the great advice.