{Stus-List} window replacement - Plexus experience

Nate Flesness nate at isis.org
Wed Jul 14 12:36:09 EDT 2010

Wow, sounds like a great job.

For the plexus adhesive choice, with no primer, I'm not sure what I could have painted the frame area with - but I'm wondering if I should have evaluated that before doing the job. We taped and taped too, had internal and external plastic dropcloths as well, and had a lot of squeeze out. With Plexus its easier to take the tape and glue off - the sooner you do it - like during the next hour or two - overnight it gets very hard.

A Dremel tool alone would not have left a good enough looking background - I just expected the black Plexus would 
cover the various underlying shades - colors it does not now cover ... I'm hoping it might darken with time. This is not about squeezing out - we had a fair amount of adhesive under the ends and you can still readily see through it. The "black" plexus was really a light transparent gray - at least so far.  

That said, I love how tight and permanent the Plexus feels - I swear the cabin top feels even stiffer. Just some cosmetics issues to deal with now .... might try your gelcoat approach sometime.


-----Original Message-----
From: cnc-list-bounces at cnc-list.com [mailto:cnc-list-bounces at cnc-list.com] On Behalf Of Helen Abbott
Sent: Wednesday, July 14, 2010 11:01 AM
To: cnc-list at cnc-list.com
Subject: {Stus-List} window replacement - Plexus experience

Nate et al:

I spent about 60 hours, and my brother about 10 hours, on our window
replacement project.  We used 3/8" cast acrylic as well.  The new
windows have been installed since late April and no leaks. I spent a lot
of time doing two things...first, cleaning the old adhesive from the
cabin frames and preparing the frame(s) to accept the new windows. I
used a drumel tool which was slow but precise and a palm sander.. I
could have used a more aggressive tool but I didn't.  The second big
time consumer was the gelcoat repair.  Three windows came out no
problem....of course, the last one I couldn't cut the top free and when
I the pushed the bottom out a bit, it broke gelcoat away from the top of
the window frame.  Didn't plan on that happening although I was warned
it was likely going to happen.

The gelcoat repair was a bit of a challenge in getting the color to
match. By trial and error, I mixed white gelcoat and added drops on
color (brown, black and yellow) until I got a match in color....it's not
perfect but you would not notice it at a glance.

I don't have the 'white gelcoat / black glue' issue you have because the
cabin frame accepting the window(s) and the windows themselves were both
painted with a black SikaPrimer and we used generous amounts of Sika
295.  We taped everything, inside and out, and had the adhesive oozing
out everywhere.

Most of the marine contractors that work around our club won't undertake
this work of window replacement because they can not provide a
reasonable estimate of their time to do the job.  I am speaking of our
windows that are flush with the cabin.  Windows that have screws/bolts
or SS frames, they are more inclined to work on.  They all advised to
stay away from the spacers as they might be a weak spot down the road.
They all advised to use lots and lots of adhesive...their words were
"more is better...you can always trim away the excess when it cures and
then there are no weak spots or air pockets or voids".  That;s good
advice....I used less than two tubes of adhesive.

When applying the adhesive and placing the windows in the frame(s), it
is advisable to have a second person assisting to hold the window in
place while the other person puts the braces in place.  This way the
window does not have a chance to resume it's straight angle and possibly
allow for air pockets etc when puhed back in.  On each window, we used 3
pieces of 2" x 4" wedged from the toe rail to the window with a 7 to 10
lb. rock on each brace...overkill on the 30" window but necessary on the
42" one because of the curve.  Let cure for 48 hours before removing the
braces...could have been shorter but we weren't going anywhere just then.

A lot of work but really happy with the new windows.

Bob Abbott
C&C 32 - 84
Halifax, N.S.

> Date: Wed, 14 Jul 2010 07:44:32 -0700
> Subject: Re: {Stus-List} window replacement - Plexus experience
> Just did 1980 30-1 windows over last weekend using Plexus (thanks to 
> Fred Street for loan of the small tube Plexus gun).
> Used 4 limber people to hand hold the curved/torsioned 51" long main 
> windows while the Plexus hardened - set timer to 15 min,
> hand holding worked fairly well.
> Upsides:
> 1.       - rained hard a day later - no leaks! (for the first time 
> since I've owned the boat  she is totally dry in the rain - main 
> reason I replaced the windows).
> 2.       - brand new 3/8" cast acrylic (bronze #2404) looks amazing 
> from the inside.
> Challenges - had to belt sand the edges of the pretty good window 
> shapes made by a local plastics shop to get closer fit, not a big 
> deal, but took time.
> Surprises - three tubes of black plexus, in black tubes, labeled 
> black, bought from a second supplier, was not black but clear... maker 
> screwup I suppose.
> Disappointments;
> 1.        - from outside, the new windows are so clear and clean you 
> see right into the glued  chamfered space - even with the actually 
> black glue. I didn't expect that and didn't try to make that space 
> pretty - some white hull, some dark glue, etc, quite mottled look  - 
> may paint a black edge on my new windows to cover it....
> 2.       Somewhat rough/ hairline cracked window/cabin edges are of 
> course unchanged - in my dreams I get the stainless steel window edge 
> covers a lister has...
> Coincidence:
> I had Dean Hedstrom's Good Old Boat article on window replacement 
> (landfall 35...which is posted on the Photoalbum) with me. A guy walked 
> by my slip and saw our window work, and said "been there, done that". 
> He introduced himself .. he's Dean Hedstrom J.  His boat is right 
> across from mine in our little marina. He was astonished when I showed 
> him the hard copy of his article laying in my cabin.
> Nate
> "Sarah Jean"
> 1980 30-1
> Siskiwit Bay Marina
> Lake Superior

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