Closer look: The use of exterior glass in yacht design

Written by Laura Nicholls

Whether it鈥檚 used as part of a next-generation design or to add something new to a refit, glass is a prominent material aboard superyachts. Looking at the designs of recent yachts such as DAR, Luminosity and the Amels Custom, glass is not only a style statement, but a way to expand the indoors and improve views of the surrounding environment. There is no doubt that the use of this material is increasing.Superyacht glass railingsWhen glass is incorporated into a new-build plan for features like windows, the owner can opt to ramp up the design with seamless bulwarks, geometric shapes and full-panoramic styles. Aspects such as glass railings however, need to be considered differently, as regardless of how fashionable, they are an important safety element for the yacht that need to comply with Class regulations in terms of strength of both the glass and railing and how this is incorporated in the yacht鈥檚 structure.DAR yacht at anchor of SardiniaPhoto: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesIncorporating glass into a refit project can be more of a challenge, as the addition of a new material and its Class demands haven鈥檛 been taken into consideration when the yacht was originally being designed. Nevertheless, there have been some notable refits delivered during 2020 that have managed to overcome this challenge. A 100m+ superyacht refit completed in Northern Germany last year has been seen featuring new glass railings around her aft deck areas, plus, a lengthened yacht that recently emerged from England now sports a nearly-invisible glass railing on her main deck aft.Superyacht glass railingsClass is, of course, a binding factor for both new build and refit projects and their use of glass 鈥 something that the leading metal and glassmakers Beekmans know only too well 鈥 because of this, the company decided to bring all its production in house. This way, Beekmans could keep up with the modern-day design trends, the increasing number of orders from shipyards and owners, as well as being able to ensure that Class requirements are met. Their in-house process includes thorough testing of the glass at the Beekmans facility, where the team tests its toughening depths and strength and conducts class-compliant pendulum tests on full-scale mock-ups of all of its railings and glasswork. DAR yacht at anchor of Cala di VolpePhoto: Charl van Rooy / SuperYacht TimesThanks to Beekmans鈥 investment in its own glass production equipment, the firm has access to its own CNC processing centre for glass to be cut, drilled and shaped into almost any size, shape or curved edge. And above all, with their glass bending oven and chemical toughening bath on site, Beekmans are easily able to produce a quality product time and time again.Superyacht with glass railingsFor high-quality glass railings, windshields and stainless steel features, Beekmans are always available and can be contacted directly via the information below.

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