How Does a Windshield Attach to a Boat?by Steve Smith
A boat has a windshield frame just like a car. This frame holds in the windshield using some of the same principles, but not all. The boat windshield frame is usually made of fiberglass and steel. The base of the frame is fiberglass material, which is used to construct most of the boat, but the frame's edge is steel. This steel is similar to the molding gasket around the car windshield. In most boats, the frame is sandwiched onto the glass with rivets.
Attaching the Windshield
A boat windshield is set inside the frame around the console. The windshield has small holes drilled along the bottom edge. These holes are drilled to mount the windshield to specific types of consoles, so they are manufacturer-specific. When the windshield is installed, the holes are matched with rivet sinks or drill holes pre-installed in the frame around the windshield. The installer will rivet or screw the windshield in place. Usually, marine-grade screws and a rubber gasket are used to secure the windshield in place.
Gasket and Frame
There is gasket material in most marine windshield frames; this material is a high-density rubber or nylon. It is installed on both sides of the windshield frame. This does not always eliminate the need for rubber gasket around the screws that hold the windshield in place. Most boat owners and installers will use both to prevent water droplets from getting under the glass and settling in the frame seams. This can cause mildew and rot.