Rebuilding the Windows

Spring  2009

Like many older Tolly’s, Tolly Roger’s windows were in need of some TLC. They were not leaking (yet) but the felt tracks were badly worn out and in need of replacement.

The windows came out easily and I was lucky that all the side walls of the boat were in excellent shape and no signs of any leaks or damage.

I removed the glass by prying the frames apart in the middle and they kind of pop out. I marked the frames where the felt tracks start and stop as well as the rubbers seals.

I removed the rubber seals and felt tracks. This makes a huge mess so do it outside!

The frames were in good shape so I just cleaned them up with soap and a scotch pad. If (I were to do it again I probably would have them powder coated)

Installing the new felt tracks took a bit of practice. I punched drain holes about every 2″ where the tracks run along the bottom to allow for drainage. I used a small leather punch.

While there are many ways to “set” the tracks in place, I found that using a painters stir stick proved the best. It’s a bit of a slow process but it seemed to work the best.


The trick is to push down the new track until you feel it “set” in the frame. You don’t want it to bottom out in the frame but it must go far enough so the glass fits correctly. It helped that I marked the frames where the felt and rubber were in the frames.

Reinstall the glass and set the fixed portion firmly in place. It really helped to leave the rubber seals out in the warm sun. Much easier!

I did each window one at a time and by the end got the technique figured out. I did find that the sliders were very stiff so I pried the mohair track apart with a pair of pliers. This helped.
Now I just have to keep the drains in the window frames clear and these should be good for another 25 years!

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5 Responses to Rebuilding the Windows

  1. We are restoring a 1965 Chris Craft Roamer 35′ and need to felt track liner. Where’d you fine it?

    • Tolly Roger says:

      Not sure if it’s the same but you can try Bounty Marine for window parts. Ask for John and tell him I sent you.
      Bounty Marine, Inc.
      11135 SW Industrial Way
      Bldg.10 Bay 4
      Tualatin, OR 97062-9682
      Phone: 503-692-4070
      Fax: 503-692-4075

  2. Steven says:

    Dear Tolley Roger: I ordered the parts from bounty marine as sugested. Took off the inner retaining frame. There is a dark grey sealant around the window frame still soft and pliable. The frame contact to the gel coat. The contact is barely wide enough for a razor blade. What would be the best method to remove the frames from the hull. I’m thinking of heating up the frame to soften the sealant . Any ideas?

    • Tolly Roger says:

      That grey stuff is probably “butal tape”. I would be VERY careful heating the frame and risking burning the fiberglass. It might be very thin in that area around the cut out. Warm yes but not with a heat gun. If you put pressure on one of the corners (i’d do a top corner) from the inside and keep a constant hard pressure it will let go enough to release and pop out.

  3. Kevin Barney says:

    I have a 1980 43′ Tolly. The rubber seal around the cockpit aft cabin window is shrinking away from the frame. Also the previous owner has the BBQ attached to the rail above the Port side aft cabin window that furthest aft. The widow is cracked. I think the BBQ dripped on the window. Anyway does Bounty Marine carry the parts for these windows. I tried to call Gordon at Tollycraft Parts. He has retire and closed the business as of October last year.

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