Monday, February 5, 2018

A little Wheelhouse update

Several of you folks have expressed an interest in how the FlexOGlass was going to hold up, along with our use of Gorilla Tape as edging, so I thought I'd give you a bit of an update.

4Mil FlexOGlass with Gorilla tape edging and snaps set therein.
We started this project a bit before Thanksgiving 2017 and have now taken the enclosure though two of the worst months of the winter, high winds, snow, sleet, rain, and sub-freezing temperatures.  The only thing we haven't had was massive waves crashing over the bow into it (and if we have that, I'll have a lot more problems than "will the snaps hold" ).  On the whole, we've been very pleased.  The enclosure runs 20+ degrees above the outside temperature on sunny days, and running lanterns or cooking in he cockpit heats it up pretty quickly as well.  None of the screws or snaps has pulled away due to wind and the material remains crystal clear.

We managed to poke one small hole in the FlexOGlass when a rolled up matchstick screen fell over into the membrane (it was easily fixed with a bit of clear tape).  We've had two of the snaps fail, both on the doorway cover that we go in and out many times a day.  One came apart because I failed to seat the snap properly on installation.  In the other case, the Gorilla Tape tore slightly due to an unfortunate tendency I have in pulling on one edge of the glazing to unsnap a whole side of it rather than to unsnap each of the closures individually.  I suspect we'd have the same problem were they set in canvas.  As it is, the snap was easily repaired, the tape easily patched, and I won't do that again.

Would I do this again?  Yes, I would.  The membrane will clearly make it through winter with minimal problems and it has made our lives aboard much more pleasant.  I'll do an update in the spring when we reopen the wheelhouse and make ready to set sail, but for now, I would happily use this product again, and our simple method of attachment seems just fine.

More shortly.  We're in process of ordering a new bank of 100AH batteries and making ready for the motor install.  Stay tuned.


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