KEEPING ON-BOARD YACHT GLASS SHIPSHAPE
Last updated: 26/07/2019
Keeping the glass on board a superyacht in top condition and streak-free falls upon both the interior and exterior departments, with stews and stewardesses fighting dust marks and fingerprints, and deckhands the build-up of saltwater and oxidation on the exterior coating.
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.
With the help of leading glass supplier YES Yacht Engineering Solutions, 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 from long-term damage
When it comes to protecting and prolonging the life of yacht glass, prevention vital. 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 cannot be buffed out.
To ensure damage to glass is minimal as possible, Mike Dellar from YES Yacht Engineering Solutions suggest, “deck crew are taught what products to use and not use based on the advice provided from the glass supplier. The suppliers provide a manual of how to care for the glass and this should be followed.”
Each manual will differ slightly depending on the supplier, but such procedures will outline the temperature of the glass before cleaning, how to rinse the glass, appropriate cleaning products and after-care. It is of strict importance to use a mild, non-abrasive commercial window cleaner that is ecological, biodegradable and ammonia-free.
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. It may sound simple, but regularly removing the build-up of salt and minerals will make a significant difference to how the yacht will look in a couple of years.
Mike stated, “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
Glass restoration is often preferable as it saves time and money, typically costing 60-70% less than replacing entire panes. And 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. Attempting to revive the glass by applying acid or using a home repair kit can damage the surface even more. Restoration is a service best fitted for a professional.
A common mistake in glass maintenance is leaving the condition of the glass to go too far to undergo restoration. In these cases, glass replacement will be needed. Whilst replacing yacht glass is a lengthier process which take serious consideration, it allows for further options and decisions to be made on glass features such as colour, weight, insulation, heating, solar absorption, fire protection, curved glass designs and privacy.
Choosing the right yacht glass supplier
For both glass restoration and replacements, we suggest speaking to your local glass supplier to ensure you make the right decision for your situation.
Mike added, “Whilst glass replacement would always be the recommended course and mandated by class, repair can be used as a stop gap whilst the vessel waits for delivery of new glass. What we tend to do is make the panel safe with vinyl security films, or inject resins into the cracks in the case of chemically toughened glass. Obviously, all of this depends on the surveyor and the class of the Vessel.”
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