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Old 06-26-2007, 09:22 AM   #1
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Plastic and polycarbonate windows on boats eventually become scratched and dull. I spoke with a retailer of this type of material and was told the recommended products for removing scratches were all disappointing.

Faced with the prospect of spending a substantial sum of money to replace 16 lexan windows, I decided to remove one and attempt to clean it up. I used a mildly abrasive, creamy cleaning liquid, a little water, and my big electric Hitachi rotary buff. The liquid was Jif, I imagine Ajax would be equally as good.

The results were simply amazing. My window which is 44cm x 32cm looks as though it is new, and it took me about three minutes to complete the transformation. I am now going to do all the others. I should point out the window I buffed was not cracked or 'crazed', but was just badly abraded, had become opaque instead of clear and had some scratches.

Sometimes I do stuff that makes me really happy

Cheese

David
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:50 PM   #2
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David,

Glad it worked and thanks for the tip. Reminds me of the boat I was just on; the dome over the compass was so fogged over, one had no clue what was under the dome, well except for its location at the helm, and noting there was no compass in sight.

I wonder how long it will last.

I wonder if in the process, one applies fine scratches that will never go away, making it progressively worse with each attempt to clear up the fog?

I wonder if there is a product one can apply to help prevent the fogging.

I wonder a lot, about a lot of things......

Jeff
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:55 AM   #3
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Hey Jeff,

It is basically the same principle as doing a cut and polish on the old car. I actually tried cutting compound, but it was not sufficiently abrasive and seemed to generate more heat. The creme cleaner has left a mirror like surface which appears perfect. I guess I will have to wait for 12 months to see the real result, but for now it appears to be just the duck's nuts!

David

PS..Jeff, I think the 'fogging' is essentially an ultra violet degradation....and salt spray abrasion. The only way I can think of to prevent the latter is with 'tear-aways' such as racing drivers use on their helmet visors. This would be impractical. I think the UV blockers such as Armorall cause a milkiness in some plastics, so they would not be suitable. So durn it, it looks like we will just have to replace our windows every 10 years or so....or give them a buffing.
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Old 07-13-2007, 03:55 PM   #4
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David,

For crazed windows has anyone tried the "stuff" automobile window people use to repair windows after being cracked or holed by stones? Any other suggestions for crazed hatch covers?

Lew
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Old 07-15-2007, 05:19 AM   #5
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The major problems with 'crazing' is that the structure has weakened through minute cracks. This may or may not be dangerous in a major emergency. I think there is no way to repair crazing permanently.....However, here is a trick to use when your spectacles are scratched. Polish them with furniture polish. The reason this diminishes the appearance of the scratches is that furniture polish is designed to have the same refractive index as glass. Sooooo....I wonder if the application of a UV stabilised furniture polish (if there is such a thing) would work to reduce the appearance of crazing in your hatches.

Maybe.

David.
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Old 09-26-2007, 04:02 PM   #6
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Hey David

That is the problem with these types of hatches is they craze very early in their life if they are not protected. We ALWAYS cover our hatches when not under way. Plus about once a year we clean them and then put on a coat of insulator wax. The wax lasts throughout the year. We swear by this wax and use it on the transom 1X a year. Makes cleaning off the diesel oil very easy. Plus use it on our hard dodger 1x a year too. All our windows including the dodger windows are coated with this wax too! It is worth the price. It may not buff out like some wax does but places on the hull that we coated 14 months ago still bead water!!

The wax was designed for the power industry to coat insulators

http://autopia.org/forum/detailing-product-discussion/61261-review-collinite-845-insulator-wax.html

For cleaning clear windows we use

http://www.meguiars.com/?pro-clear-plastic...Plastic-Cleaner

Cheers

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Old 09-27-2007, 09:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svjacaranda View Post
Hey David

Chuck
Hi,

Just to add a little more to the soup , I have on my 4WD windows that were filmed with 3m window film - been on there for 4 years in the tropical sun. The film keeps out the UV and the Heat and it is easy to see out of (not so easy in)

Like David I had to switch my Perpex (which is harder than Lexan but not as impact proof) - It took forever to get them out : glued in with 5200 !

Back to topic:- the 3M film has been further developed to the extent that it really merits it being used in boat windows - easy to apply and does not scratch. see: http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_U...HbeT4DCJBL6BVgl

Richard
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:46 PM   #8
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For crazed hatches your best bet is to simply replace the lexan, or in the case of A+H hatches, the cast acrylic. Over the course of 12-15 years, the UV will ultimatley craze the hatches. However, to prolong and prevent this process, avoid using "over the counter" type cleaners like windex. The ammonia will break down right through and accelerate crazing. The best way to take care of hatches and ports is to wash with a mild mix of soap and water. In the case of A+H products, if crazing happens before the 12 year mark, some type of chemical had been used and reacted with the acrylic.

Like Chuck said, the best way to avoid crazing is to keep the hatches/ports covered when they're not being enjoyed .
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Old 03-28-2008, 03:57 PM   #9
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Hello!

...to get back to the plastic or polycarbonate windows that became scratched or dull: I polished them with toothpaste!

It helped against the dullness and we ended up with a much less obstructed view of the sea scape.

But it did not help against deeper scratches and the 'crazing' - so after 25 years we exchanged the cabin windows and when cleaning the salt off we always use a pump spray bottle with fresh water first to wash off the salt and then take a soft cloth for further cleaning, if necessary. Wiping off the salt even with a wet cloth will too soon result in new scratches and dull windows.

And then cover your plastic windows as often as possible to prevent the fast aging of the material (crazing by intense UV-impact).

Cheers

Uwe

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Old 04-02-2008, 09:58 PM   #10
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Have not been able to find Jif or Ajax liquid. I was able to find Ajax non-abrasive power. I was wondering if anyone has made a paste of the powder and tried that with a buffer. I have minor scratching and edging that I believe was caused by either a sun tan lotion or some cosmetic that a lady quest was wearing. The Polycarbonate is on the door section of our main hatch. From the saloon, it looks ugly. I could be a hero to the wife if I could clean the hatch up, but I really do not want to make it worse.
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Old 04-02-2008, 11:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightwatch View Post
The Polycarbonate is on the door section of our main hatch. From the saloon, it looks ugly. I could be a hero to the wife if I could clean the hatch up, but I really do not want to make it worse.
Hi Nightwatch,

Try this outfit they have a product specifically designed to polish polycarbonate :--

Link to site

Richard
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Old 04-03-2008, 09:37 PM   #12
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MMNETSEA

Thanks for the info

Nightwatch
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