Fixed/not fixed/FIXED!!: Leak where windshield frame attaches to hardtop / arch

LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,053 ✭✭✭✭✭
[EDIT:  Read down and you'll see that my first repair did not work, but a later repair did work.]

I sealed a leak at the aft end of the windshield frame, where it attaches to the hardtop.  It's probably common, so I'll share.

Symptom:  Rainwater collecting under the trashcan and ice maker.
Cause:  Failed seal between the windshield frame and the hardtop. 
Solution:  Sealed with 3M marine clear sealant.

The windshield frame has a slot for attaching canvas hardware.  I took out the trash can and used a towel to dry off the plastic tray under it.  Then I poured a bottle of water into the slot.  Sure enough, some of the water found its way into the boat.  As I was cleaning out the slot with a cotton swab, I discovered that I could poke the swab right in through an unfilled screw hole (second photo).  

I filled the end of the slot with 3M marine clear sealant.  While I was at it, I touched up the seal between the frame and the hardtop.  It seems to have worked, but I'll know for sure after it rains tonight.  

Post edited by LaRea on


  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDMember, Moderator Posts: 6,254 mod
    Definitely worth taking a look! Thanks!

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • Handymans342Handymans342 Ft Myers FloridaMember Posts: 9,211 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes good catch
  • Black_DiamondBlack_Diamond Holland, MichiganMember Posts: 5,098 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You’ll find the same issue directly below that where the windshield frame meets the arch attachment to the boat. 

    2003 342FV "Black Diamond", 350 MAG MPI, 20P 4x4 Props, PC BYC, Holland, MI
  • LaReaLaRea Alexandria VirginiaMember Posts: 5,053 ✭✭✭✭✭
    SUCCESS!  My attempted repair from 2018 did not fix this hardtop leak, and now I know why:  the real leak was at the bottom of the window, not the top.

    The side window fits into a short piece of metal track that is screwed to the base of the hardtop.  At the bottom, where the hardtop meets the hull, there was a gap allowing water to leak in.  Easy fix:  Remove the side window, remove and reseal the track, reinstall window.  

    The side window has to slide forward, which means the curved windshield has to slide forward.  I was able to do this by removing 4 of the 5 windshield screws, and CAREFULLY pulling the windshield forward.  

    This is the track on the port side after removing the side window.  

    With the track removed, you can see there's a gap in the fiberglass where they cut out a flat spot to attach the track.  Any water that gets in at the top can enter through this gap.  

    And at the bottom, there's big fat gap that gives water a straight shot into the boat.  I can't imagine why they didn't seal this entire area, but I attacked it with a tube of 4200.  

    This was a relatively easy repair.  It took me about 3 hours for both sides.  Since then, it has rained twice, and the area under the ice maker is 100% dry.  
  • Dream_InnDream_Inn Annapolis, MDMember, Moderator Posts: 6,254 mod
    Great fix!!  I'm sure this varies with each individual boat and all need a decent dose of 4200.  Some got better doses than others.  I need to replace the side blower vent covers again.  The plastic don't last long, but wasn't sure I wanted them to be SS and noticeable (and have to polish).  Nice find!!

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

  • JimGuy341JimGuy341 Wyandotte, MIMember Posts: 51 ✭✭
    Thanks for the post.  I've been getting some mystery water in my mid-bilge, port side after it rains.  I narrowed it down to somewhere around the arch/window connection.  She's under wrap right now but I'm curious to see if I have the same root cause.
    2008 350 EC
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