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Old 08-19-2015, 04:26 PM   #1
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Window Tracks

The wifey andI spent the better part of the afternoon cleaning the window tracks on Magic. We were glad to see that the felt "weather stripping" on all the windows were fine. We used a hose with a gentle low pressure spray and flushed the tracks clean. The question I would like to ask is, what can we lubricate the tracks with to help the windows slide smoothly?

The windows all have a small block of (Lucite?) Plexiglass glued to the edges to serve as a handle. Over the years, a couple have come off. Does anyone know what kind of adhesive will keep them affixed?

Thanks to all, Howard
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Old 08-19-2015, 04:35 PM   #2
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Adhesive = clear silicone caulk
Lubricant, silicone would be great if you don't get ANY on ANYTHING but the velour. Maybe spray it into a jar offsite then apply w/ a small brush. My velour lined SS track was not a success for me b/c it got mold, and rotted away. I replaced with Beckson plastic track.
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Old 08-19-2015, 04:38 PM   #3
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Wonder if there is a dry lube of some type?
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Old 08-19-2015, 04:42 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. hm. As you may be aware, I ABHOR silicone in any form BUT Mr. B is correct in this case. A small dab on the plastic handle and a gentle clamping should work. I second Mr. B's suggestion of putting some silicone spray in a jar OFFSITE and then sparingly appyling with a small brush. Offsite is the critical issue here. You don't want that Satan Spray anywhere near anything else.
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Old 08-19-2015, 04:52 PM   #5
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Hi,
On our GB36 the pulls are glass. Use rear view mirror adhesive from the auto parts store to reattach them. We spray liquid bleach like X14 in the tracks to kill the green beasties and keep the Windows freely sliding. Cleaning the track drains is easier using pipe cleaners.
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Old 08-19-2015, 05:46 PM   #6
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Tri-flow is a PTFE (Teflon) based "dry" lubricant that is available as a spray or a squeeze bottle with an application "straw". It is actually dispensed as a liquid that dries. It is available at some locksmiths shops as it seems to be replacing graphite lube for in the weather locks. I have used it for many different purposes where no visible residue is desired and am satisfied.

As far as an adhesive for the Lucite, may I assume you are bonding it to glass? If so, Loctite makes a glass adhesive that is designed for just that purpose. Probably same as RV mirror adhesive as mentioned in the previous post. I have used cyanoacrylate (superglue) and methyl methacylate adhesives to bond lucite pieces while fabbing one off lab equipment in a former life. The bond was near immediate and very strong but I don't recall bonding lucite to glass...but the Loctitie product claims to do just that.
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Old 08-19-2015, 06:08 PM   #7
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As Roger stated, the best way to glue the window pull blocks (Plex or glass) to the glass pane is auto mirror adhesive. I've tried two-part epoxy--- it does not last as long.

Lubing the tracks on a GB is a tricky thing. Just about anything you put in there will attract and hold dirt which in turn accelerates the deterioration of the felt weatherstripping. UV also hastens the deterioration of the weatherstripping which is why we put our exterior window covers on the opening windows whenever we are not using the boat. These help protect the weatherstripping from UV as well as reduce the amount of dirt that ends up in the tracks.

The best way to keep the windows sliding easily is to keep the lower track clean.

It is very important to periodically clear out the track drain holes that are (or should be) at the rear of each lower section of track. This is not the same as the drain that drains the inside sill of moisture. This is a hole in the track itself that drains through a small hole in the bottom of the frame (at least on the older boats). These holes are easily plugged with dirt and fibers from the weatherstripping. When they get plugged up, the tracks won't drain and water stays in them for a long time, further deteriorating the weatherstripping. We use a short length of coat hanger wire to clean the drain holes.

We have one large sliding pane on the boat that does not slide as easily as the others. It's a replacement pane and we rebuilt the frame so I suspect there is a slight alignment issue. When it decides to stick we put a couple of drops of Lemon Joy in the lower track and slide the glass back and forth a few times. This does the trick for awhile until rain and washing the boat eventually removes the soap. Our boat is old enough that the sliding panes are on the outside. Newer GBs have the sliding panes on the inside.

I don't like doing this because the soap traps dirt but for now it's our only choice. Eventually when we have more time we'll rebuild this window again and solve the problem properly. Rebuilding the windows on a fiberglass GB, at least an older one, is dead easy, but it does take time. New stainless track is available locally at Fisheries Supply and we generally keep three or four eight-foot sections in the garage at home for window projects that might come up.

We also have a number of precut 1/4" Plexiglas "windows" that we screw over the hole in the side of the cabin when we have a window out of the boat for a total overhaul of the frame. That way we can keep using the boat regardless of the weather while we overhaul the frame at our leisure at home, have new glass panes made, etc.

Over the last 17 years we've rebuilt most of the 21 windows in our boat to various degrees, some with new glass, track and completely overhauled frames, others with just overhauled frames, and so forth.
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Old 08-19-2015, 06:11 PM   #8
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Yes, some of the PTFE based "synthetic greases" work very well for this. I used SuperLube, great stuff to have on a boat.

Super Lube 21030 Synthetic Grease (NLGI 2), 3 oz Tube: Science Lab Cleaning Supplies: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific
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Old 08-20-2015, 10:44 AM   #9
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I've actually had a few of the original glued on opening blocks go missing from the previous owners days on my GB. Any recommendations on what to use for replacement (blocks)?
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Old 08-20-2015, 11:02 AM   #10
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For window and door tracks we use McLube Sailkote. It is a spray dry lubricant - sprays then dries in a matter of a minute or two. We first learned about when we had our sailboat, where we used it on the sail track and companionway hatch. We've let some friends use our can and they promptly went out and bought one for themselves. It is pricey but lasts a long time. Unlike silicone, it wont leave a greasy feeling and won't hurt the fiberglass if you ever have to paint or do gel-coat repairs. I actually just got a can to replace the one we bought about five years ago.
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Old 08-20-2015, 03:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dz1drwww View Post
I've actually had a few of the original glued on opening blocks go missing from the previous owners days on my GB. Any recommendations on what to use for replacement (blocks)?
You can get a glass shop to cut some for you if you want glass or you can use Plexiglas. Most of ours are still glass but we have a few that are Plexiglas. In our experience the auto mirror adhesive works equally as well on either material.
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Old 08-20-2015, 06:01 PM   #12
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Thanks for the help!!
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