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jkimberly 06-10-2009 01:50 PM

Bomar portlights?
I've been going through my 1985 26' Seafarer replacing or repairing everything that even looks suspect and have gotten around to the hatches and portlights. They are seriously crazed!

I got a good deal on a 1/2 sheet of smoked plexi and have already replaced the plexi panels in the two opening Bomar hatches - quite easy really. But I'm stuck on the opening portlights. There are two of them on either side, they measure approximately 4 1/2 x 11 1/2 x 1/4. They have four hinge points held onto the aluminum frame of the lense with tiny screws - taking these out allows you to remove the lense from the rest of the port. The aluminum frame is joined top and bottom by what looks to be 4 pressed holes into the frame (there must be an aluminum bar inside the frame that they're presssed into). I'd post a pic but not sure if that will really help.

My assumption, because of the Bomar hatches, is that these are Bomar as well. I've Googled the web looking for replacement lenses but haven't come up with anything even remotely close looking.

Does anyone have any recommendations for replacement lenses? The prices I'm seeing for replacement portlights is stupid expensive x 4! I thought I could simply remove the aged plexi but that looks like a pretty big deal considering I'd have to drill the press points to separate the frame halves and then try to figure out how to re-assemble them with something.

Thoughts gentlemen?


tager 06-10-2009 02:23 PM

Try restoring the plexiglass with various plastic polishes, or give it a flash-refinishing with a blowtorch. I tried it on a pair of seriously messed up plastic sunglasses and it helped a lot. I just fired up the torch and passed over it quite fast about three times. Be extremely careful as it takes less than a second to heat the polymer up enough that it bubbles.

If the crazing is down into the structure of the polymer you are probably screwed, and replacing them is the only option.

Is it too difficult to manufacture your own replacement lenses?

jkimberly 06-10-2009 02:32 PM

Polishing is out as the crazing looks just like auto safety glass that's been shatered - MANY small cracks. Never heard of the blow-torch flash refinishing but don't think it would help here either.

I was originally planning on replacing the plexi in each of the lenses myself but am worried about how to go about putting them back together once I separate the two halves of the lense frame. They look as though they were never intended to have the plexi replaced, otherwise there'd be screws or something holding them together. The frame must be hollow (extruded?) aluminum and where the two halves are joined there are tiny press-mark holes. My assumption is that there is some solid metal underneath this part of the frame and the the press-marks bind into that. I can drill these out and probably get the two halves separated and insert new plexi but other than gluing it back together (not my first choice) I'm unsure of how to re-join the two halves.

I'd be willing to spend the money if I could FIND just the lenses but that's the other part of the problem here - I can't locate anything even close to what these look like.


tager 06-10-2009 02:39 PM

I had never heard of the blowtorch technique either, I just thought it would probably work, and it did, quite well. I don't think it would work on deep crazing, but why not try? Worst case scenario it bends the whole sheet and you need to replace it.

I do really feel like a picture would help your helpers on this one. Also, you should just take it apart, even if the frame needs to be bolted back together, at least it will look better!

Capnblu 06-10-2009 06:07 PM

If your bowmar's are like mine, they have aluminum roll pins as hinges. All you will need is a nail, a socket, and a plumbers plyer. Press the aluminum roll pin into the socket by squeezing the nail into its place. You can probably re-use the pin

Capnblu 06-10-2009 06:09 PM

I went to a glass shop and had them make me laminated safety glass instead of the plexi.

frankloprest22 12-11-2011 10:32 PM

bomar portlight repair
I've started looking into repairing my '89 vintage opening portlites.... I found out the hinges aren't standard measurements... ie. 2 lites can't be interchanged as hinges are perhaps 1/2 mm different on each port. I found lexan un-framed replacements with adjustable hinges .. haven't tried it yet on a couple of my ports this winter.. am planning to take home the most leaking ones so I can measure them better (the boat is covered /dark ... anyway the contact info for the place I hope to try is .. Jim Welinski

I'll tell you if the ports work out well... any feedback... from this list I found out that the hinges have pins that I'll try to knock out to get the portlenses away from the ports... Frank ...

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