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Bridge Clear Plastic Replacement

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by melkal, Nov 20, 2010.

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  1. melkal

    melkal New Member

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    Hello,
    I need to replace most of the plastic in my bridge. I replaced the two front panels already with acrylic panel that lift up rather than roll up (that is what the entire bridge is made of by the way).
    With all of the products out there, Strataglas, EZToC, etc, I am curious which people prefer. If they were more resistant to scratching that would be a plus as we are on salt water. I would guess the labor to replace it all will dwarf the material cost. What about thickness?
    Your suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    I prefer an open bridge or a skylounge with real glass windows and wipers.

    Next in order would be EZ2CY with a glass panel & wiper insert in it.
  3. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    EZ2CY would be my pick, however it doesn't lend itself to bends. Next up would be strataglass (3 mil) which sounds like what you've already used. For protecting and maintaining it I recommend Plexus after each wash or every 3 weeks. Polish it with a soft cloth like a piece of fine furniture.
  4. melkal

    melkal New Member

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    Here is some more info. The panels are all zipper in panels that have had the acrylic sewn into place. So, the new panels need to be sewn in as well to use the existing patterns which were all made to have sunbrella in areas where the frame is placed so plastic is not against the frames. They were kind of nice when they were made, so rather than redesign and add more expense I would like to replace what was there with something, meaning I could use another acrylic or a flexible vinyl. In reading some of the material I see some are glued in and I do not know if that is practical in a refit in my case. Some seem to require a special heavy duty machine to sew in place that my canvas shop may not have. I am looking for advice on which newer products people have been happy with over time. Then I can sort out the various costs associated with each and maybe make an informed decision. Thanks.
  5. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    If your canvass shop doesn't have the right tools their the wrong shop. Do you have a soft or hard top? Will straight, hard pannels work or is it more wrapped. EZ2CY is the best I know of, but won't curve. It's hard and flat. Strataglass 3 mil is about the best you'll get if it needs to roll or bend. From there you can get much cheaper in price and quality. Most Sunbralla canvass I've had experience with lasts 8 to 10 years if cared for. Check for frayed or thin areas or tears. If it's good there's no reason not to use it. If it's questionable get new because the isinglass you're putting on should last several years.
  6. pvans

    pvans New Member

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    My last boat had a full isinglass flybridge enclosure, except for a plexiglass panel in front of the helm which had a wiper. was an ok installation, but the view was distorted and rolling them up was always a hassle.

    Just bought a new boat and it has a bimini top now, but I just hired a canvas shop to install EZ2CY enclosure. This material can make curves, and can also be bent in a sharp corner. The shop that does the install has to have the know-how. These panels can be sized exactly the same as your existing ones so they can just zip in.

    The prices are high, but if you find the right shop you will not be disappointed. These panels are clearer than glass, are bonded to the fabric rather than sewn, my shop gives a lifetime guarantee. I think I will be pleased when the finish the install, by Christmas they claim.

    I suggest you shop around, when you find the right shop you will know it.
  7. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    I don't usually think of EZ2CY for curves $$$$, but yes it can be done. Plexiglass is a bad choise for a marine application because it does get very scratched and clouded, etc. It also breaks in dangerous ways. Lexan would be a little better, but still a home made type situation.
  8. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    The ez2cy doesn't last very long after it's been bent, it ends up cracking from what I've seen. It's easy to bend ez2cy by heating it, but I think it takes away some of the strength. I do really like ez2cy and it's best to clean and then insulator wax it every 2 months to keep it lasting and from getting scratched. However it doesn't do corners well.
  9. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Capt J

    I'm not familiar with the term "insulator wax'. What is that?

    thx
  10. Capt Bill11

    Capt Bill11 Senior Member

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    It's a Collinite product. #845 They call it insulator wax because it was/is used to coat high voltage porcelain insulators.
  11. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    It's a product produced by Collinite, which is manufactured near you in Utica,NY. Also what Capt Bill said about it.
  12. Beau

    Beau Senior Member

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    Thanks Gentlemen
  13. NYCAP123

    NYCAP123 Senior Member

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    Insulator wax by Collinite is an excellent product, but it's a bit of work. I prefer Plexus because most people are hard pressed to even clean their Isinglass. Plexus gives good result and it's just spray on/ polish off.
  14. veggie_burger

    veggie_burger New Member

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    It bends

    I know of a bridge that has a hard top and 3 panels of EZ2CY on the corners for a nice radius bend. The vessel also bends the center panel to allow it to clear the radars. AFAIK there is not way to put a wiper on it so it's a pain in the rain. This boat has gotten 10 years out of some panels. It is washed many times a week with soft water then has Plexus applies with a micro fiber cloth. Yes they do scratch E-Z. It's good stuff.
  15. srennug

    srennug New Member

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    Replace the zippers

    I own a 1998 45' Sport Fish with a hard top and fully enclosed flybridge. There are three front-sliding EZ2CY panels and 2 per side. There are 3 aft facing stratoglass panels. I maintain the enclosure with 810 and a good cleaning every week when she's in the water during our relatively short Michigan boating season. Last winter, after 11 seasons, the EZ2CY panels and the tracks themselves were fine. It was the plastic zippers and material stitched to the panels that needed replacing. I removed all of the enclosure panels and took them to the local EZ2CY canvas shop. They removed all of the old zippers and replaced them with the newer style. A buddy of mine owns the sistership to my boat that is the exact same model except it's 1 year older. He paid $7k to replace all of his enclosures. My cost was less than 1/3 of that and my enclosures look almost new. It pays to consistently maintain your enclosure panels.