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James and Edeltraud Dunkl
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Windows

Post by James and Edeltraud Dunkl » Mon Jan 15, 2007 9:55 pm

I was searching the Mods page, looking for anything on replacing the the fixed windows above the V-Berth with ones that open. Has this not been done on a 26X

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Night Sailor
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Post by Night Sailor » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:00 am

I once considered that several years ago, but two things held me back. One, I couldn't find a good size to fit that opening, and two, those I found that came close had frames so thick that when installed they would not only look odd but be noggin knockers. Share it if you find anything.

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Post by Craig LaForce » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:48 am

I would like to simply replace my scratched up and badly crazed windows. Anyone have thoughts on who might do this kind of work? Would an auto window glass place be able to do something? Are they plexiglass, lexan or what?

Not urgent, but eventually it would be nice to have clear windows again, and I a have no talent for that kind of work.

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Post by kmclemore » Tue Jan 16, 2007 3:10 am

Craig LaForce wrote:I would like to simply replace my scratched up and badly crazed windows. Anyone have thoughts on who might do this kind of work? Would an auto window glass place be able to do something? Are they plexiglass, lexan or what?

Not urgent, but eventually it would be nice to have clear windows again, and I a have no talent for that kind of work.
I just replaced my starboard forward dinette window this past summer. Yeah, you could probably get a glass place to do it, but actually it's not hard at all - why not just just do it yourself? It doesn't really take 'talent', just a couple hour's time and some work.

You may not decide to replace your own yourself, but I'll document my experience for anyone else that's considering it, and, who knows, maybe you'll take on the challenge!

I got a new window glass (lexan?) from Bluewater Yachts (see the "Dealer Information" link in the column to your left here on this page) - they were very friendly, the part arrived quickly, it fit just right and the color matched the other windows very well.

To take the old one out, you'll need someone inside to hold the window nuts with needle-nose pliers... pry up the white caps, grab the nuts and then the person on the outside can unscrew the screws and save them. Then slice around the window with a razor blade or a sharp Xacto knife. Once the adhesive is separated you can slowly pry out the old window. It may crack, so everyone nearby should wear eye protection as the bits could fly if it does. Once it's out, use a dull scraper to remove as much of the old adhesive that you can... once you've got that down to as far as you can, use a razor-scraper to *carefully* slice off as much of the rest as is practical - you'll never get it all - and be careful not to cut into the fiberglass. Then clean the entire opening with laquer thinner and then again with alcohol (aka "alcohol stove fuel") using paper kitchen towels (use only real paper towels, not those fiber 'shop' towels. Fiber towels may be 'melted' by the alcohol and/or laquer thinner and therefore leave residue behind... just use plain Scott, Marcal, Brawny or any other similar paper towels).

Trial fit the window to be sure it fits. Use a file if needed to take off any areas that don't quite fit (although mine did). Do *not* remove the paper covering on the plastic yet! Mine also came with the screw-holes already drilled and they were in the right place... but if your part comes without holes, here's how to make new ones...

Once you've got the window properly fitted, firmly tape the window into the aperture exactly where it will be located, accurately centered. Then, from the inside, use the old holes in the fiberglass to drill thru the window for the new screw holes. Drill slowly and allow the drill to do the work - don't force it, since you may dislodge the window and the drill might track across the window and scratch it. Once the holes are drilled, remove the window, lay it on a flat surface and then use a hand-drill to carefully cut countersunk holes on the outside of the window to fit the screw heads, being careful to make each the same depth and to not drill thru the window (hence why I suggest using a hand-drill for better control - electric drills can make big mistakes in a real hurry). If you have a proper countersinking bit, that's even better, of course. When cut properly, the edges of the screw heads should be just even with the edge of the countersunk hole.

I used black 3M "5200" to attach and seal my window... it's messy but it works well. Alcohol will clean up 5200 pretty nicely (and 4200, for that matter), so have lots of it on hand and plenty of pre-torn paper towels (or an assistant to tear them for you!). To prepare the area, tape down newspaper over ANY area you don't want to have to clean up. In particular, *don't* forget to cover everything *inside* the boat! If that 5200 squeezes out and drips onto a dinette cushion you'll be really sorry! (Trust me on this one. :x If it does, though, alcohol will clean it off very well, but it's a seriously major PITA).

