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Too many windows

Ive just bought a hull that the previous owner had started to fit out before making the windown watertight. Most of his hard work has been undone by water damage. Now this boat has 'lots' of windows and marine windows are expensive. Has anyone ever decided to blank off any windows on a narrowboat and if they did, what did they do? thank you

Asked by: John Wright  | 3.05pm, Monday 19 December

WW says:

I am assuming from your description that the boat is a 'sailaway' that has never actually had windows fitted, and only ever had temporary covers over the holes.
It is very difficult to weld in a panel to fill in the hole left by a window without it being obvious, because the welding and metal distortion is impossible to hide. The neatest solution would be to get an experienced welder or boatyard, to cut out and replace a section of cabin side with new steel. If the boat has been insulated, the new section would then need to be spray foamed. The combined cost might then be greater, and more hassle than fitting the windows as originally intended!
Window openings can be changed into side-hatches, there are neat bolt-in assemblies available that are easily fitted after enlarging the opening. It is also worth looking around at the different window manufacturers as there are several varieties to suit different sizes of pocket.
Rupert Smedley

Rupert Smedley  | 4.30PM, Monday 19 December

Can I also add that blanking off any windows, where the weld outlines can still be seen, will drastically reduce the resale value of the boat; having seen this on several brokerage boats before. Although you can (reasonably) easily change the interior, once you modify the shell, it often cannot be undone, so buyers tend to steer clear.
It might be better to use sidedoors, as Rupert suggests, even if you do not intend opening them! False doors, or even false windows, might be an option, although a series of unusual sidehatches may distract from the value..

Mark Langley  | 6.17PM, Thursday 29 December

Readers say:

Thank you for your prompt response. Its acually had windows, kind of, fitter at some time in its life. most of these are virtually falling out! I think it was a cruser as 6 windows one side and 5 the other. Thanks for the advice, with the price of replacement windows Im sure I can find a welder who will replace panels as u suggest, cheaper than the cost of all those windows :)

John Wright  | 6.07PM, Monday 19 December

Might be worth looking on ebay for narrowboat windows - there are often cheap used ones listed.

Cliff Eden  | 10.27PM, Tuesday 20 December

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