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Flightsport 04-05-2010 02:35 PM

C26 leaking portlights
5 Attachment(s)
I was gifted a 1977
Columbia 26T sailboat a few years ago. A few tunes up later and it's ship shape
and fun to sail. One issue I can't seem to get resolved is all six of
it's portal windows leak to some degree. Last spring I attempted a fix
by caulking all the windows and frames with Boatlife, Life-Seal, clear
caulk. I ran a generous bead of it along the seam where the window
meets the frame and where the frame meets the hull, on the exterior of the boat. (you're right, you cant fix leaks with Caulking!) Today, I just uncovered the boat for the first time since the heavy rains this
past couple weeks. The boat didn't have much for water inside, just a small puddle on the bench on
the downhill side. What I am finding is "drool" marks where the water
has seaped in. It has also dragged along with it some dark brown
residue, presumably from the interior of the window frame, which has
dried into a goo the conistency of tree sap. What is this stuff? I am
really hesitant do open these 32 year window frames up and attempt to
re-seal them. 1, I am a rookie boat owner and I don't want to create a
larger project than necesary. 2. I'm not sure I have the skills to
remove the windows and set the new seals. 3. Where do I get the window seals for these 32 year old windows? See attached pictures.

Any ideas for me before I
start a job bigger than I care for?


Mike McCarron
Plymouth MA

SleepCat 04-07-2010 11:07 PM

I have no idea what that gunk might be, but I do know that you definitely have to remove your portlights and frames, clean out whatever gunk and rot is in there and re-install with a good seal. It will probably be a good time to replace the portlights...I imagine they are a bit cloudy after 39 years. Good luck.

Flightsport 04-08-2010 07:44 AM

Hey thanks for the reply. That is the consensus, the portals have to come out. And yes, replacing the windows would be the way to go. Know where I can get the exact size by chance? Mike

SleepCat 04-12-2010 03:06 PM

I brought mine to my local TAP Plastics. They just traced the shape onto the new plastic and cut them out. Worked just fine.

Flightsport 04-13-2010 07:59 AM

SleepCat, so you were able to use the original frames and then just resealed them with new butyl tape?

Flightsport 04-19-2010 11:36 AM

Anyone know where to get some Columbia windows in case I break mine?

exkma367 06-16-2010 12:37 PM

Just replaced my 1966 Columbia C26 portals
I know this thread is a little old. But I just finished replacing my portals. They were leaking and clouded. I removed the frames and the old glass. I took one of each shape of window and a frame to my local glass shop. For about $300.00 he cut new glass and supplied me with the new rubber seals. The new glass is thicker than the original so make sure you get the right size. With a lot of patience and some Dawn soap as lube, I was able to get the glass back in the frames. Butyle tape from the local RV repair shop is the only thing to use for mounting the frames. Be sure and keep the two frame halves and inside ring grouped together for each window. It will make it much easier getting the screw holes to line up when putting it back together. I am now watertight and can see.

Flightsport 06-16-2010 04:06 PM

We used butyl tape and 4000 for the bedding. There was no apparent way to get the window frames apart to replace the acrylic so I just put the cloudy old windows back in the boat. Oh well. As long as its dry! Thanks for the good words.

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