Lexan/polycarbonate vs acrylic - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 44 Old 03-26-2014 Thread Starter
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Lexan/polycarbonate vs acrylic

I have two long fixed port lights on my boat. They were leaving so I removed them to reseal. Well one was already cracked so I'm deciding to replace them. Which should I use since they are so long and aren't being walked on? Also, they had screws about every 6 inches, should I have those redrilled or only half of them redrilled?

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post #2 of 44 Old 03-26-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Lexan/polycarbonate vs acrylic

Only reason I ask, is because I read that lexan has a higher expansion rate which could be a problem since the size..

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post #3 of 44 Old 03-26-2014
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Re: Lexan/polycarbonate vs acrylic

You could use either polycarb or acrylic. The poly will be stronger but will scratch easier, the acrylic will stay clear and is more resistant to scratches. The problem I see is how they are attached with just screws and no stainless or aluminum trim piece to evenly apply pressure around the entire perimeter, but if you use a good sealant like Dow Corning 795 and overdrill the screw holes (the plastic expands and contracts so if you tighten the screws you will have cracks) and use washers with flexible gaskets you should be OK.

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post #4 of 44 Old 03-26-2014
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Re: Lexan/polycarbonate vs acrylic

You could make the replacement in 2 pieces, inserting a piece of trim between them. That would reduce the stress on the parts - both from thermal changes and from mechanical stress.

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post #5 of 44 Old 03-26-2014
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Re: Lexan/polycarbonate vs acrylic

I'd use acrylic. True polycarbonate is stronger but acrylic is strong enough. What thickness?

As far as attachment holes and fasteners aren't needed. Dow 795 and 3M VHB tape is all that is required. The combination will hold through incredibly well and without holes cracks from stress are eliminated. I agree with smaller sections of glazing to reduce expansion problems.

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post #6 of 44 Old 03-27-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: Lexan/polycarbonate vs acrylic

Thanks yall, I am leaning to acrylic now.. It's half inch is what came off the boat. I just don't want it to look old and scratched in a few years, so I'm not doing lexan.

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post #7 of 44 Old 03-27-2014
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Re: Lexan/polycarbonate vs acrylic

The fastener holes can lead to cracks over time. If you can avoid using fasteners the results will both look better and last longer. I don't know of a manufacturer using fasteners.

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post #8 of 44 Old 03-27-2014
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Re: Lexan/polycarbonate vs acrylic

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
I'd use acrylic. True polycarbonate is stronger but acrylic is strong enough. What thickness?

As far as attachment holes and fasteners aren't needed. Dow 795 and 3M VHB tape is all that is required. The combination will hold through incredibly well and without holes cracks from stress are eliminated. I agree with smaller sections of glazing to reduce expansion problems.
I'm thinking of doing something similar (although my windows are considerably smaller and thinner). Is it really safe/effective to just use adhesives and not screw the windows down like they were originally? All of my leaks are from screw holes, but I'd hate to lose a window some day out sailing...

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post #9 of 44 Old 03-27-2014
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Re: Lexan/polycarbonate vs acrylic

Yes it is safe if done correctly.

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post #10 of 44 Old 03-27-2014
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Re: Lexan/polycarbonate vs acrylic

acrylic all the way.

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