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Navigator Window Trim

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by gr8trn, Jan 15, 2017.

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  1. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    My boat, 2009 Californian Veneti 50, is experiencing pilot house window trim bubbling. The pilot house fixed windows port and starboard are trimmed around the periphery with what seems to be black vinyl sticker. I thought is was a trim vinyl to hide the mullions. I believe from UV exposure and I am afraid that a boat detailer went over them with a buffer and that heat stretched and bubbled the vinyl.

    I have yet to have a auto window tint person or vehicle wrap person willing to come do boat estimates. I did run across a yacht captain of a 102' Westport that has what seems to the same window trim and bubbling who has rolls of black vinyl on hand for repairing his as needed. I was unable to ever get to know his material source or removal and application technique...

    Just today on a Navigator facebook group I was informed by an owner that his and several other Navigators have the same problem and that it is not cosmetic and that the windows need to be replaced to the tune of $40 large for his pilot house. He even went on to say that his contact with Crows Nest Yachts in Seattle have indicated that they may be able to get an experienced Navigator technician, as Crows Nest is the dealer of record for the defunct Navigator, if there were enough vessels committed to the repair work.

    I am hoping @PacBlue can chime in as well as he is a former Navigator associate.

    Does anyone have any experience with this problem?

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    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2017
  2. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    PM sent
  3. Seaduck

    Seaduck New Member

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    The vinyl film is common with many manufacturers. Taylor Made also uses a similar approach. 3M makes a Black Window Film. I have used this on a Jefferson MY and it looks great and has lasted now 6 years. Go to Amazon and search for 3M window film
  4. Capt Cole

    Capt Cole Member

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    The product is Sika Primer and is applied with a small sponge type roller as a black border on the inside of windows on Navigator Yachts and Californian Yachts. Over time, UV exposure will cause it to bubble and peel. Besides it's aesthetic purpose of blocking view of where the window meets the frame, the primer also helps in bonding the glass to the window frame. A common caulking used is Sikaflex 296.

    I only know this because I recently had to have a window repaired. Anyone can apply the primer. The hard part is remounting the window. Not inexpensive.
  5. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    Thanks for posting your experience.
  6. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    Thanks for this info.
  7. knotchrissea

    knotchrissea New Member

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    Are you still a Jefferson owner? I am purchasing a 52 Monticello and would like to hear from other Jefferson owners.
  8. Capt Cole

    Capt Cole Member

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    Did you ever get your window trim issue resolved? I had to have one window repaired a couple of years ago and so far so good. My problem now is I have 4 more that now need attention. I am reaching out in case you or someone has come up with a different or better solution than what my boat yard used then.
  9. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    I did. I finally found a commercial glass installer who's shop also did vehicle wraps. He came to the boat and built a paper template of each window trim. He then cut out replacements. He returned and removed the old bubbled trim plastic/vinyl material with a heat gun, then prepped/cleaned the glass and applied the new black window trim.
    This was done last summer 2018 and as of today they are perfect.
    I have instructed the boat detailer to keep the buffers off of the trim vinyl.
    As I don't recall the actual material used you may want to call Ultimate Window in Vancouver WA for more details. Andrew will know the details. This is the only boat project they did as far as I know so they may recall the job. Area code 360 695 4444.
  10. Capt Cole

    Capt Cole Member

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    Just to be clear, you had this product applied to the outside of the window vs the inside as it came from Navigator.
  11. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    Yes. The factory install had a black band of some product on the inside that is a nice substrate that allows for the adhesive to bond to. I believe you referred to this in a previous post on this tread. This and the adhesive itself is subject to UV and temperature fluctuation damage over the years.
    The treatment I am referring to is the, for a lack of better description, vinyl decal that surrounds the circumference of each window. It is there to protect the interior adhesive bond.
    This was also factory on the outside of the window. I am sure it is designed to protect in a sacrificial way the interior bonding agent and adhesive. I do not know what year and which models Navigator did this on.
  12. Capt Cole

    Capt Cole Member

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    On my year (2009) Navigator, the black band is on the inside only. I may try to go with the exterior route. It would certainly be less expensive than removing windows, applying the black trim to the inside and then re-bed the window. I did one a couple of years ago for just over $2K.

    Besides the material you used, there is a product used to spray on car wheels when you want to touch up or change color. A friend of mine sprayed the wheels on an older Jag and changing from silver to gun metal grey. They turned out great. The paint bonded well to alloy wheels and is tough enough to hold up to all the junk that gets on wheels. This paint also comes in gloss black.

    Thank you for sharing your experience. It gives me a sensible option. I may be able to strip out the black caulking from the bottom of the one window that has a 2-3 ft section where the bond of window to fiberglass has given way. I might be able to inject some quality marine adhesive/sealant to re-bond this short area in the middle of a 6 foot section of glass, re-caulk with Sikaflex or similar product and then mask off and paint or have vinyl applied as you did.
  13. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    I did have one window that has lost it's seal on the lower edge. I attacked it from the inside. I was able to 'dig' out enough old adhesive and clean with acetone. I then injected the area with black Silkflex through a small syringe into the gap. I then ran an interior bead and smoothed than with finger and alcohol. I then attached one of my suction handles to the inside of the window and was able to pull that with a long dowel that would rest against the interior wood window frames to tension the suction handle. I let that sit for two or three day. Did that last summer and it is still holding strong a year later. Much cheaper that removing and reinstalling for sure.

