Resealing boat windows - DIY project on a Sadler 32 - Practical Boat Owner (2023)

Stephen Wallace demonstrates how he went about removing, resealing and reinstalling the windows on his 25-year-old Sadler 32

Leaking windows, drips and dampness are not fun on a boat: children complain, ‘other-halves’ become potentially mutinous and life becomes generally unpleasant every time it rains. Dampness pervades, and token attempts to put off the inevitable eventually expire in their effectiveness. Having tried silicone sealant, Captain Tolley’s and other alchemistic remedies, the plain facts become clear: the butyl sealant has irreparably broken down, and it’s time to reseal the windows properly.

Our Sadler 32 is now 25 years old. Having initially tried quick fixes, we found that they may buy you a season or two, but resealing the glass and re-bedding the frame is the only real answer. When we eventually cleaned out the frames prior to resealing the glazing, we found the old butyl to be completely shot, ranging in texture from mainly flexible rubber at the top of the window to hard black and porous Crunchie-bar texture at the bottom.

Good value
We’ve now discovered the considerable length of time it takes to remove, disassemble and clean the frames and glass, insert the glazing butyl with sufficient pressure and finish/cure them – all in all, about 10 days. I’d heard good reports about Eagle Boat Windows, so I contacted them for advice on materials and details of how to do the work properly.

(Their alternative service of professional resealing on behalf of owners is extremely time- and cost-effective, enabling you to concentrate on the removal and reinstallation of the windows.) We ordered a kit from Eagle which included glazing primer and 2kg of two-pack butyl glazing sealant, two tubes of Arbomast BR butyl sealant to bed the frames, gloves, rubber chocking for the glass, scourer pads and a small plastic tool – all for just over £80 including p&p, which seemed good value.

Tools for the job

Resealing boat windows - DIY project on a Sadler 32 - Practical Boat Owner (1)

The Eagle Windows kit (gloves and chocking rubber not shown)

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The removed windows, and the tools used in their removal

Removing the window frames from the boat

The window frames on our Sadler 32 were very well stuck in with silicone, so our somewhat painful experience removing them may be a great deal less arduous for you if you decide to tackle the same job.

You’ll need a screwdriver, lots of stripping/filler knives with good spring steel (enabling them to bend), sharp Stanley knife blades/similar craft knives, blue (14-day) masking tape and some duct tape.

On the outside of the boat, use blue masking tape to individually mark each frame component and glazing pane with the window number, orientation and whether it’s left or right (ie 6L↑). It seems obvious, but when everything comes apart this is all you’ll have available to ensure accurate reassembly.

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The frame components individually marked up with masking tape, which will stick when wet

Our window frame section is a small ‘h’, with the upright of the ‘h’ forming the flange against the boat – this is normally the only part bonding the frame to the boat. Unfortunately ours had been bedded both on the flange and also the ‘reveal’ return into the boat, against internal GRP surround mouldings. To make matters worse, the bedding was silicone rather than butyl sealant, making the frames seemingly impossible to shift.

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The ‘h’ section of the window frame

The good news was that the frames were held in by self-tapping screws rather than inter-screws, so as they were removed they went into individually-labelled clean hummus pots, as did later components.

To remove the frame I first carefully cut the silicone sealant internally with sharp blades at the window/GRP frame moulding interface, some areas being too tight to reach at this stage. Then I went around the exterior of the frame edge with both narrow and wide stripping/filler knives, progressively cutting into the silicone. Initially this cut was to a very shallow perimeter depth, but became progressively deeper as I worked around the frame.

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Several scrapers were used in tandem and leapfrogged around the frame

The process is basically one of attrition, alternately cutting around the frame from inside and then outside. There comes a point when you can get the stripping knife into a gap and, using a light mallet, can carefully cut all the way through to the frame, progressing all around. Greater speed can be achieved by leapfrogging the most effective filler knives (often narrow and thin-bladed) and leaving several others in their place progressively around the frame perimeter, gently breaking the seal with the hull.

By rigging up a couple of 200mm pieces of duct tape outside the boat in a small loop from hull to window frame I was able to increasingly move the window frame, but avoided a nasty crash when the windows eventually popped out after gently pressing the frame from inside the boat!

