Updated: Jan 7
It's Time to Replace Your Enclosure
Is it a blurry
It's Time to Replace Your Enclosures
Is it a blurry or a worn-out view? Possibilities are that your boat enclosures need to be replaced.
If you mistake a scratch on your boat's enclosure for a marker in the channel while on the water, then you must repair or replace your clear marine enclosure, whether it's acrylic, vinyl, or another material. During planned downtime at a marine service yard, the experts do it well during haul-out or other opportune times. Clear enclosures are available in various materials nowadays, including acrylic, polycarbonate, and vinyl.
Acrylic enclosures are inflexible and come in various brands, including
EZ2CY®. Polycarbonate comes under the brand name Makrolon whereas clear vinyl comes under CrystalClear, Regalite, and Strataglass, each having its own set of uses and characteristics.
Acrylic Boat Enclosures
Boats in the subtropics, such as the Bahamas and South Florida, must withstand significant humidity and temperature changes, where acrylic shines. Scratches can be buffed away in acrylic, and it does not fade or yellow over time. EZ2CY® is 80-gauge acrylic and is designed to pull up rather than roll. When you don't need the panels, pin them to the roof or the bridge as they can withstand a lot more air pressure while in motion and hold in the cool air if you use an air conditioner because of the thickness.
The refurbishing and polishing procedure is straightforward for yachts already fitted with EZ2CY® enclosures during haul-out. It is recommended to check it once you've arrived at the yard, and if it's scratched, have the yard remove it and return it to your EZ2CY® dealer. The dealer will do the buffing and polishing, then hang or store it and return it to the boat in like-new condition. Reinstall it when the yacht is ready to leave the yard.
Vinyl Boat Enclosures
Clear vinyl works well for many boat owners who require enclosures that can be rolled up and out of the way. It's easy to roll up clear uncoated vinyl because it's pliable, but users must be careful because it's easily scratched. VueShield, a scratch-resistant coating, is used on Strataglass to help reduce scratches. Uncoated vinyl is less costly than coated vinyl, although both must be handled with care to avoid wrinkles and creases. Furthermore, vinyl will turn yellow or hazy over time.
Because semirigid polycarbonate enclosures like Makrolon can't be rolled up, they must be unzipped or pinned and removed. Although polycarbonate is costly, it provides good visibility, and scratch-resistant coatings are used to preserve the surface. Polycarbonates are popular in northern climates and Great Lakes locations, where the sun and temperatures are not as harsh as in tropical climates. Polycarbonate can yellow in tropical conditions since it is a petroleum-based substance.
After installing the new enclosures, careful upkeep may help them survive for years. The primary goal in a saltwater environment is to displace saltwater without harsh chemicals. Because many cleaners include ammonia or alcohol, which can break down acrylic and cause it to haze and crack, soapy water is the most robust solution to use. You can't buff or sand it out after that occurs. Keep a separate set of cleaning tools on the boat that you don't use anywhere else if you don't want to pick up any dirt or debris that can damage the cleaning equipment glass.
A decision that boat owners must make is how the enclosures are attached to the boat. Haul-out is also an excellent opportunity to service your enclosures' zippers, Velcro, and fabric borders. Acrylic and vinyl goods from Sunbrella and Herculite are utilized with fasteners like slides, snaps, and zippers.
Serge Ferrari's Stamoid, a dimensionally stable vinyl, is used by Canvas Designers. Then a track-to-track program is used to link the glass to the boat. There is a track on the hardtop of the boat and a track on the flybridge coaming, a bolt rope on the top is sewed, and the bottom panel zips are closed.
How often you use your boat determines the frequency with which you should change your enclosures. Some folks have 25-year-old boats with less than 1,200 hours on them, and they run them all around the globe; some of the sportfishing boats are two years old and have 3,000 hours on them.
Sportfishing boats competing in international competitions often encounter a worn or damaged enclosure at a foreign port, and repairing or replacing the panel might be difficult. When acquiring enclosures, the option to have a replacement transported to your location is something to think about. For this reason, computer-aided design (CAD) software can save the dimensions of your boat's enclosures.