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 Has anyone resealed their windows?

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Jacob Posted - 04/07/2023 : 07:05:46
I have some water leaking in around the cabin windows. I've seen countless videos showing how to reseal the windows on older boats like the 25, but I have never seen anyone explaining what to do with the newer style plexiglass windows on the 250. Is it as simple as prying them off, cleaning up the old silicone (if that's what it is) and sticking them back on with new silicone? I could just apply some silicone sealant on the outside around the windows I guess to stop or at least slow the leaks, but I'd rather clean them up and start fresh if that's what is recommended.
Thanks everyone!
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Voyager Posted - 04/09/2023 : 06:23:07
I watched a YT video by Sailing Bros (from Texas, not Wales) and they replaced the old built-in windows (portlights) on their old boat with new tinted acrylic windows. They prepared the openings with a 3M super grip double sided flexible tape and they only got one shot to mount the lens correctly. Once they made contact with the adhesive, it better be perfectly right, otherwise it would be permanently wrong.
I suspect that the C250 lights were mounted similarly.
If there is a way to find the leaking area using a super soaker type water gun or fine-stream hose nozzle, then focus your efforts there. Id be afraid to use a silicone caulk because it wont hold up for long however it becomes a permanent mess. Acrylic sealers or black sikaflex are probably a better answer.
OLarryR Posted - 04/07/2023 : 21:41:18
Years ago, I discussed with Catalina Mfr's Technical and Sales Departments replacing a plexiglas window on my 1989 Cat25. I was able to obtain the plexiglas window replacement from the Mfr cut to my size based on a paper outline of my window which I provided to them. However, I still have not replaced my window since the crack in it which I initially sealed with silicone never leaked and...just procrastinatedt....the crack seemed to bother me less with the passage of time! So, my replacement window is still laying in my VBerth area.)

Anyway, that is some background info.

Catalina provided two mechanical drawings and guidance for installing/replacing/resealing their window(s). The main drawing is not specific to the Catalina 25 as it is dated 1996. The drawing indicates Dow 795 silicone sealant. Other similar sealants probably can be used and it is also possible that Catalina has made addl revisions of tha drawing since 1996...maybe even a new drawing altogether. But I thought there may be some interested in what Catalina's drawing on window installation indicated at least in 1996.

I have the info and the drawings accessible from a link found toward the bottom left on the opening page of my website.
Jacob Posted - 04/07/2023 : 12:16:40
Interesting... that sounds like it's not as easy as I thought. Being that it's not super high on the priority list, I think I might just put some silicone around them for now to stop or slow the leaks and work on the more important stuff! Thanks!
Steve Milby Posted - 04/07/2023 : 09:22:45
I can't give you a complete answer, but I had frameless windows professionally replaced on my C&C 35, and the adhesive is so strong that the old windows, which were cracked, were taken out piece-by-piece and the old adhesive that remained was ground away with an angle grinder.

So, to answer your question, unless Catalina used a much less aggressive adhesive (I'd guess they probably didn't), it isn't that simple. It took the experienced installer one long day to remove the old windows and remove the old adhesive, and one more day to install the new windows.

There are how to DIY articles and videos online that are helpful. I decided to have mine done professionally and don't regret it, although it's pricey. Here's one article. It appears from the photos accompanying the article that the author cut the new windows to perfectly fit the opening. That's a mistake. Acrylic windows contract and expand, and you have to leave room for expansion in the opening.

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