Boat windows are usually held on using rubber sealant. Although effective, the rubber sealant will still wear out over time. This will cause damage to the entire boat window, which could result to control loss, damage, and boat sinking. Better replace the damaged boat windows immediately. There is no excuse not to do so because replacing damaged boat windows is very easy. Follow the steps below and you’ll make the boat windows looking brand new:
- Remove the old boat windows. A pair of pliers can be used to pull out the window’s colored insert. Ask someone to go inside of the boat and help you with this. He has to push the window hard enough to pop it out loose after removing the colored insert. Do the same for other boat windows until all windows that need replacement are removed. Discard the old windows and their rubber seals.
- Choose the material for the new boat windows. There are generally two types of plastics that can be used for boat windows—acrylic and polycarbonate. Acrylic windows are cheaper, harder, comes in variety of colors, and scratch-resistant but are weaker. Meanwhile, the polycarbonate windows are more flexible, stronger, and hard to break but can be scratched easily, comes in fewer colors, and more expensive.
- Cut the shape of boat windows. Both acrylic and polycarbonate materials can be cut using the common jigsaw. You may use the old boat windows to trace the shape for newer windows. Round sides are safer and have classical look but conventional boat window designs have angled sides. Do not remove the plastic covering on the boat window material as you cut the shape. Smoothen the surface using sandpaper.
- Prepare the window area. Clean the area or repaint it, if necessary. This is enough to prepare the window area for connecting the new boat windows. Sand off the remaining debris on the window area. Cleaning the area also ensures stronger hold of the sealant. Apply sealant on the window area also. This helps for better window bonding.
- Tape the new windows in place. Tape the window from the outside and be careful not to scratch the window. Go inside the boat and then use a marker pen to mark the edge for sealant. Remove the window and lay it on a flat surface. Do the same for other boat windows.
- Apply sealant on the window area. Make sure to apply the sealant smoothly and gap-free. Ask someone to help you put the window in place. Push it gently and firmly on the sealant. It should be neat and free of any mess. Tape the window edge with a masking tape to make sure that the new window will not come off as it dries. Repeat this step to install the rest of the boat windows.
It will take about 24 hours to completely dry the boat window sealant. But don’t wait that long before removing the masking tape. Remove the tape after about six hours. This way, the masking tape will be removed along with the excess sealant. After the 24 hours, you can clean the window edges with isopropyl alcohol and then remove the boat windows’ plastic covering.