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My wife and I were shopping for Last Boat III in Annapolis last weekend. I really like it there. Once again Dock Street served up a top-shelf crab cake. We saw a very nice Jeanneau 54DS at the city wharf on Saturday while walking to a bar, and we looked about for the owner. The boat name was Auspicious, and I think there's a forum member with a similar boat and boat name, so we were going to say "hi." We missed them, though. 

We looked at six boats, and along the way I had a true "A-Ha!" moment. I really love sailboats. I'm to the point where I can name a lot of them on sight, and even tell you who designed them. But I keep not liking them after I go aboard. But on this trip we spent some time aboard a CT-56, and this was the first boat I was really, really happy to be aboard (down below, not on deck — I like them all on deck). We next looked at a Bristol 51, and then an Island Packet 45. I liked the Island Packet as well, but not the Bristol, and then it struck me: the boats I like on the inside are the ones I can see out of!!

There are a lot of boats that have see-outside visibility when down below, but the marketplace of ones that do not is much, much larger.

So I have a question or few: 

(1) Has anybody added windows (topside portlights, for the sailing pedants among us) to a sailboat that didn't have them? 

(2) And especially, does anyone have any idea what it would cost to add some windows? I told my wife -- a guess -- that we could do it for no more than $3K/window, needing a fiberglass tech and a cabinetry guru for a half day or so each, per window. But I'd love to hear from someone who knows.

Finally, my apologies for the copy/paste on more than one well-traveled forum. I know there is member overlap, but it's far from universal.

--
 

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Hopefully one of the Naval Archs/Designers who frequent this place will jump in here, but until then, take what I say with something of a grain of salt.  I would think a first really big issue is an engineer structures one.  By cutting into a hull not originally designed to have portlights, are you compromising hull strength, and is so form of bracing/reinforcing required before portlights can be fitted.

My second issue (and I hate them, by the way B)) is that they are purely a "when at the dock or anchor or when motoring" kind of thing.  As its a sailboat, as soon as you start sailing, the leeward side is angled down (say 10-15 degrees) while the windward side is angled up.  So on one side you see water, and the other sky...which seems less than useful, nor is what you really want to be seeing while down below ulenderway...

Third is all portlights that I know of eventually leak.  Who wants a leak that can either get into the hull coring, or can let salt water into the boat when heeled submerged?

But YMMMV...

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(1) Has anybody added windows (topside portlights, for the sailing pedants among us) to a sailboat that didn't have them? 

Pedants my ass. Go directly to Cruisers Forum. They love that weak shit over there,  Capt Pussy from Nashville.

Caribbeachbum. Rigggggggght.

Fucking Hipster.

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6 hours ago, Crash said:

By cutting into a hull not originally designed to have portlights, are you compromising hull strength, and is so form of bracing/reinforcing required before portlights can be fitted.

Nahh. Not if you don't go too crazy. A typical cruising boat topsides are overbuilt for the loads they experience, unless you are going to go out and round Cape Horn in winter and deal with 50' waves hitting you on the beam. And if you keep the window size "reasonable" - see most newer sailboats, not the big powerboats that think 2'x3' is just dandy for a hull window.

The cabinetry is probably the expensive part (because I am a wood butcher). Obviously if the side of the boat is just fiberglass liner instead of wood panels or horizontal battens then it's trickier. 

The glass work would be straightforward. Cut a hole, form a fiberglass rebate with a dummy window, remove dummy window, trim, paint, glue in window (yes glue in - look at all modern boats/cars/skyscrapers. Everybody glues them in because the bonding silicones are plenty strong enough. Make the rebate the same thickness as the hull (if solid glass like most older hulls) or seal off core and say about 1/4" - 3/8" thick if cored. Rebate thickness would vary would window short dimension. If it's 6" x 20" it wouldn't be much. It's very simple engineering too.

Not sure how you get to $3K for a 1 man.day of work but I know Annapolis yards charge amazing amounts! Finding a local glass person and woodworker with good reps and you'll pay lots less than yard rates. You could easily do it afloat.

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3 hours ago, Blue Crab said:

(1) Has anybody added windows (topside portlights, for the sailing pedants among us) to a sailboat that didn't have them? 

Pedants my ass. Go directly to Cruisers Forum. They love that weak shit over there,  Capt Pussy from Nashville.

Caribbeachbum. Rigggggggght.

Fucking Hipster.

Pretty sure I"m not a pussy. Certain I"m not a captain, though I was once a sergeant. And I'm too old, drunk, and poorly dressed to be a fucking hipster. Go shit in your own fedora.

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1 minute ago, Zonker said:

Not sure how you get to $3K for a 1 man.day of work but I know Annapolis yards charge amazing amounts! Finding a local glass person and woodworker with good reps and you'll pay lots less than yard rates.

As you probably guessed, I pulled the $3K right outta my ass. I was thinking "What's the most it could cost?" Annapolis (and Ft. Lauderdale) do make you double or triple your estimates just by being there.

