Grand Banks Window Repairs, Views with Less Maintenance

Grand Banks window replacement and repair is one area you should be very careful about “how” you get the job done.

Get the job done right with an experienced Grand Banks window repair team

It seems simple enough to remove the frames, pull out the old window tracks, replace the window and reinstall everything. However, only an experienced Grand Banks team will know exactly how to align and seal everything so the job’s done right the first time. We get a lot of “re-do” Grand Banks window jobs from customers who had another yard do this job. If you can’t get to our Dickerson Harbor yard, give us a call for consulting on your Grand Banks window job and get it done right the first time.

Large windows are a Grand Banks trademark

The windows are what differentiates a Grand Banks or Eastbay from most of the more modern yachts which can have beautiful interiors, but little view of the beauty outside. The Grand Banks design calls for a style of window not used previously by any other quality yacht builder. This basic design allows Grand Banks to tailor the shape to the cabin dimensions for a pleasing effect. The frames were made of Golden Burmese Teak by Grand Banks and the glass is laminated safety glass with a Mylar layer between two glass panes. The Grand Banks assembly is excellent and long lasting. The window tracks wear out but the windows don’t. This became really obvious after the latest economic cycle. Oxford Yacht Agency’s customer wanted to sell his Downeaster and buy a Grand Banks 42. This Downeaster has the highest pedigree of any US custom yacht Builder. Oxford Yacht Agency needed to re-do the windows to sell the boat. The windows were custom aluminum units built in the USA and were very expensive. Dickerson Harbor had the job to re paint and re-line the existing windows with new felt components. The Yacht Builder could not supply the parts! His records from 15+ years ago were not easily found and the window manufacturer had ceased operations in the 2009 crash! This would never have happened with Grand Banks windows.

Leaking Grand Banks Windows Cause Interior Teak Stains and Are Easily Fixed if Done Immediately

These large windows can also create a lot of maintenance issues if you don’t do some early maintenance reduction. Leaks from windows are a frequent issue we see on the older Grand Banks, other trawlers and downeast boats. These leaks create some serious issues including rot inside the wooden frames to water stains on the interior teak which will greatly reduce the value of your trawler yacht. Interior water stains are very hard to repair back to the original finish, meaning your new prospective buyer will almost always know there has been a leak in the past. That means less value for your boat. When a customer is interested in buying a Grand Banks and asks us to help him find a good boat, we look and judge used GB’s based on 27 categories. One of these is evidence of water intrusion and what possibly could be the causes. The first obvious place to look is under the windows on the inside.  We follow up any stains with a moisture meter to track the potential for moisture we cannot see. Most often we see delayed maintenance and it is often simple things like keeping the drainage passages clean to allow water to drain.

Avoid leaks and keep your wooden window frames properly maintained

Grand Banks window leaks can start around the wooden window frames if they are not maintained in top condition. These leaks almost always create rot inside the frame and are difficult to repair. The other, easier to fix leak source, is from clogged drain holes. Keeping these clean is a simple cleaning/maintenance item that some owners ignore. The resultant inside water stains look just like those caused by water frame leaks and rot. Your new buyer is always going to assume the worst. We also see cracked windows on all models of Grand Banks and Eastbays, usually from owners who aren’t careful with them. These are expensive repairs and usually unnecessary. Keep your windows frames clean so the windows don’t stick, never “pry” on them, and be careful to never subject them to rapid temperature changes. This can be a particular issue with tinted windows which get very hot. The Grand Banks window design is well documented and far less costly to renew than Aluminum frames pitted by salt water. What we have learned is to completely strip the old-fashioned single-step paint originally used on the window frames. Then starting with the bare sanded teak, coat the frame with penetrating Epoxy followed by multiple coats of Awlgrip primer and then multiple coats of Awlgrip Grand Banks White two-part epoxy paint. When we can, replacing the tracks and felt components can give these windows another 15 years of easy use. If stripping of window frames or replacement of the tracks isn’t possible we sand the windows well using 80 grit sandpaper and then coat with a good primer followed by coatings of the best single part paint available.

Add dark colored glass to your windows

A more general “maintenance reduction” and lifestyle improvement you can make with Grand Banks windows is replacing them with dark colored glass. This can greatly lengthen the life of your interior fabrics and wood trim plus easing the heat load on your air conditioning units. Customers who have upgraded their windows love them and wish they had done it sooner. Our only warning with the sunblock windows, is that they do get hotter than the original windows and can crack if the window is sprayed with really cold water when hot.