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Old 29-03-2013, 09:42   #1
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Smoked or clear?

Looking at my project list for the coming season. All that crazy acrylic is on the list. Any opinions about smoked vs clear?

Have to replace deadlights and hatches, companion way slide and lee boards on an older boat. I know the case for smoked is mainly about privacy and sun control.

Living aboard and plan to go cruising in a year or so. Personally, I don't think privacy is a big issues for us. Thinking exterior sun control is more effective with awnings and hatch covers than using smoked plex.

Also thinking most of the time I am board I prefer to have as much light down below as possible as well as being able to see out at night, hence leaning towards clear. Any thoughts?
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Old 29-03-2013, 09:56   #2
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Re: Smoked or clear?

On my boat:
Hatches = smoked
Ports = clear

If doing it over, would do it the same way.

Maybe if lived in Alaska would do hatches clear.
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Old 29-03-2013, 09:58   #3
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We did hatches smoked and ports clear. Next tome the ports will also be smoked to keep the intense sun out when sailomg
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Old 29-03-2013, 10:07   #4
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Re: Smoked or clear?

Clear Acrylic. Lexan a waste of money, & more craze prone.
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Old 30-03-2013, 10:02   #5
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Re: Smoked or clear?

I have seen a couple Beneteaus, maybe from the mid-nineties that look like they have a light aqua tint on the deadlights as well as the hatches, but I haven't been on board one. Seems like this would impart a blue green color to the light down below. Not the most flattering color. Anyone with experience with these?
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Old 30-03-2013, 10:15   #6
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Re: Smoked or clear?

Smoked does not block out all that much light. I have never experienced it blocking out too much light. Probably the only difference is having to turn on the cabin lights a little sooner after sunset.
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Old 30-03-2013, 10:29   #7
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Re: Smoked or clear?

will you sail in tropics or temperate..tropics, smoked. temperate--whatever brightness level you are able to tolerate.
.have you tried to see which you prefer before asking out loud in a public place....isnt that hard a decision to make...bright or not bright....LOL
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Old 01-04-2013, 18:06   #8
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Re: Smoked or clear?

Smoked. It's not that much different.

Be sure and use CAST acrylic. Lexan is a no-no unless you are going to keep everyting covered.
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Old 01-04-2013, 18:48   #9
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Re: Smoked or clear?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Delancy View Post
Thinking exterior sun control is more effective with awnings and hatch covers than using smoked plex.
Yep. But a lot depends on the boat. The more light you're letting in, the more important smoked plex becomes. I have 10 large hatches on deck. Without smoked plex it would be a greenhouse.
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Old 01-04-2013, 18:50   #10
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Re: Smoked or clear?

I went with clear polycarbonate (Lexan) for strength and crack resistance. I used clear and then used a tint film on the out side. This blocks most of the UV from effecting the plastic and you can replace the tint when it gets old. I have replaced it once and it was like getting new lens at a fraction of the cost, no crazing of the plastic after 4 years, guess time will tell but so far it is great. I used a tint film designed for exterior use on plastic, found it online cannot recall the brand right now.
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Old 01-04-2013, 19:18   #11
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Re: Smoked or clear?

Smoked can mean grey or bronze, and both come in at least two different darknesses. If the plastics supplier you look at only sells "acrylic" with no mention of different grades, find another one. Among other things each grade may have different UV resistance and strength, but you may find the tinted plexi only comes in the weaker grades--or, in a UV and scratch resistant architectural grade, since "smoked" is popular for that.

I favor tinted or smoked for the hatches, but clear for portlights, where a curtain can always be used.
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