Window installation?

Thread starter #1
I have been sailing about 2 months and loving it. I aquired an old sunfish that needed little restoration. I have been sailing with the gooseneck and haylard settings set by the previous owner, which had the boom rather high. I barely need to duck on a tack. Out of curiousity mostly, I have made adjustments to lower the boom to see if the boat performs better. However, I now find it difficult to see under the boom for other boats, etc. In fact, after a couple hours of sailing, my neck feels it from crouching to see. The sail does not have a window. Is it feasible to install a window? Or, am I better off raising the boom back up and enjoy. My sailing is recreational, so not worried about class legal. I have researched the forum some, but didn't find a lot on this. Thanks for any words of advice.
Any sailmaker (or skilled canvass worker for that matter) can install a window for a modest charge. I suggest you find somebody who has a race sail, lay your sail over it and mark the corners of the race sail window on your sail. Then take the sail in and have the sailmaker install a window of that size and location. Do not cut a hole in the sail and then try to fill it with plastic. I believe the standard installation is to lay the window material over the intact sail, sew it in and then carefully cut away the cloth over the window. I was at Neil Pryde's sail loft in Connecticut once and saw the sailmaker install a window in a Sunfish sail in about 10 minutes. Impressive.

Windows are a significant safety feature as you see thru the sail.

Alan Glos
Cazenovia, NY
Thread starter #4
Well, I just ordered the kit from Sailrite. Kit plus some thread and shipping, $24+. Wife says she can do the sewing. We'll see how it goes. Something I definitely need. Thanks for the thoughts.
I have a Neil Pryde Sail with a window and it has so much reinforcement in the clear plastic it that your can't see out of it and it is placed in the wrong spot also so if I was to do it over again I would get clear window and have it marked out the way Alan Glos suggested just like the class legal racing sail.

><> Minas man <><
I agree. The Neil Pryde sails are well made but the windows has an opaque grid of threads that does reduce the transparany a bit. That said, the windows in the NP sails hold up well and don't distort over time like some windows do.

Alan Glos
Yes the Neil Pryde sail is a good sail and the window has stood up for me the 3 years that I have had mine but what good is a window if you can not see out of it.

><> Minas man <><


Upside down?
Staff member
Well, I just ordered the kit from Sailrite. Kit plus some thread and shipping, $24+. Wife says she can do the sewing. We'll see how it goes. Something I definitely need. Thanks for the thoughts.
Apparently, one needs a (fairly) heavy-duty sewing machine. Please write us about your (spouse's) experience(s).
Thread starter #9
I received the window kit in the mail yesterday and hope to install this weekend, Sunday night....after the weekend sailing. After some investigation, my plan is to size the window view at 7" x 71", placing the window 9" back from the leading edge and 14" up from the bottom edge at the front lower corner of the window and 10" up from the bottom edge at the rear lower corner. ....a direct quote from Sailrite....

Respond if you have a suggestion altering any of these numbers. I might make the window to 9” or so, it appears the kit came with at least 10” width. The 7” is typical racing width, but I am more into good vision than being race legal.

I will report back with either my success or request for a good deal on a new sail J
Thread starter #12
Just reporting back in. My 'do it yourself' window installation was successful. The Sailrite kit window was 54"x12" (not the 71" I was assuming). But that is fine, actually gives me more visibility. By the time stitching was done, we're right at the 600 sq inches. Took a couple hours+ by the time I unclipped the sail, installed window, and put it all back together. Sewing was not too difficult. My wife has a higher level home machine that worked fine. If you order the kit, watch the on-line video link and you'll be ready to go. I'm sure the stitching is not as pretty as professional, but if you are on a budget like me, and if you have a connection to someone who runs a sewing machine, I would recommend.

I was able to take it for a couple hours in moderate wind. Was able to lower the boom appropriately. It is an amazing difference. No more crooks in the neck!

View attachment 7209


nice! that's awesome, and looks great. I found it amazing how much nicer and easier it is once you have a window in the sail. like you said, "no more crooks in the neck!".

Well now, that's a window, good job. I will have to swap out my window , that you can't see through that cost $25 extra dollars. To leave my harbour I have to sail a channel that is 1000 feet long and 75 feet wide and that is why I ordered a window in the Neil Pryde sail but being made out of a none transparent material and being located in middle of the sail, I would have to say that I really do not have a window. I will be putting a transparent one in to replace non transparent one that Neil Pryde installed.
Your picture of the window and being able to see across the street along with all the positive comments about windows have convinced me to go for it a second time but now I know what I am after. I will post pictures of what not to order in contrast to what you have installed.
Thank you.

><> Minas man <><
Just wanted to post a picture of the Neil Pryde window. The sail is a good quality sail but the window is a non window as you are unable to see through it and in the wrong position so I would not recommend this type of window material or its size or placement. I informed Neil Pryde of my concerns and there response is posted on a thread from 2010 so here is the link to the thread.

><> Minas man <>< 003.JPG
Thread starter #18
Interesting thread. Thanks for forwarding. I guess time will tell on my window. It's a good test case cause I imagine I'll be looking at a new sail in a couple years anyway.