Replacing cabin portlights with exterior plexiglass panels?

Jan 21, 2018
Ericson 30+ Milford
I am in the process of refitting my '83 Ericson 30+ because of water damage to the cabin side-walls. I pulled the portlights to be able to repair/replace the wood. One of the portlights is damaged and might need to be replaced with a custom piece (it is a non-standard size). One repair shop/dealer I spoke to suggested using flat acrylic/plexiglass panels glued to the outside of the cabin over the holes that the portlights used. They'd bevel the edges but they would still sit proud of the cabin and I'd have to figure out the interior finish of the holes. I would do that for all 4 portlights rather than having one mismatched.

Question for the forum is whether anyone has experience with that approach and how it looked - pictures would be great. Also, how did you adhere the panels and how well has it done in terms of water intrusion.
Jan 21, 2018
Ericson 30+ Milford
Thanks. Will be helpful if I go that route. The difference with what I would have to do compared to the videos is that the panels wouldn't sit within the depression in the outside cabin-wall. In my case, they would sit on top of the fiberglass which would create a different look.
Jan 11, 2014
Sabre 362 113 Fair Haven, NY
The lenses will sit proud of the cabin sides. There really isn't anything you can do easily about that. The edges of the lens could be ease with a cove which would soften the transition between the acrylic and the cabin side.
Aug 10, 2020
Catalina C25 3559 Rocky Mount
Is this what you are going for? I did this on my Laguna. I cut them out if a sheet of 1/4" cast acrylic. Mounted them with 3M VHB tape, and bedded them in with Dow795.
I think the total cost was $120 to do 4 Windows.
You can do the straight cuts on a table saw and round the corners with a bandsaw.

Pretty easy job really. I recommend running one continuous piece of tape if you can, and put the seam ay the bottom, just in case your caulking fails.

Message me if you have any questions.


Feb 21, 2013
Hunter 46 Point Richmond, CA
You can purchase a new Man Ship Marine custom stainless steel port lights through one of their dealers ( I plan to do this by removing one of my four and sending it to Man Ship to duplicate.

Apr 8, 2010
Ericson Yachts Olson 34 28400 Portland OR
Lots of other E-30+ owners can comment on their fixed ports if you ask questions at the owners' site,
My boat was constructed by EY with standard external fixed port lenses. I replaced the original ones in '95, and am in process of replacing them again now. While acrylic will probably last longer without hazing, our boat was spec'd out with Lexan fixed ports for racing in the open ocean, and they haze up significantly from UV over the years.
Ours are attached by both a perimeter line of screws and also 'floated' on a bed of adhesive sealant. Strong and totally leak proof for 25 years.
Jan 22, 2008
Montgomery 17, Venture of Newport, Mirror sailing dinghy, El Toro sailing dinghy Mound, MN -- Lake Minnetonka
My little 1979 Montgomery 17 as purchased, with the leaky windows in aluminum frames. I replaced them with acrylic using the 3M VHB tape and Dow 795 sealant. There is no factory recess for them, they do sit proud of the cabin but still look good. This was about 6 years ago and they have not leaked a drop.
Last edited: