Plexiglass windows with direct interior access? No way, as stated in the previous post at least bonded and layered safety
glass or tempered glass. Then make sure the frames are up to the task. Structural rigidity in the support frames is just as important.
Any large area window would need to be able to take a large amount of force without stoving in. My preference would be storm covers, but it doesn't seem too many builders are doing that these days.
I've asked several builders, including some high end builders about this at boat shows and have gotten varying replies, some were quite honest and sighted engineering numbers behind the materials and design used in their boats, others were a bit condescending and avoided the answer.
I was supposed to transport a pilot house boat back from Bermuda
years ago that had a large pilot house windows, it never made the first leg, during the trip to Bermuda
they took a knockdown in a storm and one of those large ports
popped out and the boat was partially flooded, knocking out all the battery
power and the motor
. Unfortunately the captain
made the decision to abandon ship and then made a series of bad decisions which ultimately lead to his demise, otherwise the hull
and rig were intact and the boat was secure. The remaining amateur crew stuffed sail bags into the open hole, bailed the boat (nothing faster than a scared guy with a 5 gallon bucket) and were able to maintain the boat until the coast guard arrived the following day, the first mate survived 17 hours afloat in his lifejacket in that storm until the coast guard plucked him from the water
Since that time I've been quite careful when considering any offshore
boat with large, unsupported ports
. Some I've looked at were pretty stout, some were pretty scary, it depends on what you decide to do with the boat.
The boats name was Almeisan, I believe someone released a book about the whole incident recently. I still have the operating manual the captain
handed me prior to shoving off, it was pretty detailed except there was no safety section in it, I should have picked up on that one item. It's made me a much more critical individual when looking at boats.