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Old 07-11-2002
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Rebedding Portlights

Can you tell me how to re-bed windows, or offer any references on re-bedding windows or upgrading windows with  tinted Lexan?

Sue & Larry respond: 
When re-bedding windows on a sailboat, there are a series of important steps you must follow to ensure a job well done.

  1. Thoroughly clean the window pane and frame it will be bedded in. Use a flat-razor-blade type window scraper to remove all old sealant and dirt, then clean both areas with a rag soaked in acetone or MEK. If this step is not done diligently, your new sealant will not adhere well and leaks will definitely occur.
  2. Choose the right sealant for the job. Polysulfides are best for all materials except plastic. (Lexan is not considered plastic).
  3. The use of masking tape around the edge of the frame and on the inside of the window can speed the clean up phase, and leave a smooth edge.
  4. Apply sealant liberally around the frame. When window and frame are pressed together, sealant must ooze out all around to ensure a good seal.
  5. When tightening mechanical fasteners to hold window to frame, make sure you don't over tighten and squeeze all the sealant out.

For more detailed reading on this topic, you'll find a couple of excellent full articles on SailNet that address re-bedding windows, hatches, and portlights. See Tom Wood's Resolving Hatch and Portlight Problems and Don Casey's Choosing and Using Sealants.

As for upgrading your windows, check with your local hardware store, or mirror and glass store. They should be able to offer you a variety of different window types and tints that can all be custom cut to replace your existing windows.

Best of luck with your project.

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