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Old 17-07-2005, 14:02   #1
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Deck Salon/Pilot House Windows and Safety

I have to admit that I've been lustily gazing at some of the new Deck Salon designs. A small alarm in the back of my head has been ringing, however, regarding such large expanses of windows and glass in vulnerable places. I've been ignoring the alarm figuring that, surely, modern designers and manufacturing techniques have tested and proven the windows to be safe.

Then, in many of this month's US sailing magazines, comes the story of the pilothouse yacht that blew out a window in a gulfstream storm. Google on "almeisan yacht" and you can read several different accounts. Very scary.

Are there standards that production boats must meet regarding window strength? Are those standards adequate?

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Old 17-07-2005, 20:18   #2
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Not sure about the "standards" aspect, but two things. Firstly, a toughend glass is equal to ten times it's thickness in standard glass. So a 10mm(3/8) armourd glass is equall to standard glass 100mm(4") thick.
However, a cubic meter of water weighs in at 1tonne. Now put some speed behind it, and the impact on a window is huge. Often it is not the glass it'self that breaks (although it can and does happen) it is the frame that holds the glass in that can simply give way.
Most ocean cruisers will or should have storm shutters for large windows. These can be simple ply panels that bolt over the window and take the impact.
It should also be noted, that there should be emergency panels carried for the event that a window does blow. There should be at least one emergency shutter for every window shape in the boat. The emergency shutters are usually two pieces. An inner and outer with a through bolt so as they clamp together.

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