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Follow up on window replacement saga

To all who have gone before me.....

I recently re-gasketed all four windows and rebedded them with 3m 4200 UV. They looked great and I thought I was finished. 

After thunderstorms brought us 4 inches of rain in a 24 hour period a few days ago, I went down below and was very disappointed- carpet all wet, and left (port) side of boat had about 1-2 inches of water in the locker. I already re-did the deck flange project as listed in the tech tips, so I figured it must be the windows. 

As it turns out, the previous owner had at some point in the past replaced the plastic window panes with tempered glass, but the glass pieces are a little undersized (especially the front windows). Water is apparently getting in the tiny gap where the metal frames go together, or around the new gasket. When I pulled the glass out of the frame there was a fair amount of water in the aluminum channel frame. (No leakage between the frames and fiberglass, just between the glass and aluminum). 

I am now going to pull all four windows again and re-bed the glass with either boat-life or Dow-Corning 795 using a gasketless method (the sealant IS the gasket). There can be no gaps doing it this way, although its a little more labor intensive. 

Has anyone else done this on their SJ23? I've found discussion on various sailing websites of this gasketless method and it seems to be the prefered choice of many.  I'm also looking at replacing the front windows with slightly larger ones (or possibly opening ports) to better match the rears from a proportion standpoint. I've always thought the fronts look a little undersized and out of place- any thoughts on this also?  There is a company called New Found Metals in Washington that makes some beautiful windows that will outlast the boat.


Rick Bensyl
SJ-23 First Wave

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