Monday, September 6, 2010

Project: Window renewal (#2) - Phase I

Back in 2003 we had new windows custom manufactured for Eolian. Unfortunately, even tho I had specifically requested Plexiglas glazing, the manufacturer mistakenly used the more expensive Lexan.

I wanted Plexiglas because the poly(methyl methacrylate) is transparent to UV radiation - that is, the UV passes thru the acrylic without stopping and doing consequent damage. Not so with the polycarbonate - it is opaque to UV, meaning it absorbs it and suffers the consequences.

Now, here we are 7 years later, and the glazing has failed. It is so crazed that it is essentially opaque when the sun shines on it, and further, it is now brown in color. I talked to the manufacturer about this situation, and he offered to reglaze at his cost, but the shipping was so high that this option was untenable. He then offered to supply me with the materials and instructions at his cost - an option that seems fair to me.

Unfortunately, at this point we have already pulled the windows out.

We have covered the openings in the cabin sides with pieces cut out of shower curtains, attached with white duct tape.

Amazingly, the shower curtains have about the same transparency as the aged Lexan, and are not brown - they are actually an improvement. But we do feel like we are outside - the shower curtains do nothing to stop the outside sounds from coming in.  The birds are especially entertaining at first light.

I desperately hope we can get the materials in, the windows reglazed and reinstalled before the fall rains begin in earnest.


Drew Frye said...

You might want to consider window covers, such as the ones we added this summer.

I have replace crazed windows in the past and it is always either very difficult or very expensive.

One thing we found was that it really lowered the cabin temperatures in the sun, since the deck itself is well insulated (1" foam sandwich plus liner).

These stay on in harbor when we are away from the boat and sometimes when we are onboard, sometimes just on the sun-side. Underway they are often removed, but not always.

Robert Salnick said...

Thanks Drew.

But as we are liveaboards, we like to be able to see out the windows (which is the root cause of the replacement project, after all).

And as for heat, well that is not much of an issue here in the Pacific Northwest - this "summer" we had exactly two weeks (one in July, one in August) where the temperatures were in the mid 80's or above for the highs. The rest of the time, the highs were in the 70's. I did run the heat pump as an air conditioner for part of one day, just to prove to myself that it works.

Bomon (the company that originally made the custom windows for me) has promised full instructions - I'll blog on this when I get the Plexiglas (which they are going to custom cut to my dimensions - still on file) and those instructions and actually try it.


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