Adding windshield wipers to the pilothouse windows?

Are manual wipers over plastic windows adequate for the job? Are electric wipers okay over Lexan, if not used too often? Could a glass plate be put over the Lexan without distorting vision too much? Is a thick glass plate the only way to go? All three windshields or just the center one? Please email me your experiences with this problem. Send pictures, if you can. And what wipers do you recommend buying? I would like to add all responses to our QandA page, unless you tell me not to. Lester (s/v #010, Insouciance)

a. Wipers on plastic is not a good idea. I do recall of a piece that some boats have used instead. It consists of a unit that you cut into your plastic. When turned on it spins the water off. I believe that they are actually made for airplanes. Hope this helps. Bill Schwartz (s/v #090, Moonshadow)

b. HI Lester, I’d like to recommend an alternative (albeit an expensive one) to traditional windshield wipers. I’m sure you’ve seen them on every commercial & military bridge. It’s the Clear View Screen from Vetus, “The toughened glass rotating screen reaches its maximum r.p.m. within 25 seconds. The centrifugal force enables all rain, snow and spray to be cleared instantly from the screen. Also dirt and salt will not cause any smears, as a result of which your vision will remain completely clear.” – Vetus. I saw one of these in action first hand aboard Ron & Katherine Jacks’ Corbin, Yankee (hull #199) during a horrific thunder-storm in Newport harbor. It was blowing to 60 knots and dumping rain. Ron flipped the switch and in a few seconds the area of the screen was like a hole was punched in the windshield. Absolutely clear vision thru the window. I was really impressed. Here’s a link to the Vetus Clear View Screen. [Lester note: These screens cost over $1300.] Vince Salese (s/v #005, Witch of the Wave)

c. Lester this is for the person asking about Clearview screens. You said that Vetus sells them for $1200 US, they are a little more popular up here in Canada since we get more ice and such than you do. So here they sell for $650 US, ($995 Canadian). For more information write to Peter Bennett (General Manager for Stright Mackay, marine store peterb@stright-mackay.com.Paul Melanson [s/v #058, Quintana]