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Old 18-11-2013, 10:41   #1
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Hack these deadlights

This is kind of an extension of another thread, but it's a different question. We have at this point addressed the %)$(*& junk all over the frames of the old deadlights, but after some missteps putting them back together, we have a limited number of options for how to make everything look good and right. And we don't even know all of the options!

So, here's a rundown of the situation. The old deadlights appear to be made of aluminum... one exterior frame that holds the glass, and one internal frame that screws into the exterior frame. We failed to label the exterior frames when we put them back together and the result is a pile of mismatched holes and no matching frame sets. The internal frames already have an average of 10 holes drilled into them.

Are there any good solutions for replacing the internal frames, sealing the holes and drilling new ones, or foregoing them entirely? We would really love any feedback about this.

Here are some helpful images.

The empty space... the edges were saturated with water. We drilled out as much of the wet core as we could and filled it with sealant foam and then epoxied the surface generously to seal it.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...0/_DSC0509.jpg

The type of exterior frame we have. The putty is no longer an issue after Sunday:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...0/_DSC0536.jpg

The interior frames with all their drill holes. The larger deadlights were all matched, but the small 5" x 12" deadlights need new holes to actually get screwed to the external frames.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...0/_DSC0534.jpg

This is how they are supposed to look. Is there another option? Or should we just drill through the existing internal frame holes and create new holes in the external frame?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v4...0/_DSC0400.jpg

Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 18-11-2013, 15:10   #2
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Re: Hack these deadlights

Lucky,

Questions:

1) Are there any kind of holes in the exterior frames?

2) Were the interior frames through-bolted to the exterior ones?

3) Are the interior frames merely screwed into the cabin trunk?

4) Of what material is the "glass?" armor glass? plexiglass? lexan?

5) When you disassembled them, could you determine the cause of the water intrusion? Specifically, was it poor caulking? maybe just gaps in caulking?

When you wrote about the "spline", it sounded as if someone had tried to wedge the "light" material closer to the side of the cabin. Is this correct?

Either minaret or Mainesail could help you if you PM them. I have some ideas, but don't understand well enough from the pictures what is actually going on there.

Ann
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Old 18-11-2013, 15:31   #3
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Re: Hack these deadlights

Hi ATC, sorry I wasn't clear before!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Lucky,

Questions:

1) Are there any kind of holes in the exterior frames?
There are no holes on the exterior side of the frames. The screws go through the interior frame into the interior face of the exterior frames, but not all the way through.

Quote:
2) Were the interior frames through-bolted to the exterior ones?
No

Quote:
3) Are the interior frames merely screwed into the cabin trunk?
No there are no holes in the cabin trunk, so the deadlight pieces are screwed together.

Quote:
4) Of what material is the "glass?" armor glass? plexiglass? lexan?
The smaller deadlights are actual glass and then the larger ones seem to be made of some kind of acrylic/plexiglass/lexan type material. I'm not sure I could identify it.

Quote:
5) When you disassembled them, could you determine the cause of the water intrusion? Specifically, was it poor caulking? maybe just gaps in caulking?
There were multiple points of failure for each deadlight. The 'glazing' around the panes was mostly dried, cracked and ancient. The sealant was also old, cracked and inconsistent between the outside of the frame and the cabin trunk. Water was seeping through both on most of the deadlights.

Quote:
When you wrote about the "spline", it sounded as if someone had tried to wedge the "light" material closer to the side of the cabin. Is this correct?
http://prime-line-products.com/WEBAR...B%5CP-7743.JPG

This is what I mean when I say spline. This stuff wrapped around the pane and then was tucked into the exterior frame. Presumably it was to help create a seal but for the most part is was aged and had lost a lot of its pliability. We (perhaps mistakenly) used silcone sealant to renest it since we could not replace it in short order. They also call it a glazing channel I think?

Quote:
Either minaret or Mainesail could help you if you PM them. I have some ideas, but don't understand well enough from the pictures what is actually going on there.

Ann
I wasn't sure I was going to post about this over the weekend, otherwise I would have taken more and better pictures.

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond!
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Old 18-11-2013, 16:42   #4
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Were those screws machine screws or sheet metal screws?
Think I would glass the opening or at least epoxy seal the edge. I'm struggling how this works unless there was a nut like a flange nut through the exterior trim. If just screwed then I think the exterior is relying on glue to hold it in. The screws just hold the trim on. Maybe no water can get to the screw holes so then it doesn't matter so much.
Better pictures might help. Or someone who has taken these apart will chime in.
Good luck.
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Old 18-11-2013, 17:11   #5
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Re: Hack these deadlights

well, the screw holes do not pierce the exterior of the frame. They only screw in enough to attach the interior frame to the interior part of the exterior frame. This is very confusing without pictures, I'm sure.

They were largely machine screws for the most part, only a few were sheet metal and were probably replacements.
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Old 18-11-2013, 18:03   #6
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Re: Hack these deadlights

You know, Lucky,

I'm afraid this is going to be a bitter pill for you to swallow, but unless there is some mirable glazing compound out there that will seal and hold the frames up without relyiing on the screw arrangement, you're gonna have to undo your work, and re-do it, matching the frames to their partners. Be sure to use enough good quality caulking that a tiny bit squeezes out all the way around, both outside and inside. You then remove the excess. For this, Jim uses a broken off popsicle stick with a straight-cut tip on it, followed by solvent of choice on a rag. You can make it look tidy, but you must have enough caulking to keep out water.

Good luck with it.

Ann
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Old 19-11-2013, 18:33   #7
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Re: Hack these deadlights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
You know, Lucky,

I'm afraid this is going to be a bitter pill for you to swallow, but unless there is some mirable glazing compound out there that will seal and hold the frames up without relyiing on the screw arrangement, you're gonna have to undo your work, and re-do it, matching the frames to their partners. Be sure to use enough good quality caulking that a tiny bit squeezes out all the way around, both outside and inside. You then remove the excess. For this, Jim uses a broken off popsicle stick with a straight-cut tip on it, followed by solvent of choice on a rag. You can make it look tidy, but you must have enough caulking to keep out water.

Good luck with it.

Ann


Yup. It will be faster and give a better result than refastening. By the time you fix the inner frames in place, drill with a depth stop, tap with a standard tap, tap with a bottoming tap, and then install, the time involved will be a wash. Better to redo it the right way instead of poking a bunch of unnecessary holes in stuff. Call it lesson learned, always always always label everything. Not just with what it is and where it came from, but also with orientation. I use a little symbol with arrows which always point forward and up. The general idea to shoot for is, "if I walk away from this now and somebody else has to reinstall it, they should be able to do it just by looking at the part". Also get in the habit of taping fasteners into the holes they came out of on any given part. I can't tell you how many parts look uncomplicated at a glance, but when you reinstall you realize each screw needs to be a different length or something similar. Lots of pics are good too.
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Old 20-11-2013, 10:22   #8
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Re: Hack these deadlights

Thanks so much for the feedback folks. We are going to investigate the situation this weekend and see how challenging it will be. It's getting increasingly cold and the days are too short to do a lot of what we tried to accomplish last weekend. If they don't leak then we'll leave them alone until next spring when we can do everything in slightly better comfort and feel slightly less pressed for time.
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Old 20-11-2013, 10:37   #9
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Re: Hack these deadlights

Yep, match them up. Fill everything with excessive caulk of your choice and put it together... permanently! Then remove the excess caulk.
I'm the type of guy who would do it with 5200, just doing one pane a day if necessary to get each perfect. Then It becomes one homogenious part of the cabin! Someone else can worry about it in 20 years!
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Old 20-11-2013, 11:25   #10
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Re: Hack these deadlights

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...I'm the type of guy who would do it with 5200, just doing one pane a day if necessary to get each perfect. Then It becomes one homogenious part of the cabin! Someone else can worry about it in 20 years!
I hope you are joking.

Use Sikaflex 291.

If it were me I would replace all larger deadlights with custom made deadlights from Bomon(Bomon marine,boat window replacement,marine windows, replacement,hatches,doors,marine doors, abyc , iso12216) and I would replace the smaller ones with opening ports from Whitewater marine in FL.

I had Bomon make 4 for my previous boat a few years ago and they did a fantastic job. Great folks and very reasonable. The glass was tempered. They use the same "clamp" type of mounting where the outer and inner frames clamp around the cabin side without penetrating it. They use closed cell foam tape for sealing though which works very well and enables you to easily service the ports if needed.
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Old 21-11-2013, 18:36   #11
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Re: Hack these deadlights

Hello Tim,

Good on you for thinking outside the box.

Here I am --the old cheapskate-- trying to save the wizard money, and you come up with a practical idea that will look nice, too.

YES!

Ann
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Old 21-11-2013, 18:45   #12
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Re: Hack these deadlights

Another supplier of those type would Diamond Seaglaze. Both options a lot more expensive then just recaulking what you have! However, I believe they only go down to a minimum size due to tooling and closeness of bends to one another. IF replacing I'd go with real portlites on the smaller ones...but I think we are far afield from what you requested!
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Old 21-11-2013, 19:40   #13
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Re: Hack these deadlights

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Another supplier of those type would Diamond Seaglaze. Both options a lot more expensive then just recaulking what you have! However, I believe they only go down to a minimum size due to tooling and closeness of bends to one another. IF replacing I'd go with real portlites on the smaller ones...but I think we are far afield from what you requested!


Very, very far.
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