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Old 06-02-2023, 00:34   #1
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Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

Hey All...I'm in the research phase right now for buying a boat and recently watched a video about Pete Goss describing a Garcia yachts Expedition 45. One of the features on the boat was that it had double glazed windows. He recalled an experience in the video of being in a force 7 storm with the companionway hatch sealed and things being completely quiet in the salon, to such an extent that they could have been listening to choral music in the salon while the storm raged outside.

That sounded amazing...I know that the same company that makes the Expedition 45 (Garcia) just released a catamaran as well (Garcia Explocat 52).

These are like...way out of my price range, but I did want to ask the community about noise levels and double glazed windows in general...have folks encountered any boats that have similar features more within reach (FPs/Leopards/Lagoons etc?). Or who knows, maybe even without double glazed windows things are pretty quiet anyway!

I haven't been on any of these boats up to this point since all experience has been sailing on a Cal 27 at the local sailing club.

Still...curious about it! Would be super cool to be able to shut out the world like that and could be an awesome feature on a boat for so many reasons.
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Old 06-02-2023, 04:53   #2
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Re: Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

I’m not sure this would make a big difference on multi hulls.

our boats are loud anyway. The hull is loud. The way the water splashes around it’s always making noise if there is some chop.
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Old 06-02-2023, 05:18   #3
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Re: Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

I was thinking the same thing as Chotu. Any boat is loud (albeit some louder than others). But double glaze windows? That is the last place I’d be thinking about to make improvements. Where are you going to be sailing that you want all your hatches and ports closed up tight?
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Old 06-02-2023, 06:03   #4
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Re: Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

The Garcia Exploration 45 is quiet mainly due to the aluminium construction (no flexing) and the 70mm of insulation.

I have never sailed on an Explocat. It shares the above features, but catamarans are subject to enormous twisting forces so I would expect some flexing even with the aluminium construction, especially as the weight savings important in catamaran construction require the thinnest possible aluminium to be used.
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Old 06-02-2023, 06:16   #5
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Re: Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

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Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
The Garcia Exploration 45 is quiet mainly due to the aluminium construction (no flexing) and the 70mm of insulation.

I have never sailed on an Explocat. It shares the above features, but catamarans are subject to enormous twisting forces so I would expect some flexing even with the aluminium construction, especially as the weight savings important in catamaran construction require the thinnest possible aluminium to be used.
thatís not what makes the noise on a multihull.

itís just the geometry of the shape of the hulls.

I have one of the stiffest hulls you could possibly have because I got a good deal on 1" thick corecell, which also is a good insulator. . Itís ridiculously stiff. No flexing. no hope of flexing.

the sound comes from the geometry. It comes from the sound of water outside the boat. That way it splashes. It ends up being fairly loud actually.

so the windows would not really make any difference at all. Because all of the sound you hear comes through the hull.
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Old 06-02-2023, 06:26   #6
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Re: Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

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thatís not what makes the noise on a multihull.

itís just the geometry of the shape of the hulls.

I have one of the stiffest hulls you could possibly have because I got a good deal on 1" thick corecell, which also is a good insulator. . Itís ridiculously stiff. No flexing. no hope of flexing.

the sound comes from the geometry. It comes from the sound of water outside the boat. That way it splashes. It ends up being fairly loud actually.

so the windows would not really make any difference at all. Because all of the sound you hear comes through the hull.

Just imagine if your hulls weren't cored. It would be that much louder.



But I know all about noisy hulls... Mine at anchor with even a few inch chop gets pretty noisy from waves slapping against the chines up forward (and it's a solid glass hull). It's barely noticeable in the aft cabin unless it's really nasty out, but anywhere else on board it can get pretty loud.
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Old 06-02-2023, 06:40   #7
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Re: Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

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It comes from the sound of water outside the boat. That way it splashes. It ends up being fairly loud actually.
Yes, the wave slams under the bridge deck and on the hull can be incredibly loud on a catamaran. I would have expected the three inches of insulation on the Garcia to at least reduce this sound somewhat, it certainly does on a monohull, but I have never sailed on an aluminium catamaran.
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Old 06-02-2023, 07:04   #8
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Re: Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

Double glazing isn't for noise, it is for cold and condensation. This is a winter / high latitude thing. I mounted storm windows for winter or the hatches all dripped when living aboard.
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Old 06-02-2023, 20:28   #9
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Re: Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

Thanks all for your responses.

As I'm picking up from responses:

*One of the primary sources of noise on sailboats, even at anchor, assuming even slightly choppy conditions, is from water impact against the hull.
*This is especially the case with catamarans...maybe because of hull shape, larger hull, bridge deck slams, etc.
*Garcia uses heavy insulation in the hull to combat this water noise...and I'm assuming also to insulate against cold, since their boats are designed to venture to high latitudes.
*Presumably they have had enough success with hull insulation that they've decided that it makes sense to further insulate the boat from cold and noise by double-glazing the windows?

Based on comments, I can definitely see why double-glazed windows would not help much in an otherwise uninsulated boat--or house, or building, or anywhere else for that matter!