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A duct tape ‘loop’ saved a resounding crash as the window popped out!

The boat hull can be made watertight by using polythene sheet held in place by duct tape, which is messy to remove, or blue masking tape (which is better) to create temporary glazing. If you’re doing the work at home, take some old dust sheets to wrap the frames in for safe transportation.
In terms of time taken, our first batch of three windows on the port side took a day, and a lot of sweat, to remove. The silicone was tenacious, and at times I wondered whether the frames would come out at all. This experience enabled the second batch of three to be removed in about five hours, so overall you could say frame removal is a two-day job. Yours will hopefully come out a lot more easily if they have butyl frame sealant and are not stuck on the ‘reveal’ as ours were.

Top tip
It’s very easy to damage the external hull GRP surround to the frame by being overenthusiastic with the filler knives. Use a couple of pieces of masking tape on the knife itself about 2cm back from the blade edge, or mask the hull with tape to act as a sacrificial layer.

Dismantling and cleaning the window frames

Make sure you have screwdrivers, plastic scrapers, gloves, snipe-nosed pliers, blades, a butyl kit, a suitably prepared work surface, hot soapy water, white spirit and a piece of wallpaper to hand!

Before dismantling anything, lay all frames face-down on a piece of wallpaper and stencil around them. Mark the stencil with orientation and window number. Note the difference in width between the stencil line and the frame itself. When you eventually reassemble them you will then have an accurate guide to the original width, enabling any necessary light clamping to realign them while the butyl is fresh, ensuring accurate alignment of screw holes when remounting back onto the hull. This is particularly important for larger frames.

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Stencilling the frames with orientation and frame number

For the next stage you’ll need screwdrivers, plastic scrapers, gloves, snipe-nosed pliers, blades, butyl kit and work surface protection. White spirit and meths now became our best friend: they are very effective. White spirit and paraffin will not dissolve cured silicone, but once most of the sealant has been removed with a blade they will soften the remaining residue, making it more susceptible to removal with a blade/plastic scraper.

With the frames now free of the boat, the real work began: cleaning and disassembling them prior to resealing the glazing. Our aim was to ensure all surfaces were clean and free of oil/silicone so that the primer and butyl sealant could bond properly to both frame and glass. Cut into the butyl all around the frame perimeter on both sides with a new Stanley knife blade. The butyl may be very hard, so white spirit can help soften it. Do this several times to full depth so the glass is released from the frame.

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Cutting into the old butyl with a sharp blade

Our channelled frames were in two halves held together by fishplates – thin strips of metal located in the bed of the channel held by screws through the frame. These need to be released to get the frame apart. After mounting the frames in a workbench, the fishplate screws need to be removed from at least one side – not necessarily easy as a result of the unholy marriage of stainless steel screws and aluminium frames!

Take care not to damage the anodising, distort the frame or break the glass when clamping, so use an old cloth for protection. Carefully clamping the frame enables you to get real pressure and turning force on the screwdriver without the head jumping. Pre-treatment with penetrating oil and hot water may help to dissolve the salt/oxide build-up and expand the aluminium.

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Separating the frame halves which were held together by fishplates

Next we separate the two frame halves. Clamp just one end of the frame, so the other end is free to move. Wrap a piece of strong, thin material (eg polyester) around the end of a preferably rounded filler knife, then insert this between the frame and glass at the end of the frame. Using a mallet, gently knock the two halves apart, taking care not to distort anything.

To clean out the frame channel use an old, long, narrow screwdriver to dig out the old butyl, then plastic scrapers and finally a Scotchbrite pad together with plenty of white spirit. Clean the glass and its edges. As our frame progressively became cleaner I used a combination of washing in hot soapy water, Cif, white spirit and finally meths to ensure a clean surface. I also tried using a chemical that is supposed to dissolve cured silicone, but in my experience it was either totally ineffective or had an effect of about 1 out of 10.

The hull window opening needs to be as clean as the window frames, so I used a variety of tools and several home-made perspex scrapers (which proved invaluable as they didn’t scratch) in conjunction with white spirit and Cif.

