Keeping on-board yacht glass shipshape
Keeping the glass on board a superyacht up-together and streak-free falls upon both the interior and exterior departments, with stews and stewardesses fighting interior dust and fingerprints, and deckhands the build up of saltwater and oxidation outside.
With heightened focus placed on the use of glass in yacht design, it has never been more important to keep yacht glass looking shipshape and crystal clear.
Yachting Pages offers tips and ideas for cleaning, protecting and restoring glass on-board, so the route to the horizon is always as clear as possible.
Protecting superyacht glass
When it comes to protecting and prolonging the life of yacht glass, prevention really is the best medicine. Exterior glass is exposed to harmful elements every day; saltwater, acid rain, hard water, lime scale and oxidation all leave damaging deposits which will become embedded in the glass if not cleaned regularly, leaving unsightly stains that just cannot be buffed out.
Sean Gencsy, owner of glass restoration company Glass Rezz said, “With such ground-breaking technology, it can be a challenge informing new customers that they have the choice [when it comes to glass replacement]. People are not aware that this type of restoration service is available, so they either leave it as is or seek out a replacement company.
A glass surface consists of minuscule fractures that allow mineral deposits such as dirt, pollution or grime to become deeply embedded and ultimately bake into the glass from the powerful UV rays cast by the sun. The maintenance of yacht glass will therefore not only enhance the aesthetics, but more importantly, the overall value of the yacht.
To ensure the damage to on-board glass is as minimal as possible, Sean advised that, especially when tackling exterior windows, water should not be left to simply dry. He said, “Do not allow the water to evaporate, as over time, this will cause very unsightly stains and may become a safety issue whilst navigating. The best way to combat these seemingly permanent water spots that build up on your yacht glass is to rinse with fresh water then squeegee the glass surface daily.”
It may sound simple, but regularly removing the buildup of salt and minerals will make a big difference to how the yacht will look in a couple of years.
Michael Dollar of YES Yacht Engineering Solutions said, “Glass care has been facilitated by a range of coatings on the market which are designed to shrug of water and prevent salt and dirt build-up. These are effective if a regular maintenance program is followed and aggressive cleaning products are avoided. Once salt build up does occur however more aggressive cleaning products are needed.”
Yacht glass restoration vs. glass replacement
The glamorous world of luxury yachting is not commonly one linked with eco-friendly initiatives, however, with the increasing pressure to ‘go green’ and the rising expense of maintenance costs, the yachting world is turning to sustainable maintenance methods.
Valentina Gizzi and Stephen J. Bennison of Axalta Coating Systems explained the premise of the glass safety standards that much be met. They said, “The marine industry demands that the use of glass in yachts must withstand human and natural impacts, as well as harsh climates. Moreover, all windows are required to protect against water pressure, water leakage and to minimise the chance of glass separating from the supporting structure in the event of breakage.”
A common mistake in glass maintenance is leaving the condition of the glass to go too far to undergo restoration. Contrary to popular belief, when performed by a professional, glass restoration processes do not impair the integrity of the glass. In fact, even glass as thin as a quarter of an inch can be resurfaced hundreds of times, making restoration a long-term solution in the bid to achieve perfect clarity.
When considering yacht glass restoration services, it goes without saying that you should call in the help of a specialist business. Sean warned, “I have found that people try to remedy the situation themselves, either by applying acid or using home repair kits, even going as far as using steel wool or another type of abrasive, which simply damages the surface even more. Restoration is a job best left to the professionals.”
Three reasons why you should restore yacht glass instead of replacing it
- Restoration saves money
- Restoration saves time
- Restoration is environmentally friendly
Choosing to restore yacht glass rather than replacing it can be achieved for just a fraction of the cost and looks just as perfect. On average, restoring glass costs 60-70% less than replacing entire panes, meaning you’ll have more money to spend on other necessary maintenance on-board. Sean gave this example, “We recently restored the glass on an 84' Monte Fino. The quote for the replacement of all the windows was roughly $22,000.00, just the glass was about half of that and didn't include installation. By restoring the windows instead of replacing them, the owner saved 70%.
Apart from saving the cost of replacement glass, restoring the glass on board saves installation and down time allowing more time for cruising the waters, or chartering to guests.
With millions of tons of glass dumped in landfills each year, restoring your existing yacht glass is the more environmentally friendly option. Restoring glass and window units uses almost no energy when compared to the amount of energy it takes to manufacture and install new glass.
Choosing the right yacht glass supplier
Glass restoration is not a service provided by all glass suppliers, so it is imperative to pick a company that solely specialises in this area to ensure the best service.
Sean advised, “There are specialists that have the capability to remove these stains, spots and scratches. When choosing a local company for these issues, make sure they have a broad knowledge of glass and how to restore and maintain its appearance. Recommendations, professionalism and a passion for perfection are key when entrusting a company to treat your yacht as if it were their own.”
You can search for superyacht glass suppliers and services worldwide here on Yachting Pages – and if you’re the business owner of a company serving the superyacht industry, you can add your listing to Yachting Pages for free.