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Old 07-12-2019, 07:14 AM   #1
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Phifertex

We’re planning to make or have made Phifertex Plus window coverings to block the sun. Interested in others’ experiences.

What colors are best for heat-blocking? Does one do a better job of keeping solar gain out than others?

Do dark colors heat up more than lighter colors?

Any issues with staining?
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:57 AM   #2
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I just had a whole set made. We went with a tan color to compliment the other colors on the boat. It definitely helps cut down on heat in the daytime. I couldn't testify as to what colors would block more heat that others. But I'll ask my canvas guy.

Visibility through it is good, during the day obviously. I haven't stepped outside at night to see how interior lighting appears through it (we have other curtains inside for night-time privacy).

We went with a single sheet across the three forward windows, with pads sewn in to reduce wear to/from the wipers.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:34 AM   #3
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Both dark and light do a good job of blocking sunlight. It come is two versions - one that block about 70%, and one that blocks about 90% of UV rays. As for privacy, the dark colors are best for daylight, but can easily be seen through at night, especially with lights on inside. Just the opposite for light colors - they can be seen through during daylight, but not at night. We have dark navy window coverings now that came with the boat - they are very old and a bit faded, so I'm making white 90% covers now, using the old ones as patterns.
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Old 07-12-2019, 08:45 AM   #4
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For folks using Phifertex - do you always put it on the outside? If so, I assume you have snaps on the outside of the windows, right? What kind of wind speeds will that withstand?

Regarding the color - I would assume (key word is assume) that if it is snapped on the outside, there shouldn't be a material difference between light and dark as far as heat gain. Certainly the dark would absorb more solar gain, but I can't see that being passed through the window if it's snapped outside. If you have it attached inside, I think there would be a measurable difference between dark and light colors.

I'll be interested in what people with first hand experience have to say since I have to solve this problem for myself as well and am currently planning a lighter color.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:24 AM   #5
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Yes, ours are snapped on the outside and are very snug - very wind resistant - can't recall ever seeing any on the inside. It's not a solid fabric, rather a mesh where the 'grid' is tighter (smaller openings) on the 90% sun blocking mesh, vs the 70% type. So the color really doesn't make much difference there. But it really does make a difference with visibility/privacy as I stated above. And the lighter colors will make the insides a bit brighter during daylight.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:25 AM   #6
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On our DeFever trawler, we have had off-white Phifertex covers on all of our large windows, for about 10 years, in Mexico. We have lost several due to high winds / storms. It seems to depend on how many snaps you use, as well as the level of corrosion of the snaps; the more corroded, the better the hold. Of course, wind direction is a factor.

After several years in the sun, the off-white material started to turn yellowish. At the suggestion from one of the members here, I tried spray painting them with a spray can of white paint intended for vinyl or plastics. That has worked pretty well. Thin coats will prevent the mesh of the material from becoming clogged with paint. Much cheaper than new screens.

Whatever you do, don't add window film to the interior surface of the glass, if you have laminated glass windows. We tried this and had several cracked windows in short order. Removed all the film from the other windows, and now depend entirely on the covers, except when the boat is laid up; then we place 1" thick styrofoam cutouts in each interior frame, held against the glass with suction cups. This makes a big difference in heat gain.
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:51 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bkay View Post
For folks using Phifertex - do you always put it on the outside? If so, I assume you have snaps on the outside of the windows, right? What kind of wind speeds will that withstand?
Ours are snapped to the fiberglass outside of the windows. There are some adhesive stick-on snaps you can use inside of the frame, and we have them on one panel (the aft door slides open and would hit surface-mounted snaps). I have no intention of having them up while running. (The wrinkle in the starboard panel has been corrected since I took that pic.)
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Old 07-12-2019, 09:56 AM   #8
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A good tip, have your canvas folks put red or green snap covers to indicate orientation. The starboard panels have a green snap on the forward corner, port have red. Same with the windshield, top corners have green/red. Helps when unrolling them to figure out where to start! And beats my previous use of a Sharpie marker...
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:10 AM   #9
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We have both black and white ones. For the main house I use the black ones. The black makes the house black windows stand out more. On the pilot house I use the white ones as they seem to block the sun light better, but are more difficult to see through. I keep a black one on the center wind screen glass as I can see through it better also. I always run with all of the screens on. I hope this makes sense, and helps. Look at my profile pic if need be it has all of the screens on.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:20 AM   #10
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We have white 70% Phifertex window covers that I made 19 years ago. They are mounted on the outside. We put them on in May and leave them on until October.

We take the window covers off the front pilothouse windows and two pilothouse side windows when underway. The rest of the covers stay on. We've not had any issues with the covers in wind.

White covers make the inside of the boat brighter and easier to see out.
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Old 07-12-2019, 10:43 AM   #11
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White reflects heat, black (or any non-white color) absorbs heat.


The same principle applies to hull color. White hulls are cooler in sun than colored hulls. White hulls do not absorb heat like colored hulls do.


You asked about color, and also about staining. You might also consider the issue of privacy if you are having these made for ALL of your windows.


We have white screening covering our cockpit. When exposed to direct afternoon Florida sun, the white screening reduces the temperature in the cockpit by around 5-7 degrees.


