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Old 12-15-2016, 12:22 PM   #1
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Isinglass failure.

My isinglass was a year old when I bought the boat. I have had the boat a little over 3 years so it is 4 years old. There is one panel that is failing. It is cloudy and is as brittle as frozen taffy. I can crack it off in chunks. I just recently changed boat wash people. The sucky thing is the dude is a acquaintance of mine. He claims all they use is soap and water. I gotta take him for his word. He has been doing this stuff a long time. It just sucks that this occurred as soon as the changeover took place.

With that said, this panel is the aft panel up on the flybridge that would allow access to the roof of the sundeck. It faces perfectly due west and is even angled up very much like a solar panel would be. IOW, it is, by far, the most exposed panel on the entire boat. Would simple sun exposure cause it to fail in 4 years??? I have had boats with 6 year old isinglass that was still serviceable and definitely not cracking. It is usually the canvas that is failing before the isinglass. And this panel almost is never touched except when cleaning whereas other panels are constantly rolled up and down. And now it looks like crap and is cracking...

Thoughts?
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Old 12-15-2016, 01:27 PM   #2
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Cleaned with a crystallizing chemical of some sort???
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Old 12-15-2016, 02:42 PM   #3
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Are the panels adjacent to the smiley failing also? Just the center "window? Odd indeed. Just soap and water? maybe. Doing something forever never ensures it is done right. Also if it was caused by a specific product would all panels show similar condition? To your question. No never seen that level of deterioration in glass so new.
I never wash the glass with anything but plain water then clean with purpose made cleaner. There are many good products for the glass. Imar stratoglass cleaner is what i am using now. When you figure this out post it up. Sorry for your trouble. perplexing to be sure.
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Old 12-15-2016, 03:24 PM   #4
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Do yourself a favor and replace that stuff with polycarbonate. You will never regret it.
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Old 12-15-2016, 04:04 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker View Post
My isinglass was a year old when I bought the boat. I have had the boat a little over 3 years so it is 4 years old. There is one panel that is failing. It is cloudy and is as brittle as frozen taffy. I can crack it off in chunks. I just recently changed boat wash people. The sucky thing is the dude is a acquaintance of mine. He claims all they use is soap and water. I gotta take him for his word. He has been doing this stuff a long time. It just sucks that this occurred as soon as the changeover took place.

With that said, this panel is the aft panel up on the flybridge that would allow access to the roof of the sundeck. It faces perfectly due west and is even angled up very much like a solar panel would be. IOW, it is, by far, the most exposed panel on the entire boat. Would simple sun exposure cause it to fail in 4 years??? I have had boats with 6 year old isinglass that was still serviceable and definitely not cracking. It is usually the canvas that is failing before the isinglass. And this panel almost is never touched except when cleaning whereas other panels are constantly rolled up and down. And now it looks like crap and is cracking...

Thoughts?

There are some common cleaning products that are poison to Isinglass. All it takes is the use of some things like Pledge, Fantastic, Simple Green, etc.

Ken
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Old 12-15-2016, 05:12 PM   #6
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It won't repair the hole, and might not restore what you have, but Mermaid makes a good product for cleaning and protecting the glass.
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Old 12-15-2016, 10:55 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Toolbuddie View Post
Are the panels adjacent to the smiley failing also? Just the center "window? Odd indeed. Just soap and water? maybe. Doing something forever never ensures it is done right. Also if it was caused by a specific product would all panels show similar condition? To your question. No never seen that level of deterioration in glass so new.
I never wash the glass with anything but plain water then clean with purpose made cleaner. There are many good products for the glass. Imar stratoglass cleaner is what i am using now. When you figure this out post it up. Sorry for your trouble. perplexing to be sure.
Dave.
Just that part of the "smiley". And there are panels on the sundeck that face the same direction that are "fine".....not great but fine. Anyway, they did not look this way before the changeover to the new boat wash person. 4 years and they should not look this way.
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:11 PM   #8
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Has this been gradual? Meaning have ya seen it coming for a while? Or was this sudden?
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:16 PM   #9
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Has this been gradual? Meaning have ya seen it coming for a while? Or was this sudden?
It was sudden after I changed over to a new boat wash person. I know I am kinda stuck on that. And I talked to the guy at length. He honestly would admit it if he did something wrong. The question is, did his worker do something wrong??? Dunno. It shouldn't look like that in 4 years....
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Old 12-15-2016, 11:38 PM   #10
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The smile is probably cut from the same sheet of eisinglass. If they used a "wrong" cleaning product, I would think that all of the same area of eisenglass would be failing. Have you tried rolling a section next to the smile that does not normally roll to see if it is also brittle?

