Replacement window options F30

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Replacement window options F30

Postby Teka » Sun Oct 16, 2016 4:33 pm

Greetings all: The aluminum framed windows (ports - yes, I know) on my liveaboard F30 have been seeping - nothing terrible, but caulking doesn't seem to be working well anymore. I had someone over who said that the reason they leak is that the alumimun expands and contracts at different rate than fibreglass and that it was inevitable. She suggested replacing with frameless plastic held on with screws. Wondering if others have done the same or something different. Thanks!
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Re: Replacement window options F30

Postby mbb05055 » Sun Oct 16, 2016 8:05 pm

Very important topic for me as well, owning Corydora a 1987 F30. I hope there are people who have found better solutions than I have.

On Corydora the aluminum frames surrounding the acrylic lenses are corroding badly leading to leaks. The corrosion is obvious as pitting and voids on the interior of the frames where the gasket does not cover the frame. It was not immediately obvious that that was the source of the trouble. (Teka, you might want to be sure you know exactly were the water is coming in) So far I have held the drips off with careful caulking between lense and aluminum frame on the exterior with a Boat life product (Life Caulk or Life seal in black color; can't remember which at the moment, which ever one is suitable for plastics). Has held up fairly well but I am not sure how long we can go that route. Bomar has no replacement frame and lense assemblies. Have toyed with idea of seeing I could get something fabricated...

On my boat the seal to the hull itself is leak free and almost certainly 3M 5200 adhesive. Removing the frames can be a very difficult job. I spent a careful and judicious 8-9 hours over 2 days with "Debond" , wedges, small hammers, screwdrivers etc etc and made no progress at all on one of the fixed ports. Mangled the frame a bit.


I have looked and found no product that will easily replace the existing opening ports, including Bomar products. From my perspective the whole thing looks like a big cut and paste job. Cut out the old, fit in the new. Or keep caulking till the end of time....

Love to hear the stories of others

Mary

F 30 Corydora
Belfast ME
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Re: Replacement window options F30

Postby Tricia » Sun Oct 16, 2016 9:28 pm

I've redone 3 of my F30 windows. One of the things I found when I removed them was that the holes in the cabin sides had been cut too big.

1. Unscrew the interior trim ring. If necessary, pry off gently. I used a couple of wide, bent-blade rigid paint scrapers.

2. Run a sharp blade around the inside of the cabin side cut-out to loosen adhesive/sealant.

3. Try pushing the frame out from the inside. Sometimes it works! Otherwise, go outside, duct tape the gelcoat adjacent to the aluminum frame to protect it while you tap the paint scraper between the frame and the cabin side. As the frame loosens, gently pry it out. It helps to have 2 of the scrapers so you can put one in front of the one you're prying, then pry with the front one, then move the back one in front of the prying one.... Does that make any sense?

4. Once the frame is out, drill out the rivets that hold the lens in and separate the frame from the lens.

5. This is the tiresome part: clean off ALL the old adhesive from the cabin side, cut-out, frame and trim ring. I've used a combination of razor blades, utility knives, scotchbrite pads and mineral spirits. Make sure there is no trace of the old adhesive ANYWHERE. Then wipe it all down with methyl hydrate.

6. Take the old lens to a plastic shop and get a new one cut from 3/16" plexiglas.

7. If there are corroded areas on the aluminum frame, clean off the corrosion down to good aluminum. Mix up some JB Weld and fill the pitted areas. If you need to build up a worn away bit, back the area with wax paper and fill with JB Weld. Once it's cured, sand or file it flush with the surrounding area.

8.Place the frame into the cutout in the cabin side. Clamp it in place, making sure it's positioned exactly where you want it. If you can see any daylight between the frame and the cutout, mask the cutout both inside and outside the cabin, and mark on the tape where the cutout needs to be filled in. Cover some battens (paint stir sticks work well) with waxed paper and tape them inside and outside the cutout where you want to fill it.

