Our Windows are Falling Out & Jason’s Leaving

Our Windows are Falling Out & Jason’s Leaving

Exotic location and broken bits!?!  We’re living the dream.  Fixing things in exotic locations is the definition of sailing and it would seem we’re working hard to keep it true.

Our windows are falling out, our watermaker is broken and our bank accounts are frozen.  Jason has hit his limit and he’s leaving the boat, and me, behind.

Ok, maybe I should clarify some of that before you go jumping to any conclusions.

Our windows are indeed falling out, but slowly.  Technically speaking, they are delaminating but we can’t ignore the issue any longer…or they really will fall out.

Our watermaker is broken, but hopefully can be fixed.  We need to rebuild the valves in our high-pressure pump and replace the low pressure pump…but these are specialty parts and of course we can’t get them here in Ecuador.

And, to top it all off, our bank accounts are frozen, and Jason is in fact leaving the boat.  Better hit that play button before I drop any other spoilers.

But seriously, having a beautiful location does make boat projects more fun.  It should be a requirement for any project really.  Because if you are going to fix broken bits, why not do it in a beautiful, exotic location!

live aboard life

Sailing Fixing things in exotic locations

As for the frozen bank accounts, well, the beach view doesn’t do much for that PITA.  We’re all for secure banking, but seriously?  We had been thinking about switching to a more “international” bank.  I guess Chase just bumped up our time-frame.  But, more on that next week.

Comments, questions or just want to join in on the conversation?  Leave us a note in the box below.

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Almost, But Not Quite Everything You Need To Know About Repairing Delaminated Windows On A Sailboat

We’re not experts and this is NOT a how to.  But, here’s how we tackled the project and the things we learned along the way. If you have frameless sailboat windows to tackle, hopefully this helps give you an idea of the project ahead.  If you’re in a Leopard like us, we’ve been told this massive project needs to be done every 5-8 years.  My personal thoughts:  Screw the frameless windows, I’ll take a window frame any day if it means we won’t have to do this again!!!

A huge shout out to our mentor and friend Kent.  He’s always just an email away and I can’t imagine taking on projects like this without his Afrikaans accented words of wisdom.

Supplies/Instructions: (Important to remember this is all based on our 43 Leopard Catamaran)

