Windows form one of the most important aspects of any craft because they partially determine the safety and aesthetic values of the vessel. There are many factors to be considered when choosing which window to purchase. Often, the choice depends in the window’s function, location, and style. Also, there are regulations that govern specific marine window characteristics such as the number, size, and placement for different classes of vessels.
Window styles tend to influence other aspects. For instance, it’s almost impossible to talk about the safety of a boat without mentioning the style of the windows fitted. Therefore, it’s very important to understand the various types and styles of marine windows in the market and their applications. Below are some of the most popular marine window styles availed by marine window supply companies:
Fixed marine windows can be used on most marine vessels. They are available in many sizes, shapes, and colors. Their design aims at providing the simplest but strongest way to achieve visual exposure. Fixed windows can be either single-glazed or double-glazed. These windows can also be custom-made to fit in any size. Some are designed with mitered corners. A good fixed window has a heavy duty non-corrosive metal frame for optimum strength and durability
Direct-bonded marine windows
This type of windows is bonded to the vessel directly. They don’t need frames for installation. Many production boat builders and designers are continually using this glazing technique to create striking shapes with clean lines that make the vessel’s design exceptionally attractive. In the process of direct-bonding glass into a marine vessel, a ceramic frit is used to screen-print the edge of the glass. This helps to protect the adhesive from UV degradation. Just like fixed windows, direct-bonded windows are also suitable for slightly curved structures.
Sliding windows are fitted on the sides of the vessel and are a perfect choice if the aim is to maximize ventilation. They also allow for communication between the wheelhouse crew and the deck crew. They are available in many sizes and shapes for different applications. A great sliding window has frames designed with slotted scuppers and scupper covers that help to prevent wind and water under pressure from entering into the vessel. If mitered corners are needed, the bottom miter joint can be welded to prevent the water collecting in the lower channels from leaking into the vessel through the joint. There are various options for the closing handle – slam lock, screw down, finger pull and bridge handle.
Hinged marine windows
Hinged windows are suitable for the majority of marine vessel types. They allow for maximum visibility and ventilation. They also offer incredible water tightness. Generally, hinged windows are fitted to a forward facing structure. Boat and ship builders have a wide range of adjustable friction stays to use when making hinged windows. For bigger and heavier windows, gas struts are fitted to hold the window in an open position. Hinged windows can also be used as alternative emergency exits. For this purpose, they have handles to facilitate opening from the inside and outside of the vessel.
Half-drop and full-drop marine windows
Half-drop windows allow for ventilation without extending outside or eating up any interior space. So, they don’t impede the movement of crew members or passengers along the side decks. Some marine experts advise that half-drop marine windows should be used only when the required window’s height is greater than its width.
Full-drop windows are suitable for commercial vessels where ventilation and communication between the crew is normally required. They are specifically designed to be fitted on the side of the wheelhouse so that when the window is open, it provides an unobstructed view of the side decks
For many years, this style has been more popular with narrow boats than other vessel types. The hopper is a top glass that drops back. The advantages of hopper style windows are that they allow for air circulation in the boat and also help to keep the interior dry. The windows can be supplied with radius or mitered corners.
The manufacturing of high-quality and efficient marine window styles takes skill and experience. When choosing a marine window supplier, researching more about the designers and manufacturers is of utmost importance. Windows, just like any other marine product, should be designed and manufactured with compliance to international safety and performance standards for optimum vision, ventilation, and exposure to light.
If your windows get damaged, it isn’t as easy as car windshield repair to fix the issue. However, safety is still a primary concern. It is possible to fix small cracks yourself, but it is always better to leave it up to a professional.