A week of ‘do-overs’, or “Three steps forward, Nineteen steps back.”

In addition to other ongoing projects, during this last week I’ve started re-bedding my portlights (windows) again. The first time (many months ago now) was as part of a general replacement, as the old plexiglass lenses had gotten crazed and murky. I bought a quarter-sheet of bonzed Lexan sheet, and cut out five new windows, cleaned up the old screw-holes and bronze frames, then put the works back together with what I had been informed was “the bomb” solution for Lexan; some Sikaflex “product”.
I say “product”, but it was more like “junk”, the same as most any other Sika product I’ve tried. Further research has shown that the Sika product intended for Lexan requires the mating surfaces to all be doped with acrylic primer prior to installation. Grrrrrr… What’s the point of buying $25 tubes of goop if you need $20 flasks of primer to make them stick?
The ports started leaking a few months in. Not only did this leave me with the inevitable interior drips, but the water was getting into the screw holes, then into the laminate, and pushing off the new cabinside paint. Shit.
So this week, extending into this weekend, I’ve pulled the bronze frames and Lexan, removed the Sikashit (crumbly and dry on the Lexan, completely un-cured and goopy on the bronze, and somewhere in-between on the fiberglass), and am re-bedding with BoatLife’s Lifecaulk. Will it work? Who knows for sure, but the BoatLife goop says “for Lexan” right on the tube, no primers, and “only” $24/tube (three tubes needed).
The other part of The Great Re-Do? I’m scrapping the screws; I’ve re-drilled and countersunk the bronze frames for 1/4″ bolts with stainless T-nuts inside the cabin. The T-nuts are visually ugly, but pretty much flush to the touch, and very strong. Also very expensive… The oval-head bolts were 35 cents a piece, but the nuts are a whopping $2.15 each! Not so bad, except that I need 50 to get the ports bolted back in. Just like that, another $200…
I’ve only gotten two of the five ports re-done, at the cost of hours or foul cursing, hammering, sweating, over-heating, sweating, cursing, getting covered in goop, sweating, etc.

Now as if all that wasn’t enough to keep my spirits soaring, I discovered that the water in my shower sump is not coming from rain through the head dorade, but actually from my midships water tank. Yay! Repairing this, of course, necessitates the removal of all the furniture in the main salon not permanently ‘glassed to the hull… After sweating and cursing through the removal of all this woodwork, I’m seriously debating deleting the folding table from the salon.


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