Window Channel Replacement

by Patrick Mitchell, Elnora #37

(Editor's note: Installed in 2001, Patrick reports the windows and channels are holding up great as of September 2008.)

This installation requires you taking the sliding side of each window to an automotive glass shop for pattern making and cutting ¼ inch safety glass (the trial and error of trying to find suitable 3/8 inch channel for 3/8 inch glass, used by LNVTs, was exhausted). The result is a window that can be slid with one finger and no leaks. The non sliding side of the window is fine as is. It should be noted that the excess overlap of glass that the builder gave you in between the non sliding and the sliding portion can be reduced from several inches to ½ inch. I found that the mold and dirt inbetween the layers of glass impossible to clean so when the new pattern is cut mark the glass with a sharpie before you remove it for a cleanable ½ inch overlap. The channel is metal supported with rubber overlay and a felt channel, it is intended to be used with ¼ inch glass. All the materials are available from C.R. Laurence 1-800-421-6144 (FAX 1-800-262-3299) and your local hardware store.


Mark the glass from the outside with a sharpie pen where the windows overlap, you do this as a point of reference for the glass- cutter. As mentioned above you may want to reduce the width so you can clean your glass, my suggestion is draw an arrow on the glass which side to reduce and by how much.

Remove the screws holding the stainless window frame onto the outer frame, You will note that some screws are longer that others, the shorter ones are for the sides. Cut away all the caulking with a Stanley knife and remove both pieces of glass, if you are doing several windows at once be sure and mark which way faces forward and aft and which faces toward the inside. My suggestion is do 3 windows at a time and get the feel of things before trying the entire project. Important! No 2 pieces of glass or window frames are alike, as in don’t mix them up.

The concept of loading up every inch of these windows with caulking amazes me, the closed cell foam tape will be sufficient, scrape every bit of silicone/caulking off of everything you see except the glass that is being replaced. I used adhesive remover and a tooth brush and a single edge razor blade scrapper. Remember, clean all stainless parts, if you don’t the closed cell foam can’t make a water- tight seal.

The varnish around the windows (inside & out) may need redoing, I used exterior Schooner varnish in high-gloss for eight coats. Since these instructions are on window replacement the varnish portion is not applicable.

After you get the glass back from the glass shop save the original pieces so the can be used in reverse on the opposite side during the process, otherwise you will have to use vinyl or have a open window.

Take the new glass and use as a template for bending the corners of the channel, you will want to bend on three sides, the forth side is forward on the frame. The seam from the two ends of channel can be met on the upper forward corner, just out of view.

After you get the window channel laid out cut the two square drain holes through the channel in the bottom with some aviation snipers. You want to mark snip them first then pull the window channel out of the stainless frame and snip and smooth the four sides of your drain holes with a flat head screwdriver.

The single bottom hole in the window frame is suspect of leaks, so I squirted silicone into the hole and covered with the black foam tape, no stainless screw was used to hold the bottom in. You can use your own judgment here, the surfaces need to be surgically clean for the tape to stick and sliding the frame over the sticky surface is tricky.

You want to put the remainder screws in and silicone the threads of every screw to insure water-tight, water travels down screws threads very easily.

Once the inner frame is attached you want to lay the gray closed cell insulation tape on the inner edge of the of the outer frame that holds in the non sliding portion of the window. This gray tape covers the forward half of the outer frame only.

The gentleman who engineered this solution and did the installation on Elnora, #7, was Al Hughes (206) 784-7926.

Materials List:

  1. 75000019 Auto Window Channel 96” lengths (25 pieces required for special order, allow 4 weeks). Depending on hull number you will need 9 to 11 (96”) One 96” channel costs $13.65 each and 25 is ample to do two boats with some spares.
  2. 982116X12BL 1/16” X ½” black foam tape double/A639N. The black double sided foam tape has several requirements during installation and costs about $12.92 a roll, enough to do two boats easily.
  3. YM54R96 96” Auto W/STRIP 75000194-5013O. This is the vertical divider between the two pieces of glass. You will need 2 – 96” pieces to complete one 37 foot Victory Tug.
  4. Several rolls of household closed cell foam insulation ½ inch wide by ¼ inch thick in light gray color. Its peel and apply and about $2.00 roll.
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