Making maritime history with an industry first

Paul Pringle tells Rebecca Gibson about the benefits of Solarglide’s new range of adhesive solar films, which he is hoping will be the first to be type approved for use onboard passenger ships

Making maritime history with an industry first

Solarglide

The new films appear reflective from the outer decks, but are designed to provide clear visibility to guests inside the vessel

Newcastle upon Tyne in north-east England is famed for its shipbuilding industry, which dates back centuries and has produced an extensive portfolio of various types of vessels. Local window treatment solutions manufacturer Solarglide aims to add to the city’s maritime legacy by becoming the first in the maritime industry to seek type approval for its new range of adhesive solar films for non-navigational windows onboard passenger ships.  

“It’s very exciting for us to move closer to achieving our goal of having all our products type approved within the next three years,” says Paul Pringle, managing director of Solarglide, which has supplied window treatment solutions to multiple cruise and ferry operators around the world.  

“We were the first company in the world to get type approval for our retractable bridge solar screens, so it seemed the next logical step to seek the same certification for our adhesive film range given how popular it is for cruise and ferry projects. Our solar films are high performance, high quality and offer multiple benefits for both crew and passengers and gaining type approval will give them additional validation in the marine industry.”  

Designed to complement Solarglide’s retractable bridge solar screens, the new adhesive solar film range reduces solar glare and heat by up to 15C, helping crew and passengers to remain cool while they are sailing in warm climates. “Not only does the film protect people’s eyes and skin from the harmful effects of direct sunlight, but it also helps to regulate the temperature onboard the vessel, reducing the shipowner’s air conditioning and heating costs,” says Pringle.  

The films offer various other benefits, making them ideal alternatives to standard blinds and curtains. “Our solar films are very cost effective, especially if operators want to cover a large area of glass or a high number of windows,” says Pringle. “They are particularly useful for windows that are unusually shaped or high up out of reach, where conventional curtains or blinds would be unsuitable or look out of place. We can also install the film on windows that already have blinds and curtains to provide additional solar protection for crew and passengers.” 

Ideal for restaurants, public spaces, corridors, viewing areas and cabins, the films are available in three colours: reflective silver, low mirror neutral grey and low mirror bronze. They are also offered in light, medium and dark shades to ensure that every shipowner can find a film to suit its chosen application and every style of interior.  

“All our films appear light grey or light bronze to people onboard the vessel, ensuring they do not obstruct the view,” says Pringle. “The neutral colours make them timeless, meaning they will always match the interior decor, even if it is changed over the years. In addition, the films can be cleaned in the same way as a standard window, making them easy to maintain.” 

Solarglide collaborates closely with customers, providing a full turnkey service to help them determine which film best suits their individual needs and requirements. 

“We start by asking a series of questions to help us determine the best solar film for each area and then send out ample-sized samples that can be temporarily fitted to the windows to ensure they provide adequate shading and complement the interior design,” says Pringle. “Alternatively, our survey team can visit the vessel and offer recommendations and samples whilst onboard.” 

Once the customer has chosen their desired film, Solarglide’s international team of experienced fitters can install it to provide a professional finish and trim. “When we’re on-site, we often see films that are bubbled or distorted because they’ve been installed badly, and we see others with a coloured tint and no solar and heat performance features,” says Pringle. “In some cases, we see permanent film that has been fitted in areas it shouldn’t be used, such as on navigational windows. Hence, Solarglide aims to ensure that our films not only look good but are also fitted correctly and perform as expected. If installed professionally and maintained carefully, the films will last for more than 10 years before they need replacing.” 

Several cruise and ferry operators have already installed Solarglide’s adhesive solar films on their vessels, including DFDS, Stena Line and Norwegian Cruise Line. “We work closely with outfitters to fit the film onboard both refurbished and newbuild ships,” says Pringle. “The feedback we get is always very positive; our window films make a big impact and truly help cruise and ferry operators resolve common heat and glare issues.”

This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of Cruise & Ferry Review. All information was correct at the time of printing, but may since have changed. 

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Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson
30 May 2022

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