Once you've got everything covered up and masked off, then remove the paper covering from the *inside* of the new window, but leave the *outside* paper on - it will keep the window clean from messy adhesive. Clean the inside of the window with alcohol-moistened paper towels, particularly the edges where the adhesive will be, and allow it to dry. Tear off 3-4 pieces of strong tape, about 6" long each (duct tape works well) and hang them within easy reach - you'll need to be able to grab them as you attach the window.

Apply a bead of 5200 around the aperture (not on the window) and use a small putty knife to lightly flatten out the bead so it covers the fiberglass up to where the window edges will be - the important part is that it's the same depth all the way round the opening - don't slop it everywhere or you'll just have more to clean up later. Place the window carefully into the opening and tape it from the top with a several of pieces of tape to hold it from slipping down. Insert all of the screws, putting a small dab of 5200 in each countersink as you do, and have someone inside put on the white cap-washers and nuts. Then *carefully* and *slowly* go around the window tightening the screws, a little at a time each. Take your time. As you do, the 5200 will start to flatten down and ooze out a bit - have plenty of paper towels on hand to clean up drips. Do *not* overtighten the window or go too quickly at this stage - if you do, you risk cracking the window... lightly snug is plenty tight - the adhesive will hold the window in place just fine when it dries. Once you've snugged up all the screws, sit back and give it about 5-10 minutes... then go back and re-snug the screws once more, a little at a time - you'll find the adhesive has slowly relaxed and spread out, making the screws somewhat loose again.

Now that the window is firmly in place, remove the temporary tapes and run a bead of 5200 around the outside edge of the window, filling the gap and effectively levelling the window with the fiberglass. Use a wooden paddle or metal spatula to smooth it out, cleaning the tool often as you go along with more pre-torn towels.

Once it's all smooth, clean up any drips or smudges with alcohol moistened paper kitchen towels. Now make sure you've cleaned up any 5200 from your feet, shoes, elbows or anywhere else on your person that will get on an interior part, and then go inside and use more alcohol dampened paper towels to clean off any 5200 that squeezed inside.

Once everything is completely dry and the 5200 has hardened (I'd give it at least 48 hours) then remove the outside paper from the window, as well as all of the masking paper, and you're done!

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Post by Craig LaForce » Tue Jan 16, 2007 7:49 am

Thanks Kevin,

I think the answer for me is to order the window lexan like you say and then head to a glass shop with a credit card.
The boat is in the water now, so maybe I cn bribe a glass shop guy to replace it while in the water.

Thanks for the lead on getting it from Bluewater yachts.

Goopy glue and I don't get along very well. All I ever do is make a huge mess. Plus there are only one of me, for which I am sure the world is quite grateful.

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Post by Night Sailor » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:04 pm

Great instructions Kevin,
I wish to add that this is best done in warm weather. 3m 5200 or 4200 both are hard to flow or smooth when cold. Much easier to apply when hot. Of course, easier to flow also means easier to drip and smear, too, so keep those towels handy!

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Post by Catigale » Tue Jan 16, 2007 12:12 pm

Not to pour petrol onto the DIY vs Lady Visa crowd, but I often find its PITA managing the repair when someone else is doing it - a pandemic problem in marine repair, it would seem

Glass/plastic shops that do lots of non-marine work may not suffer this malady of course - I could see that making sense.

Move all your bedding and cushions off that Vberth though, Craig!!

I had a general contractor friend oversee my Moms Bathroom reno (total) 5 years ago - final bill was 2k labour (estimate of 8k)

My friend fired three plumbers who did 25% of the work, only the last one got paid for finishing. All the others just stopped coming in middle of work....only one of them called to see if he could get paid (Answer: No)

I tipped my general $500 cash

Plumbing might be important to my retirement plans if I can afford to work like that.... :wink:

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Post by Catigale » Tue Jan 16, 2007 1:50 pm

There really is a market for "handy men", especially if you just want supplementary income.
Thats my plan exactly, since I like fixing things in general. I can retire at 55, and just pay my heat and grocery bills for another 15 years, then my retirement can carry me the rest of the way. That extra two cycles through the stock market are needed just in case God decides she wants me around until 90 or more. If Im hitting the retirement nestegg earlier, the numbers arent so easy

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Post by kmclemore » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:30 pm

eric3a wrote:There really is a market for "handy men", especially if you just want supplementary income.
Eric
Indeed! In fact, there are franchises available!