9.Brush epoxy onto all the sawn surfaces of the cutout to seal it from moisture. Then build up the areas you want to fill with thickened epoxy. I found that West System 6-10 works well as it won't drip out of where you put it.

10.When the epoxy has cured, remove the battens and use a dremel sanding wheel to grind the epoxy smooth and fair. This involves inserting the window frame repeatedly to check its fit. You should end up with a relatively consistent space around the frame - say 3/16 to 1/4" between the cutout and the inner raised surface of the frame. You need not to be able to see light through it, but you also need space for sealant. I clamp the frame in place to make sure I'm grinding in such a way that the frame will be accurately aligned with its preferred final position. You don't want the window to look crooked from the outside. Then carefully mask around the outside edge of the frame. Remove the frame.

11.Cut away the masking paper on the new lens only where you want it to stick to the aluminum frame. Scuff up the exposed plexi with a bit of sandpaper. Wipe with methyl hydrate. Run a bead of black Dow Corning 796 between mating surfaces, rivet the frame back together, and clean up the excess caulking.

12. You could probably use butyl tape to bed the frame into the cabin side, but I've had good luck with white Dow Corning 795. Run a generous bead of the DC795 around the flange on the inside surface of the aluminum frame. Go outside and place the frame/lens in the cutout. Use the edges of the masking to make sure the window is where you want it. Go inside and if you are satisfied that you have enough caulking in place to make a secure seal,start loosely screwing the flange onto the frame. Before tightening all the screws, go back outside and make sure the window is still properly aligned. Go back inside and tighten down the screws on the flange.

13. Clean off all excess caulking. Methyl hydrate helps. Remove masking from inside and outside cabin sides. Remove masking paper from the window lens.

Sorry this post is so long. It's a bit of a fussy process but it's worked well for me. I did my first window about 3 1/2 years ago and it looks great and shows no signs of leaking. Good luck.
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Re: Replacement window options F30

Postby GeoffSchultz » Mon Oct 17, 2016 5:20 pm

Use a heat gun to soften the 5200.

-- Geoff
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http://www.GeoffSchultz.org
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Re: Replacement window options F30

Postby Teka » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:52 am

Wow -- Thanks all for the advice and suggestions. I appreciate your time!
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Re: Replacement window options F30

Postby mbb05055 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:07 am

Holy Mackeral!

Huge amount of useful info. Many thanks!
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Re: Replacement window options F30

Postby mbb05055 » Mon Oct 24, 2016 8:18 am

Tricia
Studying your post, it seems your are working through replacing the lenses of the non opening ports, correct? A very valuable project; I polish ours monthly, at least in one patch so we can see out.

Have you ever worked on replacing the gaskets between the very thin aluminum frames and the lenses of the opening ports? Those frames are crimped on.

Mary
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Re: Replacement window options F30

Postby Tricia » Mon Oct 24, 2016 4:21 pm

Hi Mary,

Yeah, the opening ports are a whole other kettle of fish. I have replaced the gaskets that compress when you open and close the ports, but for actually bedding the lenses, the best I've been able to come up with is to trim back any exposed caulk, then squeeze some 795 into an epoxy syringe and run a tiny bead around where the lens and frame meet.

Tricia
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Re: Replacement window options F30

Postby Northern Light » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:39 pm

Tricia wrote:Hi Mary,

Yeah, the opening ports are a whole other kettle of fish. I have replaced the gaskets that compress when you open and close the ports, but for actually bedding the lenses, the best I've been able to come up with is to trim back any exposed caulk, then squeeze some 795 into an epoxy syringe and run a tiny bead around where the lens and frame meet.

