2. See-Thru Windshield

When we found Delancey, all of her canvas was well past its useful life.  That didn't stop us from squeezing a few more seasons out of it though.  By 2014, we'd finally replaced the original 1984 jib and main sails.  That just left us with the cockpit enclosure.

The boat had a full enclosure around the cockpit, but we only ever used the bimini and front panels.  By 2014, the the bimini zippers were failing in strong winds to the point where we were sewing the bimini onto the frame with whipping twine at the beginning of each season.  In addition, the front panels were becoming increasingly opaque and we rolled them up to go sailing.

Time for a new enclosure.  In the fall of 2014, we contacted our sailor pal Janeen Richards of Crafted Canvas, who drove from Virginia to Jersey City with an iced tea and an acre of Tyvek.

She built a full size pattern, marking on the inside the location of every bit of hardware that interfaced with the enclosure.  Keeping it in one piece, Janeen packed the pattern into her car and drove off to points warm.

Meanwhile, Delancey hunkered down for an NYC winter.  Ugh.  Winter.

After that unpleasant interval came spring and the return of Janeen.  Fitting the new enclosure on the frame took some tugging and fussing (which I neglected to photograph).  It was a very snug fit, but it'll stretch out over time so better to start out tight.

Here it is with the sides rolled up (which is how we keep it most of the time).

The new bimini allowed us to add a window above the helm so Deb can finally see the sails from the wheel.  There's almost zero clearance between the bimini and the boom, so rather than roll up the UV cover, Janeen attached it with velcro.

We've been using it all season and it's been lovely.  The bimini is waterproof, the zippers operate smoothly, and best of all, we can see out the windshield!

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