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Old 05-14-2017, 03:57 AM   #1
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Leaking windows

Hi all,

So we are looking at buying a 1980 lien Hwa trawler. There are a few Windows leaking and some water damage. Anybody run it to this issue and have a fix and a price point? TIA
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:10 AM   #2
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You could have 10 windows on a boat and all 10 leak for 20 different reasons there is no one answer to your question
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:23 AM   #3
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Are they made of wood? If so, the wood is probably rotting due to moisture.
Is the exterior paint sound? Are the joints between window frame and house 'walls" sound? Avoiding timber window rot requires eternal vigilance. Timber window repair is not cheap.
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:01 AM   #4
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Madmartigan, first off, Welcome to the forum. So far as the windows go, the first question would be if they open. If they do then the seal would always be my starting point. On my opening ports in my cabin, it was just an easy change of glueing in a round cording to form a new seal as the old ones had just dried out and became brital. If they do not open or a new seal does not fix the issue then they may need to be removed and rebedded, which may or may not be a significant job depending on the integrity of the structure surrounding the window. Pricing is all dependent upon what is the cause of the leak and can be from the price of a seal or sealant to structural work and I don't think anyone could guess at that without and inspection. Good luck!
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:08 AM   #5
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Caveat Emptor, I almost bought a 48 Offshore, absolutely loved the boat. Had a leak around one window. I asked the broker what he thought and his response was could be 500 dollar fix or 5000. Stopped me from buying the boat.

If the window leaks travel down to the cabin sole you could have issues there as well. Plus water leaks may not be coming from where you see them end. Very tricky you may end up tearing the whole cabin apart trying to stop them.
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Old 05-14-2017, 03:28 PM   #6
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Thanks for the response guys, we are getting a better walk through today with all known issues. The seller is very up front so I don't think there will be hidden issues
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:00 PM   #7
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David Pascoe has an article on leaking windows.

With this type of boat, the Hwa trawler, the problem is that it has a flybridge on top of the cabin, so you basically have people walking around on the windows. Since the windows are leaking, that indicates that the structural support for the flybridge is insufficient. This is not something that can be easily corrected, because the only solution is to reinforce the flybridge (or not use it all).

Making structural reinforcements to a boat is difficult and expensive, because you are basically re-designing the boat. Another issue is time: you are looking at an entire season in a boatyard taking apart the whole flybridge and rebuilding it. The cost could easily be $20,000 or more. You probably want to hire an engineer to do the re-design. Note that reinforcing the flybridge could involve pillars or posts going to the frame, so you could be cutting holes through the main deck and stuff.

Then, after you do all that work on the flybridge, you have to redo all the windows...
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsc7 View Post
David Pascoe has an article on leaking windows.

With this type of boat, the Hwa trawler, the problem is that it has a flybridge on top of the cabin, so you basically have people walking around on the windows. Since the windows are leaking, that indicates that the structural support for the flybridge is insufficient. This is not something that can be easily corrected, because the only solution is to reinforce the flybridge (or not use it all).

Making structural reinforcements to a boat is difficult and expensive, because you are basically re-designing the boat. Another issue is time: you are looking at an entire season in a boatyard taking apart the whole flybridge and rebuilding it. The cost could easily be $20,000 or more. You probably want to hire an engineer to do the re-design. Note that reinforcing the flybridge could involve pillars or posts going to the frame, so you could be cutting holes through the main deck and stuff.

Then, after you do all that work on the flybridge, you have to redo all the windows...
I gotta throw the flag on this play.

I disagree with this completely. There's no way of knowing from the post how extensive the damage is. Much can be done with penetrating epoxy like CPES if dry rot is found. Treated members can be stronger than the original.

Window leaks can normally be solved with relative ease. There's no need to re-engineer a replacement flybridge in most cases. Each case requires close inspection and analysis.
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Old 05-14-2017, 11:46 PM   #9
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... There's no way of knowing from the post how extensive the damage is. Much can be done with penetrating epoxy like CPES if dry rot is found. Treated members can be stronger than the original.

Window leaks can normally be solved with relative ease. There's no need to re-engineer a replacement flybridge in most cases. Each case requires close inspection and analysis.
I suggest you read Pascoe's article. He is an extremely experienced marine surveyor who has written multiple books on the subject.

You cannot fix windows by just gluing them up with epoxy and Pascoe explains why.

Many boat owners think they can just caulk up windows to solve leaks and that is a completely erroneous idea.

As far as knowing the "extent" of the problem, I don't even need to see the boat. One look at the Hwa trawlers tells the whole story. Whenever you have a structural element like a flybridge sitting on top of wraparound window frames, it is a 99.9% chance you have a structural problem. Basically you have people walking on window frames -- BAD.

