Urgent Window Advice Needed -Leaking... Falling off!

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by snowbirder, Jun 27, 2015.

  1. snowbirder

    snowbirder Previous Member

    There is literally nothing for sticks to press against.

    Look at the picture. I'm at least 12 feet in the air with a deck that slopes downward toward the ground. No lifelines, no stanchions, no toe rail. Just open air, with concrete 12 feet down.

    There is actually no way to press the windows on for long periods of time where I am now, outside.

    I will go find black silicone though, and use some of PAR's advice on applying it better.

    My sliding windows have a track up top, track on the bottom and some rubber gasket on each end. They are perfect. No leaks.

    I'm thinking of doing something similar with the fixed windows. Track up top, track on the bottom and Silicone on the ends.

    Some of my plexiglass is pretty much a 4x8 sheet like a standard sheet of plywood. The expansion in well over 100 deg temps mid day is what broke the 3m VHB and popped off sime of the lifecaulk.

    So... by mounting them in tracks (part of a frame), they will be allowed to expand and contract. Hopefully, the silicone on the ends can take that. Instead, a bit of thin weather stripping to allow them to slide would be even better.
  2. Charlyipad
    Joined: May 2014
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    Charlyipad Senior Member

    ratchet straps
  3. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    From the images I see, you could duct tape some weighted bags to the roof, letting them dangle over the edge to apply some bearing on the Lexan. The goo will need some way of insuring continuous contact around it's perimeter. It doesn't have to be much, just enough to insure contact. A few lengths of 2x4, with a small sand back taped to it's end, so you can rest it on the dock and lean it over to mash against the ports? Whatever it takes . . .

    Do dry runs with the weights, so everything can be at the ready when the goo hits the fan. Most of these types of silicone will flash off (skin over) in an hour or two, so you don't have to have it work all day, just a few hours.
  4. snowbirder

    snowbirder Previous Member

    What a great idea. Brilliant.

    I'll do something similar. A 5 gallon bucket of water on port and a matching one on starboard, tied to each other across the roof.

    I'm pretty sure I could not have built this boat without your help (and everyone else's) over tge years here.

    Thank you.
  5. SukiSolo
    Joined: Dec 2012
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    SukiSolo Senior Member

    Ever wondered why so many car windows - rear screens mainly, but windscreens (shields) too have little black dot patterns? Along with more solid edges.

    Now you know, to hide the bonding goo. Interesting that goo in say the early 90s', took up to 24 hrs to cure and now just a couple of hours. As my car has 25% of its roof strength from the bonded screen, and newer designs have followed suit. You could paint the inside edge of the screen as long as you know the paint bond is equal to the bond directly to the polycarbonate.

    Do not use petrol anywhere near it, unless you want a good demonstration of how fast polycarbonate can craze.....;)
  6. snowbirder

    snowbirder Previous Member

    Ok. I'll bond with silicone and paint edges.

    While I have everyone, what's a good, compatible paint for polycarbonate?
  7. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    There are special paints used on polycarbonate, typically seen with modelers, but the plastics paints, like Fusion (Krylon) work well too. In reality, a good primer will let you use pretty much whatever you want.
  8. missinginaction
    Joined: Aug 2007
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    missinginaction Senior Member

    Just been following along here. A buddy of mine refers to silicone as "super polygrip". While it's certainly not a structural adhesive it sure will seal two surfaces together nicely.

    In the event that your bead of silicone isn't perfect and you notice a tiny leak after you finish the job, Permatex makes a flowable silicone that works well to address that issue as well.


    Good luck with your repair,

  9. snowbirder

    snowbirder Previous Member

    One thing I can say about silicone is it holds *much* better than 3M VHB tape.

    Raining all day today so nothing is getting done, but the one window I tried it on yesterday is rock solid.
  10. snowbirder

    snowbirder Previous Member

    Did one of the front windows today. Looks like absolute *****.

    I'm going to go with the frames. It's just too shoddy looking with blobs of goo under my all glass look.

    Ruined 2 Windows with silicone.

    What is the approved method of removal?
  11. AndySGray
    Joined: Jun 2014
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    AndySGray Senior Member

    Chainsaw ?

    The 'commercial' tool for this sort of window removal is a knife with a wire puller handle. You might be able to rig a similar arrangement by drilling a hole in a suitable old knife as you won't need the bend. Even Harbor Freight have a version;-

  12. PAR
    Joined: Nov 2003
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    That's an automotive glass removal tool and not really appropriate for this job. These are for removing windshields, knowing full well 70% of the time you'll break the glass. It's not so much a removal tool as a glass breaker, that semi-cuts the glue line too.

    A hot wire might distort the Lexan, solvents might craze it, so maybe a bent blade on a multi tool. Use the lowest speed setting. Of course this will leave some marks on the Lexan and paint, but the paint can be redone and glass sanded down and buffed to clarity again.
  13. snowbirder

    snowbirder Previous Member

    In the interest of time, I'm just going to leave the 2 windows I'm not happy with until a later date.

    The look I'm trying to achieve is a lot like Steve Jobs' windows... I had achieved it with the vhb tape, but it came loose.


    Any other ideas? Any professional glazers here?

    I have called a few locally to try to get this done right.
  14. waikikin
    Joined: Jan 2006
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    waikikin Senior Member

    I've had pretty good success with the sika systems but quite time consuming. Silicone works fine, black is good, another thing is to use fastenings, if the layout is neat & using oversize holes & screw cup washers a reliable attachment can be made, sometimes a painted "frame" can be applied over the bonding/sealing area, sometimes a hammertone paint can be applied to good effect. Another handy thing is a glaziers silicone smoothing tool/spatch, with a spray bottle & plenty of rag or paper towel, tooling off becomes easy. As mentioned abrasion of sealing faces helps as does some wedges/spacers to ensure a "thicker" depth of sealant- these can be removed later, some foam tape around the inside can limit ooze out to internal. After initial setup fastenings can be reset. I like up around 2" of bond width although less is ok. Some will use vinyl graphic tape or film as "blackout" over the bond area, sika sells a tape for that purpose although I've only used it on glass & prefer to mask, sand & paint.


  15. snowbirder

    snowbirder Previous Member

    That's just it, Jeff... you can't paint the glazing and still get this look, and goo looks terrible under it:


    Fastenings are even worse.

    The really annoying part is my opening, sliding windows I designed in the main salon are just fine, look like the picture in the link and don't leak, yet I'm struggling with the fixed ones. Outdoors in the rain.
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