Yes, I was successful. I did it the way I described in my earlier message - remove the portside vertical frame element, remove the top frame element, and remove the top glass section. I was then able to tip the door back and remove the failed runners.
I was not able to get replacement runners; theoretically someone in France
is "looking into it" but the Georgia
based Beneteau parts service
(normally very helpful) was unable to identify them even with the photos I sent. I have hull
number 2 so the door styles/model/manufacturer may have changed.
Instead I adapted a $30 repair kit from slide-ezzz.com, a kit designed for patio doors that bypasses the whole runner-on-rail system with a pair of plastic track inserts and a pair of teflon runners mounted on the ends of the door. There are challenges to adapting this kit but I think I have most of the bugs worked out. The door does slide easily now but I just completed the installation
so I don't know how it will hold up and thus hesitate to recommend it.
I had also looked into adapting runners built for other doors. Most are the same width but the available runners typically use larger (1 1/4") wheels instead of the 3/4" wheels in my runners.
The hard part for me was getting access to the runners and to the whole track so here's a few tips on that.
Disassembling the door starts with the portside vertical frame element. There are three screws that hold it in place and they are easy to get to and should be easy to remove. The gasketing that holds the glass in place will make it harder to remove the frame element so I removed it along that edge. That was easy on my boat
, starting at the top corner with a small screwdriver and levering out the gasket
material until there is enough to pull. On my boat
material starts and ends at that corner but is one piece as it wraps around the four edges of glass. I pulled out just that edge and let it dangle. Then it's just a matter of tapping to overcome corrosion
or other resistance and the edge will pull free.
To remove the top element you have to first remove the top screw on the starboard vertical frame piece. Then just lift
it off while overcoming the resistance of the gasket on the top edge of the glass.
To remove the top glass I was able to wedge successively larger screwdrivers under the exposed bottom corner and gradually work
it free from the gasket along the bottom and the starboard edge. On my boat, the vertical parts
of gasket were in two pieces, inside and outside, while the horizontal parts wrapped around the glass. The glass is HEAVY; set it aside carefully.
At that point, the "door" is just the starboard vertical frame piece, the bottom and middle horizontal piece and the bottom piece of glass. It can be slid to port and tipped "back" to expose the runners. Now you can see if the runners are repairable (mine were not) and decide on a plan of action.
I will add that the door can also be removed at that point but it isn't obvious how - and I'm not sure I can describe it well. With the door now lying on it's "back", you lift the door tipping the glass down a bit and with some careful maneuvering you swing the free end of the vertical frame inside over the top of the cabinet and tilt the top of the glass inside and just gradually work the whole thing over the cabinet and inside the salon
. It doesn't look like it will work and the measurements would indicate that it won't but tilting and maneuvering carefully in three dimensions will allow it to work. Or at least it did on my boat.
Will add some pictures of my repair installation
as soon as I gain some confidence in it.