This is not some one off problem. There are literally thousands of boats just like the Hwa Liens exactly the same problem: inexperienced designers who think they can hold up a deck with window frames. Result: leaks.
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:01 AM   #10
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How about we wait until the OP has a good look at the windows to see what is going on before getting defensive about Mr Pascoe and dogmatic about window condition, design flaws,etc. We don`t even know if the offending windows are located under the FB, they could be fwd cabin windows for all we know.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:04 AM   #11
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So in my boat....

I am retinting my widows and repaneling the walls due to damage to the tint and the water damage to the teak under some of the windows. It is not a easy job, and to have someone else do it for money would never be cost effective. I have 19 windows, and at $150/window for new glass and teak it adds up fast.

The wall structure has the fiberglass skin laminated to 1/2" plywood then 1" wide 1/2" furring strips are nailed to the plywood with ring shank nails. They then nailed a 1/4" layer of plywood to the furring strips with ring shank nails and finally glued a layer of 1/8" teak plywood to the 1/4" plywood with contact cement for the finish surface inside.

Pascoe was correct in saying that windows are what holds up the flybridge because the 5" wide run of wall beween the windows definitely isnt very strong.

If you have visible damage the repair is never going to be simple or cheap.
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:12 AM   #12
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I gotta throw the flag on this play.

I disagree with this completely. There's no way of knowing from the post how extensive the damage is. Much can be done with penetrating epoxy like CPES if dry rot is found. Treated members can be stronger than the original.

Window leaks can normally be solved with relative ease. There's no need to re-engineer a replacement flybridge in most cases. Each case requires close inspection and analysis.
What he said. ^
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:16 PM   #13
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Windshields in a car are a structural component of the car frame and are glued in with a black urethane. Windows in a boat I imagine the same idea. I don't see how they can't be sealed. I successfully sealed in my forward facing windows with Loctite black PL polyurethane made for roofs after repairs to the wood framing. And using the flybridge has not caused them to leak again.

I also created a swing out central window using teak wood. And no leaks.
I have 3 forward facing windows. All my main cabin side windows slide open. two panes of glass slide past each other, four window openings. Plus that one I made facing forward lets in a nice breeze for the main salon cabin. At rear I have two sliding doors. So I can let in lots of air.

The center opening forward window has made a big difference in airflow. Even considering side windows and rear doors, hot air would get trapped around those 3 forward facing sloped windows.

Inside and outside views.
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:11 PM   #14
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Make sure you are the first to the boat. If you smell mold or mildew when the broker opens it up and you enter the boat, run away.
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:23 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Madmartigan View Post
Thanks for the response guys, we are getting a better walk through today with all known issues. The seller is very up front so I don't think there will be hidden issues

I think you are saying you don't believe the owner will hide any issues. Fair enough.

There will be hidden issues, though. That is a given with any boat project. They just won't be uncovered until you are well into the project.
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:51 PM   #16
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I really doubt that our flybridge is supported by the windows. I doubt that the window installation on an old TT is structural at all. Downey's comment that the glued-in windows of a car is intended to be structural (but I doubt that, too) is interesting; my '59 Studebaker, if caught in freezing rain, was much quieter and apparently stiffer, with the front and rear windows frozen into their rubber gaskets...until enough flexure was caused by driving to break them free; then it was as noisy as ever. I don't doubt that the house construction of our 84 Fu Hwa is a little light but it's entirely adequate for the job.

I think (and pray) that rebedding windows with the proper goo will be successful. I've just finished my windshield.

Others have noted that the sliding window's sills are equipped with drains and that you've got to keep 'em open.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:42 PM   #17
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Well, a cars glued in window is structural to the integrity of the car frame.
On a boat a glued in windshield must contribute some structural integrity logically.
But yeah, less than it would on a car. I feel pretty confident my roof won't collapse if no glass is in there, but it may flex more when the hull is wracking and twisting in a seaway, or sway a tiny bit side to side and it will be weaker. And if the roof structure is moving, that is going to put more stress into the structure. Eventually something has a chance to crack and that weakens it more.

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Old 05-15-2017, 07:53 PM   #18
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My saying that I believed pascoe was somewhat tounge in cheek. It's obvious that the laminated plywood is the structural member.



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Old 05-15-2017, 10:57 PM   #19
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SD, I sit corrected! (And moderately astonished.)

WB, presuming the interior plywood was glued to the framing between the windows (I think I see that in the upper picture, left member) and the framing glued to the exterior skin, that's a pretty dandy 'stressed skin' structure over all and a 'composite column' between the windows. Too bad the detailing was so pitiful for the window seals! Too bad the Meranti or similar Luan-ish wood is so susceptible to rot!
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Old 05-16-2017, 07:38 AM   #20
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LOL yeh the pitiful detailing is my first plugging of "bondo glass". The builders ran the furring strips straight around the perimeter so the corner radius was an empty cavity.

The opening is not tight to the window frame by a long shot and thats what led me to use the resin so there would be less cavity to fill with sealant. After using it, I am kind of surprised at how well its doing the job. Its a very thick polyester resin with 1/2" or so hairs.

I agree with your stressed skin observation. Everything is glued to help make it all a unified assembly.

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