Our Lavezzi had teardrop shaped windows in all of the cabins. We liked looking out these small teardrops to see what was beside us at anchorage or just to see amazing sunrises and sunsets.
When we upgraded to our Lagoon we were very excited about the huge windows in each of the cabins. We were saddened to find out the windows were opaque. They did let in lots of light but our view was limited to the small porthole.
We looked around the net and found lots of methods to remove the well-glued coating on the windows. We were warned about using acetone or any other hard solvents as they might cause crazing of the plastic.
We ended up using a heat gun and an old kitchen knife to remove the coating. I found that if you got the coating warm enough it would pucker just enough to get the knife under the coating. The knife was almost never in contact with the plastic window. It was used as a pulling device against the warm/hot coating. “Like breaking ice up off a driveway.”
As the window warmed, the adhesive would warm up as well. This warm adhesive would allow itself to be pulled away in larger and larger strips. The larger strips of coating would take more of the glue away resulting in less cleanup after the fact.
If the coating was allowed to cool it would become brittle and tear easily.
These 2 videos show how I did the above:
After the coating was removed, I used Goo Gone spray gel to remove the adhesive and the slight pattern left from the glass.
https://googone.com/pro-power-spray-gel I purchased mine in the US at Home Depot.
From what I can tell from the ingredients list, Goo Gone is 60-100% naphtha with some 1-3% citrus extract. Probably to make it smell better?
I would spray on a thick amount of the gel onto the window and then let it sit for 5-10 minutes. Then I would then use my fingers to run the gel around and feel the adhesive come off the window to be suspended in the gel. Fingernails help here.
After the adhesive was suspended in the Goo Gone I would use a paper towel to transfer the adhesive off the window.
The Goo Gone will run down the boat but I did not see any negative impact to the paint.
The last step is to use a bit of acetone to remove any of the left over Goo Gone or difficult to remove adhesive.
These 2 videos show the above:
After the coating is removed you will have a clear window and a great view.
However, the UV Sensitive adhesive will now be exposed to sunlight. This sunlight can significantly reduce the useful life of the glue. Furthermore, your boat will now look like eye makeup after a long and exciting night at various beach bars!
To protect the glue, and make for a more put-together boat I had a local sign shop (https://signarama.com/locations/nc-wilmington/) come down to measure the windows and provide for protection from UV light. We took a look at a 1.5-inch border but it left some black glue exposed to sunlight. The crew from the sign shop then went with a 3-inch border that blocks all UV from the glue. The vinyl used was a 3M UV resistant version designed for outside signs. If there is damage or issues with it in the future it is easy to replace by any sign shop.
I think the entire cost, including installation (and correction of some bubbles in our self-applied boat logo) was under $250.
The results are professional:
Many thanks to @voyagemanatea https://www.facebook.com/voyagemanatea/posts/2334004963565962 for their excellent guide on facebook.
Un grand merci à @voyagemanatea https://www.facebook.com/voyagemanatea/posts/2334004963565962 pour leur excellent guide sur facebook.
Some templates to help your sign person cut vinyl to fit your windows:
Or download from DropBox