When deciding on a new boat cover there are many options to choose from. Some are easier than others but one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is the type of Eisenglass (also commonly spelled as isinglass or isenglass) for your boats windows.
Cost is a factor for everything but visibility and lifespan also have a role in this type of marine product.
Eisenglass Marine Products come in four primary categories:
- Clear Vinyl on a roll – the least expensive option that offers limited visibility.
- Polished Vinyl Sheets – great economical option that have good visibily within their 5-7 year lifespan.
- Strataglass and O’Sea- premium vinyl sheets that offer 10+ year of usage.
- Lexan and Makrolon – semi-rigid products seen on larger yachts with hard enclosures.
Most boaters narrow their decision down to a brand such as Strataglass vs Eisenglass (aka Clear Vinyl Sheets). Clear Vinyl Sheets are by far the most popular and can be found on the majority of boats in any harbor. Strataglass is a big step up in price but you get an excellent product with a much longer life.
This decision though can’t be made on it’s own. You wouldn’t put a turbocharger in Buick would you? The same goes with choosing the right isinglass. As discussed before, these two product has a different lifespan and so do other product that go into the construction of your boat cover. Thread is one of these factors. Standard polyester thread has a 5 year lifespan which is similar to clear vinyl sheets. Gore Tenara thread is more expensive but is guaranteed for life and more suited to be used with Strataglass. Other finishing factors such as using Facing to cover transition area and Xtreme Seal instead of Webbing also go hand in hand in deciding what type of isinglass to choose. It’s essentially standard vs. premium.
Both Strataglass and Clear Vinyl Sheets are great products serving different needs. If you have the means for a premium custom boat cover and plan on enjoying your boat beyond the 5-7 year lifespan Clear Vinyl Sheets provides then Strataglass sounds like a great solution. Keep in mind that Clear Vinyl Sheets can be replaced too especially if your canvas is in good condition.
And a parting tip for those who have read the whole article……. Suntan lotion may protect you from UV rays but it kills clear vinyl and Strataglass! It will result in a hazy look if not removed immediately. So be sure not to let your guests bring any spray suntan lotion or bananas too!