Fiberglass Window Frames

Discussion in 'Fiberglass and Composite Boat Building' started by majorm, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. majorm
    Joined: Apr 2012
    Posts: 18
    Likes: 0, Points: 0, Legacy Rep: 10
    Location: South Carolina, USA

    majorm Junior Member

    I have been thinking about making some new window frames for a 28 Bertram and was curious what yall thought on how to best build them. As it stands the current front glass is 4 panes in a aluminum housing. I wanted to take that down to two and do away with the bottom "vent" glass. On the sides its two panes again that slide but there is a piece of aluminum rectangle to support the flybridge more.

    So my plan was to fiberglass the new frames directly to the roof (flybridge floor) and the deck so its all one unit. From what ive been seeing most people mount their glass from the inside mainly for looks from what I can tell, but for the front I dont know that that would be a good idea. For the side windows I was going to make two fixed windows but make that aluminum support part of the frame. For those I may make them mount from the inside.

    What do yall think and what kind of designs should I look into to be sure i maintain strength?
     
  2. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    The glass needs to be mounted either in a rubber gasket or some flexible sealant/adhesive; otherwise it will break and leak. You can make a fiberglass frame, but it will be a lot more work than fabricating an aluminum channel for it.
     
  3. majorm
    Joined: Apr 2012
    Posts: 18
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    Location: South Carolina, USA

    majorm Junior Member

    The method I have seen that seemed to work well used some rubber standoffs combined with a flexible sealant (sikaflex) for the glass. So like you said it would give it a little room to where it wasn't butted against a hard surface. How well do you think it would be if I basically made a recessed frame for the glass to sit in and installed it all from the outside? So I mean have the recess with the sealant/adhesive and standoffs but nothing else holing it onto the frame? That would simplify the project if that would be secure enough for the glass. I dont want to hear it fall into the ocean on a hot day. A very slightly oversize template could be made to make the recess for both sides. Being installed from the outside with a lip behind it should give it better support from impacts coming from the outside in.

    Keeping the aluminum or making some new aluminum channels from stock probably is the easier route but the fiberglass I think would give it a more modern look. It would allow me to make a subtle change and round off the bottom corner of the side window as well.

    This is actually really close to what im wanting to do but they have made inserts for a 31 bertram. http://www.boatwindowframes.com/category/boatwindows/bertram/bertram-31
     
  4. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    It is possible to set the glass without fasteners. However, the outside frame will have to be secured somehow. Make sure you use the proper adhesive caulk. They are different for glass, acrylic and polycarbonate.
     
  5. adam_designer
    Joined: Jul 2010
    Posts: 57
    Likes: 2, Points: 8, Legacy Rep: 37
    Location: Banyuwangi, Indonesia

    adam_designer Junior Member

    I wanna share my project before. So, I make the window "flange" (the L shaped flange) it was molded/ laminated direcltly to the panel which is hull side, . then you can fit your window just glue it with glass bonding. good thing is,
    1. seamless
    2. non fastening install
    3. no Ugly rubber bevel

    bad thing: Non disassemble. so if you replace new one, it needed more job rather than unscrew as in fastened window.

    here is the glass window flange
    [​IMG]

    got no picture of installed glass. but really it beautyful.

    adam
     
    1 person likes this.

  6. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
    Posts: 15,013
    Likes: 832, Points: 123, Legacy Rep: 2031
    Location: Milwaukee, WI

    gonzo Senior Member

    With the proper adhesive there should be no problem. Nice job.
     
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