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  #11  
Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Replacing windows by adhesive & Butyl tape?

butyl tape is the way to go for the sealant(as previously suggested-see mainesail"s but he does not specifically address port lites, but deck hardware). The adhesive should be mechanical, i.e. screws every so often inches.
The screws hold it all together, the butyl creates the water proof seal.
I am assuming there are existing screws/bolts or something?
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Old 10-16-2012
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Re: Replacing windows by adhesive & Butyl tape?

Early this afternoon I removed one of the main cabin windows. Despite trying to be patient and very careful I managed to bend the window frame. Trying to get the old plastic out was futile. The previous owner had tried to replace the windows using thin Home depot plastic and tons of some kind of adhesive that was rock hard.
What I did was:
(1) I cut 1/4" dark tinted cast acrylic approx 1" or so larger then the metal frame top and bottom and added about 6" left and right which I cut semi circular.
(2) Pre drilled 8 screw holes - one each side and 3 top - 3 bottom.
(3)Positioned window and outlined its shape and screw holes with pencil on the boat.
(4)Masked about 1/4" outside the line and applied a bead of adhesive and double sided automotive tape.
(5)Carefully positioned windows using the screws as pilots and only snugged the screws.
(6)Ran my latex gloved finger around the perimeter silicone adhesive and immediately removed the masking tape and the protective film on the windows.
(7)Went down below and also masked the inside of the windows and applied another line of adhesive.
**For one window from start to finish it took me approx 3 hours most of which was surface preparation, with some stressful moments when caulking.
**The material cost was: The acrylic for both windows $67, the 3m automotive tape $19.67, the adhesive caulking ($13.49 /tube) bought 2 for $26.98, latex gloves $3.55, Alcohol cleaner $1.59. Total cost $118.79 for two main cabin windows approx 9" x 37".
Will get to the second window when I find time and weather permits.

The finished job looks better then I expected and at least in my opinion, seems to give the boat a fresher look. Now lets hope the silicone adhesive hold and window does not leak at least for the next couple of years.
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Last edited by anerussis; 10-16-2012 at 10:05 PM.
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Old 10-17-2012
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Re: Replacing windows by adhesive & Butyl tape?

Screw holes?
Are you aware that th screw holes must be oversized, sometimes twice the diameter of the screws or bolts, in order to allow the plastic to expand and contract without causing it to craze?
Your screws/bolts need to have large washers (i.e barrel washers, fender washers) to allow the plastic to move under them. GE and other glazing makers having plenty of docs and drawings online showing exactly how to measure and do this properly.
Done improperly? You can guarantee the glazing will craze in time.

Silicon sealant in general also does not bond to acrylics like plexi. It sticks for a while, then pops free as the plastic thermal cycles. There are better adhesives meant for the purpose. So...somewhere in your future, there's going to be a re-do. If you want that one to last forever, read the documents that all those nice vendors have posted online. Don't guess.
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Old 10-18-2012
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Re: Replacing windows by adhesive & Butyl tape?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Screw holes?
Are you aware that th screw holes must be oversized, sometimes twice the diameter of the screws or bolts, in order to allow the plastic to expand and contract without causing it to craze?
I am aware that the screw holes should not be too small - however twice the size as you suggest would not hold the screws. The factory did use many screws to secure the original window frame. Yes even though your advise is very valid, the bottom line is that it's just an older boat and I never planned to marry it to death do as part.
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Question Re: Replacing windows by adhesive & Butyl tape?

There was a article in 'Good Old Boat' about using neoprene as a gasket on 'portlights', reported to be "water tight", after years of use? There are post on CnC photo site about doing this also. I am going to go with the 'neoprene' gasket, through bolted, and hope I NEVER have to deal with leaking 'portlights' again. .02
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Re: Replacing windows by adhesive & Butyl tape?

