Frequently Asked Questions
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Rainier started constructing Bonded Windows using our patented process that has been used and improved for over 15 years. Windows are typically constructed of .080”-thick polycarbonate or acrylic. They can also be made using 0.060”, 0.177”, and 0.125”-thick plastics for specialty applications upon request. The windows are permanently bonded between two seamless layers of fabric. The bond area is 1” wide and the resulting bonded window-panel has 2-layers of fabric. The seamless fabric and 2 layers create additional durability that provides a high-quality finish on both sides of every panel. Rainier Bonded Windows are constructed with seam-free fabric which creates a watertight bond between the window and fabric that is proven to withstand and endure harsh marine environments. Rainier Bonded Window-panels offer unsurpassed sophistication, clarity, safety, and durability.
For marine applications, Rainier Marine windows are offered in the finest Sunbrella® solution dyed acrylic fabric and Stamoid® marine vinyls. Rainier Windows are available in a wide variety of Sunbrella® and Stamoid® colors. See your qualified Rainier Marine window fabricator for the latest colors and grades available.
Yes – It’s possible to customize your project by mixing which fabrics and colors are on the inside and outside of your Rainier Bonded Windows. There is a nominal additional charge for this customization.
Rainier uses an advanced type of polycarbonate plastic that is optically clear, virtually unbreakable, and shatterproof for safety. It is specially coated, on both sides, to provide enhanced abrasion resistance (AR) and ultraviolet (UV) protection. For simplicity we refer to the polycarbonate we use as “poly-AR2.” It is National Transportation Safety Board approved and widely used in many window applications including airplane windows, marine hatches, eyeglasses, face shields, and architectural windows. This is an incredible product and ideally suited for most marine applications.
High-Impact Modified Acrylic (IM-acrylic) is a specially formulated flexible acrylic that is over 10 times more break-resistant than regular acrylic. It has excellent UV resistance without a special coating. It is not as scratch resistant as our poly-AR2. However, unlike the poly-AR2, minor scratches can be polished out of the IM-acrylic. IM-acrylic also works well on tighter radiuses corners and offers an excellent value for many applications. Although IM-Acrylic is much more durable than regular acrylic it is still not nearly as strong as the Poly-AR2. It’s a good choice for applications where long exposure to intense sun is expected and the rugged strength of Poly-AR2 are not required.
Each product has its unique qualities and specific uses in the marine and architectural markets.
Polycarbonate has a number of key benefits over other materials-the most important being it is truly shatter proof, and has been certified by the National Transportation Safety Board for transportation applications. When special coatings are applied like those used on Rainier Marine windows, polycarbonate will resist most scratches, yellowing, and hazing.
Modified acrylic has been improved to the point that it is over 10 times more break resistant than regular acrylic. This improvement has made this material very strong and usable in the harsh environments at a lower price than polycarbonate. An additional benefit of modified acrylic is that it does not need to be coated for UV and minor scratches can be buffed out of the windows. This quality allows for tighter radius curves on different designs.
The maximum size of Rainier Bonded Windows is a function of the width of the fabric and size of the plastic sheet. To maintain the absolute highest quality bond; Rainier does not seam-together multiple panels of fabric to economize on fabric or make larger windows possible. Below is a brief explanation in how the maximum window size is determined.
Sunbrella – Most Sunbrella marine fabric is available in 60” wide rolls and a few colors are also available in 80” wide rolls. You can confirm which Sunbrella colors are available in 80” wide rolls by checking the Sunbrella website.
Stamoid-TOP – All TOP colors are available in 59” wide rolls. The popular marine colors are also available in 102.4” wide rolls. Check the Stamoid website to confirm what colors are available in widths wider than 59”.
Stamoid-OPEN – All OPEN colors are available in 102.4” wide rolls (only)
Poly-AR2 x .080”-thick – Stocked in 6’x10’ (72”x120”) sheets
IM-Acrylic x .080”-thick – Stocked in 5’x10’ (60”x120”) sheets
WIDTH – The maximum width of a window is based on the smaller between the fabric and window.
