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Re: glass-bottomed boats

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  • garth@breakawaybooks.com
    ... of a boat to create a glass-bottomed boat? We had a thread on this subject sometime in the last year. Stan Muller suggested trying laminated auto glass.
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 29, 2001
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      > Anyone out there experimented with lexan laminated into the bottom
      of a boat to create a "glass-bottomed" boat?


      We had a thread on this subject sometime in the last year. Stan
      Muller suggested trying laminated auto glass. I've looked around, but
      couldn't find anything the right shape and size.

      Then I came up with a great piece of shelf glass, for sale at a local
      flea market -- price $5. It's about 5" X 16" and 5/16" thick. It
      seems very tough -- it must be able to take a certain load if it's
      made to be a shelf, right?

      But I haven't found the time -- or the courage -- to saw a hole in
      the bottom of my pirogue to take it.

      I'll report whenever it gets done.

      All best,
      Garth
    • Lincoln Ross
      Suggest using Lexan if there is any chance of hitting a rock! Also suggest making it replaceable as it will scratch. You can get plastic polish to take out the
      Message 2 of 7 , Jun 29, 2001
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        Suggest using Lexan if there is any chance of hitting a rock! Also
        suggest making it replaceable as it will scratch. You can get plastic
        polish to take out the minor scratches, tho, I think. That's what they
        used to use at the propellor tunnel at MIT, but I don't know if their
        windows were plexi or lexan (polycarbonate).

        Glass may be strong, but it's also kinda brittle. You can hit Lexan
        with a hammer without breaking it, but I don't think I've seen glass
        that would hold up.

        I think the previous thread was about windows above the waterline,
        wasn't it?

        P.S. When I used to scuba dive, most places I went had less than 15'
        or 20' visibility. BUt maybe you're by some tropical sea...

        --- In bolger@y..., garth@b... wrote:
        >
        > > Anyone out there experimented with lexan laminated into the bottom
        > of a boat to create a "glass-bottomed" boat?
        >
        >
        > We had a thread on this subject sometime in the last year. Stan
        > Muller suggested trying laminated auto glass. I've looked around,
        but
        > couldn't find anything the right shape and size.
        >
        > Then I came up with a great piece of shelf glass, for sale at a
        local
        > flea market -- price $5. It's about 5" X 16" and 5/16" thick. It
        > seems very tough -- it must be able to take a certain load if it's
        > made to be a shelf, right?
        >
        > But I haven't found the time -- or the courage -- to saw a hole in
        > the bottom of my pirogue to take it.
        >
        > I'll report whenever it gets done.
        >
        > All best,
        > Garth
      • drewnel@pcpartner.net
        Right. Reuel Parker suggests using lexan of the same dimension of the surrounding plywood. The problem I would see with really stiff glass, is that it
        Message 3 of 7 , Jun 29, 2001
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          Right. Reuel Parker suggests using lexan of the same dimension of
          the surrounding plywood. The "problem" I would see with really stiff
          glass, is that it would not be bendy enough to stay in the wood, and
          could just pop completely out, once the wood was stressed enough.

          Also, ss a former drugstore manager, I'll tell you that shelf glass
          is designed to take a load, but will not put up to any kind of
          impact. I've broken a whole side of an "island" with an incredibly
          small impact through my own carelessness. Just think of what it's
          intended to do. I doubt it will take being flexed, either.


          Drew

          --- In bolger@y..., garth@b... wrote:
          >
          > > Anyone out there experimented with lexan laminated into the
          bottom
          > of a boat to create a "glass-bottomed" boat?
          >
          >
          > We had a thread on this subject sometime in the last year. Stan
          > Muller suggested trying laminated auto glass. I've looked around,
          but
          > couldn't find anything the right shape and size.
          >
          > Then I came up with a great piece of shelf glass, for sale at a
          local
          > flea market -- price $5. It's about 5" X 16" and 5/16" thick. It
          > seems very tough -- it must be able to take a certain load if it's
          > made to be a shelf, right?
          >
          > But I haven't found the time -- or the courage -- to saw a hole in
          > the bottom of my pirogue to take it.
          >
          > I'll report whenever it gets done.
          >
          > All best,
          > Garth
        • drewnel@pcpartner.net
          I go to a lake in northwest Iowa called Okoboji. While it isn t perfect, it s one of the few natural bluewater lakes in the world. On calm days when
          Message 4 of 7 , Jun 29, 2001
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            I go to a lake in northwest Iowa called Okoboji. While it isn't
            perfect, it's one of the few natural bluewater lakes in the world.
            On calm days when pollutants are low, it can be pretty cool. I may
            just make some viewers for the kids, instead.

