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Old 09-17-2023, 06:50 PM   #1
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Strataglass vs Eisenglass

I've been debating buying a sewing machine and try to do my flybridge front panels with a roll up material and haven't figured out which product to use.
I also just got an estimate to have the front and partial wrap-around front corners done. The estimate was $1700 for Strataglass or $1300 for Eisenglass.
There are 3 roll up windows in front and small panels on the side. Total height is 48" and length is 94".

This is what the beauty looks like now. It's been stowed for a bit over a year in my garage after "starting" to look bad and crack. I think the previous owner had it for close to 10 years and they looked worn when we got it about 2 years ago.

Still thinking about tackling it myself, then again, I haven't sewn yet
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Old 09-17-2023, 07:58 PM   #2
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On the front I like having whatever material you use hinge up rather than roll up. Over time rolling it up will tend to scratch it. By hinging the front panels up there isnít the likelihood of scratching them. On our last boat I used twist lock snaps to hold them up on the bottom of the hardtop. On our current boat we have a bimini so we have zippers sewn on the bottom of the bimini to zip to the bottoms of the front panels and hold them up. As to Strataglass or eisenglass it is a matter of choice and if you want to spend the money for Strataglass. Keep in mind if you go with Strataglass you are supposed to only use Imar cleaning products.
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Old 09-17-2023, 08:48 PM   #3
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On the front I like having whatever material you use hinge up rather than roll up. Over time rolling it up will tend to scratch it. By hinging the front panels up there isnít the likelihood of scratching them. On our last boat I used twist lock snaps to hold them up on the bottom of the hardtop. On our current boat we have a bimini so we have zippers sewn on the bottom of the bimini to zip to the bottoms of the front panels and hold them up. As to Strataglass or eisenglass it is a matter of choice and if you want to spend the money for Strataglass. Keep in mind if you go with Strataglass you are supposed to only use Imar cleaning products.

Dave, are you using polycarbonate? I also have a bimini but not sure how I would use a rigid panel, unless I misunderstood.
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Old 09-17-2023, 08:51 PM   #4
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On our last boat we used EZ2CY for the front panels. On this boat we used Strataglass. The panels donít have to be rigid to hinge up. They have zippers on the sides and bottom. We unzip the sides and bottom and hinge them up and zip the bottom to the bimini. Works great. No rolling and they get out of your view completely.
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Old 09-17-2023, 09:59 PM   #5
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I see the OP is in Florida so this probably isn't a consideration, but our canvas shop uses Regalite for all our windows. More expensive, but of everything we've tried, it has the best resistence to cold cracking by far. Maintains flexibility in severe cold and so far has excellent durability and clarity.
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Old 09-17-2023, 10:20 PM   #6
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On our last boat we used Regalite except for the front that was polycarbonate. It worked fine. Also was cheaper than Strataglass. I made all the enclosure on that boat except for the front. This boat the arthritis in my fingers didnít want me to do all the sewing. The fabricator wanted to use Strataglass so I said ok.
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Old 09-18-2023, 01:07 AM   #7
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When you talk about Eisenglass you need to really understand what you are getting. Most the time you are just getting a coated vinyl. Sometimes you are getting a product that is made of a mineral product. The later being a product with a short life before turning yellow.

With Strataglass you are getting a coated Vinyl product that has a longer life due to the the UV inhibitors in the coating.

Then there is Lexan or polycarbonate, a much stronger and clearer product. However polycarbonate will turn yellow very quickly.

Then there is Makrolon, which is a coated polycarbonate.

I recommend Makrolon for forward facing windows that you need to look through for safe navigation due to the longevity of the clarity. The down side of Makrolon is that it can't be rolled up. You will have to design you panels to hinge up. Makrolon panels are generally heavier than vinyl panels.

There are a lot of different product names but most will boil down to either a vinyl, polycarbonate or a coated version of the two.

I looked up Regalite and it is a standard vinyl material that is then polished for better clarity. Much better than standard vinyl but not comparable in clarity to polycarbonate. It might start off with better clarity than strataglass but I don't believe it will age as well.
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Old 09-18-2023, 06:21 AM   #8
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I've wondered if polycarbonate would work and not appear like a hack job. Golf carts use living hinges on their windshields. I suppose it could have the appearance of a hard dodger if framed in starboard.
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Old 09-18-2023, 06:48 AM   #9
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You guys all use what you want. Strata has a non scratch coating, not worth the $ to me.
Zip to the top- I usually design my stuff to swing up to the top POCKET for the # 2 bow. Anything sewn or fastened to the top itself will create a leak from the pulling of the glass. I guess you could sew a reinforcement in the top for a zip.
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Old 09-18-2023, 08:06 AM   #10
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I had Makralon on my last boat. When completed, it was so clear you could hardly tell it was there. In 3 years it started to get slight micro cracking and in 5 years when the sun hit it you couldn't see through it from the glare. Tried contacting the manufactured with no luck.