• For a Bonded Window using Sunbrella, most colors are 60” wide. If we assume 3” of bleed beyond the Cut-Edge of the window + 1” for the bond on each side (total bleed), the maximum viewable window width will be 52” wide. o Math: 60” (fabric width) – (2 x (4” bleed)) = 52” wide (viewable width)
• The math is similar for Stamoid-TOP that is 59” wide
• When the width of the fabric roll is wider than the width of the plastic panel; the maximum viewable width of the window will be the width of the plastic panel – 2” (1” bond on each side). o Poly-AR2 x .080” will be 5’-10” (70”)-wide
o IM-Acrylic x .080” will be 4’-10” (58”)-wide
LENGTH – The maximum length of a window is based on the length of the window. It will be the length of the plastic panel – 2” (1” bond on each side). In all cases the length of the fabric is longer than the length of the plastic panel as the fabric comes on a roll.
We can add extra fabric outside the bond area for windows that need extra fabric. That can be done by either sewing, RF welding (Stamoid), or ultrasonically welding (Sunbrella).
Email Rainier if you still need help calculating the maximum window size or have a requirement for a window that is larger than the available sheets.
Yes – Rainer Bonded Window panels can be safely and easily removed from an enclosure and can be flexed slightly without fear of damage. The fabricator that finishes and installs your Rainier Bonded Windows can also make window storage bags, with breathable lint-free fabric, to store the windows to suit your storage requirements.
Eisenglass is a name commonly used to describe traditional clear vinyl windows. Clear vinyl is a soft product that can be rolled, wrinkles easily, is difficult to fabricate in a way that it can lay flat, and scratches easily. It is not nearly as optically clear as Poly-AR2, IM-Acrylic, or Herculite Strataglass. When exposed to sunlight, vinyl will haze, yellow, and becoming increasingly difficult to see through. Clear vinyl cannot be bonded so it is stitched to the fabric to create the window. Unlike the watertight seal with bonded windows; stitched windows can leak and are a natural place for dirt to collect and mold to grow.
Rainier Windows are flexible but they cannot be rolled. Vinyl windows are primarily rolled up for visibility and ventilation. Rainier Bonded Windows are as clear as glass so visibility is not an issue. Enclosures using Rainier Bonded Windows can easily be designed to provide ventilation. The rigidity of Rainier Bonded Windows allows for window panels to swiing up and fasten overhead or mount to track systems that allow the windows to function like sliding doors.
Rainier does not recommend the installation or use of windshield wipers on our poly-AR2 or IM-acrylic windows. Rainier Bonded Windows have abrasion resistance coatings but are not scratch proof. Wipers can scratch the windows if there is dirt, salt or other debris on the windshield or if the blades get old and stiff. Some customers have installed windshield wiper kits and had success. This can work if the windshield is cleaned prior to running the wipers, wiper blades are fresh, and the window stays wet during use. i.e. Wipers on a fly-bridge during a rain would work better than on a sailboat dodger to clean wind-swept seawater.
Rinse with clean water to remove all abrasive debris, wash with soapy water & a soft/clean cloth, rinse with clean water. See the Rainier Bonded Window - Care & Cleaning Instructions for detailed instructions, tips & cautions, cleaners, polishes, hydrophobic coatings, and info on fabric cleaning.
There are several hydrophobic coating products on the market but it’s important to only use products that are developed for and work with polycarbonate and acrylic plastics. We have found both RainMagic. www.rainmagic.com and Cee Bailey’s – Rain Repellent Max to work well. Both are excellent at repelling water and preventing dirt from accumulating. Always follow the manufacturers application instructions and clean the windows before applying any coating. Refer to the Rainier Bonded Windows Care and Maintenance guidelines (see RainierMarine.com).
Size, complexity, and design considerations can greatly vary from project to project. Rainier Bonded Windows are made using only absolute finest materials available to ensure the window will last as long as possible. Rainier Windows cost significantly more than windows made with soft – vinyl. The value is that they will last easily 2 to 3 times as long (with proper care), will be optically clearer, and be more stable in the varied marine environments. The lifetime cost of Rainier Bonded Windows is typically less than cheap vinyl windows with single fabric layer alternatives.
