See Better

Posted: July 1, 2013  |  Tag: 

By: John Temple

My isinglass and canvas Bimini are getting old. When the isinglass gets wet, either because of water splashing up or rain and fog, it is very hard to see through. Any ideas to fix this?
To have the best setup on an enclosed Bimini, you need to have two things: good windows in general and good windshield wipers. For windows with wipers, I suggest a very high-quality polycarbonate of at least 0.40-inch thickness, which will keep it from being “wavy.” Get a clear material that will last, is not wavy and can have an insert. My favorite material is EX2CY, but it can crack while you are running if you lift it up sometimes and the forward window has a wiper insert. So if you plan to have inserts that can be lifted up, make sure the material is flexible.

There are window-material manufacturers who suggest you can use windshield wipers directly on their windows’ surface without scratching. First, I have always been concerned that over time, and with salt water, the windows will scratch. Second, because of the stiffness, if you snap them up while running, the bouncing can crack them.

My suggestion is to have wipers inserted into the forward window material. If you look at the boats in your marina, you will probably see this style of installation. I would also suggest you use whole pieces of a hard material — hopefully coated with a totally scratch-resistant glass material, with windshield wipers installed — and if you want the enclosure open, store the pieces. Finally, you can go with a true glass section that is either not temporarily removable or that is stored. Talk to your local Bimini installers, and after a few visits and quotes, you will find out what is best for your application.

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