Freeman 22 MKII’s originally came with 6mm thick acrylic windows which were apparently necessary as glass would have shattered through flexing of the coachroof. The problem with acrylic is that it doesn’t last that long although UV stabilised polycarbonate does a lot better.
As you can see from the pictures, it was impossible to see anything through the old windows. Great for privacy of course.
I was initially going to buy replacement windows cut to the correct size from Sheridan’s however they were pretty expensive and would potentially require trimming. As my window rubbers were in pretty good shape I decided to buy a polycarbonate sheet (6mm thick) which was about a third of the cost. This made sense to me as the old windows would give me a perfect template to draw around with a marker.
Having transferred the old window shapes to the virgin polycarbonate sheet (which has a protective backing), I set to cutting it with a jigsaw using a fine ‘metal’ blade running at a medium speed. Cutting was surprisingly easy.
I thoroughly cleaned the old rubbers, which were fortunately still in pliable condition, with a scotchbrite pad and removed all remnants of silicone which had previously been used. I’m pretty sure bedding in the rubber profile with silicone sealant is a futile and unnecessary (and VERY messy). I may stand corrected, but if all the surfaces are clean and the rubber not perished, then it should all be watertight.
I bought a tool with a diamond shaped head and various other fittings to help with the job. It was very handy even though I didn’t use it quite as intended.
I gave the rubber seal a good soaking with silicone spray which made inserting the new window relatively easy and managed to re-insert the locking strip mostly by hand. It’s quite useful to have someone inside the boat making sure you don’t push the window right through but it’s still manageable on your own.
I think it’s probably essential to make sure everything is clean to get a good seal. I chose to start my rubber seal at the 12 o’clock position and insert the locking strip at the 6 o’clock position as I’m sure I saw this as a recommendation on a youtube video somewhere.
So now I can see through my front windows and also need to fit curtains !