Originally Posted by CaptJB
Does anyone have any experience with New Found Metal products port-lights. I am looking at replacing the port-lights this summer and noted that the New Found Metal stainless are only modestly more expensive then the replacement Bowmar molded ports
. Seems like the stainless will lasts forever, have less maintence and will add alot to the looks of the boat.
I replaced all nine port lights on my boat last winter with NFM stainless rectangular ports. They are good quality...extremely beefy and heavy. The only quibble I have with them is the mechanism of how the hinges are attached to the frame. They are on threaded metal studs and screw into the frame which allows adjustment should it ever be needed. There is a small bit of play in them as you open and close the ports and I've worried that over time this might lead to wear, but it's probably not an issue. Never heard anyone else mention it.
I needed a custom size (5"x20") so that I did not need to rebuild
the openings to be smaller in any dimension, and while they were expensive, they were less than Hood
units which were the alternative.
A couple of installation
1) They sell them in two depths. If your cabin
side is not exactly the right thickness, you'll need to cut and dress the bolts that are used for installation
. They screw from the inside into standoffs on the outside ring, so there is not a lot of room for error. Dry fit them and check bolt length and adjust as necessary.
2) The ports are hand made in China
and there is very slight
variation in them with respect to bolt placement. Not an issue except templates that they provide for cutting the opening and drilling the holes do not always line up, in terms of the holes, exactly with the ports, so double check that the template is putting the hole in the right place. May have been an issue for me as it was a custom order, not sure.
3) Your choice for sealing them is the butyl rubber rope
that they provide, or a more "traditional" approach which Mainsail espouses on his website
. I ended up using the butyl because I had it and so far so good.
All told I would do it again. They are very handsome and get a lot of compliments, one even from a stainless steel
fabricator who offered unsolicited praise for them. Another feature I like is the friction feature...open them any degree, or all the way, and they stay up.