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Cleaning Your Isinglass

It's "Maintenance Monday", and today we're discussing your boat's isinglass. Isinglass is a generic name for the clear vinyl windows on your boat, but there are a few types. One is roll vinyl, which is soft, flexible and comparatively inexpensive. It has some inherent distortion, although the newer varieties are much more clear. It rolls up for convenient stowage. The second type is sheet vinyl,which offers more clarity than roll vinyl, is stiffer, and better suited for larger boats and enclosures that stay up all season. One brand of sheet vinyl is Strataglass, considered a premier make because it’s manufactured with an additional scratch- and UV-resistant surface coating. Approach the cleaning process with care, as this sensitive clear vinyl could scratch if you look at it the wrong way. First, rinse thoroughly to remove salt deposits—but don’t spray a hard stream of freshwater, as the force can be enough to drive dirt and grime across the surface and damage it. Do a gentle drenching and then soap isinglass with boat-soap, using a clean mitt that’s designated for this job only. That way, you won’t transfer grime from other parts of the boat onto the vinyl. Follow with a rinse and dry with a chamois. Then, go over isinglass with a suitable cleaner for clear vinyl or plastic (reliable products are made by Novus Marine, Plexus, IMAR and Starbrite). Don’t even think about using household products such as Windex or Pledge, as they’ll just damage and discolor isinglass. When applying the solution, use clean cloths, not some old AC/DC tee shirt that’s been lying around since that long-ago world tour. Nix the paper towels, too, because they can scratch the vinyl, although you may not notice the damage until weeks later. Apply cleaner several times during the year, along with a periodic coat of plastic polish, which forces water to bead on the surface, thereby improving visibility in rain, fog and rough seas. If you'd like us to give you a free, no-obligation estimate on isinglass maintenance or replacement, give us a call today at #MarinerServicesInc. at (239)776-4253!

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