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Old 07-23-2019, 11:15 AM   #1
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Window leaks- how big is the repair? Pre Purchase issue

It seems that most trawlers I am looking at have varying degrees of window leaks. The LaBelle has many and some interior delimitation of the teak veneer. The Cheer men has them to a lesser degree (Europa overhang maybe helps). I have not seen a boat yet that does not have window leaks. My 76 Bertram could withstand a hurricane and not let a single drop into the boat. Are these window leaks deal breakers? Do I need to know the coring and construction method before I buy? How many leaks require a coring replacement? What is involved in re-bedding? Can damaged veneer be sanded and re-coated? If the decks are wet I am walking away from anything, particularly the bridge sole. Stringers are the same. I don't mind projects, but rebuilds are not in the cards for me physically. My moisture meter has saved my rear many times. It is also possible that it caused me to walk away from a boat I should have purchased. Given what I have just said, can I please ask for some advice on what I should take a pass on and what is a doable "project" and what is a "PIA"? Please don't tell me to forget a trawler. This dream is going to happen if there is any way possible. Thank you in advance for any guidance I might get. Bill
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Old 07-23-2019, 11:36 AM   #2
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Probably all classic trawlers have slow window leaks before too long. Some get worse over time. They invariably destroy the surrounding wood.

You can find trawlers with less od the problem than others, and trawlers that have had better upkeep than others. But, they seem to be what they are.

The windows can be rebeded -- but only,if the surrounding wood is good or good enough with epoxy. If not, it needs to be cut out and replaced before reinstalling the window -- or, better yet, a newer one with a better design.

If the damage inside is mild, many people scrape, fill with epoxy, and paint. Others do the same and use a mahogany or teak veneer (I like the ones with PSA) and then varnish to match.

If the damage is major, a hardwood plywood with a mohagany layer on the visible surface is often used. Or, another hardwood plywood and veneer or painting.

Just use a marine grade plywood or the voids will hold moisture and the glues may like it less.

I totally replaced the wood around a very long window in my old Californian and did a 50% (bottom half) replacement on another, using a veneer to make it cosmetically nice. It wasnt too bad of a process.

In other places on that boat I was able to reseal or rebed well enough and able to sand and revarnish the interior well enough. Real varnish, not poly, was needed to get a good match.

Also, some old leaks had left soft wood in the structural plywood underneath the thinner visible plywood. That attracted termites. When Id find it, or they did, I'd drill it, treat it for termites, and epoxy saturate the soft area. I didn't have a big problem. But the next owner did have one in windows I'd never had a problem with, treated or filled, and ended up tenting the boat to get it under control.

My new boat is Europa style and the side and back windows are protected and fine. Butm, the front windows couldn't be designed worse and Ibhave to stay on top of them or they will leak like the funnel they are. A slight redesign is coming ton them soon!

So, what to say? I wouldnt turn away from,a boat with some of this going on. It is trawler life 1970s - 1990s style. But, I wouldn't want 40 years of painting over wet wood or neglected soak-and-peel either.
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Old 07-23-2019, 04:12 PM   #3
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Or look for a boat that had the issues dealt with correctly by the previous owner. Luckily the 1974 we bought had a previous owner pay to have the issues taken care of properly. All windows were removed, the interior walls were stripped down to the exterior fiberglass from inside. The cabin walls were recored with airex and the interior was rebuilt using new wood and teak veneer. All cabinets were rebuilt to custom order and corian counters were installed. All windows were replaced with diamond sea glaze windows. Someone spent a small fortune to do it right. Unfortunately for them, the boat still sold for what a 45 year old boat sells for.
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Old 07-23-2019, 06:33 PM   #4
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It is easier to replace them with new ones. Here is where mine came from.

https://americanmarinewindows.com
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Old 07-23-2019, 06:37 PM   #5
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The two I replaced came from here:

https://www.markplastics.com/
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Old 07-24-2019, 08:52 AM   #6
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Good information!