  1. Prep Work Area – Put a drop cloth or painter’s plastic all around work area. Use lots of removable tape on the top edge, you don’t want black caulk getting under the drop cloth/plastic.
  2. Remove Window – A sharp utility knife works well to cut away a section of caulk from the window. Followed by lots of chisel and rubber hammer use. I have this 3 piece chisel set and it works great:
  3. Clean the Window Install Area On Boat – Chisel, sand and repeat. You must remove all caulk residue.  We used Sika remover towards the end, followed by Isopropyl Alcohol.
  4. Sand Windows – You’ll want to sand down the area around the window where the caulk will adhere. I used 180 grit sandpaper. Apply removable painters tape where you do not want to scratch. Clean the sanded area with Alcohol.
  5. Prep Washers and Shims – While your window area and windows are clean, dry place the window to measure shims and mark on the fiberglass with pencil where your screws/washer will go. You’ll need these to help hold the window in place while the caulking dries.  We used self-tapping 1” screws with large washers we covered with painter’s tape to prevent scratching the boat/window.
  6. Paint The Frame – With the window area still taped off, use caulk ( to paint a black frame on the bonding side of window. Make sure your tape is layered nicely and has neat clean edges.  You will see your finished edges so it’s important to get the tape just right.  (Tip: If you stack the tape you can remove it all in one pull.)  Remove Tape Immediately before caulk cures. Let dry/cure.
  7. Prep Install Area
    1. Foam Tape – Install ½” x ¾” wide foam tape (typical window foam like this: around inside perimeter of window.  Black is most common but we could only find grey in Ecuador.  This gives a nice finished edge to the window and keeps the caulking in place.
    2. Wipe clean all bonding areas with alcohol one last time. It’s very important to have clean surfaces.  No dirt, oil or debris.  Clean, very dry surfaces.
    3. Create a shaded work area if possible. Best not to caulk in direct sunlight.
  8. Caulk Time – Dow 795 black & I think we use 18 tubes? I would buy 20 to be on the safe side. . Apply very thick beads of caulking in the middle bonding areas, at least 9/16” thick. For the thinner top and bottom areas you will want less.
  9. Time to put in that window – Place the window to caulking (have the shims ready to rest window on).
    1. Screw the screws into your marked holes (you did this earlier, dry placing the window). Use the washers to bridge gap between window and fiberglass.  Windows should be flush with fiberglass.  Do NOT over tighten the screws!!!
    2. Allow to cure 3-4 days
      1. This is as far as we made it in this video. You will see the next steps, in next weeks video.  Stay tuned!!!
    3. Prep For Final Bead – Again, work in shaded area if possible. Remove screws and shims.  Tape off the edges of the windows and the boat.  This will protect the area and you’ll have far less cleaning up to do after. Get a bowl of soapy water (dish soap & water), a teaspoon, paper towels and trash bag.
    4. Final Bead – Open a few tubes of caulk. Apply a heavy bead sufficient enough to fill gap.  Dip the spoon in the soapy water, pull bead along, wiping spoon clean with paper towel and discard.  This is by far the most challenging step.  I should have done this part much earlier or later in the day.  It was hot out and the caulk was curing too fast.  Also, keep your spoon wet. Dip it in the soapy water every time you go to swipe.  Otherwise it grabs the caulk and makes a mess.  I bought small spoons and that was a mistake.  Use larger spoons, like ones you’d use for cereal.
    5. Remove tape as soon as you are done. Wait for it to cure before attempting any further clean up.  Anything you try to do at this point will only cause issues.  Walk away I say, walk away!  My OCD was in overdrive.  I wanted it perfect (not possible, the boat isn’t perfect) and I kept trying to fix every little thing…to which I only exacerbated.  Kent warned me, I didn’t listen and I should have.

Curious About Our Camera Gear?

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (69)



  • Bill

    Great video. How irritating on both fronts, especially Chase. We had a similar experience just relocating from NY to Colorado but of course it was only a 20 minute drive to personally appear. Very human video to share so much emotionally.

  • Paul

    Probably no one will review this since its over a year since posted. I worked for DuPont on a project that involved caulk and delaminations. Possibly 3 reasons for this to occur:
    1-poor adhesion due to improper surface prep
    2-excess flexing inherent in the design of your cat (the flexing could also be related to moisture in the fiberglass)
    3-wrong caulk spec’d – since caulk can be expensive, cheaper caulks are often used

  • Michael

    Well, first of all, thanks for another great video.

    Second of all, you’re preaching to choir regarding Chase. What a worthless bank! I’ve been with Ally a long time now and love it. However, I cannot tell you how they do internationally. I do want to spend more time figuring out how we can all be citizens of the world and keep our money accessible, secure and anonymous wherever we go. That’s what I think we all need.

    Thirdly, those darn windows! You did a great job. So kudos to you. Here’s what you do for the future. I see what looks like a great little flat edge on the fiberglass, much like an automotive window frame. So all you have to do is research for the appropriate rubber weather strip that fits that edge into a slot within it, and which will accept the thickness of the desired windows in another slot or squeeze the two together in to one slot. (Tempered thermal-panes anyone?) Then find an inter and outer metal frame that will go on the outside over the rubber and inside over the rubber. The two will fit together by fasteners thru the fiberglass and squeeze the window and rubber between them, thereby creating a permanent, sea-worthy seal that is easy to take apart if needed to replace a window. The hardest part is the research, but not impossible once you get to a good Internet connection.

    Best of luck to you and the gatos.

  • Joseph LaRocca

    During the episode “Our Windows Are Falling Out & Jason’s Leaving || Sailing Ecuador …..11:07 / 14:57”
    …..while you are riding in the taxi talking about Jason’s trip home.

