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Old 05-11-2021, 02:22 PM   #1
City: Clearwater, Florida USA
Vessel Name: Seas the Bay
Vessel Model: 1981 42' Hardin Europa
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1,482
Help: Windshield wiper arm/motor/blade configuration help

Hi all,

My boat's lower helm has wires running to an enclosure recessed into and built out of the house above the helm's forward window. A windshield wiper motor once lived there. It and the rest of the wiper system was removed ages ago and replaced with something else that needed power, maybe a radio, which was also removed many years ago.

The boat is only rarely driven from down there, so it a wiper system isn't particularly useful to me. But, I've decided I want to replace it, just because I want to boat to be "whole" in some notional way, I guess. Let's nit worry about that.

Attached is a sketch of the layout. I still need to measure the shaft depth, but I feel like I can cut-to-size there. I have no idea how to configure a wiper system that will clear as much of the window as possible.

The helm is on the right side (starboard) of the window and eye level is approximately the top, depending upon the helmsman. The boat has a proud bow that leads one to peer around it to each side rather than directly over it, more often than not. The motor box is entirely enclosed and protected from the weather, sun, moisture, etc.

I have no earthy idea how to configure a wiper system. How long an arm? How long a wiper? Pantographic? What angles? I can take some guess and work it in in the field, but I'd rather have a head start! :-)

Would anyone be willing to suggest a solution for me? Specific parts I can order would be great. I'm looking to do it "right", even though it won't see a lot of use. And, I can use the existing wires to pull new ones, as needed.

Many thanks!

Attached Files
File Type: pdf windshield and wiper motor recess configuration.pdf (187.6 KB, 21 views)

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Old 05-11-2021, 02:38 PM   #2
City: Rochester, NY
Vessel Name: Hour Glass
Vessel Model: Chris Craft Catalina 381
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 3,529
I'd plan on getting motors with an adjustable sweep angle, as that will make figuring out one detail a bit easier.

I re-did my wipers a couple of years ago and converted to pantograph wipers in the process. I documented the setup here:

In the end for mine, I ended up with 20" blades on the outer wipers and 21" on the center (was slightly restricted in sweep angle for the center due to mounting constraints so I could handle a slightly taller blade). My windows are 36" x 28" (W x H). I used Roca W12 motors and their matching pantograph arms, but I turned the ends of the arms backwards to move the pivot points down relative to the blade attachment. This let me make the arms longer and get more width covered for a given sweep angle (more sweep angle means more vertical movement and shorter blades to avoid running off the top / bottom of the glass).

For your setup, if you could adjust things to get 2 wipers per window, that might give the best results with your wide windows (with pantograph wipers). Otherwise, if the motor shaft hole is close to centered on the window, find the widest sweep angle motors you can and use single arm non-pantograph blades. Ideally, you want to find a way to offset the blade attachment so you can get more blade length towards the motor. Doing that, you should be able to fit a good size blade and get a pretty good sweep, leaving a small dead spot in the top center and the lower outer corners.

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Old 05-11-2021, 02:54 PM   #3
Irish Rambler's Avatar
Vessel Name: 'Snow Mouse.'
Vessel Model: BROOM FLYBRIDGE 42.
Join Date: Apr 2014
Posts: 1,650
Just my thinking based on my own setup. I would fit pantograph wipers with adjustable arms with a 2 speed with intermittent and self parking motor. If you check around some trucks have 'clip on' jets for the wiper blade which you can plumb for a screen wash.
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:01 PM   #4
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City: Bend, Oregon
Vessel Name: JoAhna K
Vessel Model: 58' Bill Garden Trawler 1952
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 266
With expensive air powered truck wipers always torn off by waves over the bow. We removed the wipers off the 123’ and used rain-x before any trip. Worked for 30 years in Bering Sea. I’m
About to remove my yacht wipers.
Book at Amazon: "You can't Make this Stuff up." My 30 years as Capt. in the Bering Sea.
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Old 05-11-2021, 04:19 PM   #5
City: Clearwater, Florida USA
Vessel Name: Seas the Bay
Vessel Model: 1981 42' Hardin Europa
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1,482
Well, there is a good chance that, after installing and tuning the setup, and enjoying them clearing the windshield at the dock during a heavy storm that I'll...pull the arm(s) off and stow them.

But, given the wiper motor box is there...I want it working, nit abandoned.

Call it an ailment...that Defender Marine can cure.

Thanks for the suggestions. Keep them coming. (I may not go as far as a washer though!)
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Old 05-11-2021, 10:47 PM   #6
tiltrider1's Avatar
City: Seattle
Vessel Name: AZZURRA
Vessel Model: Ocean Alexander 54
Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 2,582
Contact AM Equipment. They are the wiper experts.

They will talk you through all the options.
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Old 05-12-2021, 12:36 AM   #7
City: Clearwater, Florida USA
Vessel Name: Seas the Bay
Vessel Model: 1981 42' Hardin Europa
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 1,482
Hey Tiltrider, Hey all,

Thanks for the help!

I did email AM Equipment earlier in the day on someone's suggestion, maybe someone in rslifkin's thread. I haven't heard back, yet, though.

Thanks again for all the help!

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