Thank you for your comments and leads. I think that in my budget it is highly unlikely that I will not have to deal with some level of leaking windows and water intrusion. The idea of tearing out interiors and re-coring from the inside BEFORE dealing with the window itself is kind of depressing. For those who replaced some windows, did you reuse the old teak trim (outside and inside)? I looked at an Albin that had two or three windows replaced with white aluminum and they looked a little funny next to the originals. It would seem that unless you replace the original trim you might have to replace all the windows to keep a uniform look. Can a stained interior veneer that has not warped be sanded and recoated to look nice? Not perfect, but nice. I would imagine that you can replace the veneer as well. I would guess you could replace anything. Sometimes I feel like trawlers are similar to cars in Cuba, completely rebuilt with non original parts, but still very functional. Water intrusion is the marine version of automotive rust. If left untreated it is a death blow. I cannot sign up for decks and stringers at ANY purchase price. The windows I am trying to digest. When I say ANY I really mean it. I just don't have the stomach for that kind of project management. Thank you again for the help. Bill
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:00 AM   #7
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Here are some pictures of what I did in another thread. It really wasnt a bad job and the veneer was a dream to use as was the mahogany marine plywood.

Trawler Forum - View Single Post - water intrusion/rot
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:04 AM   #8
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To answer you directly, i just used the trim rings on the new windows. I didnt want to preserve the old trim (I cut it up and used it other places).

I hear say some California owners have glued the old trim over the trim rings or screwed them down over them. But, I just dont see how that works well. The old windows and new windows werent exactly the same in their trim size, etc. Personally, I'd have plastic painted it to match first -- but plain white worked for me.

Cheers!
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:05 AM   #9
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You are starting to inspire me! Holy cow, what kind of boat is that? It looked beautiful in those pictures. Spacious too. Bill
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:10 AM   #10
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With my budget limiting me to older boats I too am finding they all have leaky windows. There are the rare ones kept under cover their entire lives and based on personal experience they will start to leak as soon as they are taken out from under cover.

The questions I ask myself are how many are leaking and how bad is the damage? That's what I trust a good surveyor to tell me. I do use a moisture meter and hammer to rule out obvious disaster cases before hiring a surveyor.

If the cabin sides are glass over ply then I'll remove the window, let it dry out and see what I've got. if the ply dries out without delaminating or being punky it should be good for years. I've decided I'm going to be OK with a mix of old wood frames and trim alongside newer style windows. I'd guess over time they will all be converted to the newer style as more of the wood frame and trim windows leak. One way to ease the visual pain of new windows next to wood windows would be to paint the wood the same color as the new windows.

Another realization for me is how long will I be boating? Maybe 10 yrs if I'm lucky. And really how much will a then 10 yr older already old boat be worth at the time? Pennies on the dollar for what I purchased it for most likely. What will be the market for that old boat? Not much really. So, I'll likely convince myself to be happy with a lower aesthetic standard than the owner of a newer boat who would pay dearly to have the boat fully restored.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:24 AM   #11
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Hey Bill,

That is a 1977 42' Californian. I loved that boat. Just sold it to get one in Florida to explore some new waters.

Here are some more photos:
-
https://drive.google.com/folderview?...S6j0Ueik4QXC6q

I'm actually more sad having owned the one in Florida for 8 months now. It is a great boat. But, Florida has rained constantly every time I've gone out. In think I'm going to get a couple of trips to the Bahamas in and then head back to SoCal boating. But, I digress.

The wood repair really was basic carpentry and generous use of thickened epoxy.

And the windows were just a few hours each, even having to use an angle grinder on the glass to adjust for a different corner radius and slightly larger size.

Cheers!
-Greg
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:31 AM   #12
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Good point. I have even thought of using a depreciation schedule for my purchase, essentially writing it down over 10 years to zero value. This is obviously only for a mental adjustment purpose so that I am not disappointed when my boat is worth less than my hopes. It sure seems that boat values are changing quite a bit these days. I don't think the younger generations give a darn about boats, or at least boats that require maintenance and time. They don't have the time or the knowledge. I see 42 and 46 foot Bertram FDMY for sale at 40-80k dollars. I don't get it. Then again, there is a whole lot these days that I don't get.
As it relates to my next purchase I think I need to ask myself are these moisture issues going to result in a failure or health and safety problem, and not worry about resale and PIA issues.
I know myself well enough to say that what I just wrote is BS. I am completely anal about my boats. If they are not nearly perfect I go crazy. Guess this is going to be a long search.
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Old 07-24-2019, 09:53 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nobles9596 View Post
It is easier to replace them with new ones. Here is where mine came from.

