Thursday 4 June 2015

Window work

Today was the day! Ian came across at about 9.30 after he'd finished a job on another boat, and started to gently prise out the first window.

Then he cleaned off the bulk of the old soft sealant – looked a bit like blu-tak.

Eventually he was joined by Lyndon, who'd done the single window we had re-seated three years ago. They removed the inside window frame.

All the targeted frames were showing signs of the water ingress, some more than others.

One of the problems appears to have been the way the windows were fixed, which we had noted last time. The internal wooden frame is meant to be fixed by countersunk wood screws coming through the steel side, and the external aluminium frame by machine screws into tapped holes in the steel. Instead, there were wood screws going through the aluminium, straight through the tapped holes in the steel and into the wooden frame. So the external and internal frames were being pulled together by these wood screws passing through the hull, in the hope they would grip the steel side firmly enough (a) not to slip and (b) to secure the sealant.

Clearly this scheme failed to work, allowing the sealant to leak. Ian got to work cleaning out all the tapped holes, creating one or two more for good measure and drilling some new countersunk holes for fixing the internal frame.

Finally it all went back together, this time with the internal and external frames attached independently, and with proper window tape to provide the seal.  Then we pulled the boat across to the adjacent pontoon, and they started on the two windows that needed treatment on the other side.

Quite a day – and not cheap at workshop rates. But as I saw what they were having to do and the issues they were having to resolve as they went along, I was thoroughly glad it wasn't me trying to sort it out. I was really impressed (again) with their general skill, knowledge and attitude. Thanks, guys!

So now, for the moment, we are not leaking, though I suspect the remaining windows would benefit from similar treatment – one of the kitchen window internal frames certainly has signs of past water ingress. But anything else will probably need to wait for next year's budget.


  1. At least it wasnt new windows as well.

    1. Always something to be thankful for, Andy. Though I confess I've been looking at ChannelGlaze and WesleyWindows for some time, wondering whether replacement might be an option. If Mercia's solution works, then I'm content.