Replacement boat windows and screens: acrylic vs glass

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Over the years, as expert manufacturers of replacement boat windows and screens we are often asked a range of questions by boat owners.

These include:

  • Are marine plastics durable and more cost-effective than glass?
  • What are the different types of boat plastics?
  • How much do replacement boat windows cost?
  • What is the best material for boat windows? Plastic? Acrylic? Perspex®?

In today’s article we answer one of the key questions in our industry:

Is acrylic or glass better for Replacement boat windows and screens?

Let’s get started.

The benefits of using acrylic for replacement boat windows and screens

The three key benefits and advantages of using acrylic for replacement boat windows and screens are:

  • Durability
  • Aesthetic appeal
  • Cost effectiveness

Durability

Over the years, advancements in technology and manufacturing techniques have seen vast improvement in acrylic products.

Acrylic is a highly versatile, durable boat plastic.

It can withstand the element and retain its shape and form no matter what the weather.

In the past, boat owners felt acrylic boat windows and screens would need replacing regularly, and that they were a cheap, unsuitable alternative to glass.

This simply isn’t the case.

As mentioned above, acrylic is highly versatile and durable.

Aesthetic appeal

As acrylic is formed from plastic, people could be wrong in assuming it’s not too leasing on the eye.

Not so.

Well manufactured, quality acrylic based marine products don’t just look the part, they look fantastic!

Cost effectiveness

Acrylic replacement boat windows and screens are very cost-effective.

This doesn’t mean they are cheap and not fit-for-purpose.

For boat owners looking to save money, whilst retaining quality should definitely consider acrylic for their replacement boat windows or screen.

The disadvantages of using acrylic for replacement boat windows and screens

As experts in marine and boat plastics it would be easy not to mention some of the drawbacks of acrylic.

The disadvantages could be:

  • Perception
  • How often they need replacing

Perception

There is an old sating…. “perception is reality”.

As discussed above, the perception of acrylic is that it isn’t as durable as glass, and it’s a bit ‘cheap’.

Perception alone could prevent people from considering an acrylic boat window or screen.

At Hampshire Plastics, our acrylic replacement boat windows and screens have been changing this perception, one customer at a time.

How often they need replacing

Again, this ‘disadvantage is a bit of a fallacy. It’s formed out of perception, again.

Acrylic is highly durable. 

It doesn’t last quite as long as glass, but when weighing up the pros and cons, pricewise, acrylic is a strong choice.

The benefits of using glass for replacement boat windows and screens

Glass based replacement boat windows and screens comes with a range of benefits.

The benefits are very similar to acrylic replacement boat windows and screens. The one major difference is the cost.

The benefits of glass replacement boat screens and windows are:

Durability

Highly reinforced glass is highly durable.

When battling extremely harsh weather conditions, glass is a solid option for a boat screen or window.

Glass looks the part

Well-polished glass certainly looks the part.

For those keeping-up-with-Jones’ boat owners, glass could be considered a highly desirable material for a boat window or screen.

The disadvantages using glass for replacement boat windows and screens

As specialists in boat and marine plastics, we couldn’t resist offering a little balance to this article.

Whilst there are benefits to using glass, there are some key disadvantages.

They are:

  • Fitting
  • Weight
  • Cost (compared to acrylic)

Fitting

No one boat is the same as another.

Even when many come off the same production line, they are all slightly different.

Therefore, if you go for a glass boat window or screen, you will need someone to fit it.

That means additional cost.

Weight

How many boat owners want their rib, motor yacht, or vessel to be heavier?

Not many.

Glass is much heavier than acrylic and will weigh your boat down.

Cost (compared to acrylic)

Simply put, glass is more expensive than acrylic.

For the discerning cost-conscious boat owner, glass can be an unviable option.

Why pay more for something that doesn’t come with any real additional benefits than the alternative?

About Hampshire Plastics

Based in Portsmouth, Hampshire Plastics offer a range marine and boat plastics.

With over 50 years’ experience and ISO 9001:2015 accreditation, Hampshire Plastics’ highly skilled and experienced marine product specialists are able to deliver high quality products, unique to your specification.

Our range of marine and boat plastics cover:

  • Boat windows and screens
  • Batch hatch covers and liners
  • Boat washboards

Call us today on 023 9248 6633 for a free consultation

Related reading: Marine & boat plastics – your questions answered