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Duane Dunn, Allegro
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Post by Duane Dunn, Allegro » Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:47 pm

I though I read that all the recent boats were not using sealer for the windows, but instead were using a double sided rubber sealing tape.

Either way, I'd never use 5200 for the windows, there is no way you'll ever get the window out if you have to change it again. The stuff is just too darn sticky.

Another good practice with sealers. Apply it in a nice bead (in this case to the boat). Place in the window and just very lightly attach it to the fiberglass, just tight enough to be confident you do not have any voids. Then let it set up forming a nice gasket. Once it has set, tighten it down compressing the newly formed gasket. This is a good way to bed all deck objects.

One more thought on the front windows. We have had curtains on ours for 3 years now and have never opened them. The front windows actually let in to much heat and don't provide much of a view. If mine went bad, I would replace them with a solid filler that could actually be stepped on going forward. It would be a better use of the surface area than we have now with the see through windows material we always keep covered up. Just a thought.

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Post by kmclemore » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:03 pm

Duane Dunn, Allegro wrote:I though I read that all the recent boats were not using sealer for the windows, but instead were using a double sided rubber sealing tape.

Either way, I'd never use 5200 for the windows, there is no way you'll ever get the window out if you have to change it again. The stuff is just too darn sticky.
I had thought somewhere along the line that Bill B4S told me they went in at the factory with 5200, so that's how I put mine in - seemed to work OK. And I'm not really worried about taking it out again - after all, if it has to come out, it's probably busted or ruined already! :)
Duane Dunn, Allegro wrote:Another good practice with sealers. Apply it in a nice bead (in this case to the boat). Place in the window and just very lightly attach it to the fiberglass, just tight enough to be confident you do not have any voids. Then let it set up forming a nice gasket. Once it has set, tighten it down compressing the newly formed gasket. This is a good way to bed all deck objects.
Ordinarily I'd agree with you with regard to metal parts, etc., but these windows are *very* thin and fragile, and it's extremely easy to crack a corner when tightening them. I think letting it set up first would seriously risk busting the plastic because there would be a fair bit of resistance. Also, when they are installed you've got to be sure they're flush with the outside of the boat, and I think it might be pretty hard to tell just how much compression you would get in advance in order to get them even with the edge of the aperture.
Duane Dunn, Allegro wrote:One more thought on the front windows. We have had curtains on ours for 3 years now and have never opened them. The front windows actually let in to much heat and don't provide much of a view. If mine went bad, I would replace them with a solid filler that could actually be stepped on going forward. It would be a better use of the surface area than we have now with the see through windows material we always keep covered up. Just a thought.
Yeah, I agree, they sure do let in a *ton* of heat... but then the Admiral and I do like looking up at the stars as we lay down at night, so I guess it's a fair trade! :)

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Post by Duane Dunn, Allegro » Tue Jan 16, 2007 8:52 pm

When we're out we try to sleep in as much as possible with the kids on board. We're glad we are able to limit as much light coming in on summer mornings as possible.

We also gain some other sun blocking at the front windows when we have our dinghy rolled up and stored across them just ahead of the mast.

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Windows

Post by Tahoe Jack » Tue Jan 16, 2007 11:03 pm

Hey kmclmore....that post looks like a mod without pics....how about moving it... :wink: BTW, on the Mod section today there is a post re curtains that relates somewhat. In response, I posted a new mod on our approach for nautical DIY curtains. 8) Jack

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Re: Windows

Post by kmclemore » Wed Jan 17, 2007 1:08 am

Tahoe Jack wrote:Hey kmclmore....that post looks like a mod without pics....how about moving it... :wink:
Yeah, almost.. except it's more of a repair! Besides, how can I compete with the King of Mods? :wink: :D

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Re: Windows

Post by beene » Wed Jan 17, 2007 11:07 am

kmclemore wrote: Besides, how can I compete with the King of Mods? :wink: :D
I had nothing to do with that comment. :D

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