Friday, 11 June 2010

A Smashing Time

So, more on that tarpaulin-covered window. We had been reluctant to post much about it until it was safely fixed!

On Friday, while we were still out at the Clayhithe visitor moorings, I got a call from James saying 'something bad's happened, one of our windows is smashed'. It was a flying piece which had broken off the Perago while James was removing paint from the tiller which he'd set down on the bank. Being toughened glass, it smashed safely, into tiny glass cubes that went all over the kitchen. We both went into panic mode, as it seemed like such a major thing to break! We arranged for a boatyard in Ely to fix it, at great expense, and thought about getting the insurance to cover it. We anticipated spending hundreds on a new window.

We were very busy over the weekend, and had to put it to the back of our minds, while we spent two days racing at Peterborough Regatta. But from talking to various people, we began to realise that we could fix it ourselves without much hassle. While I subbed into a college boat (Caius W2) on Sunday evening, James helped (big)James take Kestrel back to Cambridge from the Clayhithe moorings that evening, and they met a chap who seemed to know all about windows and offered to help if we couldn't do it ourselves. But he said it was so easy that we'd probably not even need to ask him! The window is pop-riveted on, and big James offered to lend us his, so that we could fix it back on.

On Monday, I rang various glass cutting places in Cambridge, and found that several places would cut a piece to shape for £20-30. In the evening, (big)James was coming out to Clayhithe to collect his car, and stopped by to help us see if we could remove the window. James drilled out the pop rivets and then they both levered the frame off using screwdrivers to break the mastic seal. It was surprisingly easy, and we soon had the frame off and ready to take to the glass cutters. That evening, we cruised in, with tarpaulin and a piece of plywood keeping the window rain-proof and secure.

Pop! The window comes loose

I took the frame over to Glass World, as they were the nearest place and they were very helpful. They took the whole frame, plus the unbroken top pane, and cut a new pane to fit the broken bottom section. I asked them to fit it too, since I wasn't sure how easy that job would be and wanted to leave it to the professionals. When I collected it today (with (big)James who came in his car to fetch it) it was securely sealed in and the whole unit ready to fit back into the vacant hole. And all for £29.77!

This evening, it was a 15 minute job to gun some mastic around the opening, put the window in place and pop rivet it back on again. We're very pleased with how easy it all turned out to be.

Off comes the weatherproofing (made from an old tarpaulin bag)

Black goo goes on

Fixing the last rivet on

For both of us it was a lesson is several things. Firstly, in not panicking, and trying to fix things ourselves (albeit with help from friends) the way we always used to rather than assuming we needed to throw money at the problem. Secondly it was a lesson in how simple narrowboat hopper windows are, and how easy it is to fix/remove them!

1 comment:

  1. Given the simple/easy construction, did you enquire if they could construct a double-glazing panel to fit? (I've thought about it for the port-holes).