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post #1 of 6 Old 02-11-2010 Thread Starter
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Replacing Windows

Hello all, I need some advice on replacing windows on my '86 Cal-22. First, let me say that I have no experience working on my boat. I purchased it last year and did no repairs to it, but this year I'd like to fix some of the leaks. The boat has a couple of leaks coming from the small windows on each side. The windows are not glass, but a plexi-glass material. They appear to be held in place with some type of caulking. I stopped by a local glass repair shop and they suggested replacing the current windows with glass, but I don't know. They seemed quite expensive too, $82.50 each for tempered smoked glass and $141 each for lexan.

So here are my questions:
1. What is the best window to put in (glass, plexi, other) 'cause I don't know
2. Is it a pain?

I also have a leak coming from a thru-bolt on a forward rail, but that will be tackled at another time. One thing at a time. But as the weather starts to warm up I'd like to get on some of these repairs.
Any thoughts appreciated!
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post #2 of 6 Old 02-11-2010 Thread Starter
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This, I forgot....

I forgot to add that I have reviewed other posts/threads related to replacing windows. All I get is more confused. What I would like to know is:
1. Best material for a replacement window
2. Best caulking
3. Any other (simple) suggestions

Thank you very much.
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post #3 of 6 Old 02-11-2010
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Glass may be more inclined to crack or break. That is why most cabintrunk ports seem to be plexi or other transparent plastic. Dropping a winch handle on it might scratch it, but won't cause it to shatter into pieces that then cut your feet. The various plastics have different pluses and minuses: there are books about it. The downside of many of them besides expanding and contracting due to heat, is UV degradation. Sunlight over time makes the surface cloudy, and can lead to internal cracking. If the portlights are still clear, but simply leak, keep them. You'll need to remove them, rebed them (on the OUTSIDE edge - that's likely where the water is gettting in) and re-caulk.
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post #4 of 6 Old 02-11-2010
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The best material for most smaller boats is plexiglas or cast acrylic. It has better UV tolerance than Polycarbonate and doesn't have some of the negative physical characteristics of Polycarbonate. Tempered glass is a great material, but not really appropriate, since a single, relatively minor impact can cause the glazing to shatter. Untempered glass is really foolish. Laminated tempered glass is a good choice but very, very expensive.

The best bedding material for an acrylic port that is not mechanically fastened to the hull using a frame or through-bolted is using an appropriate sealant like Dow 795 Silicone, which is purpose designed for this application. Butyl tape will work well for mechanically fastened ports.


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post #5 of 6 Old 02-12-2010
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Second what sailingdog said. If the current ports are clear and not cracked rebed them. But if they need replacement the prices you have don't make a lot of sense. How big are the ports? Once you remove them any good plastic shop should be able to cut plexiglass of the correct thickness for a lot less. Like $20 each. If they aren't too large you may find offcuts for even less. By the way smoked is a good idea and still lets in a lot of light but is harder to peer through from outside.

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post #6 of 6 Old 02-12-2010
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Mark Plastics in Carona California can provide you with OEM replacement windows, frames and the proper bedding compound (see Mark Plastics in Corona, California. (ca.) #5398088 ). We used them for replacement windows on our former yacht (a Cal 2-29) and several of our friends have since used their products for their Cal's.


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