Marine Window Materials: What Are Your Options?

28th November 2018

“You need to choose a material that will be functional, look great and work with the overall design and aesthetic of your vessel.”

Whether you’re in the middle of a restoration project, making improvements to your boat or it’s simply time to upgrade your boat windows, choosing the right materials is critical.

You need to choose a material that will be functional, look great and work with the overall design and aesthetic of your vessel. The materials that go into crafting marine windows are different from those used in land-based applications, this is because they are specifically designed to suit the marine environment, thus it’s important to be aware of all of the options available to you.

Marine window suppliers often provide a range of options made from a variety of composite materials, each with different features, applications and advantages.

marine windows and windscreen

Flexibility, clarity and resistance to scratching are just some of the features that you’ll find in materials such as polycarbonate or acrylic based fabrics. However, it’s important that you determine your exact needs before choosing a material for your boat windows so that you make the best decision possible.

Continue reading to find out more about some of the more popular materials used in marine windows manufacturing.


Research the Materials

The types of material used in making marine windows have a huge impact on the lifespan of the product. Different materials are more resistant to weathering and the general wear and tear from the marine environment.  

Glass is the most popular material used in boat windows. If you’re looking to add or replace flat or curved windows, glass can be a great choice. It’s versatile in the sense that it can be used on windscreens, windows and portholes alike. Glass is highly scratch and impact resistant, ensuring it will meet any survey requirement.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something heavy-duty but with less weight, one of the best materials for harsh environments and heavy use is polycarbonate. It’s crystal-clear and comes with a range of different coating options that reduce the effects of harmful UV rays and fine scratches, making it one of the more popular window materials.

Acrylic is another great option that is similar to polycarbonate. However, it is less resistant to scratches, meaning that it will have a shorter lifespan.

Price vs Performance

Before committing to a particular material be sure that you understand that, at every price point, you’ll be faced with a trade-off. More expensive windows will be made using tougher materials, meaning that they’ll be thicker, less flexible and more durable. Investing in thicker, more durable materials will ensure that you won’t have to perform a lot of maintenance to keep them in good condition and you won’t have to replace them as often.

Alternatively, thinner materials like clear pressed acrylic will make for a great boat windscreen as it’s both light and flexible, allowing you to easily clean the product while reducing excessive weight for best performance.

Choose the Right Marine Windows

Choosing the right materials for your marine windows needs some careful consideration. Avoid rushing your decision and be sure to take the time to understand all of your options before moving forward. Think about your needs, what area of your boat the windows will be situated and how much maintenance and upkeep you are willing to perform. Take the time to make the right call and you’ll find a material that will be both functional and add to the overall aesthetic of your boat.

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