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  #1  
Old 09-26-2010
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Cool Bullet proof storm windows

Cal cruising 46 pilothouse windows are large. My concern is in a big storm they my burst. Any suggestion on storm windows made of say 3/4inch polycarbonate or just replacing them with heavier thicker windows?

I am in marina del rey CA and would appreciate referals to people who spe ialize in these windows.
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Old 09-26-2010
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Frankly, you'd do better with 1/2" plywood with a few view-slits routed in. However, if you are determined to use plastic, contact "Mark Plastics" in San Diego which is the acknowledged expert on port-lights and windows for classic Cals.

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Old 09-26-2010
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If you going cruising and really worried about the large windows, then cover them all from the outside with a removable polycarbonate panel for bad weather...like shutters on windows.
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Old 09-26-2010
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Thx hvHyte and jiffy lube

the plywood may work but I would want to make visual contact easily
I will contact the san Diego expert. Thx again

Edwin
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Old 09-27-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwmama View Post
Thx hvHyte and jiffy lube

the plywood may work but I would want to make visual contact easily
I will contact the san Diego expert. Thx again

Edwin
That's why I mentioned polycarbonate (clear) panels.
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Old 09-27-2010
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What's the thickest polycarbonate in your opinion would be allowable or practical for a cal cruising 46. This added weight no doubt changes the righting arm and center of gravity of the boat

Edwin
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Old 09-28-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edwmama View Post
What's the thickest polycarbonate in your opinion would be allowable or practical for a cal cruising 46. This added weight no doubt changes the righting arm and center of gravity of the boat

Edwin
I can't answer that question about the center of gravity. I think a supported one piece panel spaning across all the windows on each side (on the outside), should be stronger than the individual windows themselves. You're concern is that a wave hitting from the side will blow a window inward, since these windows are not really supported that good against sideways forces. One large panel across all the windows will be much stronger, and almost any panel thickness will be better than no panel...but I would say at least as thick as the window is now.
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Old 09-30-2010
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Port material

Having sailed far offshore on a pilothouse with large port/windows in the pilothouse here is my take- Lexan- expensive, strong, scratches easily, especially hard to see out of at night. Plexiglass- relatively inexpensive- really not suited for larger expanses since it will flex and blow out when hit by a big wave. Tempered safety glass, stiff, optically good, heavy, will break with hard impact. The boat i sailed extensively on had forward window in Lexan(because of hatch in window) and the side windows were 3/4"" tempered glass which withstood several days of waves crashing over the pilothouse. Good luck with your choices.
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Old 10-04-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanduskysailor View Post
Having sailed far offshore on a pilothouse with large port/windows in the pilothouse here is my take- Lexan- expensive, strong, scratches easily, especially hard to see out of at night. Plexiglass- relatively inexpensive- really not suited for larger expanses since it will flex and blow out when hit by a big wave. Tempered safety glass, stiff, optically good, heavy, will break with hard impact. The boat i sailed extensively on had forward window in Lexan(because of hatch in window) and the side windows were 3/4"" tempered glass which withstood several days of waves crashing over the pilothouse. Good luck with your choices.

While i am not a world sailor but i can tell you a few things about polly carb and plexy, lexan etc..

Lexan is the best choice out of all of them but it is flexible which make it bullet proof has the best uv and scratch resistance and does not crack easy like all the others that WILL shatter.

Would i mount it in my boat? nope.. My track cars? yes..

A pain of double laminated glass will hold far more stress,pressure,and impact than comparable Lexan. On A large impact, the lamination will hold the glass together and still remain mostly water tight "as long as the fiberglass around it also could take the pressure". IE The front windshield of every passenger car is built the same.
You can get them in a tint,green for uv only and will not scratch expand,contract with heat. You can see through them after a year of sun and fun. They are cheaper and can be redone anywhere on the planet as long as you still have the frame.

Even the best polly carb leak due to expansion,and heat. After time the plastic will contract and cause a leak sooner or later. And as with any modification to any thing... it will only be as good as the mounting you use to hold it on.
Through bolting seems the be the most used but the polly will expand and contract so you must notch for such,in doing so you make weak spots all over the place. Which is where cheaper polly windows always fail. Small cracks form and soon a large crack will run out.

Polly carbs must be cleaned with soft water " not salt water" and a VERY soft towel or they scratch terribly.

Its your boat and this is just my experience.

Here are pics of 40 year old glass out of my boat and new triple laminated glass that went in to replace all 4... Cost $ 240 us for all 4..
One good Lexan window in 3/8" will cost you damn near that.

When i carried my new windows down to my boat one fell and bounced down a flight of concrete steps "5 to 6' " while smashed over and over i picked it up and took it back to the glass shop and used it as a template for another one. it was still together and in the same shape/size although busted to hell.




Good luck on your boat.
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Old 10-05-2010
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I've used clear plastic (Lexan, polycarbonate, don't remember which), plywood, and aluminum storm shutters on a variety of boats well offshore and crossing the pond.

We mounted the storm shutters to external studs placed around the frames. The aluminum panels were bulletproof and expensive. The plexi/poly panels were cheaper but not much. The plywood (1/2" sealed and painted) were very good and cheapest. The biggest problems with the aluminum and plywood were they made the cabin look like a cave and didn't give you a good look outside.

I far preferred the external clear panels. The mounting system allowed for some movement of the outer layer of protection, took most of the force, brought light to the cabin, and protected the inner ports from damage. We installed the shutters before leaving the dock and didn't remove them until we got to safe harbor.

My plans call for using the external stud system for my boat and I'll go with the polycarbonate as it seems the best value. I'm rebedding every port light and hatch so adding some backing and studs isn't that much more work but if I were further along or the ports didn't need that kind of attention, I might have to rethink my strategy.

I'm thinking that with a proper thickness, a flexible gasket that matches the port frame, and some careful tweaking I can bring light to the cabin, add some protection to a potentially weak part of the boat, and do it economically. Even if I had to replace the port light panels, I'd still go with the external, separate, storm shutter.
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