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  • 1 Post By Maine Sail
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  #1  
Old 09-21-2013
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Covering Strataglass

No cover, only protectants? I'm doing some long-term tests, but I'm pretty sure covered is better. The PO used Imar, I used Imar, and still the covered glass did MUCH better.

This vinyl has been under an unlined Sunbrella cover of 16 years. The rest of the dodger has been replaced twice.


Or are non-contact covers better?


Is a lined cover better? I've always through the lining might just hold more--this is critical--larger and more damaging grit particles. I know that with engine lubrication is often far more about the size of the particles than the absolute number.

Your experience?
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Old 09-21-2013
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Covering Strataglass

We have Sunbrella covers and apply an annual coat or two of Stratglass protectant. The Stratglass is perfectly clear after 8 years.
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Old 09-21-2013
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Re: Covering Strataglass

I don't think there is a single universal answer.

For us our canvas guy refuses to put covers on. Why? Because we are in an open windy mooring field and on a mooring. This can create abrasion & chafe and micro-scraching of the glass from the winds.

I was doubtful and wanted to see for myself so did my own experiment.. We had purchased a brand new Catalina with brand new dodger and canvas with window covers. We used only the middle window cover. After just one season the middle window was in worse shape than the two side windows. My canvas guy was right, for our location..

Now with that said, if at a dock, protected from winds and in an area of high UV then I think covers can make more sense. For us on a mooring in a windy anchorage with good fetch you could not pay me to install window covers.



Year six, no covers, exposed to the elements mid April to mid to late November each year.








My rules for care:

No one touches the dodger glass with fingers, body or hair.

No spray suntan lotion allowed on-board

No spray bug-dope allowed on-board

Dodger windows are only ever touched with a brand new fresh out of the bag microfiber rag. Used rags NEVER touch the windows nor do cotton or paper towels etc..

IMAR products are the only products to ever touch our windows.


I take clear dodger glass seriously especially with the number of lobster pots on the Maine coast


I learned those rules from my buddy Norm and thank him every day I can see out my dodger like it is real glass....
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 09-21-2013 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Covering Strataglass

Makes sense. With the kids and guests and family on-board I can never enforce them.
* They bring their own spray, hidden in bags, and I see them after thy are in use.
*They help by rolling windows when it's hot, with salt still on the glass and sunscreen on their hands. Often they do this when I'm elsewhere, because "I forgot" and the wanted to help. I think I'm going to secure the zippers.

The wind is a good point, and I believe it. The skylight covers are not prone to flapping as they lie in a hollow and my forward cover is non-contact because of the abrasion concern.

However, we get something in much greater numbers than you would in a windy anchorage: bird bombs. If they are left for a week or so they often leave a permanent pock mark, even when Imar products (good stuff) are in regular use. The skylight can practically fill up with poop. The covers have been life savers there, protecting the glass over a long period.

Was the canvas (Sunbrella I assume) lined or unlined? Does your canvas guy have experience if one is better or worse? I live in a land of well protected harbors.

And we've got equally many crab pots in-season. Hence the post.

----
No "single universal answer" is probably correct.
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Old 09-23-2013
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Re: Covering Strataglass

Clearly good maintenance of Strataglass can do great things, but for the "every man" who cannot or will not maintain his boat weekly or even monthly or even quarterly, is the answer different? Many boats are lightly used in the summer and not visited from Labor Day to Memorial day. Those of us that post here are the maintenance obsessed, not the average.

I wondered around the boat yard and found numerous example where a cover would have been better. This one is the most striking, where a cover was used most of the time but on only part of the glass.



The upper portion is still quite good while the bottom is barely translucent.

I'm thinking of sewing up some longer side covers that would be...
* non-contact
* long enough to protect cockpit from sun and rain while cruising.


Two birds with one stone.
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Old 09-23-2013
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Re: Covering Strataglass

We cover ours with Phifertex, haven't noted a problem.
If it did scratch we'd cover it with Phifertex anyway - Need the sun block/heat block.

Isenglass is not cheap, but it is replaceable.
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Old 10-03-2013
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Re: Covering Strataglass

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
I don't think there is a single universal answer.

For us our canvas guy refuses to put covers on. Why? Because we are in an open windy mooring field and on a mooring. This can create abrasion & chafe and micro-scraching of the glass from the winds.

I was doubtful and wanted to see for myself so did my own experiment.. We had purchased a brand new Catalina with brand new dodger and canvas with window covers. We used only the middle window cover. After just one season the middle window was in worse shape than the two side windows. My canvas guy was right, for our location....
Would you happen to remember or know if those windows were Strataglass or Regalite (or other uncoated material)?

I ask because I've been looking at the abrasion resistance of Strataglass, O'Sea, Regalite and Crystal Clear 20/20. Any of them can be easily damaged by sharp grit such as sand paper; very little difference in resistance, not enough to matter in a practical way. However, there is a big difference in resistance to abrasion by fabric; Sunbrella rubbed with pressure will quickly mar uncoated vinyl, but not O'Sea or Strataglass.

Of course, with some salt crystals in there and some wind either could fail. But I'm anxious to hear.

-----------

And for those of you that wonder if your windows are coated vs. uncoated, there is a simple test. Take a bit of fresh Sunbrella and rub firmly (~ 5 pounds on the pad of your index finger) on cleaned vinyl in a hidden corner. Uncoated materials (Regalite) will feel friction and degloss in just a few strokes, while coated materials (O'Sea) will glide with no marking.
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(when asked how he reached the starting holds on a difficult rock climbing problem that clearly favored taller climbers - he was perhaps 5'5")

"Well, I just climb up to them."

by Joe Brown, English rock climber




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Old 10-03-2013
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Re: Covering Strataglass

Quote:
Originally Posted by pdqaltair View Post
Would you happen to remember or know if those windows were Strataglass or Regalite (or other uncoated material)?

I ask because I've been looking at the abrasion resistance of Strataglass, O'Sea, Regalite and Crystal Clear 20/20. Any of them can be easily damaged by sharp grit such as sand paper; very little difference in resistance, not enough to matter in a practical way. However, there is a big difference in resistance to abrasion by fabric; Sunbrella rubbed with pressure will quickly mar uncoated vinyl, but not O'Sea or Strataglass.

Of course, with some salt crystals in there and some wind either could fail. But I'm anxious to hear.

-----------

And for those of you that wonder if your windows are coated vs. uncoated, there is a simple test. Take a bit of fresh Sunbrella and rub firmly (~ 5 pounds on the pad of your index finger) on cleaned vinyl in a hidden corner. Uncoated materials (Regalite) will feel friction and degloss in just a few strokes, while coated materials (O'Sea) will glide with no marking.

Strataglass
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Old 10-03-2013
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Re: Covering Strataglass

You can keep that stuff transparent?!

Who knew?
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