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Project Log:  Saturday, January 18, 2014

With 220 grit, I lightly sanded the bulwark planks, then solvent-washed and, later, applied a second coat of varnish to all surfaces.


Now I turned to the ports.  I decided to begin with the new center unit in the pilothouse, which I'd already test-fit earlier and which required no cleanup or other work to prepare, other than to clean off the dust that had collected.   Once clean, I installed strips of butyl tape around the perimeter of the mounting flange, providing enough extra to squeeze out to (hopefully) the edge of the exterior flange without being too much to properly compress during installation.


In the boat, I temporarily unscrewed the upper electronics box panel to provide access to the top portion of the opening, and inserted the window from outside, then secured it with its screwed-on mounting flange from inside.  A very simple, clean, and neat installation technique with no external fasteners to deal with.  Once I'd tightened all the fasteners appropriately, working around incrementally to slowly pull the flange into the sealant, I could reinstall the overhead box.


Since I had set up, more or less on the port side of the pilothouse, I continued with the small forward window on the port side.  Down on the bench, I cleaned up the mounting flanges as needed to remove what was left of the old bedding compound--something along the lines of household window glazing, with its distinct texture and odor.  The remnants cleaned up easily, and I lightly polished the exterior of the aluminum frame with some metal polish, accepting that these windows were nearly 40 years old and were not  going to look as smooth and shiny as the brand-new center window.  But they still looked OK.


Up at the boat, I dry-fit the window; I had to pare away some of the plywood at the edge of the opening to allow the window to slip in.  The original windows like this one used screws driven from the outside, through holes in the fiberglass around the opening, and into the interior trim ring.  The benefit of this arrangement was that the additional 1/4" thickness of the plywood with which I'd lined the cabin didn't pose an issue with the window installation, as the trim ring inside would simply stand a little proud of the window frame rather than be flush or even recessed; all in all the difference in appearance was negligible, and, with slightly longer screws to make up the additional thickness (#6 x 1" vs. #6 x 3/4" originally), securing the windows was easy.


By now it was getting late, and since this was the first of many more windows to install using identical methods, I'd been taking my time and working through the process logically, so rather than push on and try to rush, I decided to leave the final installation of this unit till next time.

The real challenge with the remaining windows would be to locate suitable exterior trim to fit in the recessed channel and cover the exposed screw heads from outside.  I'd saved the original material where I could, but some of it was in poor condition or missing entirely.  More on this later.

Total Time Today:  3.75 hours

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