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How to Repair Boat Windows

Updated February 21, 2017

When your boat windows develop small leaks, they can be repaired without a trip to your dealer's repair shop. Most leaks develop around boat windows because either the caulking around the window unit has begun to fail or the weatherstripping around the glass has become brittle or has been damaged. With a few simple tools and the help of another person, the window can be removed and repaired in a few hours

Have your assistant hold the window in place from the outside while you remove the interior trim pieces around the window and unscrew the interior frame clamp--the metal frame around the interior that has mounting screws.

Remove the window by pushing the window out to your associate.

Strip the sealant from the rear of the window frame and the boat using the razor blade and utility knife. Inspect the edges of the windows and the weatherstripping around the glass. If the weatherstripping is tattered or hard and brittle, cut around the weatherstrip with the edge of the utility knife and pull it out. Re-caulk the glass with marine silicone caulk.

Apply marine silicone caulk to the inside of the window frame and to the exterior of the boat where the window frame will be seated.

Use a razor blade to remove stray caulk from the glass and thoroughly clean the glass with ammonia. Allow the glass to dry then clean with glass cleaner.

Reverse the window removal process to reinstall the window.

Tip

If you have to cut the weatherstripping out, cut it at an angle to make it easier to remove. If your caulking gun won't run a bead thin enough to replace the weatherstripping, use a basting syringe, available at most grocery stores, to apply the caulk.

Warning

A leaking frame can be repaired. If a window is broken, however, it should be replaced to maintain the watertight integrity of the vessel.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver
  • Utility knife
  • Razor blades
  • Ammonia (to remove stray caulking)
  • Ammonia-based marine silicone caulking
  • An assistant
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About the Author

Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.