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Old 12-23-2009
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Window Installation

Boat completion continues. I've finished painting the pilothouse and it's time to install the lexan windows, which were predrilled for the boat when I bought it. The holes match up to the existing points on the pilothouse, but the holes are only 5/32 in diameter, too small for barrell bolts. Anybody have an opinion about bolts vs. screws? I could get about 50 stainless nuts and bolts and put capnuts on the inside, or just use the right length screws. The topside hull is pretty thin, though, so the screw points might intrude into the cabin wall surface depending on the amount of tightening required to squeeze out the taped caulk. I could grind them off or cut them to best length before screwing them because I don't think I need the points since everything is predrilled. Personally my preference is to use bolts and nuts.

I got two rolls of butyl tape as a gasket, and it looks like it would be the best interface between the window and the outer surface of the pilothouse. My plan is to install the edge of the tape running just to the edge of the window opening so that outside the boat the excess can be trimmed off, and inside only a very small amount would appear and would hopefully fill all the voids. Regardless of whether I use screws of bolts, I could coat the fasteners with something, or just run them through the butyl tape and let them plug themselves. Seems easier to put the tape on the hull opening and then place the window on top, instead of putting it on the window and pressing the window into place with the tape attached to it.

The original windows seemed to use trim washers underneath the heads. Does this help dress up the window, spread the compression load when fastening, or is it just aesthetic?

As always, any ideas are welcome. Have a happy holiday season!
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Old 12-23-2009
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Here's a recent thread on the subject...

Acrylic or Polycarbonate for windows

FWIW while butyl tape is a good sealant and often recommended, it has reduced adhesive properties. This, of course, makes eventual removal easier. On the other hand using a good adhesive sealant like DC 795 means that once set up, the fasteners used in the first place are not as crucial.

There are valid arguments for both approaches.

1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"

".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)
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Old 12-23-2009
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Dear Strangersinponds

This is how I did it - if the information helps - great!

non-opening ports

Irwin Citation 34
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Old 12-23-2009
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I think most would favor the bolts over the screws. I'm not a stickler for nautical jargon, but give up the "windows" and move on to "ports" or "portlights".(LOL)
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