When we are at a marina, folks walking by on the dock do not see us in the cockpit during daylight hours. However, our vision looking outward through the white screen is what I would describe as somewhat impaired, because the outside view is opaque.


Black screens are easier to see through and see into during the day, and a person's vision looking outward through the screen is not nearly as impaired. This is why most porch screens for houses are black screens - vision looking outward through black screening is minimally reduced.


At night, if there is more light inside the boat than outside, either color will allow people on the dock looking into your boat to somewhat see the forms and figures inside.


Sailrite did a good day/night privacy video with the Phifertex black screens:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=SoXdQgs9nCo


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Old 07-12-2019, 10:56 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bkay View Post
Certainly the dark would absorb more solar gain, but I can't see that being passed through the window if it's snapped outside.

I'll be interested in what people with first hand experience have to say since I have to solve this problem for myself as well and am currently planning a lighter color.
It would appear that your assumption is correct!

My brother in law has one of the largest plant nurseries in Arizona & he has experimented with different color overhead shades for the plants that don't like extreme heat. Conclusions: He says that "black shades" work the best when it comes to his plant's survival. This is a very smart guy (hope he doesn't read this) so I copied his results on my boat's windshield canvas with much success!

Original tan on the left and present black cover.
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Old 07-12-2019, 03:19 PM   #13
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We have just this week finished our covers, making them ourselves. Spent nearly a month ordering samples and looking at colors. The standard Phifertex (70% uv block) did not provide enough sun blockage or privacy and the Phifertex Plus (92% ?) made the boat too dark inside and also impaired our outward vision. We ended up using Solitis 86 in Midnight Blue. Solitis is a Sunbrella product that we liked much more than the Phifertex.

We began installing the panels on the outside as they were finished and we soon discovered that with our daily Floriad rain showers that we could not see thru the material from the inside when it was wet and it was wet Most of the time .

As a result of this we began installing on the inside and absolutely love it !

Also darker colors are the way to go as far as function. Easier to see out of and harder to see into.
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Old 07-12-2019, 03:38 PM   #14
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To keep canvas or window screening in place during windy days I used twist lock fasteners at the corners and regular snaps inbetween. The twist locks stop the wind from picking up the corners and ripping the cover off. The only problem with the twist locks is the price of the tool to punch the hole and they do stick out so I don’t put them in areas that are tight to walk through.
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Old 07-13-2019, 07:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angus99 View Post
We’re planning to make or have made Phifertex Plus window coverings to block the sun. Interested in others’ experiences.

What colors are best for heat-blocking? Does one do a better job of keeping solar gain out than others?

Do dark colors heat up more than lighter colors?

Any issues with staining?
Can't remember if our windscreen mesh cover is Phifertex brand or not... but it's black and works pretty well. Note you can't really see it in our avatar, even though it does wrap around to the first triangular window segments on the side. That's one reason we selected black.

The boat came with a white Stamoid windscreen cover, and I don't see any difference in temps when we use that. No issues with staining the black mesh (the 17-year-old white Stamoid is getting a bit worse for wear).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bkay View Post
For folks using Phifertex - do you always put it on the outside? If so, I assume you have snaps on the outside of the windows, right? What kind of wind speeds will that withstand?
Ours is outside, snapped. I guess we've had the boat up to about 25-27 kts a few times... no impact.

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Old 07-13-2019, 09:53 AM   #16
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The fabric is not all 70% or 90%. We have some on our Motorhome, on the inside of the front windshield, that is more see through than some and less than others. We recently installed an awning that was sold as 95%, and is more see through than some, but less than others. We have another that was sold as 98%.
On RETREAT we have the fabric sold by Sailrite. On front windows we used the tighter weave and more open on side windows. The side covers have been left on while running.
The front have to be off while running, so tend to go on only when the Anchorage or dock position requires. This trip has been wet, so off is much more frequent.
Rain fills the weave, making the fabric hard to see through. Ours tend to come off in the rain.
We are presently rafted in Desolation Sound with another boat using similar side covers. Mutual privacy is assured, even with lights on after dark.
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Old 07-13-2019, 09:56 AM   #17
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At night we have noticed that the view darkened from the inside and outside.


Works as expected.
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Old 07-13-2019, 11:56 AM   #18
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Here are some previous discussions on the subject.

Sun shade mesh fabrics

Best fabric for exterior window coverings??

Sun shade mesh fabrics

Window shades....exterior



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Old 07-13-2019, 01:31 PM   #19
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Thanks, Al. I should have more time with the search engine!

I appreciate everyone’s thoughts. We’re leaning toward 90% in a tan/off white color (samples are in the mail); individual panels except for the windshield, which will be a wrap. My wife’s a sewing ninja so we’re going to make them ourselves.
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Old 07-14-2019, 07:23 AM   #20
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Can't remember if our windscreen mesh cover is Phifertex brand or not... but it's black and works pretty well.

I looked it up; our mesh cover is Textilene. About 90% density, something like that. I'm reminded another reason we selected black is because it doesn't show black/gray drips from the eyebrow or other bridge areas above (which did show up on the original white Stamoid).

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