A windshield in a boat serves the same purpose as an car windshield and a boat windshield replacement is essential if you have a faulty one. A boat windshield deflects the air as you move through it and prevents your face from being constantly buffeted by the wind, especially if moving at speed.
Some may say that you don’t need a windshield in a boat and this may be true if you only use your boat for relaxed fishing trips, or trolling around and exploring local waterways.
If, however, you have a boat capable of a decent turn of speed you will want to use it and you will surely appreciate the advantage of a windshield which adds greatly to your comfort, deflecting wind and also the water spray produced by the bow wave.
A windshield can also give protection in conditions of driving rain, and can be an integral part of the structure in boats with a cabin, adding to the overall strength of the craft. Nothing lasts forever, however, so eventually you will be faced with the need for a boat windshield replacement.
The Average Cost Of Replacing a Boat Windshield
The cost of replacing a boat windshield just like the price of replacing other vehicular windshields can vary quite a bit depending on several factors such as the type of windshield , material from which it is made, whether plastic or glass, the shape, whether flat or curved, the size, and the age of the boat. The ideal is to get a replacement from the makers of your boat but this is not always possible.
It can be difficult to source a manufacturer’s replacement for a boat older than seven or eight years and the only recourse might be:
- to search junk boatyards for one which will fit
- to make one up from scratch, or
- to get one from a specialist supplier which may not be exactly the same as the original but can look good and do the job just as well.
If your boat is fairly new and from a well-known manufacturer there should be a name and/or identification number somewhere on the windshield to enable you to get a direct replacement.
Otherwise contact the manufacturer or a specialist replacement service which you can find online. You may need to send them the old windshield or at least a template showing the design.
If you have flat glass windshield it is often possible to get a replacement made up by a local glass shop and this can work out a lot cheaper. A toughened glass is, of course, much the better bet.
You can get a replacement stock mold plexiglass or acrylic windshield in any one of several different shades for under a hundred dollars for a small boat from a suitable supplier, but a custom made one will cost more, and if made from glass it will be more expensive still.
Sometimes money can be saved on a metal framed glass windshield by using plastic in its place, and modern plastics can be very good indeed. You can typically expect to pay between $900-1600 for a replacement windshield as an average cost.
The internet is a mine of information and a search can throw up a number of suitable boat windshield replacement suppliers both for original manufacturers’ replacement parts and for suitable alternatives.
Very often you can identify the correct replacement windshield for your boat and get it shipped to you or to a local marine service shop to have it fitted. Some companies have extensive stocks of plastic windshields to suit various models of boats or can mould one to your specifications and send it to you.
Selecting the right boat replacement windshield is most easily done by making or ordering a template footprint first, especially if it’s curved. The actual windshield can be fitted by anyone who is a reasonably competent handyman or can be done by a dealer or service shop nearby. The necessary hardware is usually supplied with the new screen.
For an older boat it may be that the best option is to make your own boat windshield from plexiglass which can be bought pre-cut or cut at home with an ordinary hand saw and can be bent to form a curve by applying heat. This can be done with a Plastrip heater for plastics which costs around $40.
However, if you have a well-known brand of craft such as a Lund, Sprint, Astro, Keywest, Charger, Lowe, Hawk, Mariah, Bayliner, Bass Cat, Cajun, Ranger, or similar it should not be too difficult or expensive to get hold of a boat windshield replacement that will enable you to continue to enjoy that feeling that only the combination of outdoor freedom on the water can give!
DISCLAIMER: This article is for basic guidance only. Always consult with a Specialist on everything.
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