Glass bottom dory

About to order my Northeaster Dory and thought that possibly adding a couple 6 ish inch glass view ports onto the bottom would be fun for fishing and my kids. Any thoughts?

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RE: Glass bottom dory

enjoylifenow, I've been thinking the same thing. I've used a clear plastic kayak in the Caribbean and they're lots of fun. The bottom of the one we used was scarred up and as the dory is flat on the bottom I see that as a potential problem. I hope the many great minds here will weigh in on material choices. Oh and by the way maybe someone can tell me why my type size is so little. SEEYA Jack

RE: Glass bottom dory

I did that on a S&G canoe for my kids years ago.  I just cut a hole and glued a piece of polycarbonate in with a frame around it to make sure it stayed in place.  The kids loved it!  The only problem was that they crashed into things because they were never looking where they were going.

I got the idea because my father was a fisherman and used to use a "look-box" which was simply a wooden box with a glass bottom that was put over the side of the boat into the water so we could see the bottom.  It was always amazing to me how well you can see into the water that way.

RE: Glass bottom dory

Thought for sure that someone else would have posted this by now, but I guess I'll do it. It's from the CLC Shop Tips. Something similar should work for the Dory.

Glass Bottomed Mill Creek


RE: Glass bottom dory

I just put two rather large windows in the bottom of a flat bottom canoe I have under construction.  I researched materials for a while and decided on UV resistant polycarbonate,  I put a frame on the topside and a ran a keel like strip across the center from the first window to the rear.   I am currently doing the tape and epoxy step of my larger construction.  I plan to bring the fiberglass just over the edge of the polycarbonate, and I am not sure how it might bond.   I used silicone glue topside under the frame.  It looks real cool, and the polycarbonate is supposed to be much more scratch resistant than plexiglass.    I ordered it on line.    I have enough left over to retrofit my Mill Creek if I like the end product.

I thought about replacing the entire bottom flat panel with polycarbonate, it is plenty strong enough but it is heavier than wood,  and I wasn't sure I could join it to the wood with an adhesive or epoxy and still give the boat enough strength.  SO I settled on the windows,


RE: Glass bottom dory

I would be careful using silicone sealant. I once made a turtle aquarium out of plywood with an acrylic window. Sealed in the window with silicone and let it set properly. About 3 days after I had filled it the whole thing gradually emptied out on my floor. When I checked it  the silicone  came right off the plexi. It had not stuck at all. It looked good for a couple of days but no real adhesion. I replaced the plexi with glass and it worked fine.

So... test really well before you decide on a caulk. 


RE: Glass bottom dory

I've used clear PVC for a couple of Skin on Frames now, and I don't see why you couldn't do a window from that.  It is cheap and has the added benefit that you could easily replace it in the future, though I suppose that could be said for polycarbonate as well...


RE: Glass bottom dory

Thank you all for the helpful info. I was planning on the use of "real" glass for this application and making sure it was recessed to avoid abrasion.  I guess that a concern I have would be flex and the possible resultant failure yet could beef it up to accomodate for a clear view.  Yes it would be a tad heavier but what do you think?

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