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Old 04-26-2018, 04:10 PM   #1
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Help with a rotten window frame

Sadly I have found wood rot in a window frame - the large triangular one forward on the port side - if it was a car it would be the equivalent of the quarter vent or between the A and B pillar.

Before I tackle this type of problem I like to visualise what the process will be, for those members who have done such a repair, have you any detailed photos you could share?

I am curious about the frame - it is faired really neatly into the side of the coach house - so neatly that its almost as if there is a fibreglass glass moulding that is part of the side of the coach house and the frame attaches to this. All windows on our boat are like this. After scraping some paint I can see that there are screws that hold the outer frame to the coach house.

Any help would be appreciated, esp close up photos as I assume most windows of the era would be built the same way.

Cheers
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Old 04-26-2018, 06:22 PM   #2
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Snap. Mine rotted out too. No repair pics unfortunately, it was done by shipwrights, and a major job. As you start dismantling how it is put together should be apparent. I know the whole corner was opened up, and they broke the glass at least once.
Think about where the water rotting it came from. My eyebrow mould over the front windows was "smiling" letting in water,under wind pressure.
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Old 04-26-2018, 08:02 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brisyboy View Post
Sadly I have found wood rot in a window frame - the large triangular one forward on the port side - if it was a car it would be the equivalent of the quarter vent or between the A and B pillar.

Before I tackle this type of problem I like to visualise what the process will be, for those members who have done such a repair, have you any detailed photos you could share?

I am curious about the frame - it is faired really neatly into the side of the coach house - so neatly that its almost as if there is a fibreglass glass moulding that is part of the side of the coach house and the frame attaches to this. All windows on our boat are like this. After scraping some paint I can see that there are screws that hold the outer frame to the coach house.

Any help would be appreciated, esp close up photos as I assume most windows of the era would be built the same way.

Cheers
I have repaired that problem a number of times, and depending on how much damage there is, it isn't that difficult a process. Not knowing the specifics of your situation, I can only tell you what I have done.

1. Dremel out all rot until you get to solid wood. Even if you have to take out all the wood in an area, that may be fine as long as the balance of the frame stays in place.
2. Saturate the wood with epoxy thinned with MEK to the consistency of water.
3. Depending on how deep the removed wood is you may need to partially fill the void with another piece of wood epoxied into place. What you are trying to do here is reduce the amount and thickness of epoxy you need to lay into the repair area to complete the job.
4. Mix epoxy with West System 410 fairing filler to the consistency of peanut butter - thick enough that it won't sag on a vertical surface. Carefully trowel the epoxy into the repair area. A bit of art may be needed here to match the profile of the frame, but at this stage you aren't looking for perfection, just as careful a match as you can make. You're going to go through this process a couple more times, so don't worry if it is a bit ugly.
5. Sand to start shaping the repair, knocking down areas that are too high and ignoring those that are too low.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 as many times as you need to in order to get the repaired profile where you need it.

Mind you, you can replace this kind of damage all with wood if you like. The technique above works best when you are talking about rot that is within a piece and avoids having to replace the entire piece.

Hope that helps...
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Old 04-29-2018, 01:31 AM   #4
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Last year we replaced our stb front bunk cabin window. It was so rotted that it was beyond repair. I have used Delfin's repair technique on some other of our windows but this one needed a full replacement.

Like Bruce, I am sorry I can't find any photos. However this is what we did.

1. Sand the window back to reveal the screws.
2. Break the seal between the window frame and the coach house. For this we used a Fein tool and carefully went right round the window.
3. Remove the screws
4. The window is made up of four sections of wood, joined at the base & top via a type of bridle joint. Carefully ease the whole frame out from the coach house if possible. If not carefully disassemble each section of the frame and remove piecemeal. The glass will at this stage not be supported so a second pair of hands here would be good.
5. The glass is held in by adhesive as well, carefully prise it clear.
6. Take the old frame to a shipwright or specialist marine teak flooring company and ask them to make you up a new window using the old frame as the template. Unlike the Grand Banks vessels of similar vintage the windows are curved at the top making it a little trickier.We specified Teak, however that is not essential, there are other options.You may want to take the glass along as well to give them a clear idea of the dimensions required.
7. Putting it all back together is essentially a reverse of the removal procedure.

FWIW, our replacement frame did not end up identical to the original, but it was not too bad, especially after you fill, sand and paint it. I am sure a qualified shipwright would have done better.

Of course it may be that your windows are different from ours, but I think they were all made along the same lines at the boat yard for those particular models.

Take it slow, be patient & you should be OK.

Do what we all forgot to do, take pictures and put them up.
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Old 04-29-2018, 06:52 PM   #5
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George, is the house tapering going forward at that location? I`ll look at mine tomorrow, if so I think it has to be taken into account for fabrication.
Andy`s idea of getting it remade offsite is good, but the 2 replacement frames like this for my boat, were made onsite,with frequent checks on fit as the frame progressed. Let`s hope as you expose the defects you are just scarfing in pieces.
As it will be painted,something dense other than teak should be ok and cheaper. They used red mahogany on my boat,seems good 6 years on.
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Old 05-07-2018, 06:22 PM   #6
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Any progress George?
This tip from a local shipwright may help as you put it back together. He puts a good bead of Sikaflex over the join between frame and house, often a source of water entry. I thought if the Sika flexed the paint could fracture,if so not a good look, but the Sika would still seal the joint. A year+ on,no paint cracking.
I`ve also seen what`s called a "Sika smear" over the paint at the join for the same reason. It tends to discolor with age but would avoid the risk of paint cracks appearing.
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