Still much to learn, thanks all for your comments.
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Old 06-02-2023, 22:29   #10
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Re: Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

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Originally Posted by uneven_sailor View Post
Thanks all for your responses.

As I'm picking up from responses:

*One of the primary sources of noise on sailboats, even at anchor, assuming even slightly choppy conditions, is from water impact against the hull.
*This is especially the case with catamarans...maybe because of hull shape, larger hull, bridge deck slams, etc.
*Garcia uses heavy insulation in the hull to combat this water noise...and I'm assuming also to insulate against cold, since their boats are designed to venture to high latitudes.
*Presumably they have had enough success with hull insulation that they've decided that it makes sense to further insulate the boat from cold and noise by double-glazing the windows?

Based on comments, I can definitely see why double-glazed windows would not help much in an otherwise uninsulated boat--or house, or building, or anywhere else for that matter!

Still much to learn, thanks all for your comments.
We have an RV, not a boat, but in terms of insulation and window construction it's not far off a number of boats, and even with pretty crummy insulation in the walls, when it's decently hot or decently cold outside, having some insulation on the windows makes a big difference.

I don't think I'd buy an expedition boat that didn't have some kind of consideration for how to control the window exposure issue. (Either just smaller/less windows, or double-glazing, or extra panels, or insulating blinds... something intended to work properly to help you manage internal temperatures. Though if the solution involves basically shutting the thing up tight, you then also need some kind of ventilation management because even in an RV humidity and condensation can be an issue, so on a boat that's gonna have to be an even bigger problem.) But that's because expedition boats are basically intended to be taken to places where the outside conditions may not be particularly nice, so you need to be able to maintain some space that can be kept reasonable.

For boats that are only in places that are fairly comfortable most of the time, or that are only used when the conditions are fairly comfortable, it becomes much less of an issue. (This is basically why RVs are the way they are - most of the market doesn't use them in conditions where it makes a big difference. We're just weirdos who like camping in the winter in places that have winter. )
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Old 07-02-2023, 06:39   #11
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Re: Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

I think the biggest reason that double glazed windows aren't common on boats is weight and cost. I'd think the inner layer of glass could be thinner than the outer, but you can't reduce the thickness of the outer glass because it's needed for impact strength. So you're adding at least some weight to the window assembly, plus adding thickness (which isn't necessarily a problem in many designs). And for anything beyond a standard size port, you won't necessarily produce a ton of that same window, so that pushes up the cost.
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Old 07-02-2023, 07:20   #12
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Re: Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

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I think the biggest reason that double glazed windows aren't common on boats is weight and cost.
Most of the cost of boat windows is in the mounting and installing so the extra cost of double glazing over other glass windows is not high. The weight is a little more, but the biggest problem is moisture entering the gas void between the panes.

The movement and flexing of a boat seems to eventually compromise the seal. Condensation between the panes then occurs. This is a great pity, especially for genuine glass (rather than plastic) glazing. Glass boat windows are unaffected by UV. They do not craze and are very hard to scratch so single pane glass window or hatch normally never needs replacement.
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Old 08-02-2023, 16:30   #13
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Re: Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

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Most of the cost of boat windows is in the mounting and installing so the extra cost of double glazing over other glass windows is not high. The weight is a little more, but the biggest problem is moisture entering the gas void between the panes.

The movement and flexing of a boat seems to eventually compromise the seal. Condensation between the panes then occurs. This is a great pity, especially for genuine glass (rather than plastic) glazing. Glass boat windows are unaffected by UV. They do not craze and are very hard to scratch so single pane glass window or hatch normally never needs replacement.


So they should have a way to replace that nice dry inert gas hey?
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Old 08-02-2023, 16:43   #14
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Re: Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

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So they should have a way to replace that nice dry inert gas hey?
Once condensation forms between the panes, the normal procedure is to totally replace the glazing.

The gasket between the panes is a special gas tight proprietary seal, not a simple bead of Sikaflex (or similar sealant) on proper double glazed windows. In addition the better double glazed marine windows use argon and Krypton (Superman needs to be wary ) gas between the panes.

Replacing this special gasket and the gas between the glass panes may be technically feasible, but given the high cost of removal and re-installing the windows, I don’t think this is commonly done. Complete replacement of the window is normally the practical solution.
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Old 08-02-2023, 22:46   #15
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Re: Noise levels...double glazed windows? Insulation?

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Once condensation forms between the panes, the normal procedure is to totally replace the glazing.

The gasket between the panes is a special gas tight proprietary seal, not a simple bead of Sikaflex (or similar sealant) on proper double glazed windows. In addition the better double glazed marine windows use argon and Krypton (Superman needs to be wary ) gas between the panes.

Replacing this special gasket and the gas between the glass panes may be technically feasible, but given the high cost of removal and re-installing the windows, I donít think this is commonly done. Complete replacement of the window is normally the practical solution.


While all of what you mentioned are true (we agree on the inert gas) it would be possible to remove the moisture from within the two panes

I have fabricated multi pane windows but for a house so the above is possible though as you mentioned most people just toss the old windows away
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