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image.png.b41d73f2885d673c3069a121e4333948.png

 

Don't forget the skylights for the bathrooms. And a fedora: image.png.9bc5c1b1de3a9e09ca45c206841197c2.png

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On 6/19/2018 at 2:07 PM, Caribbeachbum said:

My wife and I were shopping for Last Boat III in Annapolis last weekend. I really like it there. Once again Dock Street served up a top-shelf crab cake. We saw a very nice Jeanneau 54DS at the city wharf on Saturday while walking to a bar, and we looked about for the owner. The boat name was Auspicious, and I think there's a forum member with a similar boat and boat name, so we were going to say "hi." We missed them, though. 

We looked at six boats, and along the way I had a true "A-Ha!" moment. I really love sailboats. I'm to the point where I can name a lot of them on sight, and even tell you who designed them. But I keep not liking them after I go aboard. But on this trip we spent some time aboard a CT-56, and this was the first boat I was really, really happy to be aboard (down below, not on deck — I like them all on deck). We next looked at a Bristol 51, and then an Island Packet 45. I liked the Island Packet as well, but not the Bristol, and then it struck me: the boats I like on the inside are the ones I can see out of!!

There are a lot of boats that have see-outside visibility when down below, but the marketplace of ones that do not is much, much larger.

So I have a question or few: 

(1) Has anybody added windows (topside portlights, for the sailing pedants among us) to a sailboat that didn't have them? 

(2) And especially, does anyone have any idea what it would cost to add some windows? I told my wife -- a guess -- that we could do it for no more than $3K/window, needing a fiberglass tech and a cabinetry guru for a half day or so each, per window. But I'd love to hear from someone who knows.

Finally, my apologies for the copy/paste on more than one well-traveled forum. I know there is member overlap, but it's far from universal.

--
 

I would second what Zonker said, except that if your labour rates really are that crazy and you're buying a nice boat there I'd think about skipping the fiberglass work and going straight to a framed ready to install non-opening portlight.   I don't see anything wrong with glueing in a pane when you can DIY, and don't mind redoing it sooner.  If you're looking at nice boats and willing to spring the kind of money you're talking about , I'm not sure you'd want to have paint on the outside of the (susceptible to wear and UV damage acrylic) to protect the sealant which is the cost effective alternative to custom made and fritted glass.  I'd skip the cheap plastic portlights and look to companies like Diamond Seaglaze etc.   There's a little more lead time involved, but they are decent to work with, and the prices are reasonable, IIRC the last set I had done for a powerboat which were bigger panes, but needed to be impact resistant ran about 1500$ for the whole set, the time frame was bang on, the quality as good as ever.  They come ready to install, are tough and have a long service life. Then it's just a single contractor and it's a straight installation job, cut and install vs reglassing and grinding, and except for the woodwork which is more variable should be doable in 2 days(day 1 cut and dry fit everything, day 2 install with adhesive sealant).  DS is also very good about replacement parts if needed later. 

 

 

 

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You can't accurately price a job without specs. Some portlights are more expensive than others, does the skin need reinforcement, what's the interior finish, cored? So a port might cost 3k or it might cost $200, who can say? I put a hatch in a trimaran wing deck, my calculation is it was a $5k+ job.

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Some of these comments prove the *whatever* axiom, that posts on the internet can't go to 6 without someone becoming a dick. That's what I used to like around here.

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carib, are you talking about putting in fixed windows or opening portlights? if it's opening portlights, look at the stuff from newfound metals. I got 6 4x10 (size of glass not of port) for $250 each. They're great design, have built-in drains, and are bedded with butyl tape and shouldn't ever leak.

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I think he was speaking of fixed windows. If you are putting it in the hull (topsides) you want it totally flush so that when you heel, you are not dragging a big portlight through the water!

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On 6/19/2018 at 6:34 PM, Zonker said:

yes glue in - look at all modern boats/cars/skyscrapers.

I just happen to be near a new skyscraper. They've been replacing faulty glued / taped panels at a rate of about one every two weeks for about a year. I don't know the details. I've seen it working well, too. The lights on my boat are glued in. They have seen more than the average amount of weather, tropical heat and mid lat cold and are holding up well so far (knock wood). Just worth noting that even the pros can screw it up. This is the kind of job where fastidiousness pays.

While I'm being Mr Obvious, avoid stress risers when making holes. Ie. holes should be more elliptical than triangular. Rounded rectangles are popular. Whatever you use for portlights will expand and contract at a different rate than the hull. Make allowances for that.

 

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On 6/26/2018 at 6:38 PM, Zonker said:

I think he was speaking of fixed windows. If you are putting it in the hull (topsides) you want it totally flush so that when you heel, you are not dragging a big portlight through the water!

I don't know that I even had (or have) a preference. I can see where opening ports would be nice and fixed ports would be less likely to be a maintenance problem. Unless my wife and I are really pushing it, we don't bury the rails, and the ports I imagine won't be low enough to be submerged in an ordinary heeled state.  And yes indeed, I can see where it can be over done...

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Very nice! I do like Swans. We have had our eye on a Taswell lately, which seems to have all the anti-claustrophibia tricks in play.

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