Tricia

Hi Tricia,

I own a 1987 F30 and would like to identify the manufacturer of the opening ports so I can order the gasket material and replace mine. Can you share what you know about your ports manufacturer and source for the gasket material? I can sent a photo of mine if that will confirm ours are the same.
Thanks!
Allen
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Re: Replacement window options F30

Postby mike cunningham » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:29 pm

Tricia wrote:I've redone 3 of my F30 windows. One of the things I found when I removed them was that the holes in the cabin sides had been cut too big.

1. Unscrew the interior trim ring. If necessary, pry off gently. I used a couple of wide, bent-blade rigid paint scrapers.

2. Run a sharp blade around the inside of the cabin side cut-out to loosen adhesive/sealant.

3. Try pushing the frame out from the inside. Sometimes it works! Otherwise, go outside, duct tape the gelcoat adjacent to the aluminum frame to protect it while you tap the paint scraper between the frame and the cabin side. As the frame loosens, gently pry it out. It helps to have 2 of the scrapers so you can put one in front of the one you're prying, then pry with the front one, then move the back one in front of the prying one.... Does that make any sense?

4. Once the frame is out, drill out the rivets that hold the lens in and separate the frame from the lens.

5. This is the tiresome part: clean off ALL the old adhesive from the cabin side, cut-out, frame and trim ring. I've used a combination of razor blades, utility knives, scotchbrite pads and mineral spirits. Make sure there is no trace of the old adhesive ANYWHERE. Then wipe it all down with methyl hydrate.

6. Take the old lens to a plastic shop and get a new one cut from 3/16" plexiglas.

7. If there are corroded areas on the aluminum frame, clean off the corrosion down to good aluminum. Mix up some JB Weld and fill the pitted areas. If you need to build up a worn away bit, back the area with wax paper and fill with JB Weld. Once it's cured, sand or file it flush with the surrounding area.

8.Place the frame into the cutout in the cabin side. Clamp it in place, making sure it's positioned exactly where you want it. If you can see any daylight between the frame and the cutout, mask the cutout both inside and outside the cabin, and mark on the tape where the cutout needs to be filled in. Cover some battens (paint stir sticks work well) with waxed paper and tape them inside and outside the cutout where you want to fill it.

9.Brush epoxy onto all the sawn surfaces of the cutout to seal it from moisture. Then build up the areas you want to fill with thickened epoxy. I found that West System 6-10 works well as it won't drip out of where you put it.

10.When the epoxy has cured, remove the battens and use a dremel sanding wheel to grind the epoxy smooth and fair. This involves inserting the window frame repeatedly to check its fit. You should end up with a relatively consistent space around the frame - say 3/16 to 1/4" between the cutout and the inner raised surface of the frame. You need not to be able to see light through it, but you also need space for sealant. I clamp the frame in place to make sure I'm grinding in such a way that the frame will be accurately aligned with its preferred final position. You don't want the window to look crooked from the outside. Then carefully mask around the outside edge of the frame. Remove the frame.

11.Cut away the masking paper on the new lens only where you want it to stick to the aluminum frame. Scuff up the exposed plexi with a bit of sandpaper. Wipe with methyl hydrate. Run a bead of black Dow Corning 796 between mating surfaces, rivet the frame back together, and clean up the excess caulking.

12. You could probably use butyl tape to bed the frame into the cabin side, but I've had good luck with white Dow Corning 795. Run a generous bead of the DC795 around the flange on the inside surface of the aluminum frame. Go outside and place the frame/lens in the cutout. Use the edges of the masking to make sure the window is where you want it. Go inside and if you are satisfied that you have enough caulking in place to make a secure seal,start loosely screwing the flange onto the frame. Before tightening all the screws, go back outside and make sure the window is still properly aligned. Go back inside and tighten down the screws on the flange.

13. Clean off all excess caulking. Methyl hydrate helps. Remove masking from inside and outside cabin sides. Remove masking paper from the window lens.

Sorry this post is so long. It's a bit of a fussy process but it's worked well for me. I did my first window about 3 1/2 years ago and it looks great and shows no signs of leaking. Good luck.



