Over the years we've made various minor alterations to Bluebird, most of which are shared here. We hope you find one or two good ideas you can use or adapt for your own boat.

Folding Windscreen

The original windscreen was cracked in one corner and the rubber seal along the bottom was all but perished. However the biggest problem by far was the crazed surface of the perspex which meant that when the sun caught the screen it was impossible to see through it and you had to stick your head out of the side of the boat.

Fortunately Roy Robins, the chap who made the original windows for Dawncraft is (at the time of writing) still around, still in business and can make windows for most makes> He tends to do Dawncraft, Ensign, Classic and Highbridge windows as he has patterns for all of these boats:

Clearview Enterprises
Redstone Wharf Nelson Road,
Sandy Lane Industrial Estate,
DY13 9QB
Phone: 01299 877 831

Most Dawncraft windows are roughly of a similar size and Roy has a lot of patterns/jigs. The only information I had to provide was the type of boat, the length of the angle bar supporting the side window and the height of the windscreen at outside/centre.

However make sure you tell Roy the make and mark of your boat. The first windscreen Roy provided didn’t fit as it turns out we have a very rare Sunseeker Mk2. Roy assumed that our Sunseeker would be a Mk1.

Simple steps to fitting a new windscreen.

You will need...

  • Pop Riveter and half a dozen large (blind) rivets
  • Drill
  • Small drill bit to suit pop rivets.
  • Larger Drill bit to suit bolts holding the windscreen
  • Screwdriver
  • Sealant
  • Gelcoat Filler (optional)
  • Small jack or similar to support roof
  • Extra pair of hands (tool passer) recommended

First Check

When the windscreen arrives check it against the original to make sure it's right before you take off the old one.

Send your Mk1 window back to Roy and ask him to swap it for a Mk2 version. (oops)

Remove the Old

Prop up the hard top (I used a small car jack) and unbolt and remove the front windscreen.

Drill out the old pop rivets and use a screwdriver to prise off the angle bars that hold the side windows in place.

Clean up the fibreglass IWO the removed brackets and fill the holes with gelcoat filler (optional). Make a note of the optimum places to drill for the replacement. You may want to avoid drilling too close to the original fittings.

Roy’s Tip: Don’t try to use the original holes. They won’t grip the rivet effectively and are difficult to align.

Fit Side Windows

Pre-drill the side window brackets.

Roy’s Tip: Drill towards the edge of the angle bar otherwise the rivet won’t span the gap behind the bar.

Put a generous amount of sealant under the side window bracket and press into position.

Drill through the holes in the bracket and fix with pop rivets. Remove the excess sealant that squeezes out now before it sets.

Roy’s Tip: Use blind rivets or you’ll have small holes which will allow water ingress.

Fit Windscreen

Offer up the new windscreen. Press down until the end of the window is level with the top of the side screens. The rubber seal along the bottom should be flexed.

Drill through bracket and windscreen. Be careful not to drill to close to the corner of the windscreen angle or you wont get a nut on the inside.

Repeat on other side.

Roy’s Tip: Remove the protective film. If it gets too warm it will stick to the Perspex and be difficult to remove later without damaging the screens surface.

Sit back and enjoy the smug satisfaction of a job well done.

Not counting the time it took for the filler to set, the whole job only took about an hour.

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