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Old 15-08-2022, 20:16   #1
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Front facing port?

Asked in another thread but starting a new topic at the advice of the OP...


Anyone have, or ever seen or considered, a non-opening portlight (porthole?) in the forward facing portion of the cabin top in the v-berth? When I am below I have good visibility in all directions, and in all parts of the cabin, except straight ahead in the v-berth. Of course there's no substitute for keeping watch from above deck but I would find it reassuring to be able to look forward when I am below when under way, and also when at anchor.


Shape under consideration is round or oval. I had originally thought 8" diameter or 6"x10" but I might want to go a bit bigger. The front facing area of the v-berth cabin top is roughly 24" high and 30" wide.



I recently replaced my saloon windows and v-berth hatch cover. Old ones were through bolted and butyl bedded. I went the VHB tape and polyurethane sealant route and am very happy with the results. Would plan on doing the same for the forward facing port.
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Old 15-08-2022, 21:01   #2
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Re: Front facing port?

on most yachts that profile has no flat surface for a start , but if you have a suitable flat surface sure, it would be very vulnerable to big seas over the bow so it would want to be extremely strong

most people just stick their head out the hatch!!
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Old 15-08-2022, 21:07   #3
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Re: Front facing port?

Nekton 73 we have a forward facing window on our 32 footer. Its a peice of 10mm Perspex rebated into the cabin side. I love it as our toilets in the focsle so I can pee and examine the anchor snubber at the same time. One bit of multi tasking the wife can't do.
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Old 15-08-2022, 21:50   #4
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Re: Front facing port?

We added two opening round ports to the forward cabin on the 31’ Ericson I built.
A lot of Cape Cod catboats had them and as they looked like eyes, were naturally called cat eye ports.
Even though they were only 4” in glass diameter, the let in a huge amount of air.
They were bronze and came off a wreck in New Bedford harbor. Cleaned them up, new gaskets and even though they might have been 100 years sold, they worked fine. Put two ovals opening bronze ports in the hull way forward which really improved the hot nights in the vee berth.
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Old 15-08-2022, 23:47   #5
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Re: Front facing port?

Have you considered an opening set of ports, OP? I have even seen hatches on more modern boats in that location.

I have two such 4" diameter ports. They open and also have removable mosquito net discs, which are easy enough to make if you don't have. They let in a lot of air and as you say offer some peace of mind at a glance.Click image for larger version

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Old 16-08-2022, 08:55   #6
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Re: Front facing port?

I had three fixed windows on a previous boat but carried plywood just in case they ever stove in, which they never did even in horrendous conditions. Personally I would make them operable for fantastic ventilation, and carry deadlights just in case. May want to up in thickness with toughened (tempered) glass.
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Old 16-08-2022, 12:07   #7
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Re: Front facing port?

if the front of the cabin is flat, you can put a fairly wide porthole, with an opening part for good ventilation from the front ...
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Old 16-08-2022, 23:07   #8
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Re: Front facing port?

Trench periscope arrangement with mirrors in opening deck hatch?
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Old 17-08-2022, 19:25   #9
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Re: Front facing port?

I can print a dual glass port. Helps end fogging
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Old 17-08-2022, 19:27   #10
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Re: Front facing port?

I forgot to post a picture.
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Old 17-08-2022, 21:20   #11
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Re: Front facing port?

I have a portlight facing forward. While it is true that it can be hit by a big wave, that is true of all of them. And actually it is the windward side that gets hammered more than bow, for me anyway. And then if you are so unfortunate as to be thrown and knocked down, it will be the downwind side the boat falls on that will suffer.
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Old 17-08-2022, 22:13   #12
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Re: Front facing port?

The old Pearson Triton’s had two forward facing opening ports and they managed circumnavigations.
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Old 17-08-2022, 22:59   #13
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Re: Front facing port?

I have 8" ports in the deck that function as deck lights. During the day below deck compartments are as bright as having a light on. Properly installed, they don't leak.
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Old 18-08-2022, 05:43   #14
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Re: Front facing port?

Here is a source for fixed ports (dead lights) and some very sturdy opening ports (round or rectangular). Not cheap, but gives some idea what to look for more ideas.
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Old 18-08-2022, 20:12   #15
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Re: Front facing port?

Hardware that is above reproach.

https://www.spartanmarine.com/ports-screens

https://www.porttownsendfoundry.com/portholes
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