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Old 26-03-2015, 10:06   #1
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Port Lights

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.
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Old 26-03-2015, 10:29   #2
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Re: Port Lights

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Originally Posted by CaptJB View Post
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 tips:

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.
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Old 26-03-2015, 10:31   #3
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Re: Port Lights

I replaced 8 in my Bristol. I think they are top quality. I used a stock size, they allowed me to order one, with the provision I could return it if it wouldn't work out size wise. I recommend following their installation instructions. I purchased their installation counter sink. I made my own template of the port. I had to change the shape of the existing opening, and used a router with a templateing bit, which can get exciting. Cut from the outside, took a box and scribed it to conform to the inner cabin sides, and stuck the vac hose in there as I routed, and captured most of the debris. The biggest hassle was cleaning up the butyl residue. A bit of a job, depending on your experience, but certainly good quality. Adjustable in several ways. One leaked slightly and it was just a touch of adjustment with the provided tool.
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Old 26-03-2015, 10:34   #4
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Re: Port Lights

Another happy NFM customer here. On our previous boat we replaced all our ports b/c we wanted beefy opening ports. They are excellent quality, and reasonably easy to instal. I expect they will outlast the boat. Unfortunately, we sold her shortly after installing them, so the new owners got a heck of deal.
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Old 26-03-2015, 10:34   #5
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Re: Port Lights

As with so many products, there are sometimes specials during boat shows.
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Old 28-03-2015, 20:25   #6
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Re: Port Lights

Another vote for NFM. I put 10 in my O'Day 40 and I think they are great. Mine were all a little larger than the original port-lights so I had to router out the openings. If I'd had the space I might have gone another size larger. This was made a little more complicated because the inner liner wasn't parallel with the cabin exterior. You do have to do a little more work to install them than with a direct replacement but it is well worth it. I followed Main Sail's advice on installation, particularly with regards to only sealing the exterior surface. And yes, cleaning up the butyl is a pain.
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Old 29-03-2015, 06:07   #7
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Re: Port Lights

Purchased 8 for my boat, just waiting for spring to arrive, follow Maine Sails advice, he provides very detailed instruction as usual.
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Old 29-03-2015, 08:34   #8
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Re: Port Lights

On TN (and others) I have replaced all ports with NFM units. Excellent design and workmanship quality--first class. Wonderful people to deal with.
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Old 30-03-2015, 09:44   #9
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Re: Port Lights

Thanks for all the great feedback. I am ordeirng 9 new replacment portlight from NFM for RESTLESS. Looking forward to the install project in May.
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