Passive and active solar along the waterfront makes this sound like a very interesting project! You're moving in the right direction trying to balance energy efficiency with durability given the proximity to the water and potential for a storm.
Given the harsh seasonal conditions and the salt from the ocean I would recommend a vinyl window for this application. I think you will find that here in the U.S. vinyl windows will be at the top most energy efficiency charts when compared to aluminum and wood frames.
To strike the balance of durability and performance, I would recommend three manufacturers with two specific products.
- Simonton Stormbreaker vinyl windows (more info here)
- Harvey Vigilance vinyl windows (more info here)
- Serious Materials (more info here)
I would recommend starting at their respective websites and contacting a sales associate or work with your contractor who may have relationships already to get pricing, product information and comparison factors to help you make the best decision.
Good luck on your project!
For more information:
Read "Should I choose vinyl or non-vinyl replacement windows?" a Q&A answered by Susan Davis.