A very detailed and interesting post. Timely too as I have just removed the forward starboard fixed port and frame. Here was my experience on removal which differs somewhat from yours. I own a 1986 F30 hull #3. Construction details seem to have morphed over time.

1. Same process. Additional hint. I bought a set of automobile trim removal tools for a car project where i had to remove a lot of the interior plastic trim. Purchased a set of five tools on amazon for ten or fifteen bucks. Turns out these are perfect for the boat because they are tough plastic and do not scratch the gel coat or interior and were extremely useful during the removal process.

2. Agree

3. This is where those trim tools really came in handy to make a small gap where I could insert a cutting blade in order to cut through the 5300 adhesive on the external surface.

4. No rivets in my glass. Maybe rivets were an improvement to strengthen seal?? Adds a bunch of extra holes though. My glass was adhered to the interior side of the frame surface with a 1/2 inch strip of Dow 795 (or similar) and a 1/4 inch strip of butyl tape on the exterior side of the surface. The butyl serves two purposes. It seals the glass on the business end of the sealing surface and it acts as a cofferdam for the bead of 795 as you press the new glass onto the mounting surface. it does not allow the 795 to squeeze out on the visible glass surface. What does squeeze out comes out the interior edge which allows for easy clean up. I have used 795 on hatch glass replacement and it is tough as nails so I think I can get a satisfactory bond with this alone.

5. You can eliminate almost all of the drudgery by using a dremel wire brush fixture. Buy a couple of stainless brushes cause they wear out, perhaps on or two brushes per frame but man do they take all the old adhesive off in a hurry and leave a nice burnished surface. The gross globs of adhesive need to be removed as you describe before you finish with the wire brush, but this can be done fairly quickly.

6. I'm going with 1/4 inch cast acrylic.

7. JB weld - thank you!! On my forward frame there is a small seam, I guess due to the ends of the extrusion. This was sort of half ass welded and then filled with some sort of RTV sealant which degraded over time. The seam was allowing water into the boat and, worse, it was allowing salt water into the hollow part of the frame causing two problems a. the screws holding the interior frame on were corroding and seized and b. When at sea and taking water on deck, the interior screw holes (which penetrate the hollow area) were leaking water into the boat. I struggled trying to figure out how to fill this. JB weld it is.

8. Agree. I am having my frames re-anodized due to damage to the surface coating by PO, don't know how he did it but looks like acidic solution used to clean something on deck.

9, 10, 11 Excellent procedure. I will follow it. My cutouts are also too big. What a strange thing for FYI to have done. I can understand a little wiggle room for thermal expansion but, as you pointed out, you can see sunlight between cutout and frame in some places, that was a gross mismatch. This was the crux of my problem. The gap opened on the forward lower part of the port frame and when a boarding sea hit the frame it would uprush into the gap and caused a lot of leakage. Of course the cabin side trim piece acted a a channel for the salt water right to my chart table and electronics area. The seam did not leak in pouring rain where the water was coming from the top. It was a big mystery for a while. And as mentioned, my frame to glass has no rivets...go figure. I do plan to use the 795 and butyl combination as described earlier.

12. I plan to use butyl tape to bed and seal the frame. Three reasons a. I have had absolutely excellent results using butyl (good sticky marine stuff purchased from Pbase) You have to use the right butyl (http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/butyl_tape) - there are different grades of butyl. I thought to cheap out and bought some RV butyl on Amazon. It is crap, don't be tempted. b. The interior aluminum trim ring provides more than enough compression the hold the frame in and to compress the butyl for a good seal c. If you experience issues in future, leaks, glass damage, etc. the whole thing comes apart without huge difficulty. But, as mentioned, the butyl is sticky so it takes some effort to pry things apart. I have found when using butyl, you have to re-tighten compression once or twice giving the butyl a chance to compress slowly over time.

13. Agree.
Last edited by mike cunningham on Mon Feb 27, 2017 8:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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