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Cleaning the glass and edge using hot soapy water, white spirit and Cif

Resealing the glazing into the frames

Starting now with chemically clean frames and windows, it’s time to start reassembling everything. Drawing a quick ‘chocking’ diagram for each frame may well prove invaluable as a reference source

As a dry-run, first reassemble the glass into the frames with the fishplates fixed on one side only, and determine how much channel-chocking rubber is needed by inserting it into the frame channel base around the glass perimeter to provide about 1-2mm of movement of the glass within the frame. This may take several attempts, and is likely to involve either single or double thicknesses of rubber: ensure they are cut generously to hold themselves tightly in place.

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Inserting the chocking rubbers into the channel

For the channel-base perimeter chocking rubber, cut the rubber strip into 8-10mm-wide blocks the (tight) width of the channel and about 1cm long, using a caliper depth gauge as a template guide to ensure lengths are accurate. Fit to the frame as necessary. Check against your stencil of the original frame size and make sure any cramping leaves some movement.

Try to ensure the glass is central and clear of the fishplates. I drew a quick ‘chocking’ diagram for each frame, which proved a useful reference when one or two of the earlier frame chocks dropped out during handling before application of the butyl. When satisfied with the fit, do a final assembly by putting some butyl sealant bedding compound onto the cleaned fishplates and mitre joints then screwing together. The frame can be left overnight, then cleaned up with a blade dipped in white spirit.

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A fishplate covered in sealant, prior to assembling a frame

For the internal glass face chocking rubber, cut short lengths of rubber about 5mm wide and the depth of the channel less about 4-5mm, so when the glass is inserted it will be supported in its internal vertical face but have sufficient ‘cover’ of butyl glazing sealant. I added the number of chocks per side and spacing to the chocking diagram: a useful guide later when inserting the butyl.

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We drew a rubber chocking piece diagram for the glass and frames

Use a small (say ½in) brush to apply primer to the inside and outside faces of the frame/glass interface, then set aside for over 30 minutes (but less than 8 hours) prior to filling the frame with two-pack butyl. This butyl has one black and one white component, in our case 1kg each. The white is like a dryish putty and can be cut easily, but the black component is rubbery and deforms before it cuts. I therefore found it easier to measure these by weight before mixing. Wearing gloves, mix these stiff components in equal quantities by twisting and kneading until the marbling becomes a consistent black colour: no need to rush, it cures in days rather than hours.
Lay the frame down with the outside face up and firmly insert the butyl into the frame, using a strong rotating action to maximise pressure until it can be seen filling the bottom channel of the frame. Clean off the excess. Turn the frame over, face down, and carefully press the glass down to create a new void all around the frame into which the internal vertical face chocking rubber is inserted at intervals of roughly 75-125mm. These are pressed in below the frame edge but still support the glass: make sure they don’t rotate by using a flat rather than rounded pushing tool.
If you have done the ‘face-up’ butyl filling properly these will bed into the butyl at the bottom of the channel. Now force butyl into this side, working around the frame and taking care not to create voids, then chamfer/radius the edges to lap the frame using any convenient tool or knife (clean-up is done some days later). Turn the frame over and chamfer/radius the face-side butyl.
While the butyl is fresh, check the frame dimensions against the stencil of the original frame and cramp if necessary. Set the frames to cure, undisturbed, in a warm place for at least a week before cleaning with a soft cloth and white spirit.

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Filling the face side with two-pack butyl, using a strong rotating action

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Pressing the glass down created a new void all around the frame

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Smoothing a radius into the butyl edges with a knife

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The frame was cramped to the original dimensions on the stencil

Bedding the refurbished frames back into the boat
Finally, the frames are re-bedded back into the boat hull. We prepared each frame for installation using one-pack butyl sealant, which is essentially non-setting and can be cleaned up easily with white spirit.

First, check the fit of the window and alignment of screw holes in the hull opening: thankfully all our screw holes lined up correctly.

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The frames were inserted to check fit and hole alignment

Despite our careful stencilling, some of the hull window openings still needed a couple of mm of easing to enable the frames to fit back in. I therefore made a small tool to hold abrasive sheet from
a 10cm block of wood and some old aluminium tile trim, which happened to be the same depth as the frame. Any additional making-good of the opening was also carried out at this stage.

