I can see clearly now the grain had gone

We had bought some replacement windows and they had been in our back cabin for a few weeks now, so it was time to rip out the old and put in the new. On top of windows we have been tasked with the job of emptying dehumidifiers, a very simple task but it does mean that we are now acting as a boat key repository.

Times have once again become uncertain, with people not knowing what will be happening with the new lockdown restrictions, so they have given us their keys so that we can empty their dehumidifiers. They have also asked us to check the lines and for one boat check their propeller drip-less seal, which is unfortunately is not drip-less. We are happy to help, when you are part of the community like we are, then this is part of the deal. We did stop at doing one guys washing, at the moment we are struggling to do our own, so we are not going to do someone else's.

Changing our Lewmar portlights

We had the lenses to replace our portlights, it would mean that we would no longer be able to open the windows, but we would be able to see out and that is what we really want.

Equipment and Materials

  • Portlights- we purchase ours off a fellow Bavaria owner because when he did his, he had, had to buy extra which he was selling. He supplied a great package because, not only did he supply the portlights themselves, he also supplied some silicone grease to go on the rubber seal and all the nuts and bolts that we would need.
  • Silicone grease - Used to create a seal between the rubber seal and the perspex
  • Bolts - For each portlight you need 6 bolts, ours were supplied in our package
  • Screwdrivers - We used both a posidrive and a flat bladed screw driver, we also used the flat bladed screw driver to pry off the windows
  • Allen Key - The new bolts that we were supplied used allen keys to secure them
  • Vice grips - For those awkward screws that refuse to budge
  • Masking tape - This is to mask around the frame so that the excess butyl keeps off the hull of the boat.
  • Cleaning clothes - There is a lot of cleaning to be done so have those cleaning cloths handy
  • While spirit - Used to clean the frame
  • WD40 - We used this to clean the frame in some parts and the bolts
  • Wet wipe - Used to clean the seal around the window
  • Butyl tape - We bought 15m to do the job and that did all six portlights, a new seal on our small portlight and we still had butyl tape left over to go in our spares
  • Duralac - This is a compound that creates a barriers between the stainless seal bolt and the aluminium frame
  • Blunt knife - Used to cut off the excess tape

Hints and Tips on replacing your portlights

In the end we replaced six portlights and we also replaced the seal on the small portlight that we have in our back cabin, so here are the tips that we learnt that will make your life easier

  • Template - Create a template of where every screw is and put in a small hole in the template. This is so that you know where every screw is, the screws are of different lengths and you need to put them back where you got them out of
  • Loosen the screws - Make sure that you can actually undo all the screws before you work outside, it just means that you have the masking tape on the outside of the boat for the least amount of time. Sometimes we find that you have to turn the screw the right way first, to break the bond between the screw and the frame.
  • Masking tape - Put on the masking tape so that your next piece of making tape is over the first, this way when you pull up the first tape it will lift the second and so on, so that you will pull up all the tape in one go.
  • Removing the screws on the inside frame - Just make sure that the last screw that you remove last is in the middle and at the top, that way the frame is hanging nicely of the screw and you are not getting into any awkward positions holding the frame while you screw out the last screw
  • Removing the frame - Although we had removed the glass in the frame we show on camera, this is not necessary. Use screwdrivers between the side of the boat and the frame to gently pry the window out of the frame, keeping the frame as flat as possible
  • Removing the glass - It is a lot easier to remove the glass after removing the frame and our blog beaten by a window covers this part of the job. A couple of the screws were really stubborn, so we had to resort to using an angle grinder on these.
  • Keep your vents open - While you are cleaning the frame with white spirit, it is important to keep a good flow of air around as white spirit can be quite flammable
  • WD40 - This is practically a wonder product when it comes to removing glue, it also does a good job on cleaning the bolts
  • How much to clean the frame - We really cleaned the outside edge of the frame and about a centimetre in on the inside from the edge so that the butyl would be against a clean frame, inside of the centimetre we were not so careful, it was still clean, but there were still bits that were not perfect.
  • Measuring your Butyl tape - When you are measuring curves always cut your tape a little bit longer as the curves need more tape
  • Good thick layer of butyl - Put a good thick layer of tape down, When you buy tape like we did the tape comes at the right thickness, so don't stretch the tape.
  • Add bits if you need to - Sometimes on the corners, that tape pulls in so if this happens just add bits of butyl if you need to.
  • Screwing the frame in - This is really a two person job as one person is needed to put on the Duralac while the second puts the screws in, start with the screws at the top and close to the hinges so that you can see the holes you are screwing into, then once the top is done do the screws close to the join so that that is secured.
  • Hand tighten the screws - Only hand tighten the screws as you might need to remove them in a good few years
  • Smear on the silicon gel - Smear the rubber with a
  • Leave the butyl to squeeze out - Leave the butyl to squeeze out for a bit after you have finished. This is just to let the frame settle then look at every screw again. On one screw we got a whole rotation out after this settling time.
  • Use a blunt knife - Use a blunt knife to remove the excess butyl, remove the tape, then wipe the edges of the window and smooth down the bural with some white spirit
We are so pleased with the result, it is just great to be able to see out.

Celebration to start 2021

We celebrated the start of 2021, with a rainbow and a really good meal, so lets hope it is a good one


Raising money for the RNLI

The RNLI turned 200 years old on 4th March 2024. So as sailors and people who promote the joy of sailing, we thought that we would like to raise just £200. What we hope is that other people take up the shout and raise their own £200. In the last 200 years the RNLI have saved over 144,000 lives and yet they are funded entirely by people like you. They are not government funded.

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