Polycarbonate Enclosures, Screens & Windshields for Boat

This section discusses enclosures (including Polycarbonate), screens, panels, windshields and more.  Every boat needs a transparent enclosure but there are different options for the boat owner, such as Strataglass, acrylic or polycarbonate.


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What exactly are the differences?

Strataglass: Introduced in 1994, Strataglass™ is a premium, flexible coated vinyl sheet engineered to resist the damaging effects from the sun’s rays, environmental fallout, and scratching from handling. It also blocks out 100% of the spectrum of UV light.  Here at American-Marine Canvas & Upholstery, we use 40 gauge Strataglass, which is very durable, strong, and flexible (it can be rolled up easily).  Please see the photo below of a 32 foot Sea Ray Sundancer with a strataglass enclosure with panels that will roll up easily and Seamark sunbrella.

Acrylic (Plexiglass):  Acrylic has a seven year warranty, is more flexible than polycarbonate, is very hard (but not impossible) to break. It is affordable and is a good option for the boat owner. It cannot be rolled up.

Polycarbonate:  The most expensive of the screens and panels, with a five year warranty, Polycarbonate is worth every penny. It is extremely tough and virtually unbreakable, and is often considered as the best, strongest, shatterproof “glass” application. While it is very tough, it also scratches fairly easily and common cleaners can ruin the surface (it must be handled with care). It also cannot be rolled up as it has very much a “glass” feel to it.  See the photo below of a 55 foot Sea Ray with a polycarbonate enclosure.  The clarity of the glass is amazing – at some angles it is impossible to see that there is actually glass in there – it looks completely open, so great is the clarity and thus amazing visibility.

What are the main advantages of using polycarbonate on my boat, either as an enclosure or a dodger?

It offers superior impact strength – over 250 times that of glass (and so is virtually unbreakable) – while appearing so clear that sometimes it’s hard to see that it’s actually in place! It is UV stable, so can be used externally (clear polycarbonate only). Light transmission of clear sheet is 87% giving better clarity than glass, and is comparable to Strataglass although much more durable, longer lasting (and of course, more expensive).

We have posted some photos below of enclosures and panels, some polycarbonate, some strataglass.

The Benefits of Custom Boat Enclosures

The summer time is a great time for water sports, fishing, and just relaxing on a boat out on the open water. Many families and groups of friends enjoy spending each of their weekends during the summer taking a boat out on a lake or on the ocean if they live near one. Imagine the fun and relaxing time you could have if you owned your boat. Your weekends could be filled with being pulled behind a boat on a water ski, or you could spend hours out on the water, listening to music and trying your hardest to catch a fish that’s bigger than the one your friend caught.

Though your time out on your boat is likely to be enjoyable all on its own, some conditions might prompt you to consider custom boat enclosures. Boat enclosures give you the opportunity to extend your boating season and help you to be prepared for any changing weather condition. A boat enclosure can help protect you from a storm that creeps up while you’re out on the open water. You can even be protected from the harsh rays of the sun. Imagine enjoying the fun of boating while enjoying the comfort of being in the shade, protecting you from overexposure to the sun. Furthermore, imagine being out on the open water with your family when a light sprinkle begins, followed by a severe storm. Wouldn’t you love for your family to be protected from the harsh weather? That all becomes possible with a boat enclosure.

Owning a boat is a significant investment, and with the investment involved in owning a boat, you want to make sure the interior of your boat is protected when you’re out on open water. Additionally, you want your passengers to stay protected as well. A boat enclosure can protect interior of the boat from potential weather damage, excessive moisture, or damage from the sun’s rays. It can also add protection and extra degree of comfort for the passengers on your boat.

American Marine Coverings realizes that you need some type of clear enclosure for your boat, and they want to make sure that you get exactly what you’re looking for. Not all enclosures are the same and not all of them are made from the same material. There isn’t a one-size-fits all boat enclosure for every boat. American Marine Coverings realizes this and wants you to have a boat enclosure that is just perfect for your boat. They have a wide selection of boat enclosures and different types of materials that they are made from. What type of material your boat enclosure is made from depends on your particular needs.

Acrylic Boat Enclosures

Acrylic boat enclosures are made from the clearest plastic. In fact, acrylic is clearer than normal class. Acrylic also has a degree of flexibility to it that you won’t find in other enclosure materials. Because of its flexibility, it doesn’t break easily. This is often the most affordable route for any boat enthusiast to go who wants a level of protection for their boat and for their passengers from a boat enclosure, but doesn’t want to spend a significant amount of money. If your windshield is damaged or needs to be replaced, American Marine also provides customers with Plexiglass boat windshield replacement.

Custom Polycarbonate Boat Enclosures

American Marine has polycarbonate boat enclosures for boating applications that require something much more durable. Polycarbonate is much stronger than acrylic, and because of its toughness, it isn’t as flexible as acrylic. Without the added degree of flexibility, the chances of the enclosure denting or breaking are higher than with an enclosure made from acrylic. Though it is clear, it isn’t quite as clear as acrylic. The custom polycarbonate boat enclosures you will find at American Marine will offer a high degree of durability and you’ll be satisfied by the amount of protection it provides for your boat and for your passengers. Polycarbonate is a great option for a high degree of protection, but its thickness and durability does increase the cost you’ll spend if you buy an enclosure made from polycarbonate.

Boating is a fun activity, and if you want to get the most out of it and protect you and your passengers, take a look at the boat enclosures at American Marine Coverings.