New windows

Feb 2nd, 2013No Comments

One of the jobs that was not in my original list and that was not even in the works “postponed” for budgetary reasons, was the replacement of the windows. Strider had the rubber type windows, changed in 2006. I thought it was enough … poor fool baby. Only one sec wase enought to let me know that was not exactly the ideal solution for the ocean. Some first-person descriptions of encountered waves were the key to change my mind. I must say that in the disassembly, after removing the first part of the rubber, only a gentle push was needed to remove the sheet of 4mm plexiglass. I had removed the first part of the rubber but still made me think how easy it was to pull out the window. Now I am convinced that the replacement was the right thing to do. The new Strider’s windows are half inch plexyglass bolted to the hull.

The nice thing is that the plexiglass was given to me (thanks Ricky) and came from an old door of an office. Textbook example of reuse of objects of which I am very proud. But to turn an old door in new windows I had to deal with and respond to a long series of questions. How to cut and finish the plexiglass? By how many inch overlap the plexiglass to the fiberglass? What size bolts to use and how far apart? Compared with the bolt wich hole dimension in the plexiglass is needed considering the thermal expansion? What sealant to use to mount it up?

For every answer I asked and searched on the internet and in the manuals in my possession. But although each boat has windows and plexiglass is often used, apart from information on cutting and finishing I have never been able to find definitive answers. But although each phase of the process there have been doubts and alternatives not pursued and every choice was suffered, although I have not yet had the opportunity to really test it at sea, I’m very happy of the final result and it gives to me a comforting feeling of robustness.

For those interested, these are the answers: For straight cuts: circular saw, for the curved cuts: jigsaw blade for metal at low speed and a lot of patience; for corner rounding: wood router; for finishing: wet sandpaper to 240 (using the flame would come to a superb finishing); overlapping: 1,5 inch; bolts size: M5 (5mm) pan head spaced of 3 inches; plexiglass holes: this is the answer that leaves me doubt, I would have made even larger but direct advice made me opt for 6.5 mm, and finally as a sealant after a very positive test I used ArboSil LM which is a neutral cure low modulus silicone used in the building for pvc windows.

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