Originally Posted by eherlihy
You can't see it in the pic, but there is a window in the dodger over the pedestal that allows me to see the sail, and the Windex while the dodgers is deployed.
Yeah, the problem with all of those I've ever seen, however, is that they are always situated so that they are only usable when sitting directly behind the helm... On most boats, that's not generally where I'll be when under sail... More importantly, they still don't solve the problem of trying to sight the jib telltales, on most boats I've run with these configurations, the only way to do so can be to have to move around the wheel to move forward enough, to peer out from underneath the bimini...
Finally, almost guaranteed, if I'm picking up a boat in Florida that's been down there for much more than a year, those little 'windows' will have turned sufficiently opaque from UV degradation, as to be worthless :-)
But again, my main problem is not being able to sight over the top of the dodger when necessary... I just don't see how anyone runs at night, or in thick weather, without the ability to do so... A bimini such as yours is simple to dismantle and stow in such a situation, of course, but I'm seeing more and more enclosures that are essentially permanent, such as the dodger on a Hunter 41 I ran about a year ago that was virtually the same height at the arch and integrated bimini... That boat was a nightmare to run after dark, or when the dodger was wet from rain, spray, or fog - as it was extremely difficult/awkward to obtain a clear view around it... And, if the need arose to use a searchlight from the cockpit, fuggeddabouditt... :-)