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Author Topic: Fixing leaking fixed portlights  (Read 11768 times)

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vincents34

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Fixing leaking fixed portlights
« on: August 08, 2011, 03:04:40 PM »

I have looked at all the different products, discussions and it seams to be a ongoing issue?
Has anyone found a sure way to fix the four fixed windows that will actually work?
Is the pattern of the windows the same for every Cat 34? If I order the 4 from Catalina
for $400.00 will they be the right size?
I am sure all the members would love a final solid answer ?
« Last Edit: October 26, 2014, 10:17:39 AM by Stu Jackson »
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Ken Juul

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Re: Looking for best way to fix leaking windows on 34 Cat
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2011, 04:35:04 AM »

Are your windows cracked or just leaking?  If just leaking no need to replace. remove them and thoroughly clean both surfaces.  Apply silicone sealant and reset the windows, using the tighten until some compression of the sealant is seen then let sit overnight to cure.  Finishing tightening the next day.  Silicone is the only thing that will stick to the window.  

I curious though about using butyl tape.  Some call it Glazers tape because it is used to set commercial windows.  But they are glass, so the butyl might not stick to the plastic.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2011, 04:54:30 AM by Ken Juul »
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Tom Glennon

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Re: Looking for best way to fix leaking windows on 34 Cat
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2011, 01:23:16 PM »

Catalina uses a Dow product: Building Sealant 945?? something like that... it is used to seal the large windows in commercial buildings. You don't need screws to hold the windows in with this stuff
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Ron Hill

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Re: Looking for best way to fix leaking windows on 34 Cat
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2011, 05:54:58 PM »

Guys : Gerry Douglas has mentioned that the biggest problem that people have with re bedding the 4 fixed port lights, is that they do not use small pieces of tap to provide standoff between the lens and the window "frame". 
What happens is that with a double curvature, you squirt out the caulk when the lens is put in place and secured.  Then there is no sealant between the lens and the frame(cabin side).   A thought. 
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mtullier

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Re: Looking for best way to fix leaking windows on 34 Cat
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2011, 07:35:20 PM »

I just replaced all four of mine and used Dow 795.  Worked great with no leaks and is easy to work with.  The key is to clean ALL the old adhesive off.  I sanded the inside of the window with 220 where the adhesive lays against the fiberglass to give the plexy better adhesion.  The DOW 795 can be purchased from catalinadirect.com.  Hope this helps.

Mike
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Clay Greene

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Re: Looking for best way to fix leaking windows on 34 Cat
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2011, 03:40:52 PM »

I posted the Catalina directions for re-bedding the windows in the Tech Wiki when we re-did the window over our head last year.  The hardest part of the process was getting the old cracked window out.  Good luck on taking the window out without cracking the plastic in the process.  Using a wire to break the seal around it may work if you can create a hole to get the wire through.  I would plan, however, on cracking at least one of the windows in the process of removing them. 

The second hardest part of the process was getting the window frame clean.  That required a lot of work with solvent and a putty knife.  It may be leaking but it is not going to come out easily.  Actually reinstalling the window was the easiest part, although it was messy.  We did use the spacers and you can see them if you look closely enough at the window even though we used black tape.  I try not to look too closely. 

And to confirm what someone else already said, the screws are superfluous.  Catalina used them just for securing the windows while the sealant cured.  If you secure the window appropriately to keep it in place, forget about the screws. 

If I remember correctly, Catalina Parts suggested that we draw a template of the window so they cut it the right way.  It is a special order job for them - they don't have old Catalina 34/36 windows sitting in a box in the back of the warehouse.  We sent him the window pieces taped back together instead.  The replacement window fit perfectly. 

The Dow product specified by Catalina is not easy to find.  You most likely will have to go to a commercial building supplier.  We could not find it in local hardware stores.  The local building supplier actually just gave us a couple of tubes because they deal in quantities like grosses. 

Good luck!
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Clay Greene

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Re: Looking for best way to fix leaking windows on 34 Cat
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2011, 03:44:12 PM »

Here is the link to the instructions we received from Catalina:

http://www.c34.org/wiki/index.php?title=Instructions_for_replacing_large_fixed_side_windows
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1989, Hull #873, "Serendipity," M25XP, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Roland Gendreau

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Re: Looking for best way to fix leaking windows on 34 Cat
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2014, 09:51:19 AM »

I've read a number  of threads on fixing window leaks.  On my C34, the window over the ice box is leaking - and there is actually a small crack just above the window.  The window itself is crazed a bit, but there is no crack in the Plexiglas. When I look at the outside of the window, there does not seem to be any void in the sealant around the Plexiglas, nor is there any crack in the fiberglass.  So I don't know how the water is finding its way into the crack. 

Has anyone had a similar crack develop and how would one fix the crack?


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Roland Gendreau
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Jeff Tancock

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Re: Looking for best way to fix leaking windows on 34 Cat
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2014, 03:27:41 PM »

This is a job that I need to do. I developed a large crack (maybe 2") down from one of the screw holes. It leaked into the galley area. I didn't have time to deal with it at that time so I smeared a generous dab of silicone on the crack until I could get to it. That was 1 1/2 years ago. Still dry and still need to get to it!
I have been dreading the removal and cleaning part, but also not sure about how to secure the window easily without using screws in spite of reading the instructions. Maybe in the spring?
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Jeff Tancock
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mregan

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Re: Looking for best way to fix leaking windows on 34 Cat
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2014, 04:49:54 PM »

I replaced my starboard side ones last year.  I used a utility knife on the inside seal to get the window out.  Once I was able to get one portion free, I would push the window out a bit to expose a bit more of the sealant and cut that with the knife.  The PO had used silicone on them so it wasn't too bad to get them out.
Then spent a while with the utility knife, paint scraper and acetone & goof off to try to get rid of all the old silicone.

