How to Replace Boat Windows

How to Replace Boat Windows
The sea is a seductive stretch of open water than many people cannot ignore. Because of this, millions of boats are registered all over the country. When boats get old or battered by the sea, they need tender loving care to look new again. Boat windows are one of the easiest elements to replace.


Difficulty: Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • 1/8-inch drill bit
  • 6 to 10 1/8-inch screws and nuts
  • 1 window-sized piece of hardwood
  • 2-3 containers of acrylic adhesive
  • 3- to 4-foot long ¼-inch rubber or plastic tubing
Step 1
Size the window. Most boat windows are made from acrylic plastics, and acrylic plastics have a high degree of temperature expansion and contraction. When sizing your window for replacements, keep the window's expansion in mind and allow for that little bit of extra space. To find out how much space to leave, contact the manufacturer to find out the temperature expansion ratio for their particular acrylic product.
Step 2
Prepare the window. Once you have the window in hand you'll need to prepare it for installation and sealing. Place the window on the boat where it will be installed. Mark six to eight places for the holes for the screws that will hold the window in place as the sealant and glue cure. These marks should be evenly spaced so that the window has a better chance of staying in place while the adhesive dries.
Step 3
Prepare for the adhesives. Place a piece of hardwood board behind the window to keep the acrylic from cracking as the drill comes through the back. Drill the holes using a 1/8-inch drill bit. Once the holes are drilled, find a ¼-inch spacer to put between the boat and the window to allow adequate space for the adhesive. The spacer can be a piece of ¼-inch rubber or plastic tubing.
Step 4
Replace the window. Once you have the holes drilled and spacer measured, place the window against the boat surface with the spacer in between. Put in the screws to keep the window in place. Apply the adhesive in the space between the window and the boat surface. Be sure to do this closer to the end of the day so that the temperature is cooler (less flex on the acrylic window), so that the adhesive has a better chance to cure. Using a toothpick, remove the adhesive from around the screws so that they can be removed once the adhesive dries.

Tips & Warnings

Allow the windows to cure for 12 hours, but do not remove the screws for 24 hours. Once the glue is dry you can remove the screws.

Article Written By Kelsey Childress

Kelsey Childress runs a freelance creative business called Awen Creative that specializes in SEO Web content, social media marketing and blogging. She has been writing for online and in-print publications for over six years, and has a bachelor's degree in English literature and creative writing from Kansas State University.

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