I'm in South Florida and read many reviews saying it lasted 10 years in the northeast. So maybe the heat and amt of sun had something to do with it.

One advantage of Makrolon is that it can be sewn. Many of the other polycarbonates are glued.
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Old 09-18-2023, 09:19 AM   #11
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I had Makralon on my last boat. When completed, it was so clear you could hardly tell it was there. In 3 years it started to get slight micro cracking and in 5 years when the sun hit it you couldn't see through it from the glare. Tried contacting the manufactured with no luck.

I'm in South Florida and read many reviews saying it lasted 10 years in the northeast. So maybe the heat and amt of sun had something to do with it.

One advantage of Makrolon is that it can be sewn. Many of the other polycarbonates are glued.

What replacement product did you end up using?
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Old 09-18-2023, 11:32 AM   #12
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You guys all use what you want. Strata has a non scratch coating, not worth the $ to me.
Zip to the top- I usually design my stuff to swing up to the top POCKET for the # 2 bow. Anything sewn or fastened to the top itself will create a leak from the pulling of the glass. I guess you could sew a reinforcement in the top for a zip.
Ours doesnít leak where the zipper is sewn to the bimini.
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Old 09-18-2023, 04:01 PM   #13
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We had our GB 36 enclosed about 5 years ago with Makrolon in three sections across the front and eisenglass around the sides and back. The front center section is zippered to hinge up. The Makrolon has been marvelous. It is close to being a glass window re visibility. You can look through it at an angle, and the image is not distorted. Both the eisenglass and Makralon require regular and proper cleaning.

So far, the eisenglass is starting to show a very little discoloration. The Makralon looks brand new. This is in San Diego with the front windows facing East.
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Old 09-18-2023, 05:26 PM   #14
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What replacement product did you end up using?
I replaced it with clear vinyl and have since sold the boat. Being in south Florida 90% of the time, my front panel is open when operating the boat. If it's raining I close it, but when it's wet and cloudy out, vinyl is pretty good visually.

My current boat has EZ2CY. I'm guessing it is 6+ years and still pretty good visually, but starting to get a little smokey looking. No micro cracking like the Makrolon.
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Old 09-18-2023, 06:17 PM   #15
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I replaced it with clear vinyl and have since sold the boat. Being in south Florida 90% of the time, my front panel is open when operating the boat. If it's raining I close it, but when it's wet and cloudy out, vinyl is pretty good visually.

My current boat has EZ2CY. I'm guessing it is 6+ years and still pretty good visually, but starting to get a little smokey looking. No micro cracking like the Makrolon.

My plan for use is the same. It will be rolled up probably 90% of the time. It will only be used if we're stuck in the rain or if it's cool out and will be used as a wind break while running.

I'm also looking into possibly using plexiglass or Lexan with a living hinge in the middle, similar to golf/off road cart. It wouldn't be difficult to build a frame for it as I'm only looking for front and front corner cover for the flybridge. Could always run from the lower helm but I really don't like it.
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Old 09-19-2023, 06:16 AM   #16
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We used EC2CY on 3 sides of enclosure, nothing on back. They have stayed clear. I would support the idea of twist snaps (if that's the correct term). We have some type of nylon snap that has performed well for 4 years but this weekend while headed down the Chesapeake, the wind (remnants of Lee) caught the port side enclosure and yanked if off the snaps, flipped it up onto the hard top and shattered it. Sounded like the hardtop was coming off.
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Old 09-19-2023, 06:56 AM   #17
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Phil
We had a Lexan GE product called Marguard installed with Stamoid fabric and heat sealed and zippered panels. Perfectly clear after 7 years. In our BC marina (Van Isle) there are dozens of vessels with this setup and all look great.

Five years ago Walt Poulson (RIP) had his San Diego FB enclosure done the same way and he was ecstatic. We've used both Eisinglas and strata glas - there is no comparison to right Lexan product. A quality zippered professional install is imperative. EZ2C is popular in the PNW too.

Phil, PM me your email and I can send you pictures.
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Old 09-19-2023, 07:15 AM   #18
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You may be able to accomplish a " living hinge in the middle" by putting a band of whatever fabric you are using and breaking the polycarbonate in between. The fabric will act as the hinge.
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Old 09-19-2023, 07:46 AM   #19
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You may be able to accomplish a " living hinge in the middle" by putting a band of whatever fabric you are using and breaking the polycarbonate in between. The fabric will act as the hinge.
Here is an example of a golf cart windshield that has the clear living hinge. The hinges are made different ways. I find it to be a possible option using lexan and with heat it can be contoured to wrap around front corner. I'm thinking why couldn't a frame be built to use the panels?
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Old 09-19-2023, 08:20 AM   #20
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Going to get another quote from canvas shop today for the front panels since I'll be up in their area. Gathering more data.
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