My windows were really crazed so I brought them to a local plexiglass shop and the fabricated new ones.  The inside edge of the window is beveled.  The plexiglass shop couldn't router the correct angle so he did it as much as he could.  I then took a grinder and ground down the edge all the way around.  Took a few tries.  I would grind, stick it into the frame, see where it didn't sit flush then grind some more.  Once it sat flush, I took some black 1/2" wide by 1/8" thick foam gasket.  One side was sticky so I cut up a bunch of pieces and placed them every 6-8" around the window frames.  This keeps the window off the frame and gives a gap for the sealant so it all doesn't get squirt out when you put the window in.

Then I took blue painters tape and taped off around the inside and outside of the window frame for any sealant that spilled out.  Then I filled the whole recessed area, that the window sits in, with black Dow 795.  I used almost a tube per window.  If you don't use enough you will get void and can see them through the window.  Use more than you think you will need.  Whatever squirts out will just go onto the painters tape around the frame.  Make sure you tape off a couple of inches thick on the outside.  The black sealant gets everywhere.

Also, leave the sticky paper on the plexiglass frame (if you get new windows)  If using the old window, I would tape off a good 2-3" around the edge of the window on the inside and outside.  On the inside, you need to leave about 3/4" of the window exposed around the edge.  This is where it will sit in the sealant.  Since I had new windows with the paper, I put the window in place, traced the outline of the window frame on the inside, then used a razor blade to trim that amount of paper off to accept the sealant.

Once I had the sealant on the frame, I put the window in place.  I found if I pushed on the window it would sit tight but then slowly start to lift off.  Not enough to fall out of the frame but enough that it was noticeable.  You would need to rig something up to keep pressure on it until the sealant sets.  I ended up putting a couple of screws around the window to hold it in place.  The screws are small and look fine.  Once it was set in place, I used my finger around the edge of the window to smooth off and push in any sealant that squirted out when the window went in.

After and hour or so, the sealant starts to set.  There is an outside skin that is dry but if it's a thick blob, the inside will still be mushy.  On the inside of the window, I took a razor blade and sliced off any sealant that had squirted between the window and frame.
Waited 24 hrs then pulled all the tape off.  Since I had taped everything really well, there was almost no cleanup needed.
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Jeff Kaplan

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Re: Looking for best way to fix leaking windows on 34 Cat
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2014, 05:38:09 PM »

Vincent,

Years ago I replaced the four ports on #219, got them made at a plastics company. As others have stated, it was quite a job getting the old ports out, but I got them out intact, and the plastics company used them as the templates, beveled correctly and holes drilled. I got smoked grey lexan.  Make sure you clean the structure very good.  I got a roll of butyl rubber, maybe 3/4" wide and formed it around each port.  Placed the new ports on and screwed  them in place, trimmed excess off.  As fate would have it, a rain storm came in a few days later.  I went to the boat to check for leaks and found a few. To fix, I just took a few small pieces of the butyl rubber and forced them into the leaking areas,from the inside. The butyl will stay flexable for years.  The ports have been in for years now, and I have never had another leak. A tiresome job but the end results are worth it. good luck.
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#219, 1986 tall rig/shallow draft. "sedona sunset" atlantic-salem,ma

Andrew Harvey

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Re: Looking for best way to fix leaking windows on 34 Cat
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2014, 08:16:42 AM »

I agree with Jeff.
I took the old windows out and they were used as template for a plastics company to reproduce in Lexan.
Black Butyl tape has been in place for about 5 years with no leaks.
Only mistake I made was not choosing a darker tint. it looked the same in the shop but they are much lighter or transparent on the boat.
Andrew
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Andrew Harvey

Jeff Tancock

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Re: Looking for best way to fix leaking windows on 34 Cat
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2014, 09:44:44 AM »

Butyl tape sounds like an interesting option.
I have never used it......does it skin over or does it smear if you touch it?
Is it easier to work with compared to a tube of sealant?
Any cons using tape?
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Jeff Tancock
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mregan

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Re: Looking for best way to fix leaking windows on 34 Cat
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2014, 12:38:51 PM »

Easy to work with.  Doesn't smear or skin over.  To make a good seal with it, you need to apply a good amount of pressure.  Best thing would be to use the screws to hold the window in which would put a good deal of pressure on the butyl and create a good seal.  The nice thing with he butyl is, once you get a good seal and it's sticking to the window, you could pull the screws out and it would stay in place just fine.  It's the initial adhesion that is important.  That being said, if you had the windows stuck on and needed to pull them off, you can re-use the butyl over again.  Doesn't need to be replaced everytime.
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Ron Hill

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Re: Looking for best way to fix leaking windows on 34 Cat
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2014, 02:19:48 PM »

Jeff : Mainsail does not recommend using butyl rubber tape bedding the fixed port windows.
 
A thought!
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