    I wonder if your boat just did not get the outside black decal vinyl as it was during the time that our economy went sideways and Navigator was on the way out...?
  14. Capt Cole

    Capt Cole Member

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    Unfortunately some wood trim block access so I can't reseal from the inside. The outside may be pretty straight forward. On the Navigator 4800, 2009 seems to be the first year for my particular style of window. It eliminated the white framing between the window panes so that my individual glass segments butt up against one another with only a 1/4 inch section of black caulk showing. I'm sure it was meant to look more modern like Carver and other brands went to several years before, but durability took a hit. Who knows for sure if it was intended to be a cost saver.

    Your experience as well as info I received in a conversation with PacBlue have given me options.

    Thanks again to all.
  15. Capt Cole

    Capt Cole Member

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    Navigator Window Update:


    I had one window on the port side which had degraded bond holding the glass in place and had to be removed and re-bedded. To have a yard bring that one window back to factory specs would have run just over $3K. The other 3 large panes on the port side were still sealed tight, but the black material used on the inside of the glass to hide unfinished wood and fiberglass framing and to provide UV protection for the bonding material was bubbling and cracking. In order to reapply the black primer material, all 4 windows would have to be removed, reconditioned and re-bedded at a cost of around $12K. The problem with bringing the windows back to the way they came from the builder is that this process isn't really a permanent or even guaranteed long term fix. The permanent and costly fix would be to have all windows removed and send them out to have a ceramic frit baked on to the inside of the glass, similar to auto windshields. This process would run from $40-50K.

    After numerous web searches, phone calls to boatyards from southern CA to Seattle and private messages from members of this forum, I decided on what I believe to be a durable and cost effective fix. The job was completed today. With input and recommendations from several people, the following process is the route I chose.

    1. A mobile glass shop with years of experience working on boats removed, cleaned and re-bedded the one loose window. $1,000

    2. A car company specializing in window tinting and vinyl wrap for vehicles applied a very durable 4 mil black vinyl material to the outside of the glass vs inside. An adhesive string is first laid on the glass where the edge of the black border would be. He applied it like a car pin-striper would lay down the fine line masking tape, and exactly matched the shape of where the original material had been applied on the inside. A large sheet of vinyl covering the entire window was applied. The tech then began pulling this 3M adhesive string and it cut a perfectly clean edge in the exact shape we needed. the center piece of vinyl was then peeled away leaving the perfect black border around the glass. He then used a razor blade to trim around the outside edge of the glass. This product is UV resistant. To add more protection, a layer of 6 mil clear vinyl witch is also UV resistant was applied over the black vinyl. In addition to the window that had to be re-bedded, the vinyl was also put on the remaining 3 windows that had bubbling and cracked black primer. The material applied to the outside completely covered the damage and looks great. Cost for vinyl wrap and clear vinyl protective layer on all 4 windows, $1,250.

    In the end, the appearance is outstanding and the cost, reasonable. Time will tell how durable it truly is. This is the same type of material used to wrap trucks and buses for advertising and I have seen it last for years.

    I hope this information will be helpful to any other boat owner dealing with a similar problem.
  16. YachtForums

    YachtForums Publisher/Admin

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    Great post capt Cole! Thank you for taking the time document the process and share it with others.
  17. PacBlue

    PacBlue Senior Member

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    Nice update, would love to see a picture :)

    Appreciate your methodical approach.
  18. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    Sounds good Capt. Cole.
    My new outside black vinyl trim is solid after one year of use. I am hopeful to get 10 years.
    Best of luck to you, I think you have a solid repair and your expense was very reasonable.
  19. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    Hi Capt. Cole,
    Do you, by chance, recall the thickness of the glass? Also do you know if it is tempered?
    Also, other than clean, did the installer prep the window after cleaning with a tape, Frit or some other mechanical like grinding to give the sealant somewhere to form a mechanical bond?

    I ask because I am rebedding two as soon as the temperatures allow.
  20. Capt Cole

    Capt Cole Member

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    I was present for the entire process. I do not know for certain the actual window thickness. I believe it to be 1/4" but am not sure. The glass is tempered. The window was thoroughly cleaned with window cleaner and then acetone. The adhesive is designed to bond the glass without any etching or grinding. The black tape border I described was applied to the outside of the glass and its purpose is to protect the adhesive from UV damage. Frit, which is a ceramic material baked onto the inside surface of glass like you see automobile windshields. The ceramic frit was deemed to expensive by Navigator when my boat was built and they chose to go with a less expensive primer paint (Sikaflex Primer) as a UV shield. Unfortunately, this product eventually failed due to the effects of UV and the primer lost its bond to the glass.