Originally Posted by koliver
Unfortunately, there is no clear message in the COLREGS, as there is in the MOTOR VEHICLE ACT, to dissuade those of you who think it is OK to obscure your visibility by leaving the semi-transparent covers on while operating your vessel.
In a car it is illegal to have even a tint on your driver's and passenger side windows and your forward windshield. In a boat, the rule is to "Keep an adequate lookout". How could you justify having covers on your windows, should a collision occur. You would be the sitting duck for liability, having no way to demonstrate that you even had an interest in keeping an adequate lookout.
I have to agree with Koliver to a point. In the Motor Vehicle world, Many states have tint regulations and limits for side and rear
windows. In most states an acceptable tint level (for instance 35% here in NC) is perfectly legal.
Let me relay an experience I had shortly after installing my Side Phifertex covers. While docking for the first time after installing I found they so distorted my depth perception that I almost got into a problem. Came within inches of clipping another boat. Scared me a bit until I figured out what was happening. It may have just been me, and just a cautionary tale for some but I no longer dock with the side covers on no matter how well I "think"
I can see. Lesson learned.