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An ‘easing’ tool, about 10cm long, adjusted the hull window aperture

Our windows have a slight curvature, which immediately straightens when you remove the frame from the boat. There is therefore a tendency for the central section to be compressed, squeezing out any sealant and potentially giving rise to future leaks. This didn’t seem an attractive proposition after all the hard work, so to avoid this I decided to incorporate small rubber spacers made of some Firestone EPDM roofing material I had been given. It was just over 1mm thick and was bedded in the same butyl sealant a day in advance of installation. Note that this is a non-standard procedure: however, reading the PBO forum, some other people feel spacers are desirable.

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Thin EPDM sheet roofing packers (bedded in butyl) were used to avoid butyl sealant squeeze-out

Each frame was prepared for installation using Arbomast BR (one-pack) butyl sealant. This versatile material is intended for ‘covered’ sealing applications and is essentially non-setting, apart from an external skin which forms to a stiff chewing-gum-like consistency after a day or so. It cleans up easily with white spirit.

Cut the butyl nozzle at 45° and apply a 6mm bead of bedding compound on the inside of the window flange in line with the screw holes, forming a doughnut shape around the screw holes themselves. Use a little more if incorporating spacers.

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A 6-7mm sealant bead was applied in line with the screw holes, forming a doughnut shape around the holes themselves

Present the window to the hull the right way up and gently press it against the hull, which will create a ‘witness’ around the perimeter. Remove any initial sealant appearing in screw holes in the frame before the screws are inserted, otherwise a hydraulic build-up of pressure in blind-ended holes or inter-screws can occur. However, you may also wish to put a little sealant around the neck of the screw to ensure an effective seal. Carefully tighten the screws, working around the perimeter of the frame, doing this in rotation several times until only a small gap remains between hull and frame. The butyl should not be squeezed out completely or it will leak. Screws should only be ‘nipped up’, not fully tightened. Leave for a few days to harden, then trim using a scraper and white spirit.

So that’s that job complete. It took longer than expected, but will hopefully mean we’re watertight for another 25 years. Now, let’s see about re-bedding the hatch!

Lessons Learned

1: Window refurbishment is a lengthy and labour-intensive job taking around 10 days (excluding curing time) for six windows: just cleaning the frames took two days.

2: Use a professional resealing company’s services if time is tight; this then enables you to concentrate on removal/reinstallation.

3: The two types of butyl were pleasant but messy to work with – prepare!

4: Your technique will improve as you do more windows, so do the job in a couple of batches.

5: There’s more to this job than meets the eye, but it’s well within the capabilities of a practical boat owner!


What material is used for boat windows? ›

When it comes to boat windows, they are usually made from polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) or polycarbonate (PC). PMMA is more commonly known as acrylic or by brand names such as Perspex and Plexiglas.

What is best for boat windows? ›

Acrylic. Acrylic is a highly durable, versatile material. Acrylic is incredibly difficult to break and is highly weatherproof and waterproof. It is also resistant to sea and salt spray, making it a favourable choice for boat windows, screens and shields.

What is a boat window? ›

Boat port windows provide ventilation and natural light into the boat's cabin. Boat port windows are usually placed in the stern (rear) of the ship, near the cockpit or helm. Boat port windows come in various shapes and sizes and can be made from different materials, such as acrylic, glass, or polycarbonate.

Is there a way to reseal double pane windows? ›

While there are several ways to temporarily de-fog your double-pane windows and attempt to block out further moisture, there's no such thing as resealing a double-pane window or restoring its original energy-efficiency. You'll need to replace the window instead.

What do you use to seal boat windows? ›

Silicone is ideal for sealing boat windows and cabins

This is because silicone-based sealants have good properties, such as better chemical resistance and higher tensile strength than comparable polyurethane-based products.

What thickness of vinyl is used for boat windows? ›

Use the 20 or 40 gauge vinyl for windows on boats, tents, tractors, sheds, and other places where a non-glass window is needed. Thin to medium gauges are great for windows in garment bags, under-bed storage, and similar items where a transparent window is handy for seeing what's inside.

