It’s time for The Triton’s annual crayfish boil with V-Kool of Florida. All captains, crew and industry professionals are welcome to join us on the first Wednesday of May from 6-8 p.m. in Fort Lauderdale.
Until then learn more about the clear “tint” that blocks the heat but not the sun from V-Kool of Florida owner and former captain Scott Frischhertz, who, like us, celebrates 15 years in business this year.
Q. So tell us about V-Kool. What is it?
V-Kool is made of multiple layers of optically clear polyester sheets embedded with silver. The silver allows visible light to pass through while rejecting 94 percent of infrared, which makes up the largest component of heat from the sun. V-Kool is made by Southwall Technologies, which is owned by Eastman Chemical. Southwall manufactures a version of V-Kool that does not have adhesive and is installed in between layers of glass during window manufacturing. These modern windows are known as “Low E”. By installing V-Kool on existing glass, yacht owners will bring their windows to new energy efficient standards.
Q. Why call it V-Kool?
V-Kool is the only infrared-reflecting film on the market; all other films absorb infrared. The V in V-Kool came from the angle that is formed when the sun’s infrared rays bounce off of the film.
Q. So it’s better than tint?
When tint is applied to glass, it causes an increase in heat absorption, much like wearing dark clothing in the sun. The heat absorbed into the glass then radiates into the room. V-Kool has an extremely low absorption rate so the glass doesn’t get hot.
Also, tint blocks out the light. Our film is clear, and only filters out infrared rays, allowing visible light to pass through. As a result, it will not darken the room.
Q. What if someone wants tint, too?
We experimented with this on an older sportfish. We installed a layer of VK 70 and then applied a layer of limo tint over it. It has worked very well. The V-Kool reflects 94 percent of the sun’s infrared rays, which prevents the layer of limo tint from getting hot.
Q. Does V-Kool ever need to be replaced?
V-Kool carries a five-year warranty in a marine application, however there are boats that have been treated over 10 years ago and the film is still going strong. The only way for the film to fail is direct exposure to salt water (i.e. a leaking window) or damage from impact or sanding. The very first application of V-Kool on a yacht is now 15 years old and still looks and performs as the day it was installed.
Q. How does the interior staff clean the windows?
V-Kool is applied on the inside surface of the glass. It is cleaned with anything normally used on glass including ammonia based products.
Q. Does V-Kool interfere with cell phone reception?
A: When V-Kool is installed in fiberglass vessels, there isn’t any change in cell reception. When installed in vessels with metal superstructures, however, cell reception is demised. Most metal yachts have cell phone boosters mounted on their masts. For those that do not, they are made by several companies including Shakespeare.
Q. Who is your competition?
A: There are several companies that manufacture a clear window film, however all of them are infrared absorbing where V-Kool is infrared reflecting. The resulting difference is the other films such as 3m and Huper Optik cause the glass to become extremely hot. When you heat laminated glass, you create increased internal stress, which combined with the normal flexing of a boat, could cause the glass to crack. Also hot glass is subject to delamination.
Q. How did you get into the business?
I am a former captain and met the owner of V-Kool on a charter in 2003. After he explained the film to me, I purchased a roll and installed the first piece of film on the boat I was running, M/Y Carib Queen.
Q. You’ve been hosting this event for years now. Why crayfish?
I’m originally from New Orleans where crayfish parties are common this time of year. I still have connections there and I fly them in fresh for the event. When you’re standing around a table with a bunch of strangers eating crayfish, you can’t help but strike up a conversation. You’ll end up meeting people that you would not normally meet at a networking event.
Q. While they are tasty, they do take some work to eat. How do the locals in New Orleans do it?
Crayfish are peeled similar to shrimp. Pinch the tails and suck the heads. We’ll be giving lessons at the event.
Triton Networking is Wednesday, May 1, behind the V-Kool office at 1304 S.W. First Ave., one block north of Tap 42 in Fort Lauderdale (33315). Visit www.vkoolyacht.com for more details about the company.