https://americanmarinewindows.com
wow i called them it's about 2500 just for my aft cabin. i may do that but i can't do the whole boat . what did you do about the interior trim ? did you use the bolt on?
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:01 AM   #14
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The windows I got were significantly less than half that and were something like 110" long and 10" tall double sliders with screens (dimensions from memory). Of course, they were vinyl not aluminum and the guy only does phone and mail, not email.
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:02 AM   #15
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Greg,

Thanks for sharing the pictures! The engine room is really nice and spacious. Are those Perkins? (Blue). Also, each area seems to have a different ceiling covering. What is up with the saloon? It looks like wet plaster! The aft cabin looks like cork, and the front is a more standard white. Whatever it is that boat looks really comfortable and warm inside. Very homey feel. Hard to describe, but I like it.Also looks like luxury vinyl on the floors in the aft cabin and head. Smart! I have it at home in my family room. My Shepherd cannot destroy it although he has tried. Tough and water resistant. Bill
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:07 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moparharn View Post
Thank you for your comments and leads. I think that in my budget it is highly unlikely that I will not have to deal with some level of leaking windows and water intrusion. The idea of tearing out interiors and re-coring from the inside BEFORE dealing with the window itself is kind of depressing. For those who replaced some windows, did you reuse the old teak trim (outside and inside)? I looked at an Albin that had two or three windows replaced with white aluminum and they looked a little funny next to the originals. It would seem that unless you replace the original trim you might have to replace all the windows to keep a uniform look. Can a stained interior veneer that has not warped be sanded and recoated to look nice? Not perfect, but nice. I would imagine that you can replace the veneer as well. I would guess you could replace anything. Sometimes I feel like trawlers are similar to cars in Cuba, completely rebuilt with non original parts, but still very functional. Water intrusion is the marine version of automotive rust. If left untreated it is a death blow. I cannot sign up for decks and stringers at ANY purchase price. The windows I am trying to digest. When I say ANY I really mean it. I just don't have the stomach for that kind of project management. Thank you again for the help. Bill
This is what a not really badly leaking one looks like
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:20 AM   #17
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There are two Perkins 6.354MGT mains and a Kohler 7.5kw genset powered by a Perkins 4.107.

The aft cabin has the original ceiling. It is, as you suggest, some form of cork paper.

In the saloon and forward cabin I put in a white ceiling to brighten it up.

-- https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00YC...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It is made of large, thin, light, highly water resistent foam tiles that are glued up and then seams caulked. After that, I painted it essentially the same color, but to make it repairable. I just never got to the aft stateroom -- it was next.

I suspect the color looked different just because of thebl difference in lighting. The forward stateroom was a bit of a cave and the saloon had 360 degrees of windows.

I know it is strange, but I really liked it. Fishing poles could scratch it fairly easily, but such damage was repaired in seconds to minutes with a flexible spackle and paint with foam brush. It looked good as new. And headliners can tear, too -- and arent so easy to fix.

When I was selling the boat, the potential buyers really seemed to like the way it looked.

Cheers!
-Greg
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:29 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by gkesden View Post
The windows I got were significantly less than half that and were something like 110" long and 10" tall double sliders with screens (dimensions from memory). Of course, they were vinyl not aluminum and the guy only does phone and mail, not email.
thanks i'll check with him after i have better measurements . did they come with the interior trim ? i have 4 windows and they are now fixed . i would like sliding windows for at least 2 of them so i can anchor out without a generator. they are on a different level that the cabin so a mix may not be too noticeable .
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:30 AM   #19
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Oh, if you were looking at the ceilings in the heads...

They were originally some type of smooth white surface. I painted them as well as the vanities and showers with Awlgrip Snow White.

The aft shower enclose took a significant amount of fiberglass repair first (open hand sized holes, shower door removed leaving screw holes, holes from old accessories, &c.

In the forward head, I Awl Gripped the ceiling, vanity, seat, and shower pan (lower footnote son of enclosure) But, the top of the shower enclosure had been cut out by a former owner who used the space for a washer and cabinet. So, I rebuilt the top of the shower enclosure with vinyl bead board.
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:33 AM   #20
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Yes, the windows came with the white interior trim ring. I think it basically worked with the integral exterior ring to form essentially a clamp when screwed in.
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