What kind of glass do you use for boat windows? ›

Acrylic. Acrylic is a highly durable, versatile material. Acrylic is incredibly difficult to break and is highly weatherproof and waterproof. It is also resistant to sea and salt spray, making it a favourable choice for boat windows, screens and shields.

Is plexiglass good for boat windows? ›

Acrylic or plexiglass is an excellent option for boat windshield plastic as it is a high optical product meaning it is clear for an easy field of vision and also provides exceptional strength and durability.

How do you stop condensation on boat windows? ›

Proper Ventilation for Your Boat

One way to reduce humidity or moisture below the deck is to ventilate your boat. Open the port hatches and windows of the cabin to allow hot humid air to flow out and to keep moisture out of boat compartments. You may also consider using small fans to circulate the cabin air.

What is the circle thing on a boat window? ›

A clear view screen or clearview screen is a glass disk mounted in a window that rotates to disperse rain, spray, and snow. A clear view screen is typically driven by an electric motor at the center of the disk, and is often heated to prevent condensation or icing.

Why are boat windows tilted forward? ›

To help avoid reflections, the bridge front windows shall be inclined from the vertical plane top out, at an angle of not less than 10° and not more than 25°.

What is the plastic windows on boats called? ›

Eisenglass is a name commonly used to describe traditional clear vinyl windows. Clear vinyl is a soft product that can be rolled, wrinkles easily, is difficult to fabricate in a way that it can lay flat, and scratches easily. It is not nearly as optically clear as Poly-AR2, IM-Acrylic, or Herculite Strataglass.

Can you reseal windows yourself? ›

But because windows that are improperly sealed can cause further disruption to your home by letting heat escape and compromising your window's efficiency, it's recommended you consult a professional rather than try to seal the window yourself.

How do you get rid of fog between double pane windows? ›

Drill a set of small holes at the top of the window and one small hole in a bottom window corner. After drilling, pour isopropyl alcohol into the holes. You could also insert a desiccate package or pellets in the space. This will help remove any fog or condensation.

Is it easy to reseal a window? ›

Resealing windows or doors is quite a simple job, especially if you are only replacing the seal around the frame. However, if there is a lot of damage to the seal or the frame, then you should definitely call in a window specialist to take a look at the job at hand.

Should I seal window with caulk or silicone? ›

For long-lasting protection around your windows, choose a high quality caulk made from silicone or polyurethane. 100% silicone caulk or a mix of silicone and latex, is waterproof, flexible, shrink-proof and will last over 20 years. It is also commonly found in hardware stores.

What is the best caulk to reseal windows? ›

Silicone caulks are among the best caulks for sealing windows. Silicone helps provide a long-lasting seal that can be applied against interior or exterior windows and its flexible material will not crumble in hot or cold temperatures. These properties make it an excellent exterior caulk that remains flexible.

Is silicone or caulk better for windows? ›

But what's the difference? Caulk and silicone are both types of sealants that make joints air and watertight. While latex caulk is less expensive and easier to work with, silicone is more durable under extreme weather conditions, and can be used as a binder as well.

What is the best caulk for marine windows? ›

The best-known modern marine sealant, 3M 5200, a polyurethane, has a well-deserved reputation for unsurpassed strength and tenacity that makes it the go-to sealant.

What is the difference between silicone and marine silicone? ›

Marine grade silicones use alcohol or water cure agents. Silicone sealants that use acidic cure agents, which have a distinctive vinegary smell, are not suitable for marine use. These are widely used for domestic use. Silicone sealant cannot be painted over as it resists paint.

How to tell the difference between vinyl and fiberglass windows? ›

Fiberglass frames tend to be slightly thinner than vinyl, leaving more glass exposed—desirable when you want to let as much natural light into a room as possible. And while both materials come in a wide range of colors, fiberglass is paintable and vinyl is not.

Which is thicker 12 gauge or 20 gauge vinyl? ›

The higher the gauge number, the thicker the vinyl. 20 gauge vinyl is very thick, probably thicker than you want to use for sewing anything bag related.

How long do acrylic boat windows last? ›

Acrylic plastic doesn't last forever, and some say as little as 6-10 years is all it takes before you start getting UV damage in the form of spiderwebbing lines (crazing).

