Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Installing Port Visors

As you know, sailing in the tropics means we're always in warm, humid areas with lots of rain. Opening and closing portlights (or portholes) every time it rains is a major pain, especially for short showers not to mention how stuffy the boat gets when there's no air ventilation. We know this is not a necessity as we have lived without them for years, but.. what's life if we can't splurge a little?

So, we decided to invest in some port visors. We searched online and were surprised that there weren't many options available. We ended up ordering from Seaworthy Goods, a company owned by two lifelong boaters (they seem to be the popular choice and featured in several blogs). They were friendly and quick to respond over email and are based in Florida, USA.

We were pleased we received the 6 visors in time (while we were in Florida for our '6 Day Break'). Each visor was packaged individually with instructions on how to install it and a small piece of scotch-brite scour. 

Individually packaged 19-R model (18" W x 3⅞" H x 3½" D)
The visors are made of tough, UV-resistant Lexan -- {apparently} unbreakable, transparent poly-carbonate. It's lightweight, weatherproof, scratch resistant, flame resistant and can withstand high impacts (250 times the impact strength of glass and 50 times that of acrylic). Super!

Comes with a mini scotch-brite scour and instructions
Back in Trinidad, our excitement soon dissipated as we opened each packaging to find that the port visors were very poorly finished -- rough and crooked edges. Only one out of the six pieces we received was somewhat "acceptable".

The overall product itself looks to be of good quality but really bad finishing
A ruler against the port visor to show how uneven it is
Installation Steps
A black speck in one of the visors
We smoothed out the edges ourselves with sandpaper. It's not a big job but it's time consuming; for the price of each visor, we expected some quality control {not happy but we'll live}. Maybe it was an oversight -- we were unlucky and got a bad batch?

On the bright side, the installation was indeed very simple. Per the instructions, we:

  • Cleaned the surface thoroughly with the scotch-brite scour and isopropyl alcohol (not acetone). 
  • Used a pencil to mark the placement of the visor before installation. 
  • Peeled off the 3M VHB red tape and pressed hard on the visor along the tape to ensure a good bond.
  • That's it! 

We initially used masking tape to determine the placement of the visor but later used a pencil to mark the placement instead
All done! It's advised that we cover at least ⅓ of the portlight to be effective
We've installed all the visors, they look good and we're very happy we don't have to drop everything to close the portlights each time it rains.

Our view with our portlights open on a rainy day
Ah.. the breeze is great! :)

Update: We wrote to Seaworthy Goods to give feedback on the portvisors we received. Instead of ignoring our email (like most companies do these days), Paula (one of the owners) was excellent; she not only responded to us during her holidays, apologized for not catching the trims, thanked us for the feedback but also gave us a refund for one port visor for our troubles. Thumbs up for their customer service! Thank you!

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