Polishing Lexan Boat Windows
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  1. #1
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    Question Polishing Lexan Boat Windows

    Hello Folks,

    I cannot find the answers to my questions in the faq or forum, so here I go.....

    I have a Gemini sailboat that uses lexan windows that have water spots. Nothing that I have used will remove them, researching the subject, it appears the only way to remove them is to polish them out. Is the mirror glaze #17 and #10 safe to use on the lexan? Should the #17 always be followed by #10? The windows are huge, so the less labor to achieve results, the better. What should I do to remove some light scratches from one of the windows, do I need to use both products?

    I have two polishing machines available to use. One is a waxmaster with a 12 inch pad (foam or terry covers), this is a random orbit polisher. The other is a rotary polisher, I have 6 inch foam pads for this and use it for compounding the boat. Which is the better polisher to use with the meguiars products?

    Thanks in advance,

    Louie

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    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing Lexan Boat Windows

    Hi Starrider,

    Welcome to Meguair's Online!

    With any luck, the water spots you're trying to remove are merely "Topical" and not "Etchings" into the Lexan. The reason for this is that from our personal experience, Lexan does not like to be abraded with the end goal having the Lexan look clear and defect free.

    The plastic is just too hard.

    If the water spots are just topical stains, then you should be able to remove these stains using a product we have called PlastX by hand or machine, either of your machine should work.

    The important thing to remember is that you alway want to "touch" the Lexan with only clean, soft applicators, pads and wiping cloths as to prevent instilling any scratches into it because it's so hard to remove them out of it.

    Here's the link to PlastX, you should be able to find it in most auto parts stores as well as stores like Target and Wal-Mart

    PlastX


    Also, do a search on this forum using the word PlastX and you'll bring up a plethora of interesting threads.

    We have the back window out of a Ferrari that is Lexan and so far nothing we've tried using to actually machine buff scratches out of it has worked. WE have not tried our new M105 and we will give this a try but be forewarned that historically, Lexan is very hard to work with.

    Again, welcome!
    Mike Phillips
    Office: 800-869-3011 x206
    Mike.Phillips@Autogeek.net
    "Find something you like and use it often"

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    Re: Polishing Lexan Boat Windows

    Hello Mike,
    Thanks for the reply and welcome. Too bad I just ordered 4 bottles each of #17 and #10. The builder of my boat warned against using an abrasive product on the windows. He said the windows are "hardcoat" coated. Their is some merit to what he is saying, My boom dropped too low on a tack and scratched the top of my cockpit sunroof windows. Where the scratches occurred the window is now clear in that area. These are different then my last boat, which used smoked acrylic windows, the tint was throughout the full thickness of the window.

    It appears with these hardcoat lexan windows, the tint is somehow a surface coating. So I question whether the plastx would be the proper product to use on this type of window.

    Since I have now already purchased 8 bottles of the product above, can you suggest which method of machine application would be the best? I posted what machines I have available in my last post. There is just too many windows for hand application. The water spots are just on the surface, not etched in the lexan. I was able to make a huge improvement by cleaning them with vinegar. Then I read you are not suppose to use vinegar on lexan! So that is why I am here, need information from the experts.

    Thanks,
    Louie

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    Exclamation Re: Polishing Lexan Boat Windows

    Hello,

    Can I please have an answer to my questions?

    Thanks,
    Louie

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    Re: Polishing Lexan Boat Windows

    Have you talked to the boat builder/window manufacturer and asked them about it? They would be the best source for that information.


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    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing Lexan Boat Windows

    Quote Originally Posted by Starrider

    It appears with these hardcoat lexan windows, the tint is somehow a surface coating.

    So I question whether the PlastX would be the proper product to use on this type of window.
    If your Lexan windows have a coating, then you don't want to use anything with abrading ability as it will abrade off the coating. Best to check with the manufacture and see what they recommend. If they don't have a solution for the problem then perhaps they should look at using materials that their owners can maintain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Starrider
    Since I have now already purchased 8 bottles of the product above, can you suggest which method of machine application would be the best?

    I posted what machines I have available in my last post.
    Quote Originally Posted by Starrider
    One is a waxmaster with a 12 inch pad (foam or terry covers), this is a random orbit polisher. The other is a rotary polisher, I have 6 inch foam pads for this and use it for compounding the boat.
    Before you start machine cleaning and polishing any of these windows you'll want to first see what the manufacture recommends. Our guess is all these windows have this tinted coating then they're not going to recommend you machine clean or polish, especially with a rotary buffer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Starrider
    There is just too many windows for hand application. The water spots are just on the surface, not etched in the lexan. I was able to make a huge improvement by cleaning them with vinegar. Then I read you are not suppose to use vinegar on lexan! So that is why I am here, need information from the experts.


    The problem comes back to the company using a material that is difficult for their customer's to work on. We make great products but if your windows have a coating on them then they shouldn't be abraded and this means finding and using only a very gentle type of product.

    By hand you could try M17 Plastic Cleaner as this is a very light cleaner, you want to use a very clean and softer applicator pad to apply this product and then use a very clean and soft microfiber to wipe any excess product off the window.

    Chances are good that these windows and their coating are going to be easily scratched if you're not using clean soft applicator pads and wiping cloths.

    Again, see what the manufacture recommends for maintaining the window material they use for their boats and please post back here what they say and how you end up fixing the problem.

    Thanks!
    Mike Phillips
    Office: 800-869-3011 x206
    Mike.Phillips@Autogeek.net
    "Find something you like and use it often"

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    Smile Re: Polishing Lexan Boat Windows

    Dangerous, but possible solution. Test small area first!

    On car glass detailers sometimes use wheel acid, sometimes even on paint too... For cars it is applied directly from spray bottle on cool surface.

    Beacause you have fiberglass all around your window, you could apply acid to folded hand towel, (be careful acid is not good, read "harmful or deadly" to you) wipe on lexan, wait 5-10 seconds then use Water to stop process. (spray massive amounts) Dry completely and see what happened. Do not do the whole window as test. do a tiny bottom corner, preferably not viewing portion of window. If it works, make sure it did not cause hazing. As this is a potential problem, one only seen in direct sunlight...

    Hope this helps!

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    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Polishing Lexan Boat Windows

    Starrider posted this on

    Jan 31st, 2008, 09:43 AM

    And we never heard back from him?

    We'll send him an e-mail and see if he post a follow-up as to any solutions he found for the problems.


    Mike Phillips
    Office: 800-869-3011 x206
    Mike.Phillips@Autogeek.net
    "Find something you like and use it often"

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    Re: Polishing Lexan Boat Windows

    I'm in the late stages of what is almost a salvage project on some lexan windows. They were so bad that my options were to try something, or wind up replacing them entirely. I started with 600 grit wet sanding with a DA, then moved through 1000, 1200, 1500 and 3500 (3M Trizact) pads. It appears that I got all the scratches and am now left with a hazy (but almost shiny) finish. I have the #17 and #10 polishes, but wonder if I should use something a bit more aggresive first, like M105, M205, or PlastX?

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    Thumbs up Re: Polishing Lexan Boat Windows

    Better late then never....

    After trying everything, the plastX worked! It took many hours for each window with a machine, but the water spots are gone and I can see through the windows now. Some areas were etched by saltwater (looks like little pits in the lexan). Most of those spots look much better and can hardly been seen. If I buffed long enough to remove those it would ruin the lexan.

    I have used the plastX on my wifes car headlight covers and it removed the dark haze from the lenses. Amazing product!


    Louie

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