            Drew

            --- In bolger@y..., "Lincoln Ross" <lincolnr@m...> wrote:
            > Suggest using Lexan if there is any chance of hitting a rock! Also
            > suggest making it replaceable as it will scratch. You can get
            plastic
            > polish to take out the minor scratches, tho, I think. That's what
            they
            > used to use at the propellor tunnel at MIT, but I don't know if
            their
            > windows were plexi or lexan (polycarbonate).
            >
            > Glass may be strong, but it's also kinda brittle. You can hit Lexan
            > with a hammer without breaking it, but I don't think I've seen
            glass
            > that would hold up.
            >
            > I think the previous thread was about windows above the waterline,
            > wasn't it?
            >
            > P.S. When I used to scuba dive, most places I went had less than
            15'
            > or 20' visibility. BUt maybe you're by some tropical sea...
            >
            > --- In bolger@y..., garth@b... wrote:
            > >
            > > > Anyone out there experimented with lexan laminated into the
            bottom
            > > of a boat to create a "glass-bottomed" boat?
            > >
            > >
            > > We had a thread on this subject sometime in the last year. Stan
            > > Muller suggested trying laminated auto glass. I've looked around,
            > but
            > > couldn't find anything the right shape and size.
            > >
            > > Then I came up with a great piece of shelf glass, for sale at a
            > local
            > > flea market -- price $5. It's about 5" X 16" and 5/16" thick. It
            > > seems very tough -- it must be able to take a certain load if
            it's
            > > made to be a shelf, right?
            > >
            > > But I haven't found the time -- or the courage -- to saw a hole
            in
            > > the bottom of my pirogue to take it.
            > >
            > > I'll report whenever it gets done.
            > >
            > > All best,
            > > Garth
          • Paul A. Lefebvre, Jr.
            I have about a 1/4 lexan windscreen on my motorcycle; yes, minor scratches can be made to disappear with plastic polish. Last year I decided to build myself a
            Message 5 of 7 , Jun 29, 2001
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              I have about a 1/4" lexan windscreen on my motorcycle; yes, minor scratches
              can be made to disappear with plastic polish. Last year I decided to build
              myself a taller windshield; so I bought a chunk of lexan at Home Depot,
              about 2 x 3', for about $20 - not bad. You can heat and bend it in your oven
              to make big curves, or make minor bends with a heat gun, you can cut shapes
              in it with a sabersaw or jigsaw if you're careful and use the right blades,
              but watch the curves, and use the right blades (kinda coarse, with 'cleaner'
              teeth in both directions to avoid molten build-up). You can even rip it on a
              tablesaw if you go slow, it's versatile stuff, surprisingly easy to work
              with woodworking tools.

              I don't think the lexan would have to be the same thickness as the plywood -
              it's pretty stout stuff, very impact resistant, and it'll crack long before
              it truly breaks (much like plywood); it does flex, though not as much as
              wood, hence I think at least 1/4" thick to avoid bowing inward from water
              pressure, but if thinner than the wood, you might be able to match
              'flexiness' so it wouldn't shake itself loose (which would be
              catastrophic!). If you had 1/4" lexan in, say, a 1/2" bottom, it'd probably
              be a pretty good match.

              What I have trouble imagining is how you'd attach, and seal, the thing into
              the bottom of a boat in a way that would be secure and not leak. Not alot of
              stuff sticks to it very securely, I've yet to see anything that will truly
              bond it, but there may be some special lexan glue out there I haven't found
              yet. As for attachment, you'd probably need to rout a rabbet around the
              edge, on the outside of the wood, to receive it, then screw and goo it in
              from outside so water pressure would push it up, into the wood; then back
              the margins of the wood inside the boat with some sort of frame. But from
              working with the stuff, and building boats, I think it could be done. It'd
              be neat!

              Paul L.

              >
            • Lincoln Ross
              That sounds great! Sounds like you really should do it. Make the viewers now, make the window in the bottom this winter. It is my understanding that Lexan is
              Message 6 of 7 , Jun 29, 2001
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                That sounds great! Sounds like you really should do it. Make the
                viewers now, make the window in the bottom this winter. It is my
                understanding that Lexan is least brittle when relatively thin (I
                think 1/8") so as to keep strain rate down (all a hazy recollection).
                You might want to use multiple layers, particularly if you can figure
                out a way to laminate. Of course Lexan is not particularly easy to
                glue, it tends to crack if you use solvent glue.
                --- In bolger@y..., drewnel@p... wrote:
                > I go to a lake in northwest Iowa called Okoboji. While it isn't
                > perfect, it's one of the few natural bluewater lakes in the world.
                > On calm days when pollutants are low, it can be pretty cool. I may
                > just make some viewers for the kids, instead.
                >
                > Drew
                >
                > --- In bolger@y..., "Lincoln Ross" <lincolnr@m...> wrote:
                > > Suggest using Lexan if there is any chance of hitting a rock! Also
                > > suggest making it replaceable as it will scratch. You can get
                > plastic
                > > polish to take out the minor scratches, tho, I think. That's what
                > they
                > > used to use at the propellor tunnel at MIT, but I don't know if
                > their
                > > windows were plexi or lexan (polycarbonate).
                > >
                > > Glass may be strong, but it's also kinda brittle. You can hit
                Lexan
                > > with a hammer without breaking it, but I don't think I've seen
                > glass
                > > that would hold up.
                > >
                > > I think the previous thread was about windows above the waterline,
                > > wasn't it?
                > >
                > > P.S. When I used to scuba dive, most places I went had less than
                > 15'
                > > or 20' visibility. BUt maybe you're by some tropical sea...
                > >
                > > --- In bolger@y..., garth@b... wrote:
                > > >
                > > > > Anyone out there experimented with lexan laminated into the
                > bottom
                > > > of a boat to create a "glass-bottomed" boat?
                > > >
                > > >
                > > > We had a thread on this subject sometime in the last year. Stan
                > > > Muller suggested trying laminated auto glass. I've looked
                around,
                > > but
                > > > couldn't find anything the right shape and size.
                > > >
                > > > Then I came up with a great piece of shelf glass, for sale at a
                > > local
                > > > flea market -- price $5. It's about 5" X 16" and 5/16" thick. It
                > > > seems very tough -- it must be able to take a certain load if
                > it's
                > > > made to be a shelf, right?
                > > >
                > > > But I haven't found the time -- or the courage -- to saw a hole
                > in
                > > > the bottom of my pirogue to take it.
                > > >
                > > > I'll report whenever it gets done.
                > > >
                > > > All best,
                > > > Garth
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