    Request from my wife Melisa: (for her Birthday gift)
    You are wearing some very special sunglasses…. nice!
    They are multicolored with a number of different colored stripes.
    We have seen this same pair in other episodes when you are on the boat also and like them very much.
    Question: who makes them and typically where can we buy them?
    You will make my wife very happy…. she is a new follower …..I started with you once you bought the boat.
    please respond…. thank you.

  • Scott

    Did the Chase problem or the resulting money hassles grow worse by you being “stuck” in Ecuador without passports for a while? That is another example of something that should be way easier in a connected world.

  • Caye Enzweiler

    Hey y’all-
    Really sorry about all your problems, just watched the video and my husband both agree this makes wants us to completely part ways with Chase! Hope you work everything out and get out of Ecuador in time. Love the videos!

  • Roger B

    You both are tough.


    Why do you think they are called window panes? I hope you didn’t put your money back into Chase, they got me real good one time, one time. Always enjoy your videos, thanks so much,, wish I was there.

  • T C Spencer

    Sell the old boat – high maintenance costs

  • Joanie

    We bought a 2013 36’ sailboat in Nov 2017. Fairly new boat and everything looked like new…under the winter cover! Well omce launched and it rained we have the fromt & back of our tinted windows (look like yours) leaking like crazy! Repair person said someone had previously rebedded the wondows already (hence the sloppy black goop all around the windows) and in the process got hairline cracks in them so replacement was only option! Called manufacturer and ordered 2 replacement windows which takes 3-4 weeks. Meanwhile our windows are stuffed with towels inside to collect water! Nice…on a 4 year old boat! So finally windows come and are installed. Repairman tells shop foreman something about manufacturer not putting black on the edges “so he did it for us” to make them look nicer. After completion we check out our boat and they look great! Hose down boat and NO problems. Less than two weeks later husband hoses off boats and water is literally gushing in the windows! I go to wipe water and both ends of both windows push out from the boat! They are not sticking to boat AT ALL! Urgent call to foreman who calls “window guy” who say he will come next week! ? End if story is…he realizes he should NOT have put that paint on the edge of windows because THAT is why windows have come off in less than 2 weeks! Sealant doesn’t adhere to paint…well not for long!! Had to completely redo the entire nasty job (why we hired someone!) over again!! Soooo…your theory on paint is probably exactly what caused your window problems!!!’

  • Beth Stephenson

    Hi Jason – Having worked for Chase for 20 years I can see both sides of the issue. HOWEVER – the bank can see a history of your accounts as to where you have been making purchases, etc. They should have taken this into account. They should have lowered the limits temporarily, which would have still given you access to some of your funds to pay bills as I’m sure that most of your bills are auto deduct. Then they could have worked on verifying you & double checking the messages on your account such as your travel instructions rather than having you fly all the way to get to a BRANCH! I love Chase for their on line capabilities, they do an amazing job with this side of the house but they certainly dropped the ball by having you fly back. I hope that they put in place some added fraud features so that this doesn’t happen again….All my Best – Beth the Banker

  • Bahamamama Penny

    You 2 are so amazing! Repair is just a “daily to do” no matter where or what you live in/on! But yours is a bit more of a challenge for sure!!!!! Good thing the weather was good for your window repair!
    PLEASE keep us posted as to Jason’s trip and RETURN!!!
    LOVE to you both!

  • Shelley

    Once again great video!!
    My husband and I look forward to watching you every week, we don’t watch much tv but we will always make time to watch your videos. My son has gotten addicted to watching you too and apparently is spending all his spare time this summer binge watching your vlog. He’s seen all the boat videos now he’s moving on to the RV videos..
    I was wondering if you could post where you got your cat carriers that you had in your last video and if you would recommend them.
    Thanks again and Safe Travels!

  • Chris Starnes

    You both always crack me up with the “That’s what she said” interactions. Great job on the windows.

