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Best Plastic For Boat Windshields

Sturdy construction is essential for the safe and efficient operation of marine craft as it navigates both the water and the weather. Marine grade plastic, which is plastic designed and manufactured specifically for use with watercraft, performs as well as any common boat construction material. In many cases, marine grade plastic provides superior performance.

Here are some ways polycarbonate, and other types of marine plastic can serve and enhance the performance of boat windshields and other areas of construction.

Designed For Strength, Endurance, and Clarity

One of the most common uses for marine grade plastic is as an alternative to glass as a material for windows and windshields. Polycarbonate plastics like TUFFAK® are designed to deal with the harshest weather conditions and still provide clear views and reliable strength. In addition, polycarbonate marine plastic is more robust than other types of plastic, is resistant to abrasion, and doesn’t yellow over time.

While acrylic plastics can make good windshields, polycarbonate sheet is stronger and simpler to work with.

Reasons for choosing polycarbonate as boat windows are similar to why it’s used for race cars and fighter jets. Polycarbonate windshields and windows don’t crack, and they can take considerably more abuse than standard glass. For boat construction and customization, marine plastic is easier for boat builders to work with and make curved windows. It offers flexibility and can be fastened directly onto a boat cabin or into window frames. Polycarbonate is also considerably lighter.

In the end, using polycarbonate plastics for windows and windshields will mean having a clear and safe view of the sea or lake no matter what sort of weather is happening out there.

Other Benefits of Marine Plastic

As an ideal material for boat construction, marine plastics offer a wealth of benefits every boat manufacturer should consider.

Excellent Resistance To the Elements

Protecting your boat from the damage and wear caused by the elements is pretty much impossible. Sustained contact with saltwater alone leads to not only hull abrasions but also corrosion and weakening of the bolts and bearings essential to keeping your watercraft together. Prolonged exposure to sunlight—particularly UV—can result in warping, delamination, and discoloration. Even unpleasant smells can be an undesired side effect of extensive time on the open water.

That’s where marine plastics prove their usefulness. Polymer materials, such as polycarbonate and polyethylene, have proven to be effective in mitigating all of these potential conditions. Marine grade plastic is an excellent choice if you need a material that can be relied upon to endure the elements.

Marine plastic doesn’t need to be painted, so there is none of the chipping or bubbling one might observe from prolonged sun exposure. As a material used as joints or bearings or joints, it doesn’t experience rust or corrosion over time and can better protect sections of the boat from coming apart. Especially formulated abrasion-resistant marine acrylic sheet reduces overall wear and tears.

Superior Durability and Strength

Boat hulls constructed of marine plastic have a solid reputation for durability and strength. Unlike many other materials used in boat construction, marine plastic can more dependably withstand repeated bumps and rough contact with rocks, driftwood, and other debris. While scuffs might happen, the hull remains whole and allows for plenty of time for any minor repairs that might be needed.

Safe When Wet

Waves happen. Boats get wet.

Many materials—particularly wood—become slippery when wet. This can quickly turn a pleasant nautical outing into a situation considerably more dangerous.

A solution for this is specially treated high-density polyethylene (HDPE) designed to prevent slippage even when wet. If used for decking and gangways, AntSkid HDPE can remove a lot of the risk involved when moving about your watercraft. 

Environmentally Friendly

Because it’s easy to manufacture and repair, marine plastics produce less waste. It’s also readily recyclable, an important consideration for boaters and manufacturers looking to be environmentally conscious. You won’t be adding to landfills as you might with other discarded bits of boat construction. Piedmont offers a variety of recycled materials, including recycled marine grade polyethelyne like PMG Aqua-Plas II and King StarLite XL®. 

Piedmont and Marine Plastics

Marine products have been a core offering at Piedmont Plastics since 1985. We take great pride in delivering expert product knowledge and industry-leading marine-grade plastic materials.

Contact our dedicated team of marine market specialists for a complete inventory of marine products. Let our experts help you find the most effective solutions for your marine construction projects.