Is it OK to use Windex on vinyl windows? ›

Water-based cleaners such as Windex or Lysol can be used to clean the interior of your vinyl windows. You should only spray a small amount onto the window and then remove the cleaner using a soft cloth.

Can you use Windex on boat windows? ›

Under no circumstances should you use Windex, Rain-X, Pledge, Plexus, Simple Green, Orpine, or any other harsh cleaner to clean Strataglass products — this can damage your windows, and will void the warranty on your product.

Can you use vinegar and water on vinyl windows? ›

There are a couple of different ways to clean your exterior vinyl windows; however, a safe route for a clean and non-abrasive cleaning solution is the old fashioned vinegar and water. Vinegar is a great all-purpose cleaner for almost any housekeeping project.

Why is glass not allowed on boats? ›

Are glass bottles allowed on a boat? Don't bring soda bottles or glass containers that could shatter and leave small pieces on the boat deck. Broken glass can create a safety hazard, so opt for aluminum cans or recyclable plastic containers instead.

How thick are acrylic boat windows? ›

Windows are usually in 3mm – 6mm thicknesses, in clear or neutral tint.

What is marine grade glass? ›

Marine glass is specifically designed for vessels that are subject to the harsh conditions of the marine environment.

What is a good substitute for plexiglass? ›

Conclusion. Plexiglass is a well-liked material, but there are substitutes that might be just as good or even better. Considerable possibilities include polycarbonate sheets, PETG sheets, acrylic sheets, and polystyrene sheets.

What is the best plastic material for windows? ›

250x Stronger Than Glass: Polycarbonate plastic windows are also 30x stronger than acrylic. Clear polycarbonate plastic has an incredible level of impact resistance, but it is also just as clear as glass. It provides a margin of safety that no other clear glazing material on the market can surpass.

What is better than plexiglass? ›

Polycarbonate is less rigid than acrylic plexiglass, meaning it does not crack when drilled, and can be bent without heating (cold bending). It is highly resistant to acids and chemicals, such as gasoline. It has a low level of flammability, which is essential in certain industries.

What can I spray on my windows to stop condensation? ›

To help with clearing the condensation away, you can make a simple, home-made solution by mixing two cups of water with two cups of white vinegar and a couple drops of washing up liquid. Pour this mixture into a spray bottle if you have one and spray the solution straight onto your window.

Why does salt stop condensation on windows? ›

According to experts, salt can remove excess moisture in the air, therefore reducing the amount of condensation on your window. Salt has adsorption properties, which means that it can bind to moisture and prevent it from developing condensation.

How do you prevent condensation on windows naturally? ›

Ventilate so the moist air leaves the house – always use the extractor fan when you're cooking, showering, or bathing, leave any window vents open, and don't block off any other vents. Check the vents or air bricks to ensure that they are clear. Dry clothes outside if possible.

What is the thing at the bottom of a window called? ›

A sill is the main horizontal part forming the bottom of the frame of a window. Jambliner. A jambliner is a strip which goes on the sides of a window frame that provides a snug fit for the window sash.

What is boat glass called? ›

Isinglass is a word you may have heard before. Whether you're a boat or car owner, you've probably come across the term in reference to clear window material.

What is the string on the side of a window? ›

Windows with cord and weight balance systems have a box built into each side of the window (the jambs) where cast iron or lead weights are suspended. The weights are attached to a cotton cord that extends up the jamb, over a pulley, and onto the operable sash.

Why do boat drivers sit on the right? ›

Boat designers wanted a way to keep more weight on the right side. Ron Cleveringa with Burger Boat Company says boats generally must yield the right of way to the starboard side so having a driver on the right side allows for more visibility of boat traffic.

Why do boat windows craze? ›

In plastic fabrication, crazing in acrylic and polycarbonate can be due to poor heat treatment by inexperienced fabricators. With the marine windows on your boat, however, cracking and crazing is usually caused by environmental exposure to wide temperature ranges over a long period of time.

What is it called when a boat leans over? ›

Heeling: This is the term for when a sailboat leans over in the water, pushed by the wind. Tack: This term has two meanings, both of them important. To tack is to change direction by turning the bow of the boat through the wind. Your tack is also the course you are on relative to the wind.