Usually I see the thread go first if it is not Tenara thread, then the eisinglass and finally the canvas if it is Sunbrella. When I lived in Arizona, polyester thread was good for about 3 years, eisenglass from 4 to 5 years and Sunbrella about 6 to 7 years. Now that I live in Michigan and the boat is stored inside during the winter, canvas lasts almost forever...

Either way it is really strange that only the smile is going bad. Good luck with figuring out what the cause is. Let us know when you do get it figured out.
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:36 AM   #11
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Having spent the last few winters in the sunny desert, I have to conclude that the sun will get you eventually. For some products, the sun will take its toll very quickly, some take a little longer. The damage you are seeing could easily be just the sun. Don't be too hard on your new cleaner guy.
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:24 AM   #12
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Is it possible that some chemical was dripped onto it? Maybe someone had sunscreen on their hands and touched it. That's death to most products other than O'Sea.
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Old 12-16-2016, 06:53 AM   #13
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From now on, sit the smoking hot women you have aboard all the time a little further away from the isinglass....they usually aren't paying attention to navigation anyway.
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Old 12-16-2016, 08:37 AM   #14
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We have a panel there in exactly the same place and situation and it is by far in the worst condition of all the clears on the boat. I don't know how old our clears are but all the rest are ok and this one is brittle and cracked. The direct downward sunlight is not kind them.
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Old 12-16-2016, 08:46 AM   #15
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I wish people would forget isinglass. That was made from fish bladders and hasn't existed as a window product for a very long time. What we have today is vinyl.
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Old 12-16-2016, 09:48 AM   #16
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Actually, the transparent stuff was not made from fish bladders: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isinglass

"With isinglass windows you can roll right down,
in case there's a change in the weather."
(Surrey with a Fringe on Top)

The old window isinglass was thin sheets of mica:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mica#Isinglass

Here's some for sale on eBay. Small pieces, hard to imagine its availability or use in vehicle windows. Useful for stove/oven peepholes, though.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mica#Isinglass
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Old 12-16-2016, 03:47 PM   #17
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Do yourself a favor and replace that stuff with polycarbonate. You will never regret it.
I don't know about that. Just did a Google and reports claim that the stuff is susceptible to salt water spray and good only for few years. Did not check the prices but Lexan I presume is far more expensive than vinyl.
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Old 12-16-2016, 05:00 PM   #18
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had lexan for 7 years in salt and FL sun. Looked new. Always clear as glass.
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Old 12-16-2016, 07:34 PM   #19
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Some canvas water repellent treatments (e.g. 303 Fabric Guard) are harmful to clear vinyl. If anyone was applying water repellent treatment to the canvas and dripped / sprayed some on the clear it will remove the plasticisers and make it brittle.
This confuses some as 303 also makes a vinyl protectant that is beneficial for clear vinyl windows but does reduce canvas water repellency if it gets on the canvas.

Bottom line be sure to use the right treatment and shield other materials during application.
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Old 12-17-2016, 08:16 AM   #20
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Just wondering if you open the smiley and flip it up on top of a canvas top??
That's the only way I could think of where the smiley might be affected and the surrounding clear not.
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