Boat windshield broken? No problem
On a trip about a year ago at the very least, a passenger of mine was leaning on my windshield when we were cutting through some fairly choppy waters, and put a huge crack in it. I removed the busted up shield and set it aside. I will get the windshield repaired “soon of course”, when really gathering dust is all it did. A few months later, when taking the boat to a local repair shop for an issue I couldn’t repair myself, the windshield was put in the boat to be looked at and possibly fabricated by the shop.
Well, the windshield had flown away on the drive there, never to be seen again. Now I had no template and finding an exact replacement would be tough. After procrastinating for months after that, I finally went on the lookout for someone that could do a ninety degree bend to fit my console. I really didn’t want to haul the boat to a shop for measurements.
After searching the web and asking some friends, I found out there was a plastic shop up the road from me in Brandon, Plastics America, and to my surprise the fabricators could design a windshield with just a sketch; there is an example of how to do this on their website. Cool for some, but I took pictures and showed the fabricator at the shop to ensure a good fit. After roughly a week I had my windshield. Received was a quarter inch thick tinted windshield. Dave at Plastics America even gives you grommets and a drill bit to go with it. They grind a bit to be used for plexiglass drilling, as plexiglass must be tapered through, not drilled straight down. All I needed was stainless screws and finishing washers to make the install clean, which are for sale in the shop.
I know this really is not much of a “how to”, but someone may be reading this that needs a windshield or wants to upgrade, so here we go. Disclaimer: always use safety goggles and don’t hurt yourself!
All that is needed for install is a drill, level, screwdriver, and hardware mentioned above.
If you are upgrading on a console without a previous windshield, you will have to measure and mark where you want to have it mounted. With mine, existing holes were used, so I was good to go.
All that is needed for a simple install:
The finished product, straight from the shop:
How to Instructions. First, measure the console:
After measuring, bring the specifications to the plastic shop and you will have to wait about a week. When you recieve your windshield, you will have to mark where you want to drill the holes with your provided bit. I was using the existing mounting holes so I had it easy.
Drill the holes and install the grommets. Be careful not to scratch the windshield as I did:
Put the finishing washer and screw in the existing console holes loosely, and make sure everything is lined up. Screw it in evenly and you’re done. There is no reason to put any sealant or 5200 on the screw threads.
In my opinion the new windshield really makes the boat look great, especially after not having one for so long. The shop was very helpful, plus the windshield with all hardware and tax came out to less than two hundred dollars.