  • Michael Magill

    What a beautiful harbour and city scene. I look forward to your updates, and just smile as you two tackle any and all jobs of owning and maintaining a sailboat, and it seems nothing is too much travel. I feel bad for Jason on having to go back to Texas to straighten out the banks muck up. Give the flight bill to them and don’t back down. That money could have been put to a much better use …You Two!!! I wish Jason god s speed in getting back to you Nikki and have a safe and uneventful week, you both deserve it

  • kevin

    Hi Nickki , Jason , great video . If you need to remove another window a much easier way is to use piano wire or similar and pass it through a point in the window and then you use a sawing action one on the inside and one on the outside . This is the same as car windows are all bonded in so you can always find a video doing the same . You can buy a proper tool for only a few $ . It’s a much cleaner and easier method next time you need it .

  • Pat Parker

    Got the video to open tonight and glad to see you are both doing well.

  • Paul Sutton

    Well, we got to watch the video. Very interesting to say the least. We’re still in our RV so no window delamination issues to speak of! On the banking front, I will say they are looking out for your best interest. However, the fact they didn’t already know you’re were in South America is puzzling. I hope when we get the next video Jason has news about finally contacting some higher up VP of banking at Chase who will make sure that no more issues come you’re way. Bad publicity is one thing they do not want these days and social media is a killer for that! We have both Chase and Wells accounts and Wells is by far the most painful to deal with when traveling in the RV, so I was a bit shocked to see Chase giving you a such a hard time! Can’t wait for the next installment!

  • Marsha

    I’m so impressed how you both handle problems. You assess the situation, come up with a solution & get it done. I’m guessing you have time to do so before filming, otherwise there may be lots of bleeps.

  • Joyce Tatler

    in this day and age what a crock of poo. Chase should catch up with the times that is just awful and cost you money for a flight.

  • I used this stuff when I worked on cars. It makes the adhesive twice as strong. Use it after the cleaning process and just befor you lay down the 3m tape.

    3M 4298 Adhesion Promoter, Sponge Applicator

  • The black perimeter is called ‘fritting’ and should have been painted on the OUTSIDE of the window. The point is to shade the caulk from UV. If y’all get bored, just get some black paint for plastics, tape off yer boat and the window, wipe the border area with some denatured alcohol ¡NEVER USE ACETONE!, and spray paint some fritting on yer plex.

    We have some pics of our window replacements in the below site

  • Alan

    Jason, am I crazy or didn’t you replace the ports in Florida last year? I know you did. I just redid mine and was thinking of you as I did it. BTW it took me two tries to get it leak proof. Starting from scratch each time. My wife lost faith in me!

  • Jan

    J&N, the video worked fine just a moment ago for me. Sorry about the bumps along your pathway yet I enjoy wandering through with you. You know what they say about lemons-when you get too many make lemonade or better yet limoncello! Enjoy!

  • mary van

    Was that the caulk I was arrested for?
    The silver lining to the story is Jason got to hang with his mom for 5 days and Jason took a few nice beers back to Nikki.
    Love you and miss you! xxoo Mom

    • Paul Sutton

      Wait a minute! Mary (Mom) got arrested? Illegally importing caulk were you? 😉 Must be he subject of another story we missed! Lol Love watching and reading all the stories!

      • Curious Minion

        I think they talked about that in the Canal transit video. Not really arrested, but she was detained while the customs officials tried to figure out if there was anything shady about a woman on vacation with a suitcase full of caulk tubes! It’ll be a family story for years I’m sure: “That time you almost got me arrested in Panama…”.

  • Loved this video! I hope you had a great week by yourself 🙂 Wes is currently gone on a Leopard delivery so it’s so weird being by myself when I’m used to him being just 3 feet away!

  • I can’t imagine all the work that you all have done on your “cat”. Wears me totally out just watching! I know it must be kind of creepy living on “Curiosity” for a whole week by yourself. Surely Chase Must have realized you were traveling the seas before now! What a bummer! Best wishes.

  • Steve

    Surely by now, you would remember the Potty change that Jason did also took longer than anticipated!

