Replacing old, crazed (broken) windows - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-11-2017 Thread Starter
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Replacing old, crazed (broken) windows

Hi all!

I've searched and found a number of threads on this, but was hoping to get a summary consensus as well as an answer to a follow up.

See the attached images.

I accidentally put my foot through this window trying to push off an ill fated bulkhead. There's 2 more ahead and matching windows on the port side.

It seems to be safety glass with a rubber gasket inside and out with, I imagine, some sort of adhesive wherever it can be applied.

I take it cast acrylic is the go to? Is that the same solution for all cases? What's the latest on adhesives?

The big question is; can this window (at least the larger, broken one) be replaced with some sort of opening port (that doesn't require a foot) without cutting into the hull? It seems to be slightly curved with rounded edges. The dimensions are roughly 8.5" by 22" not including the gasket.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-11-2017
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Re: Replacing old, crazed (broken) windows

Yes, cast acrylic is the preference. If you've got the refit bucks to have it done, Select Plastics/HatchMasters is pretty much the go-to place for a professional job. They also cater to the DIY'r, and can advise on sealants, etc.

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post #3 of 9 Old 08-12-2017
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Re: Replacing old, crazed (broken) windows

Acrylic is more scratch-resistant but breaks. Lexan is a little easier to scratch but much stronger--it's literally bullet proof (in the right thickness). I replaced my clear hatches with 1/2" Lexan and my companionway slider with 1/4" lexan. Both come in clear or shaded. For lexan, you should use a specially-made architectural bedding compound--I bought a tube from the glass place that sold me the lexan. Don't know what you use for acrylic.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-12-2017
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Re: Replacing old, crazed (broken) windows

Try Newfound Metals. They make a wide variety of SS and bronze ports but they are pricey. Most opening port will require some surgery to the cutout for the port to fit them.

If you want bullet proof, Lexan is the best bet. If you want long lasting, craze and scratchproof, Plexiglass is much better for ports. Plexi is plenty strong for ports and much more scratch resistant and doesn't suffer nearly as much from UV damage as Lexan. Added bonus is it's also cheaper.

Whatever material you decide on don't use glass cleaners with ammonia in them. Will ruin the plastic quickly.

Last edited by roverhi; 08-12-2017 at 12:37 PM.
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-14-2017
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Re: Replacing old, crazed (broken) windows

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Originally Posted by Damien Kemens View Post
Hi all!

I've searched and found a number of threads on this, but was hoping to get a summary consensus as well as an answer to a follow up.

See the attached images.

I accidentally put my foot through this window trying to push off an ill fated bulkhead. There's 2 more ahead and matching windows on the port side.

It seems to be safety glass with a rubber gasket inside and out with, I imagine, some sort of adhesive wherever it can be applied.

I take it cast acrylic is the go to? Is that the same solution for all cases? What's the latest on adhesives? ...
I replaced mine with cast acrylic, more than strong enough and more durable.
I used Dow 795 purchased thru Amazon. Make sure the surface is really clean - I used methyl hydrate. I tested a piece and it really sticks well. That was 4 years ago.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-16-2017 Thread Starter
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Awesome! Thank you, all!

I think I have a plan of attack (as far as materials are concerned). Looking at the pictures, can anyone recommend a plan of attack for the actual work? I'm hoping I can carefully peel out the interior rubber gasket and remove the old glass, lay in a fat bead of adhesive/sealant and then put the old gasket back in. Is this naive?
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-22-2017
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Re: Replacing old, crazed (broken) windows

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Originally Posted by SVTatia View Post
I replaced mine with cast acrylic, more than strong enough and more durable.
I used Dow 795 purchased thru Amazon. Make sure the surface is really clean - I used methyl hydrate. I tested a piece and it really sticks well. That was 4 years ago.
This. ^^^

Forget Lexan unless you are planning to sail in pirate infested areas. The bulletproof thing is meaningless and it is less effective than acrylic in every other way in this application.

I, myself, personally intend to continue being outspoken and opinionated, intolerant of all fanatics, fools and ignoramuses, deeply suspicious of all those who have "found the answer" and on my bad days, downright rude.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-23-2017
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Re: Replacing old, crazed (broken) windows

Acrylic is harder. It is less likely to break by a given blow but when it breaks it cracks. Lexan (polycarbonate) is not bullet proof but is more likely to deform under a blow. It's softer, scratches more easily, but it can be cold formed (like sheet metal). Enter IMA (impact modified acrylic). Not sure what they do but it gets closer to polycarbonate in impact resistance. 3/16 to 1/4" should be more than enough for you. 1/2" is unreasonable for most applications unless you're be walking on it or it the thickness is mimicking some other material (ie teak). Actually, if you'll be reusing the gaskets, you're limited to the range its designed for anyway. I will say that either you or the PO has most likely been using glass cleaner on those portlights. They appear to be badly crazed. You should NEVER use ANY type of glass cleaner on plastic of any sort, especially windows and skylights. The ammonia and other chemicals cause plasticizer migration resulting in the crazing I see. Just use dish soap, nothing else.

I designed commercial, residential, architectural and monumental skylights for 18 years. Currently I am a high end window designer.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-23-2017
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Re: Replacing old, crazed (broken) windows

For a sealant/adhesive Dow 795 is a good choice. One of few that will adhere to acrylic. I have used it in place of the rubber splines that often come loose and were used on a lot of early Canadian boats like C&Cs, Tanzers, Mirages etc. Maybe US boats too?

What is not clear to me, is the port frame construction. It would be good to see a profile of the port to deckhouse joint. Is the rubber really in two pieces? Does it lock together somehow? Perhaps you could find out who made those ports and get a better idea?

There are quite a number of opening ports available. For example from Defender. and in Canada Atkins & Hoyle. Getting one that fits exactly would be a very long shot. There are companies that will make custom ports to fit your openings. Even then, the corner radii may have to be adjusted. For example:
Custom ports & hatches
Extruded Portlight - Pompanette, LLC
Bomon marine,boat window replacement,marine windows, replacement,hatches,doors,marine doors, abyc , iso12216
several others if you Google or maybe others here can advise.

Last edited by FreeAgent; 08-23-2017 at 03:21 PM.
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