THE ARRAN BOATS BLOG
Fitting New Windows to your Arran 16
Fitting new windows to your Arran 16 is not an easy job but its not beyond anyone with reasonable DIY skills and a few power tools.Window material which goes under the trade name of “Lexicon” is very strong and almost shatterproof when new but its also soft.
Its very easy to scratch whilst cleaning if there is grit on the sponge or cloth you use. Windows which turn milky in colour have suffered UV damage over time and should be replaced.
Many boats also suffer from the actual window rubber seals breaking down over time.This is characterised by black staining on the fibreglass around the window seals when it gets wet.
I use 3mm lexicon and fit it using a 5mm x 3mm window rubber.The 3mm slot fits the window and the 5mm slot fits the frame.The thickness of the rubber in-between the two slots of the window rubber is the gap size.You need to make your window smaller than the frame by this amount.
The more accurate you are the easier the job will be and the better the fit.You can use your old window as a template but check it by holding it in the frame and looking for an even gap all the way around it.Make sure you use the same sized window rubber if your using the old window as a template.If no window exists to copy from then use a sheet of cardboard to make a template.Cut it smaller than the frame by the gap size.Leave the protective film on the window so you can transfer the shape of the window by drawing around the template using a marker pen.Cut it out using a jig saw or bandsaw and be accurate.Put masking tape on the base plate of your jigsaw to prevent it scratching the lexicon.If you have access to one use a belt sander on its edge to sand the window smaller if required.Leave the film on the window during the marking, cutting and sanding stages to protect it until your ready to fit it.
Follow the rubber seal suppliers instructions as to how much extra length of rubber you need per window size.You will need a tool from the seal supplier to fit the filler strip.I join the rubber at the top of the side and hatch windows and join the filler strip at the bottom of these windows.The two smaller front window seals are joined on a side edge.This is because the edges of the window rubber don’t meet up very well on a tight radius curve.
Best advice to cut the rubber to length is to use a large flat bladed deep carving style knife.Cut it with light slow short strokes having put a washing up liquid solution on the rubber and the knife blade.Your trying to cut it without causing it to distort.
Once the seals in place you need to fit the filler strip using the tool provided.I cover the window rubber seal filler slot with the washing up liquid solution using a brush.Its also a good idea to coat the filler strip and the end of the tool itself with washing up liquid.
Pick a start point and insert the tool into the slot pointing in the direction you intend to go.Put the filler strip through the loop in the tool and “feed” the strip in as you work the tool around the window frame.When you get all the way around cut it slightly over length and push the end you started with further along the slot until there is room to fit the end you just cut into the slot.
There it should be clear as mud…!
If you don’t fancy the job just bring it to me to do.