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Old 09-26-2002
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Mark Matthews is on a distinguished road
Leaking Windows

The windows in my the cabin of my boat need replacing and I am having great difficulty locating the rubber extrusion that holds the plexiglas in place against the aluminum frames. Can you help?

Mark Matthews responds:
I fought this battle, and I'm glad to say after a bit of work and heartache, I won (knock on wood). Well at least I don't have to place a variety of bowls about the cabin every time it rains.

First off, you're to be commended for wanting to fix the problem correctly. Leaks on a boat are a common problem, as evidenced by the number of boats out there with various amounts of caulk and silicone smeared in unsightly fashion along portlight frames in the hopes of creating an impenetrable seal. This technique, however, is a temporary solution at best. The right way to do the job is to take the frame out, clean it, recaulk it, and put it back together again. It can be a messy job and one that requires at least four hands.

After you get the windows out, I'd recommend masking the glass once the silicone comes out. I probably spent as much time with a razor blade cleaning up the mess as I did installing the windows.

What you are looking for is widely referred to as a window-setting channel in automotive fields. SailNet sells a number of replacement portlights and parts from Bowmar, Beckson, and Lewmar, and you might want to check some of those initially. You can also try the following website as a source: http://www.atrim.com/Page153.html. That site and others indicate the wide variety of styles available, so you'll have to do some hunting. Best of luck.

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