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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
a) Do you have a window in your Bimini and/or connector?
b) If so, how big?
c) What's the setup? Cover? How is it attached?

I understand that Bimini/connector/dodger setups can vary greatly from boat to boat. This is for a Catalina 36.

Nonetheless, the size of the windows in the Bimini (allowing you to trim your main) and in the connector (allowing you to see what you are about to hit on a rainy day) might be more uniform.


Thanks,

mrmac
 

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We don't have a full bimini, but sail with many who have (including a lot of those with full enclosures).

I think the window issue is going to be a compromise between visibility and the potential 'greenhouse' heating effect on a hot day. I think whatever windows you choose to install should have covers to provide shade when needed. If choosing a window in the bimini top and a cover, I'd make sure the cover is easily reachable/removable - which should lead to a largish window that would work best for sail trim visibility.

For some the issue of the bimini window is a moot point - such as when solar is mounted onto the bimini frame.

I like the clarity of lexan window lenses, but they scratch easily and do eventually cloud up with UV damage over time - I hear good things about Strataglass, a softer but also clear product.
 
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The window does not need to be very big 12in x24in would suffice. a canvas cover for it would be a good idea when at anchor/berthed. I would use zippers myself. velco will wear out and the male side traps crud. just my .002 cents

cheers
 

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The window does not need to be very big 12in x24in would suffice.....
My comment re the bimini window size was with access in mind... the cover ought to be on top, obviously, to protect the lens, and with wide coverage biminis a small window might be a bit hard to reach around to...
 

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Nonetheless, the size of the windows in the Bimini (allowing you to trim your main) and in the connector (allowing you to see what you are about to hit on a rainy day) might be more uniform.
Think about where you sit most of the time when you're sailing... Every boat I've ever run with a window in the bimini has had only a tiny square giving a view of the main only when situated directly behind the wheel, which can be useless much of the time...

And, every window in the connector piece I've ever seen has been worthless, I wouldn't bother, you'll simply wind up looking thru the dodger, instead... The only time one might be beneficial is if the angle of the connector is fairly vertical, so you're looking thru the window at a fairly perpendicular angle... But if the angle of your connector is shallow, it won't be very good for visibility forward. It should have some utility, however, in viewing the main...

Good luck configuring out something that works for you... I can't recall ever running a boat on which those windows were really satisfactory, seems I always wind up having to poke my head out from underneath the bimini to get a decent look, anyway...

;-)
 

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Not in canvas, but...



There is one on each side. Generally we only remove the starboard cover. We have 2 panels up there, but they are aft.

Heating? Not really, but it has an external cover that we sometimes use when it's really hot. Some folks put the covers on the inside, which I see as very foolish; no protection.

Cover scratching? Mine has a plain Sunbrella cover and is 1997; testament that it does NOT scratch and that UV protection provided by the cover really helps.

As for whether I can see enough, judge for yourself. But I can also duck outside the dodger when need be.
 

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We have a 12" window in the bimini, right above the helm. Almost never use it to trim, which is done more often from the side. It's very helpful to keep an eye on mast head wind direction, especially when docking. If I note the wind shifting underway and don't correct the helm, I'm still more likely to retrim from the side.

While we have a wind instrument in front of the helm, it's just habit to look up. My instrument was broken a couple of seasons back and I didn't really miss it. I did miss wind speed readout, so I ultimately replaced it.
 

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We have a Bimini and a connector. The Bimini has no windows. Even without the connector piece I never had a problem looking forward and up to see the main. The connector has one very large window. It has a cover on the outside attached by twist fasteners. It's really easy to take on and off. When off, it gives a really good view of the main (and the sky). The Bimini is not ideal, but it certainly keeps the sun off. The connector (a recent addition) goes even further in that. The connector window is a bit clumsy for vision, but it is quite workable. I would probably do without it, but my wife likes it. The connector, by the way, makes getting in and out of the cockpit more awkward.
 
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