Window replacement with safety glass/W32

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  • March 19, 2012 11:02 PM
    Message # 863763
    Deleted user
    Ahoy there mateys!

    Does anybody have experiences with window replacements for W32 and can let us know what worked out best? We are planning to replace our windows with safety glass.

    We are located in the WA, Seattle (also CA, Monterey Bay) area and would be thankful for tips where to get window replacement glass as well.

    Thank you for your help!
    Last modified: March 20, 2012 12:04 AM | Deleted user
  • March 20, 2012 6:52 AM
    Reply # 863966 on 863763
    Miriam, I used 1 day glass. Use the "quick online quote" button to design and order your glass.....mine are 3/8" tempered.

    Last modified: March 20, 2012 3:04 PM | Anonymous member
  • March 20, 2012 9:50 AM
    Reply # 864143 on 863763
    Deleted user

    Hi Miriam,

    I did all my portlights last year. The following was all for the round portlights, it might not apply for the rounded rectangles.

    I took out a portlight of each size, busted the glass out of it, unscrewed the ring, cleaned it all up and brought it to a local glass shop. Turnaround time was a day or so for them to cut the circles for me. Install wasn't part of the deal.

    The glass they used was regular clear safety glass, two layers with the film between them. I had 6 of each size cut (6" and 8"), total cost was a couple of hundred. I think it was $20/per for the large, and $15/per for the small - $210 pre-tax rings a bell.

    Make sure the glass shop understands what you are doing. On mine they cut them all too big first time around. Leave a portlight with them so they get it.

    While I had the portlight out, I had 2 mil clear poly over the opening, held on with a large screw clamp (or two small ones, biting each other's tails, so to speak). It worked very well and didn't leak at all. I'd get enough to cover two windows for each size, if you are doing an assembly-line process.

    Last winter, on cold rainy nights, I just took off a couple at a time, removed the glass and ring, soaked it overnight in mild acid to clean it up a bit, polished the part you can see from inside and put them back in.

    The trickiest part was getting the ring back in all the way and snug. I had a version of a pin wrench built - basically an aluminum bar with pins sticking out on either side, indented deep enough to fit inside the portlight. One side for the big rings, one side for the small. It worked like a hot damn. I spent hours trying to find the right tool online, and in local tool shops, but found nothing. Finally I just had it fabricated. The machine shop at the university I work at made it for free.

    I used silicon on either side of the glass, but go easy on it. The first one I did I made such mess I went back to the glass shop and had them make me another. If you don't tighten quickly the glass spins around and smears the silicon. Another good reason for the pin wrench.

    You'll need a hammer to smash the glass (I used a rock), a heavy duty brush to clean the glass out of the threads, thick leather gloves to hold on to the thing while you're working on it. A mild muriatic acid solution worked well to clean the bronze over night - but go easy on it. The bulk of the time for me was spent cleaning out the old sealant. It was very tricky. Came off easier after the soaking. Needed a small blade for that, like a razor, the bronze scratches easily. You'll need something to scrape the excess silicon off immediately after tightening the rings too. Razor again.

    I'm just telling you the above to save you repeated trips to the store, assuming you don't have a fully stocked tool shed.

    If you want me to mail you the little pin wrench for your project, let me know. Just send it back when you're done. I won't need it for a few years (knock on wood).



    Last modified: March 20, 2012 12:26 PM | Deleted user
  • March 21, 2012 12:30 AM
    Reply # 864761 on 863763
    Deleted user
    Thank you so much for those quick replies!
    We checked out 'One Day Glass' and looks like the price is around $41 for one window.
    A bit cheaper alternative we found was lexan, bullet proof Plexiglas, so I guess we'll go with that.

    We'll keep you posted about our progress and post pictures as well.

    Thank you so much again for your help and experience and sharing those!

  • March 21, 2012 6:36 AM
    Reply # 864867 on 863763
    Deleted user


    Is there any way you can post a picture of the tool you had fabricated?




    Last modified: March 21, 2012 6:52 AM | Deleted user
  • March 21, 2012 9:13 AM
    Reply # 864978 on 863763
    Deleted user

    It's a pretty simple little device, but it should have been deeper on both sides. It was juuust barely deep enough. The gentleman who made it for me (for free) was getting a little cranky, so I stopped tweaking it.



    Of course the portlights would be out while using this - these pics just show you how it fits.

    For the cost of postage I'd be willing to loan it out.


    ps I considered Lexan as well for the portlights but was advised against it - I think by Bud -, as it scratches easily.

    Last modified: March 21, 2012 9:28 AM | Deleted user
  • March 22, 2012 7:34 AM
    Reply # 865892 on 863763
    Deleted user

    Thanks for the excellent photos Stephen! I only have one to replace which is cracked. Someone with more replacements might benefit first from your tool. If no-one has a more urgent need in the next few weeks, I'll take you up on your offer and send it back or pass it on to next Westsailor.



  • March 22, 2012 8:51 AM
    Reply # 865957 on 863763
    Deleted user

    Hi again,

    I can throw it in the mail for you today.

    Should I use the mailing address listed under your details?


  • March 22, 2012 9:01 AM
    Reply # 865963 on 863763
    Deleted user


    That's a good address at the marina. I'll send you a check for postage immediately.



  • March 22, 2012 3:24 PM
    Reply # 866257 on 863763
    Deleted user
    Hi Werner,
    good idea to pass on the tool after you are done if it is okay for Stephen.
    We just took out all of our portlights yesterday and it will take a little while until we would need the tool. Good luck with your replacement. Will you replace your cracked portlight with safety glass? I think we'll stay with the Lexan, we can get it for free right now and can cut it buy ourselves. We'll see how it goes and let everybody know.
    Post some pics if you can.
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