Back in May 2015, I made the bow seat window interior panels. But they sat gathering dust as other priorities got done, like installing the port and starboard engines, installing the helm windshield frame, painting the aft head. staining and varnishing the salon…it’s been a busy year. But I’ve got to get the exterior weatherproof, so it’s time to install those bow seat interior panels and get the windows in.
I had to take a grinder to two of the window openings because Motion Windows tends to make their frames too big. It doesn’t seem to matter whether I send them dimensions in text form, drawings, or even templates of the window holes cut from 1/4″ luan plywood with explicit instructions to NOT make the frame bigger than the template…Motion Windows STILL makes 2 out of 3 frames too big. But enough of that nonsense. It’s time to get the panels installed!
I wetted out the panel around the window opening itself, too, so there’s plenty of epoxy soaked into the wood. Since I’m using screwless construction here, the epoxy bond has to be very strong.
I used a long mahogany board pulled from the pile to push the long edge of the panel up tight to the side panel.
The shot above shows the joint between the new panel and the painted bow seat window opening. If the caulk that seals the window ever leaks, water might be able to wick into the unsealed plywood edge and start rotting out the panel.
Saturating the edge and the joint with epoxy might be overkill, but I never want to have to deal with rotten plywood again. The down-side to this approach is that once the epoxy is applied, I have to wait until the next day for it to cure. Fortunately, there’s lots of other stuff to do on the boat. The following day, I installed the window.
I can’t wait to get all of the windows in so I can wash the boat. All of the wood and sanding dust makes the brand new paint look like hell.
Good epoxy squeeze-out means the panel is fully bonded to the substrate. The following day, I sealed the cut edges with epoxy, and the day after that I installed the window.
The up-side to this approach is that I believe I will never again have to deal with rotten plywood around these windows. The down-side is that it’s very time consuming. Installing two panels and two windows consumed three days. I’ll have to wrap up the last window in the next go-round.