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Old 06-27-2019, 07:39 PM   #1
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Curved Pilothouse Windshield Windows

My '75 Hat 58 LRC has 5 "windshield windows": 3 flat-plate glass panes, and a curved plexi or Lexan window on each side. Those curved plexi/Lexan windows are pretty thick, like maybe 1/4". But they're slowly growing opaque, like a milky white, from sun exposure, I assume.



Has anyone ever located a place that makes/sells curved windshield windows? Or know of someone that makes custom replacements?


Is it possible to get curved glass windows?
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Old 06-27-2019, 07:53 PM   #2
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I think Taylormade has a custom windshield replacement division. Not sure if they do plexi or not but I think they do.
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Old 06-27-2019, 08:07 PM   #3
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I have made several over the years. Simpler than you think. Take the old window out in tact. Lay it on a sheet of pattern material. Use a sharpie to trace the outline. Roll the window from one edge to the other as you trace the outline. Use this pattern to cut your acrylic. Mount one edge in the window, take a heat gun and heat up we’re the curved section will be. This is the hard part, acrylic will absorb a tremendous amount of heat be fore it gets soft. As the acrylic starts to soften work the remaining edges into position.

Practice heating and bending some scrap pieces to get a feel for it.
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Old 06-27-2019, 09:43 PM   #4
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Hmm, never thought about making them. I built a kit plane once that had me do that, but it was much thinner material. And i broke it twice before getting it right...
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Old 06-27-2019, 11:49 PM   #5
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Take the old windows out and take them to a plastic fabrication shop.

Here in Tacoma, I have Kel Tech Plastic fabricate custom clear plastic windscreens. They have an oven to heat the plastic to soften it then the soft plastic is placed in or on a mold.

The finished product will look better than the old windows but will be expensive.

On some projects I take an existing windscreen to them to duplicate and on prototypes, make my own mold and take it to Kel Tech for them to use.
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Old 06-28-2019, 12:30 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiltrider1 View Post
I have made several over the years. Simpler than you think. Take the old window out in tact. Lay it on a sheet of pattern material. Use a sharpie to trace the outline. Roll the window from one edge to the other as you trace the outline. Use this pattern to cut your acrylic. Mount one edge in the window, take a heat gun and heat up we’re the curved section will be. This is the hard part, acrylic will absorb a tremendous amount of heat be fore it gets soft. As the acrylic starts to soften work the remaining edges into position.

Practice heating and bending some scrap pieces to get a feel for it.
I use a similar method to Dave, only I use a kerosene space heater to heat the material. I also don’t mount the new material onto the boat to shape- I roughly shape the new material while it is flat, then bolt the new to the old (new on the outside)- then I heat the new material and mold it to the shape of the old.

Once cool, it’s cut to shape.
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Old 06-28-2019, 06:16 AM   #7
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"Is it possible to get curved glass windows?"

YES It is common for antique coaches , trucks and RV's .

Google is your friend. You will need to box and send a sample.
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Old 06-28-2019, 10:16 AM   #8
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I had a curved glass window made. It cost me $600 additional to have the glass curved.
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Old 06-28-2019, 10:23 AM   #9
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Taylormade are your men in the US for that.
They have a division here in the UK called Trend Windows. Google them and you'll see what they can do.
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Old 06-28-2019, 05:36 PM   #10
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Make a mold of your old window using plywood. Then add 2x4 bracing. Cover with Formica or similar. Lay the acrylic glass over the mold. Add a heating source. I've used heat lamps and a jet type heater.



Something similar to this. I know your shape will be different. You could also heat the acrylic in a homemade heat box then lay it over the mold.


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Old 06-28-2019, 06:13 PM   #11
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As a last resort have you considered trying to polish them back to original? I have had very good results doing this to automobile plastic headlight covers and I believe it is commonly done to aircraft windshields.
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Old 06-29-2019, 05:41 PM   #12
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Taylormade are your men in the US for that.
They have a division here in the UK called Trend Windows. Google them and you'll see what they can do.

Thanks. I did contact them. They wrote back and said they no longer did them. They said the tooling and frames are obsolete. I appreciate all the input. It looks like my options are make it, try buffing it out, or go to Kel Tech in Tacoma.
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Old 06-29-2019, 07:19 PM   #13
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I am assuming you are talking about your windscreen on your fly bridge?
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Old 06-29-2019, 07:24 PM   #14
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Call Sam's Marine, the spin off of the Hatteras Parts department. They are a tremendous resource and very knowledgeable, and will point you in the right direction. Also try the Owner's Forum on their website; there used to be aftermarket replacements for these as they were used on several Hatteras models, including my old 56 MY.

First, try polishing them with a very fine polish. We used Prism Polish which is similar to some silver polishes (which are cheaper), that did a super job clearing ours up from fine hazing.

Edit: Whoops, I see you did poast on the Owner's Forum. Search back through the archives. There will be more on this.

Another expert source is Lookout Boat Window here in NC. Give Broadus Rose a call at 252-723-2222. Great source for window frames too, they know these boats. https://www.boatwindowframes.com/acr...t-windshields/
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Old 06-29-2019, 10:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juliet 15 View Post
Thanks. I did contact them. They wrote back and said they no longer did them. They said the tooling and frames are obsolete. I appreciate all the input. It looks like my options are make it, try buffing it out, or go to Kel Tech in Tacoma.
Tacoma is a long ways from Bellingham. There has to be a custom plastic shop closer to you. These plastic fabricators specialize in retail store fixtures and plastic interior accessories for offices and can pretty much duplicate anything plastic. I'd Google plastic fabricators.
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Old 06-29-2019, 11:01 PM   #16
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Google "bending plexiglass for boat window"
There are several vids. Here is one / Len


https://www.google.com/search?client...ield#kpvalbx=1
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Old 06-30-2019, 03:13 AM   #17
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Back in the late 70s I worked at a custom furniture shop. We built furniture out of high pressure laminate and plexiglass. We bent up to 1” plexi. We had rods that we hooked 440 volt A/C to heat the plexi. We positioned the plexi over the rods and heated it. Had to be careful not to heat it too hot or it would get bubbles in the plexi. Then we would clamp it to a form to cool. We lined the form with felt so that it would not get marks from the form. You could use the old plexi as the form and cover it with felt so the hot plexi would not stick to the old plexi. Then trim the new plexi to shape. We used scrapers to get rid of the saw marks on the edge of the plexi. When we got it cleaned up with a scraper then we flamed the edge to have it turn clear. The scraper would leave the edge sort of white so the flame would lightly melt the edge and turn it back clear.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:46 AM   #18
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If you try the buffing route, make sure to protect it with a UV sealant or you'll have to do it next year again. Usually, the outer layer is sun damaged and was the UV protecting layer for the plexiglas. I would go down to a nearby auto-parts place and get a headlight restoration kit, since they include the UV protectant to put back after you polish the faded plexiglas down to clear again. Worst case, you're out $30 or bucks.
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Old 07-03-2019, 08:57 AM   #19
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As Russel Clifton says they can be polished back to save the hassle and expense. There are kits on eBay and Amazon available. One company is from St Pauls, Minnesota and they sell 'Blue Magic' lens polisher and lens sealer.
Tape/protect everything off with masking tape, do it with a slow drill/polishing machine and take your time for a professional looking job.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:19 AM   #20
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One of our curved plastic pilothouse windows is cracked, crazed and opaque (yes, it looks awful). Tap Plastics has been recommended to us by a few people. They have a couple Seattle area locations.

https://www.tapplastics.com/
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