    • Yes, Nikki’s favorite part of the video was when I popped my head down after removing that first window and stated those cursed words.

  • Ed Grant

    WOW! You would think the LEOPARD Boatworks would be of some assistance since the failures are even happening to new boats! Come on LEOPARD, time to step up!!!! It looks like you kids did a pretty darn good job in spite if all of the roadblocks set up. Now this banking situation is just plain stupid. First thing back to Texas, Jason should permanently CLOSE ALL ACCOUNTS and find a bank OR credit union that will work With you Not against you. Finding a world wide corresponding bank institution might be all that easy but what to the international companies do? OK there’s my two cents worth. LOVE you kids and the cats!

    • Leopard did cover the new boats that were under warranty, but ours is 14 years old now so they don’t have anything to do with us. Since there’s no definitive finger pointing to be done we simply have to re-do it ourselves.

  • Bill

    I can relate. It has also happened to me. Suggest looking into higher security with Chase.

  • Pam McClure

    Oh man. How frustrating. Banks!!!! I got a tad weepy when Jason left. Too bad Kate wasn’t still around. Loved the video. Thank you.

    • Right, all that happened backwards! It would have been great for Nikki to have a partner in crime while I was away.

  • Sandra & the 2 Spaniels

    I learned a lot about reapplying (re-laminating?) windows. It seemed like a lot of work with no screw ups allowed! Can’t wait to see the cats visit at the vets, video. My 2 cats were screaming in their carriers, we’d get to the vet amidst all of this drama. The minute the got into their own exam room-quiet as mousies, and docile as soft flannel. The vet says, “What is it you thought they’d freak out about”? I hate Chase Bank-you & Jason need a better bank. I am not international, so I could go with a good local credit union. But Chase, Wells Fargo, B of A; all just awful. Wells Fargo almost caused me a nervous breakdown-they bounced $8000 worth of checks because they put a hold on a large check that I recieved. Mind you-I’d been with WFB for 20+ years & not even a phone call. You guys always share the BEST stories! I am always excited to see the next video.

  • Arnie Hobbs

    Another great video. I own a molded fiberglass travel trailer so the maintenance is similar to a boat in terms of taking care of the gel coat, etc. The manufacturer, Escape Trailer Industries of Chilliwack, BC, Can. started using the frameless windows on the 2017 model year trailers. They recently announced they are going back to the framed windows starting with the 2019 model year. There was a 1% failure rate with the frameless windows delaminating which exceeded their quality targets. (Ever heard of an RV company with quality targets so low?!?!) My point is it appears that the frameless windows are an issue across the molded fiberglass industry, not just with your boat. Hopefully this repair will last awhile. Onward!! Cheers.

    • Wow, 1% failure equals termination. Now that is unheard of!

  • Lisa Cantrell

    I don’t see the being any reason Chase needed to be so ridiculous. Why could they not have you go to the US Consulate in Guayaquil and verify you. What do they have in TX that they wouldn’t have at the Consulate? Moreover, it makes me nervous that their fraud division is so incompetent that your travel notification is not trusted within their own system. Since I know you made it to FP I know it all worked out but what a crummy deal.
    Stay safe fair winds and following seas guys.

    • Yea, I even said I can go to a bank they trust or a govt. office or find a lawyer that could vouch for me. They said NO WAY!

  • Lucille

    Was scary at first to hear about all of this, but then seeing and hearing more, I was less worried about it all.
    Chase wants to be super safe with your money and even though, it doesn’t seem that logical to you, it rests on their shoulders and they want better safe than sorry and in the end, that is what you both really want too, so although it is an ordeal, it is another part of your travel experiences. I wish you best wishes and much success and good wishes to both of you and to the Kitties, too, as they will be missing their Daddy, too and watching for his return.

    • It’s ludicrous but we understand those are the policies which is why I flew back. We have other features setup to help if this ever happens again.

  • Rex R Hollis

    Wow, how frustrating and expensive to have to go home to verify who you are! Sincerely hope the trip went well tho and even more important–Did Jason renew his Drivers License while in Texas??