What are the strongest boat windows? ›

Designed For Strength, Endurance, and Clarity

While acrylic plastics can make good windshields, polycarbonate sheet is stronger and simpler to work with. Reasons for choosing polycarbonate as boat windows are similar to why it's used for race cars and fighter jets.

What is the best to use for boat windows? ›

Polycarbonate. 250 times stronger than glass, polycarbonate offers excellent UV resistance, as well as durability against high impact force. This makes it ideal for manufacturing boat windscreens, as well as panels used for boat windows and skylights.

What is the best way to clean boat windows? ›

Wash your windows with a mild soap and water solution, or use an approved clear vinyl window soap you can find online, like 303C Clear Vinyl Cleaner. Rinse your windows off with fresh water to get rid of dirt, dust, and debris. DO NOT use any abrasive soaps or cleaners.

Can you reseal a leaking window? ›

First, check the caulking and weatherstripping around the window to make sure there are no gaps or openings. If there are any, seal them up with caulking or weatherstripping. Second, check the window itself for any cracks or holes. If you find any, seal them up with caulking or weatherstripping as well.

Can windows that have lost their seal be fixed? ›

Yes, you can repair a window seal. You can replace the insulating glass unit or pay for defogging services for a more temporary fix. Full window replacement is recommended if your windows aren't in good condition or are outdated.

Do you seal windows from inside or outside? ›

Tip 5: Always Caulk the Interior and Exterior

Windows have two sides – one on the inside and one that faces outside. Should windows be caulked on the outside? Yes, it's best to apply caulk to both the interior and exterior when installing new windows. This will seal any unwanted air leaks.

How long does window sealant last? ›

A silicone sealant can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, depending on the quality chosen and the location of the caulking in relation to the elements, such as the sun and high winds.

How do you seal old windows with gaps? ›

Fill in the Gaps to Seal Windows

If you have gaps in your windows that you can insert a fingertip into, fill them with gap filler. Backer Rod is a foam rope that comes on a roll and in various sizes to fill large gaps. Press it into the gaps and trim with scissors.

How do you know if your windows need resealing? ›

Things to look out for include visible signs of wear and tear, moisture intrusion causing mould, or in the worst-case scenario, rot around your window frame. Other earlier indicators may also be signs of condensation, indicating a possible failure of the seal; or as mentioned earlier, a draught creeping in.

How do you make a window leak proof? ›

How to Install A Window That Will Not Leak in 6 Steps

What causes window seals to leak? ›

Extreme Temperatures – Extended exposure to extremely hot or cold conditions or sudden temperature changes can cause certain types of window seals to shirk, sag or crack. Poor Maintenance – Your window company should provide maintenance instructions for each of your windows.

How do you fix a leaking window seal? ›

Remove damaged exterior caulking, clean the window frame and recaulk. Check the gasket between the window frame and the glass. Re-seal the glass to the gasket with clear silicone caulk. Make sure the sill at the bottom of the window frame is pitched downward to drain water toward the exterior.

Can you leave a window with a broken seal? ›

Leave the window the way it is

This is not recommended because the seal is only going to deteriorate more if left on its own. If you identify the busted seal but choose to do nothing because it isn't currently an issue, it will likely become an issue down the road, so you might as well take care of it.

How do you seal a missing window? ›

Packing tape, masking tape, or duct tape can be placed over the cracks. This will hold the glass together and keep things from getting worse until you have a new window. Tape both sides of every crack. If there is too much to tape it all, then you can use cardboard to cover the glass.

Should I use caulk or silicone around windows? ›

For long-lasting protection around your windows, choose a high quality caulk made from silicone or polyurethane. 100% silicone caulk or a mix of silicone and latex, is waterproof, flexible, shrink-proof and will last over 20 years. It is also commonly found in hardware stores.

What can I use to seal inside windows? ›

Silicone caulks are among the best caulks for sealing windows. Silicone helps provide a long-lasting seal that can be applied against interior or exterior windows and its flexible material will not crumble in hot or cold temperatures.

Should windows be completely sealed? ›

Whether the winter is bringing in chilly drafts or you're worried about wasting all that cool air when you need it most during the warmer months, it's important to make sure your windows are sealed if you want to ensure comfort inside and reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home.


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