Catalina Direct: Sealant for Plexiglas Fixed Ports & Opening Hatches
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Re: Replacing windows by adhesive & Butyl tape?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AirborneSF View Post
There was a article in 'Good Old Boat' about using neoprene as a gasket on 'portlights', reported to be "water tight", after years of use? There are post on CnC photo site about doing this also. I am going to go with the 'neoprene' gasket, through bolted, and hope I NEVER have to deal with leaking 'portlights' again. .02
Yes I agree but I couldn't find this neoprene gasket - When I inquired at my local marine supply they sold me Butyl tape which after doing some research I didn't use. I did use a 3M automotive tape and also Dow 795.
ALSO of interest is - the previous owner had replaced the acrylic on the original windows which did leak badly. When I removed them I noticed that there was tons of silicone between the windows and the frames but little if any between the metal frame and the boats fiberglass which was obviously the source of leaks. Plan to clean the frames and in the future if my present windows start leaking will properly re-install these frames with new acrylic.
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Re: Replacing windows by adhesive & Butyl tape?

"however twice the size as you suggest would not hold the screws."
That's correct, which is why WASHERS or large diameter screw heads may be required. The size of the hole has to be made to accomodate the expansion in the sheet ofplexi. If that is 1/16" per foot and you have a three foot long sheet, you may need 3/16" of free space--even if your screw's body is only 1/8". The size of the head may or may not cover that. Basing the size of the hole on what size screw heads were randomly available, is setting the cart before the horse.
But as you say, you're not going to marry the boat, so if the windows are leaky when you go to sell it, or the next buyer sees a job not done right...all it affects is price.

WRT neoprene gasket, be aware that there is "chemically blown" foamed neoprene, and "gas blown" foamed neoprene. The gas blown type is "fizzed" with inert gas to form the foam. The chemically blown type is made like a pancake batter, chemical reactions make it foam up, and if anyone has cheated on the chemicals, it may turn to goo or powder down the line. Sometimes five years, sometimes twenty. So caveat emptor, you can guess which is more expensive.

So a quick simple fix, I'd just use 3M's VBT(?) tape, the structural double-sided tape that is used to secure windows in skyscrapers. Apparently works very nicely on boat glazing as well, and doesn't require holes or hardware.
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Re: Replacing windows by adhesive & Butyl tape?

a) Use VHB tape but check what it is compatible with. Another option is structural glazing tape. (Tremco SGT or equal)
b) Install it approximately 1/4" in from the edge of the glazing. Be VERY careful because once it contacts it's over (for the most part anyway).
c) Once applied to the cabin, roll HARD around the entire edge until you get tired, then do it again.
d) Mask with blue painters tape 2" around the perimeter.
e) Stuff a pencil thru something round and rubber that will position the point 1/4-5/16 from the perimeter of the rubber. A small tire from a toy car works well. Roll this around the perimeter of your glazing, making a perfect offset.
f) Carefully cut on this mark with a sharp razor and remove the tape nearest the glazing.
g) Tape the edge of the glazing overhanging the tape slightly then trim excess off with the razor.
h) Inject structural silicone into the crack under the glazing and apply a liberal bead all around the perimeter.
i) TOOL the silicone, a plastic spoon works well. Don't listen to those that claim they're so good, they never tool their sealant. I'm a glazing designer. Sealant isn't waterproof or warrantied unless it's tooled properly.
j) Remove the tape almost immediately, being careful not to goop anything up. When cured your portlight will be virtually immovable. This is the same basic joint that keeps the windows in many modern high-rise buildings.

If you're careful, the bead will be as consistent and attractive as a rubber gasket and you may be able to get a color match to your cabin or plain ol' black.

This installation is the bomb for a recreational cruiser. It'll keep you safe and dry for years. If you're crossing an ocean . . . let a professional fix it.
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Re: Replacing windows by adhesive & Butyl tape?

Where were all you good people with the advise before I started my re-seal job? I googled and visited two marine supply houses but didn't find or get advise anywhere near as good as I now get.

Anyways I think the job I did is not perfect but it seems OK and from a distance looks great. I am actually proud of my even perimeter caulking job BUT I am disappointed that close-up and when the sun hits the windows I can see my not so straight and un-even silicone and tape lines through the dark tinted plexi. ---
Also I just learned that tooling the silicone is required in order for it to do it's job. Unfortunately all I did was apply two lines of Dow 795 on the fiberglass one - approx 1/4 to 3/8 in from the outlined perimeter of where the plexi would go and another bead around the window opening and then just pressed the plexi in place and secured it in place with 8 screws. The silicone that squished out I then smoothed with the latex glove wet finger method.
Oh well live and learn - at least now I can help others do a proper job.
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