    • Of course I did 🙂 That’s why we decided to book the flight and not hire a lawyer to help get our money.

  • Paul Holstein

    I’d suggest you use a VPN from now every time you go online. It provides a super secure connection between you and any site you visit and it has the added benefit of presenting a US (or any other country you wan) IP address to your bank.

    • Laura

      VPN is a great suggestion. Maybe also a Secure token, that way they know it is you. I had a credit card company that did this every time I went to AZ, even though I used the card at the airport and had a house there. I changed to AMEX because they seemed to know where I was at all times.

  • Curious Minion

    Video is now up – whoop whoop!

  • Pat Parker

    No video was there but hope all is fine

  • Pat Parker

    No video available hope you two are okay????

  • Frans Vanleeuwen

    Regarding your challenges I see your solutions in your gifts:
    Flexible and savvy
    Frugal and do it yourselfers
    Sharing Adventurous wanderlust
    Positive and sensible
    Educational entertainment.
    Thank you,
    I love your travel experiences,
    But would love more deeper transparencies
    about you guys.
    Best, and safe travels!

    • It’s always just us in every video. There’s no false us if that makes any sense. It always suprises us when we meet viewers for the first time and they say “You’re just like you are in your videos”.

  • Richard Martin

    Looking forward to seeing your adventures in French Polynesia. We stopped there in a few places, including Moorea, several years ago while on a cruise to Sydney. Wished we had more time to explore, it’s my favorite part of the world. Can’t wait to see what you discover on some of the outer islands. Happy travels!

  • Judy Conlin Hornbeck

    Don’t go Jason!!!!!! Although I have no doubt Nikki would sail on and conquer the seas! Sending good vibes your way…..can’t wait to see video

  • Judy Conlin Hornbeck

    Utube is saying the video is unavailable……poop

  • Doug Canning

    Video not available here either

  • Cheryl

    Praying for you! Jason won’t do that he’s just frustrated. You’ll need to heal and regroup.

    • This was an incredibly stressful time for both Nikki and me. With the FP Visa prep, serious boat issues, cat paperwork, and all while trying to film and edit video…it felt like the world was working against us. Unfortunately there’s no time to rest as we MUST leave Ecuador in less than 2 weeks before our Visa Expires, and we must arrive in French Polynesia before our Long Stay Visa application time frame ends.

  • Barbara Heine

    Oh wow! When it rains it pours!! I know you guys will get thru this!


    Okay, glad it’s not just me. Guess we all will have to check in later to see the video.

  • Jerry

    Sunday morning in Walla Walla . . . sitting in the recliner with the “hot-tag” about Jason and no video. WOW—I will have to stay tooned for the next transmission!

    • Dinah

      We’re in WA too. Campground in Cashmere! Same here. Phooey. Headed to Twisp, hopefully get this cliffhanger video then.

  • Good morning from Central Illinois. However, your news was not the customary Sunday morning notification. Boat maintenance I can understand… sailing, maintenance is best viewed as a life style and a function of everyday life. UGH.
    Yep, having traveled around the globe as an expat for YEARS, the banking thing is a challenge and seems to affect you the most. With limited or no access to operating funds, the ongoing maintenance challenge will be exasperated. It will make you want to stick your head under a lawnmower. Grrrrr….. With that said, banking relationships with two or three regional banking powers can help ease the financial strains and provide reliable access.
    The most important asset is your crew. To that end, I hope all is well and y’all are ok.

  • Tev

    Didn’t he come back to Dallas to get his drivers license at some point? Sometimes the videos don’t work first thing so I’ll check back later today. Have fun out there. 😉

  • Renee

    Oh Gosh! Can’t drop a bombshell like ‘Jason is leaving’, then have a broken video. Hope all is well, and the video gets fixed.

  • Lisa Bee

    No video available. Hope you guys are ok!

  • Shrilekha Joseph

    Hi Nikki.. the video says unavailable when I click to play it.


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