Despite not all boats being equipped with a windshield, the see-through piece of material mounted forward of the helm is beneficial. Boaters face different elements in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina when boating in fresh or saltwater. Windshields help protect against rain, heavy seas, wind, and glare reflecting from the water. Here is what you need to know about boat windshields. 

What Is A Windshield Called On A Boat

Similar to an airplane, the windshield of a boat is also called a windscreen. As the name implies, a windscreen fits the roll of blocking wind from reaching the watercraft operator. 

The word windscreen is more widely used in Brittan when compared to the United States. 

What Kind Of Plastic Is Used For Boat Windshields

There are three different materials in which vessel windshields are composed of. The first is glass, the second is acrylic, and the third is polycarbonate. 

Compared to glass, acrylic allows greater visibility and is considerably lighter in weight. The weight reduction is beneficial when designing and constructing watercraft. 

On the other hand, polycarbonate is incredibly strong compared to both glass and acrylic. Strength is essential for sea-going vessels that routinely take high seas over the bow and crash into the windshield with force. 

In most situations, when purchasing a boat, you do not have an option when it comes to materials. The manufacturer constructs the windscreen out of the material which they chose. When you have a preference, consider purchasing an after-market model, remove the current, and replace. 

What Is A Boat Windshield Made Of

Beyond the glass, windshields are constructed with or without frames. Frameless windshields allow the builder to screw the glass directly onto the helm area of the vessel by drilling holes through the clear material. 

A second form of constructing a marine windshield is utilizing an aluminum alloy frame. An aluminum alloy frame borders the glass. Lastly, the frame is screwed directly into the boat’s gel coat or other structure. 

So, a boat’s windshield is made strictly glass or a combination of a frame and glass, depending on the design. 

How Does A Boat Windshield Benefit A Boater

Windshields are beneficial for to boaters for a multitude of reasons. The reasons include protection from wind, sea spray, rain, sun. 

Wind Protection

Boaters know that there is no escaping the wind when spending time on the water. Trees and other structures are far off in the distance, reducing the force in which it blows. 

The windshield becomes the shield to protect boaters from stiff winds blowing across the water or while operating at high speeds. 

A windshield is particularly beneficial when winter temperatures drop—eliminating wind aids in keeping the operator and passengers warm. 

Sea Spray

When the wind is blowing, and the seas are rough, spray from lakes, coastal waters, or the ocean is constant. Remain dry by tucking behind the windshield to reduce becoming sprayed in the face by seawater which becomes airborne. 


Similar to sea spray, rain is unavoidable when using boats extensively. While a windshield won’t cover your head, it will allow you to avoid becoming blinded from rain hitting your face while moving along the water. 

The windshield is a barrier between the elements and your line of sight. Some watercraft windshields are fitted with windshield wipers. 


While not all boat windshields provide sun protection, a significant number are designed tinted. Tinting helps reduce glare when in operation and lowers UV exposure for the operator of the vessel. 

How Do You Clean A Boats Windshield

Whether you are boating in fresh or saltwater, it is essential to clean the windshield after use or when it becomes dirty from sitting. 

The best method to clean a marine windshield is with soap and water. Fill a bucket with boat soap and use a soft bristle brush. 

Douse the windshield with water but avoid penetrating marine electronics. Scrub the windshield with the brush until all debris or salt has been removed. Rinse the soap and particles away.

Lastly, to prevent spots, thoroughly dry the windshield. Failure to dry will leave behind hard-to-remove marks. 

Can You Use Windex On  Boat Windshield

Only glass windshields should be cleaned with Windex. However, we recommend using soap and water on all windshield materials compared to Windex, which strips away wax. 

Should You Wax A Marine Windshield

Yes, marine wax, not cleaner wax, should be applied to boat windshields and boat enclosures every six months or less, depending on use. 

Apply the wax with a clean, soft cloth, allow to dry, and remove it with a fresh, clean, soft cloth. The wax layer protects from scratches and, most importantly, beads water away to increase visibility. 

Now You Know About Boat Windshields

Again not all boats are fitted with windshields, but they provide substantial benefits for many reasons. Boaters battle four seasons in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina with changing temperatures, rain, and occasionally snow. Take good care of the windshield to prevent scratching, thus reducing visibility.