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Old 12-09-2016, 18:38   #1
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Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

Hello!

I'm looking to redo the canvas enclosure on my cabin cruiser and am having trouble deciding which clear vinyl window material to go with. The old enclosure has 6 panels with what appears to be a 40g isinglass.

Typically, I like to roll up my windows and have found that the 40g distorts and creases after it gets rolled and unrolled a few times in the hot Florida sun. I was thinking of going with 30g Regalite but I'm not sure how well it will hold up. I've heard Strataglass and O'sea is the way to go, but holy smokes, are they expensive! I'm guessing I can only get 1 window, maybe two per 58'x110' sheet.

Any advice, thoughts, or places I may find material cheaper?

Thanks!!!
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Old 12-09-2016, 23:48   #2
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Re: Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

We have friends who've used the strataglass and boy, it is clear and "wobble" free. I do not know how well it would roll up, but if you take an appropriate sized plastic pipe piece, you can use that to roll around, and it helps keep clear vinyl better than not having it.

Good luck with your search, and welcome aboard CF, La Sirena.

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Old 13-09-2016, 11:46   #3
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Re: Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

You want Makrolon windows.
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Old 13-09-2016, 12:26   #4
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Re: Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

Practical Sailor been running test panels for 4 years, some outdoors, and some in a UV chamber to accelerate the process. And Strataglass is not in first place....

I would only go with un-coated products if you are OK with them fogging on high humidity days. The problem gets worse as they age.

You need to figure out how to avoid rolling the windows. Can you lay them flat? There is no product where that will not cause trouble.
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Old 13-09-2016, 12:47   #5
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Re: Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

Makrolon? Isn't that a brand name for polycarbonate, i.e. Lexan, which is NOT something you can readily roll up? Unless it is exceptionally thin?
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Old 13-09-2016, 13:19   #6
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Re: Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

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Makrolon? Isn't that a brand name for polycarbonate, i.e. Lexan, which is NOT something you can readily roll up? Unless it is exceptionally thin?
Yes. No rolling no matter how thin.
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Old 13-09-2016, 13:33   #7
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Re: Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

thinwater-
I don't know how thin the Makrolon branded product is available, but 3M actually use Lexan film for their window security products. Tints and clear. That stuff isn't quite the same as plain polycarbonate glazing of course, but it is strong enough to make glass windows "explosion safe" and similar to copier paper in thickness. FWIW.


Not being a dodger fan at all, I have no idea if anyone is using something like that. I still cringe every time I hear the word "Isinglass" since that specific word, for hundreds of years, has referred to translucent dried fish air bladders, used by poor folks as window glazing. And by some ignorant vendor of marine products for a totally different kettle of fish.(G)
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Old 13-09-2016, 13:51   #8
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Re: Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

I went down a somewhat similar road recently. As far as I could tell from my research, the window material's quality increased with price and thickness. A 60g Makrolon is the most expensive, but also gives you near glass like appearance and durability.


But you say you want to roll your windows... as Thinwater has pointed out, rolling will cause problems in all windows. Maybe you can unzip them and place flat in a berth? If you must roll, maybe you're better off with the cheap 20g material and their short lifespan.


Btw, the window material makers also recommend cleaning products that replaces chemicals in the window that the sun leaches out. I don't think this is a gimmick. It should allow the windows to last longer.
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Old 13-09-2016, 13:59   #9
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Re: Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

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Yes. No rolling no matter how thin.
So don't roll them. Rotate them inwards and have a series of snaps on the inside to hold the window open. Makrolon will look like glass, the other products more like saran wrap.
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Old 13-09-2016, 19:21   #10
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Re: Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

Anyone glueing the Makrolon instead of sewing? I read about using 5200 fast cure, but there are quite a few adhesives for polycarbonate that should bond well... just make a finished edge with your zipper and glue the panel in

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Old 13-09-2016, 21:16   #11
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Re: Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

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Anyone glueing the Makrolon instead of sewing? I read about using 5200 fast cure, but there are quite a few adhesives for polycarbonate that should bond well... just make a finished edge with your zipper and glue the panel in

Matt
Hey Matt!

Thanks for your feedback. I've not heard of gluing in a Makrolon panel instead of sewing it. It sounds interesting and easy enough, though. I'll have to do some more research on the topic
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Old 13-09-2016, 21:22   #12
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Re: Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

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Originally Posted by CAELESTIS View Post
So don't roll them. Rotate them inwards and have a series of snaps on the inside to hold the window open. Makrolon will look like glass, the other products more like saran wrap.
Caelestis,

I actually thought about installing strips & snaps so that I can flip the windows in and snap them to the Bimini. I have to do some more research on where exactly I need to install the strips so I don't end up with a leak. Have you done this before?

Michelle
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Old 13-09-2016, 21:44   #13
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Re: Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

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Originally Posted by fallingeggs View Post
I went down a somewhat similar road recently. As far as I could tell from my research, the window material's quality increased with price and thickness. A 60g Makrolon is the most expensive, but also gives you near glass like appearance and durability.


But you say you want to roll your windows... as Thinwater has pointed out, rolling will cause problems in all windows. Maybe you can unzip them and place flat in a berth? If you must roll, maybe you're better off with the cheap 20g material and their short lifespan.


Btw, the window material makers also recommend cleaning products that replaces chemicals in the window that the sun leaches out. I don't think this is a gimmick. It should allow the windows to last longer.
Fallingeggs,

Thank you for your feedback

I've actually never heard of Makrolon until now. I did do some research after reading some of the comments on this thread and holy smokes, is that stuff expensive!

Given Makrolon's quality, durability, and clarity, it sounds like the ideal window material for dodgers! My problem is that I cannot safely store my enclosure panels in the berth without them being sat on or trampled on by my small children... or an oblivious guest throwing their personal belongings on top (this happened with my current panels )

I like the idea of putting in snaps so that I can flip the windows inward instead of rolling them up. I just have to figure out where to install the snaps.
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Old 13-09-2016, 23:08   #14
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Re: Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by La_Sirena View Post
Hey Matt!

Thanks for your feedback. I've not heard of gluing in a Makrolon panel instead of sewing it. It sounds interesting and easy enough, though. I'll have to do some more research on the topic
Yes, make sure you do diligent research on this, as there are many adhesives which when curing, leech important chemicals out of window plastics. Thus making them brittle & weak. Even to include polycarbonates & acrylics. Though I'm uncertain as to where to look for this information exactly, other than via those who make the window materials. With the #2 choice being the adhesive manufacturers.

On taking windows out & laying them down, if they'll fit into a berth or other flat space, would storing them underneath of the cushions help? That, or via adding a hard panel which fits into the bunk overtop of them, but underneath of the cushions. Assuming that there's room.

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Old 14-09-2016, 04:42   #15
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Re: Clear Vinyl Window Material-Advice Please?

Quote:
Originally Posted by funjohnson View Post
Anyone glueing the Makrolon instead of sewing? I read about using 5200 fast cure, but there are quite a few adhesives for polycarbonate that should bond well... just make a finished edge with your zipper and glue the panel in

Matt

I heard the same but couldn't confirm. If I went the Makrolon route, I figured Tenara tread is the only prudent choice with such an expensive and long lasting material.

But even with the Sailrite, sewing that combination would be a chore, I gather. Ruining a sheet of Makrolon would suck! So I went with 20g and regular thread for practice. Maybe next time around I'll feel up to the task... That or it's professional time.


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