Plug Your Hole!

This little blurb is for all us poor boaters that don't have a boat with actual glass for side or rear windows, but rather the "see through" heavy plastic stuff.  Its only a matter of time before you have a boat that damage is going to occur to those plastic windows, be it from a filleting knife gone astray, a sharp hook flung the wrong way or in my case, below zero temperatures.

Just before the first frost I usually put all my "curtains" in the boat, preventing any damage to the plastic's from the cold.  The plastic loses it flexibility by at least 80% when it gets cold, and the result can be ugly, first showing up as small "cracks" in the clear plastic and finally leading to an actual hole, be it jagged or what looks like a clean slice.  You can take the curtain in and get new plastic put in but that's not a very cheap fix, something which can cost a hundred bucks or more for just one window!  My cheap solution costs $8.00 and a little time, that's it, and its called AquaSeal.

I first used the product when I was on the RCMP Dive Team, for fixing up a holey dry suit!  This stuff is quite amazing, staying flexible even in sub-zero temperatures and if used with what's called a "Accelerator", it speeds up the curing process and can be ready in an hour!  Without the "Accelerator" its best to leave the product set up for at least 24 hours.

I had several "cracks" show up in my rear curtain when I tried rolling up the center section to secure it to the roof, leaving me a open door to go back and forth from the helm.  While rolling up the "door" there were a couple of kinks in the plastic which I failed to or was unable to flatten out prior to rolling up and budda bing, got some holes in it!  Then, right on the edge of the door where the plastic is stitched to the cloth framework, I also wound up with a 4" long "cut" from a bad fold.  In this case I had the wife put the curtain onto the good old sewing machine and she stitched the plastic back to the cloth section, without "puckering" the material, and I then applied a liberal dose of Aquaseal to the entire stitched/split area.  On all damaged areas  I applied the Aquaseal to one side first, let it setup for a couple of hours, and then turned it over and applied it to the other side.  If you can get the repair sealant on a nice flat surface it will dry exactly like that, nice and flat.  I applied a little to much as seen in the pictures so it is a little bulged but whatever, I'm not worrying about it tearing further now.

For those that are fussy about how the finished product looks this may not be for you but, for us thrifty types, it's better than the cat's sphincter!