Powerboats and sailboats, as well as residential and commercial enclosures, often use clear plastics as windows. It can be tough to decide which is the best product for your application. We hope to clarify the options for you with this short summery.
There are basically 4 options when selecting materials for windows:
- Rolled vinyl is a very flexible, inexpensive material with inherent distortion. It comes in a variety of thicknesses and is a good option for the budget conscience. Uses include: Screens for restaurants, privacy panels for residential units, small powerboat and camper covers.
- Sheet vinyl is pressed and polished by adding .020 gauge single sheets under high pressure and heat, creating a flexible optically clear window. Brands include Regalite and Crystal Clear. Uses include: powerboat enclosures, upscale commercial applications.
- Coated Sheet Vinyl produced both by O’Sea and Strataglass add a protective scratch resistant and UV inhibitor coat. Uses include: applications that have higher wear from abrasion or general longevity requirements.
- Polycarbonate is a semi-rigid glass, which offers superior clarity and comes in a variety of thickness’s and special coatings. Brands include Makrolon and Lexan. Uses include: boat dodger windows, larger powerboat fly bridge enclosures, fixed panel applications.
Tips for cleaning any kind of clear vinyl:
- Rinse thoroughly to first to remove any salt deposit.
- Clean by using mild soap and water. Rinse frequently as you wash.
- Dry with a soft cloth or chamois. (Don’t use paper towels)
- Treat your vinyl after it has been cleaned, by applying IMAR Protective
Cleaner. This will help preserve and protect the vinyl.
Whatever kind of clear vinyl you have, NEVER use any kind of product with silicone in it. Don’t handle the glass with sunscreen on your hands, and when storing them, place paper or old sheets in between the panels and lay them flat or stand them up rolled.
Send us an inquiry for your next vinyl project whether it’s a dodger for your boat, a skylight for your awning or a roll up window for your outdoor enclosure.