Clarity – The plastics we use are the most optically clear option for plastic windows in the marine market. When properly cared for they remain clear for years. Both plastic options Rainier offers are “sheet” plastics. The resulting bonded windows are very flat, or curved planes, which avoids optical distortions. Clear vinyl’s, that come rolled up, do not lay and curve as smoothly as sheet plastics. These rolled vinyl options are prone to optical distortions and typically do not have the live expectancy as the coated IM-Acrylic and Poly-AR that Rainier uses.
Safety – Rainier’s standard Impact Modified Acrylic and Polycarbonate plastic is 0.080”-thick. Both are extremely strong. The Acrylic is shatter-resistant, and the polycarbonate is shatterproof. The bonding system we use permanently joins the fabric to the fabric creating the best possible union between the 2 materials. We can also bond 0.060”, 0.177”, and .125” Poly-A2 on special request.
Quality – Rainier Bonded Windows are constructed by sandwiching the window plastic between 2 layers of seamless fabric. After the bonding process is complete the center of each piece of fabric is cut at the “view line” revealing the window. The result is a watertight transition from 2 seamless panels of fabric to window and back to fabric. The finish edges of the seam are extremely smooth and do not provide a place for debris and moss to form like stitched windows. They look better, take less maintenance than sewn windows, and last the life of the plastic. The 2 layers of fabric allow for a high-quality finished window panel that is much more stable and durable than a single layer. It’s possible to have 2-layers of fabric for traditional sewn windows but water can enter through the stitching and be trapped between the layers. For finished window panels, that Rainier completes the fabrication of the edge details, we only use SolarFix®, Gore®Tenara® PTFE threads that are UV stable. These threads are designed to withstand the harshest solar/marine environments and will outlast both the fabric and plastics.
Rainier Bonded Windows are designed to withstand the assault of almost any outdoor environment and particularly the harsh marine conditions. Please refer to the written warranty for specific details. Rainier has been fabricating bonded windows since 2004. We have hundreds of bonded window projects that have exceeded 10 years and are still clear and look great! It all starts with a great product.
Many boatowners feel most comfortable working with fabricators that have expertise working with Rainier Bonded Windows. Rainier also sells to any established marine fabricator that is in the business of providing their customers the finest quality finished canvas products. Fabricators work with you to design and manufacture your new window system to your requirements and specifications. They design your enclosure and windows to match your specific needs and the unique design of your boat. They send patterns to Rainier where we digitize them, CNC cut the windows and fabric, then finish the bonding process. Rainer sends the bonded window “blanks” back to the fabricator who does all the finish fabrication and installation.
See our website www.rainiermarine.com and click fabricators for our updated list of preferred fabricators.
Rainier can replicate existing Rainier Bonded Window panels complete with zippers, binding, keder, and all the finish details except snaps. Snap placement is critical and should be done when you re-install the panels to assure exact alignment. We need your existing panels for this process so either delivering them or shipping them to us is required.
The process to provide Rainier Bonded Windows directly to a boatowner is the same as for professional marine fabricators. We need the same basic information for generating a quote. We will provide instructions for the pattern(s) we need. Patterns are sent to Rainier where we digitize them, CNC cut the windows and fabric, then finish the bonding process.
Yes – Rainier is based in Tukwila, WA which borders the south side of Seattle. We provide a wide range of marine fabrication services to boatowners in our area.
Just like we do with fabricators in all parts of the US and Canada, we provide Rainier Bonded Windows to fabricators in our area too. There are several fabricators in the Pacific Northwest that produce outstanding marine canvas products, have great reputations in our region, and we feel very comfortable recommending. Just remember to specify Rainier Bonded Windows when you work with any other marine canvas fabricator.
Rainer manufacturers OEM Rainier Bonded Window “kits” for many leading boat manufacturers. See our website. If you don’t see your boat manufacture listed, contact them directly and insist they work with Rainier to develop bonded window kits for your boat.
Interested in learning more?
Give us your email for more information about our boat windows, canvas enclosures and upholstery.