Cost large curved glass winshield

Discussion in 'Boat Design' started by Grant Nelson, Mar 30, 2008.

  1. Grant Nelson
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    Grant Nelson Senior Member

    Hi, what would be the costs (and feasibility) of an round (102 degrees, actual length of 3 meters, with radius of 1.68, height of one meter) simple curved (partial vertical cylinder) glass windshield . Its the steering house front windshield, on a slow coastal cruiser of 12 meters. Mounting would probably be to kit it into a recess in the steering house construction - special kit/glue of course. any thoughts how thick it should be? I would not mind knowing the difference in price for a 'standard' glass, verses somekind of thermal glass. Any other (constructive) thoughts, comments, etc are welcome.
  2. tinhorn
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    tinhorn Senior Member

    Such a laminated windshield would likely run into thousands of dollars, AFTER the mold was built. I'm thinking acrylic (Lexan maybe?) would be more practical.

    One of the old kit cars I manufactured used a custom windshield. Fifteen years ago, the price was insane - I can just imagine what it would cost today.
  3. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    I would look into the new school buses and tractor windshields, which have gone from flat to huge curved laminated jobs. Other wise a custom piece of curved glass will cost a few thousand to say the least, likely $5,000 or more. Plastic will be the more cost effective method and the mold is much cheaper. I've even done it with an old electric oven and a plaster mold.
  4. marshmat
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    marshmat Senior Member

    There would be a few options, Grant.
    In glass, you could go with laminated or tempered, but in both cases you're looking at a few thousand bucks if the glass shop doesn't already have a suitable mould. Have you calculated what thickness you'll need?
    In plastic, the choice would probably be between polycarbonates and acrylics; each have their advantages and downsides but both would probably be a fair bit cheaper than custom moulded glass.
    I'm not sure what you mean by "kitting" it in place, that's not a term commonly used in my area. If you're referring to adhering the glass in place with no pressure plate, in the manner of a car windshield, that is difficult. Structural-glazing silicones such as Dow 995 are required and the preparation/application techniques are finicky.
  5. Verytricky
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    Verytricky Large Member

    You really dont want glass! Glass is nasty heavy stuff. Go for a plastic - polycarbonate or something similar, which is stronger than glass and lighter than glass.
  6. wet feet
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    wet feet Senior Member

    It may not be cheap but you need to talk to a company like Isoclima.They should be able to produce what you require.
  7. Grant Nelson
    Joined: Feb 2005
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    Location: Netherlands

    Grant Nelson Senior Member

    Many thanks everybody - for now I am leaning toward glass, for durability and the best optics (minimal distortion). I assume the 'plastics are much easier to scratch, and might tend to have, or develop minor shape distortions that will negatively affect outward viewing.

    I know glass is heavy, but its not as bad as you might think: my 3 meter screen, if its 1 cm thick, would weigh in at 75kilos (165lb).

    (check out this site: it gives the weights about 500 common materials (alas, kilos / m3)

    But it looks like the price would be upwards of 5k, and while expensive, is not outrageous (if you are rich enough).

    And yes, I meant 'structural glazing' when I said kitting. I have see it used by several suppliers at the Marine Trade and Equipment Show in the Netherlands, so I am assuming the 'technlogy exists', and hopefully the professional services to do it right.

    I will try to explore the topic with a few suppliers and get back to you all with any results.


  8. User_U
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    User_U Junior Member

    you can try or the German specialist - they are coming from the automotive and not that expenasive than 'Tilse Flachglas'.
    1 person likes this.

  9. Brent Swain
    Joined: Mar 2002
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    Location: British Columbia

    Brent Swain Member

    Adapt a windshield out of an older car in an autowreckers yard.
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