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Old 28-02-2020, 20:21   #1
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Curved cabin rooflights replacement

What do I need to do about replacing a cracked cabin rooflight on a Cal 9.2?
Is there a aftermarket source for replacing this curved acrylic panel?

Thanks
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Old 28-02-2020, 20:34   #2
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Re: Curved cabin rooflights replacement

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Originally Posted by n5ama View Post
What do I need to do about replacing a cracked cabin rooflight on a Cal 9.2?
Is there a aftermarket source for replacing this curved acrylic panel?

Thanks

Have you thought of bending it yourself?


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Old 28-02-2020, 21:01   #3
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Re: Curved cabin rooflights replacement

Are you asking about the side windows or the top hatch? Hatches are easy. If not too thick the side windows only need minimal heat to follow a large curve.
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Old 28-02-2020, 21:16   #4
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Re: Curved cabin rooflights replacement

They are side windows about 6' long and 1' high. It is a gentle curve without any sharp turns but it is a long piece. It would seem to be difficult to apply even heat locally to maintain the proper curve.

Thanks for your help!
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Old 28-02-2020, 23:02   #5
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Re: Curved cabin rooflights replacement

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Originally Posted by n5ama View Post
They are side windows about 6' long and 1' high. It is a gentle curve without any sharp turns but it is a long piece. It would seem to be difficult to apply even heat locally to maintain the proper curve.

Thanks for your help!

If it is just a gentle curve could you bolt the bottom in and then use a hair dryer to heat the perspex while while pulling it into place with the securing bolts?
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Old 29-02-2020, 06:14   #6
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Re: Curved cabin rooflights replacement

That's certainly a possibility. I just didn't know how prone the plastic would be to stress cracking when under a strain.

I could probably bolt one corner down and move the heat along the surface, bolting the plastic down to the next bolt holes as I go. I assume I would not attempt to seal the window until after it was shaped and fit.

Thanks for the help!!
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Old 29-02-2020, 06:29   #7
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Re: Curved cabin rooflights replacement

A picture would be nice to help see what you are attempting to do.

What thickness of plexi are you replacing? If its just a simple/gentle roll (in 1 direction) over the 6' span, even 1/4" or possibly 5/16" should be doable w/o a heat gun.

Not sure where you are located, but if in a cold clim., would wait for a warmer/hot day to do the job as it will be more pliable.
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Old 29-02-2020, 06:45   #8
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Re: Curved cabin rooflights replacement

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Originally Posted by Bill O View Post
A picture would be nice to help see what you are attempting to do.

What thickness of plexi are you replacing? If its just a simple/gentle roll (in 1 direction) over the 6' span, even 1/4" or possibly 5/16" should be doable w/o a heat gun.

Not sure where you are located, but if in a cold clim., would wait for a warmer/hot day to do the job as it will be more pliable.

Working on a warm/hot day crossed my mind too, or solar heating in dark garbage bags.
Pictures from a brief Google interlude to Cal 9.2 Web Site:





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Old 29-02-2020, 06:45   #9
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Re: Curved cabin rooflights replacement

I plan on using 1/4" but I guess I'll need to find a source for the plastic to see what they have available. I'm new to this process and don't know the suppliers.
Long learning curve the first time around but I'll get there.

I'll post some pictures when I can get to the boat.

Thanks for the help.
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Old 29-02-2020, 06:47   #10
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Re: Curved cabin rooflights replacement

BTW, the lower boat in the picture looks like a Cal 9.2
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Old 29-02-2020, 07:38   #11
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Re: Curved cabin rooflights replacement

That looks like a simple and rewarding project when done. Once you get started and remove the old plexi. you'll almost be done.

You'll probably like the new plexi so much, you'll want to change out the other side also.
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Old 29-02-2020, 10:53   #12
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Re: Curved cabin rooflights replacement

I actually made a simple oven to heat up a piece of 1/4" and then placed it on a plywood mould that I made. You have to curve it first before cutting it to shape as the heating procesd causes shrinking. There is alot of information on the net for dyi.
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Old 29-02-2020, 11:09   #13
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Re: Curved cabin rooflights replacement

that's a pretty small curve over 6+ feet, are you sure it needs to be molded before installation? when you remove the existing one does it want to straighten out?
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Old 29-02-2020, 12:17   #14
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Re: Curved cabin rooflights replacement

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Originally Posted by guyrj33 View Post
that's a pretty small curve over 6+ feet, are you sure it needs to be molded before installation? when you remove the existing one does it want to straighten out?
I am wondering the same thing. A previous boat has a similar curve and when we replaced the port lens I simply bolted it in place AFTER putting the sealant (butyl tape) between the lens and the hull. Sealing from the outside is rarely effective.

TAP Plastics is a terrific place to buy plexiglas and Lexan. They are full of useful advice and will cut the plastic to your specifications. They have multiple locations in California and I ordered what I needed by email. I sent them the specs and they cut the plastic (cast acrylic - almost as strong as Lexan but does not scratch or craze as readily). This was for our current boat which also has a curved hull. No pre-bending was necessary and the lenses fit in a frame so no drilling was necessary either.

Good luck.
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Old 01-03-2020, 08:56   #15
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Re: Curved cabin rooflights replacement

Great information!!
I haven't pulled it yet to determine if it has a curve unmounted. I assumed it would have a set after being in place for so long (probably original equipment). I should be able to pattern the curve on a piece of 1/2 plywood, and generate the curve after heating to allow for shrinkage. I guess I would heat the plastic and then clamp it to the plywood form.

I've done some steam heat box bending of wood so I'm not totally unfamiliar with this process but didn't know how much heat was needed to safely bend this plastic.

Thanks again for the help and also material source.

Tom
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