There is something uniquely beautiful and elegant about sea-going vessels from massive naval frigates to tough little tugs, and the age of sail has long held the imagination of boating enthusiasts. The ships of the line in Britain's Napoleonic era navy were beautiful works of art and craftsmanship, decorated as they were with highly polished brass, white sails and gilded prows.
Brass has long been an invaluable material for sea going ships and represents far more than just an aesthetic choice for brass potholes, handrails and fixtures. This article will take a brief but interesting glance at the importance of brass for sea-going vessels, and where modern boating enthusiasts can turn for the best quality brass porthole fittings and fixtures.
The History of the Brass Porthole
The sea can be a cruel mistress, as any naval or sailing enthusiast will tell you. The open water and the ocean can be dangerous and should always be treated with respect and care. It isn’t just people that need to watch out for harm though, as sea vessels face a unique difficulty not faced by vehicles in any other setting, and that is saltwater corrosion. Saltwater can cause metals to corrode up to five times faster than freshwater will.
Metal alloys like brass, which is an alloy of copper and zinc, are less susceptible to corrosion. Brass has existed since ancient times, but the new invention of ‘naval brass’, which adds one percent of tin to the classic brass alloy, was designed specifically for use on ships and wharfs. The British navy employed brass and copper to the bottom of their hulls for faster, more streamlined sailing, and to protect the submerged wooden timbers from rot and burrowing bugs. The fashion for brass extended to elsewhere on the ship, especially anywhere like a porthole or exterior fitting that would take a beating from the elements.
Brass wasn’t just useful for a pretty brass porthole though, it was also much more heat and pressure resistant than iron, and so long brass cannons known as carronades were fitted to some ships and they had a fearsome reputation because of their range and accuracy.
Where to find a Modern Brass Porthole
Brass is still prevalent today but is less ubiquitous than modern steel or aluminium. However, when it comes to sea-going crafts, sailing ships and leisure crafts, it is important to be able to still get a brass porthole when you need one!
P.R.O. Cast in Nottinghamshire are expert suppliers and producers of a wide range of sorts of brass porthole, ship fittings and fixtures. From their established foundry they can provide both single- and double-glazed designs of brass porthole, and they produce options in Grand Union and Tug styles of brass porthole. They offer the very best quality brass porthole fittings and all of their options have been assessed to the requirements of the Recreational Craft Directive. If you want to see the best options in all things brass porthole related, visit P.R.O. Cast for details.
Should you call and there is no answer from the office, please leave a message. As soon as we return from making deliveries or collecting materials, we will return your call.
Please note that a large number of the items, especially items such as the solid brass, chrome or powder coated portholes, brass and chrome porthole liners, and the fibreglass liners too, are manufactured to order so please allow time for the whole process to take place.
We take a pride in our workmanship and try to ensure orders are despatched looking their best.
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Brian and Sandra