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Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing

Posted By: Jeff Peterson

Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 02/18/17 05:57 AM

I finally broke down and got bi-focal glasses. I put it off for years, thinking they would be a big pain. Well, I started wearing them Wednesday, and I was right! How long does it take to get used to these things?

The reading segment seems to get in the way to things I want to see. This has me worried about how they will disrupt my vision during sailing. Three days is not giving them much of a chance, so I'll continue holding my breath that it will get better. But, it also has me thinking I may need to get another pair of glasses that are single vision for sailing and other outside activities. My correction is strong enough, that constantly switching between glasses that are slightly different confuses my depth perception and drives me nuts.-Then I'd probably just use the single lenses and be back where I started.

HELP!!!

Posted By: H17cat

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 02/18/17 06:34 AM

Bought Hobie Sunglasses about three years ago, that also had bi-focal section for reading. They work great. Good for sailing, but can now also do close up work, and read course/charts.
Posted By: jbecker

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 02/18/17 07:32 PM

I wear progressives and have for a long time. They work fine for sailing. I do have a slightly different prescription for sailing. They are sunglasses with more distance vision, I have to look down more for close up focus.
Posted By: Jake

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 02/19/17 03:02 PM

I'm on the cusp of needing bifocals and had my new eye glasses prescription applied to a new pair of sunglasses...which was a mistake. Apparently, I could have opted out the close vision part of my prescription. My distance vision on the race course is not great with the sunglasses - I have a hard time identifying flags on the committee boat if I'm too far away.
Posted By: Redtwin

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 02/19/17 03:37 PM

Originally Posted by Jake
My distance vision on the race course is not great with the sunglasses - I have a hard time identifying flags on the committee boat if I'm too far away.


Isn't that why you have a crew? laugh

Posted By: cyberspeed

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 02/20/17 01:10 AM

Took me a whole month of wearing my progressive glasses all the time to get used to them. They work great for sailing with the transition lenses added.
Posted By: Jeff Peterson

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 02/20/17 02:12 AM

I got the lined bi-focals. After some research, I decided there was more useable lens area. I was told the useable area of the progressive section was narrower than the traditional reading addition. -that you had to move your head back and forth when reading. Of course, then I'm stuck with one focal length, so I still have doubts I made the right decision. If I had unlimited funds, I could try them all! Then again, if I had unlimited funds, I could try all the catamarans and store them in my own warehouse.

Posted By: Jake

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 02/20/17 12:29 PM

Originally Posted by Redtwin
Originally Posted by Jake
My distance vision on the race course is not great with the sunglasses - I have a hard time identifying flags on the committee boat if I'm too far away.


Isn't that why you have a crew? laugh



Exactly...works great on the J22 and the F18 but not so well on the A-cat! My A-cat crew is pretty bad.
Posted By: waterbug_wpb

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 02/20/17 04:00 PM

thankfully I have the opposite situation (nearsighted), so I get the sunglasses set for seeing distance, and peek under the glasses to see the chart/gps, etc.

And I agree with Jake. My A-cat crew sucks so bad I stay out of that class altogether.

It's so much easier to blame Timbo, and he doesn't drink too much beer either.
Posted By: Redtwin

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 02/20/17 07:28 PM

I suppose it really gets scary when you disagree with your A-cat crew and argue out loud.

[Linked Image]
Posted By: brucat

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 02/21/17 06:34 PM

Took me a few weeks to get used to bifocals (progressive).

I still use contacts and cheap sunglasses on the water, which do nothing for me in terms of correcting my close-up vision. It's really hard to read things with them.

I know a guy who says he was forced to buy Oakleys,as they are the only ones who could make his bifocal prescription. He complains about the price (something like $800), but says his vision is great.

I am way to cheap for that. I hate the idea of losing a $100 pair of sunglasses, let alone $800. And, if they go swimming, I'd be pretty blind.

Mike
Posted By: Jake

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 02/21/17 08:27 PM

I can't do contacts - my eyes dry out under them while sailing and I end up having to literally peel them off my eyeballs at the end of the day...that's not pleasant.

My last pair of Costas ran about $300 with the prescription lenses. I had a $400 pair of Rudy Projects that did actually find their way to the bottom of the lake - they were really old, though and in need of replacement. Still, though, I offered one of our club divers (who was inspecting dock anchors) $100 if he could find them...but he never tried.
Posted By: Mike Fahle

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 02/22/17 12:31 AM

I have been using lined bifocals for many years for sailing glasses, both transition sunglasses (the kind that get darker, the sunnier it is) and regular sunglasses. The "trick" to making it work well is to have your optometrist make the bifocal area smaller than normal because you want it only for close-up viewing, such as to read your watch or GPS. You want as large a field of view as you can have for normal distance viewing (usually anything past 6-8 feet). My optometrist just holds a ruler level at my eyes, slowly lowering it until I let her know that is good. The amount of bifocal is probably about half of normal but I like that trade-off for sailing (and driving). I tried the progressive lenses and never could get used to them - I was constantly moving my head around trying to find the "sweet spot" (focal distance) for any particular object - a real pain! I was fortunate to get safety glasses paid for annually at work so they paid for my experimenting. I think if you try that idea you will be happy. I also get large aviator style glasses to give my eyes as much protection as possible, usually reusing a frame every third or fourth year or so (my insurance still covers much of the cost). They have gone out of style but I don't give a rat's butt about that; I am not wearing them for style...


Posted By: Jake

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 02/22/17 02:49 PM

Great input Mike! thanks for the info.
Posted By: Miracle804

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 08/06/17 03:44 AM

As a retired optometrist and long-time cat sailor, I smiled a lot reading this thread. You guys have hit most of the points. Just a couple thoughts:

1. Progressives work well for sailing. There is a power for every distance. You are not just reading your start watch (near vision) and looking for A-mark (distance vision). You are also checking course and flag stickers, cleats and lines on the tramp that are at arm's length or longer (intermediate vision). As you get into your 50's and 60's the lined bifocals are noticeably deficient at this distance (the reason trifocals, and later, progressives were invented).

Both styles take some time to get used to. More so with your first pair, less so on successive prescriptions.

2. For progressives, have both your dress eyewear and sunglasses set at the same position. Going from one to the other will then be effortless.

3. Mike's solution for lined bifocals (a smaller and lower near segment) is a good one, if you can't get used to the standard height when sailing. I have also used it for golfers who had trouble seeing the ball at address. But you need to realize it becomes a single-purpose pair of glasses.

4. Consider polarized sunglass lenses (applies to single vision, as well as progressive wearers). More expensive, but they significantly cancel most of the glare off the water surface, so you don't have a headache from the glare at the end of the afternoon. Transition tints will darken everything (water detail and surface glare) but not cancel the glare like polarized lenses. One drawback to note: some instruments have cover glasses that can polarize light exactly opposite what your polarized lenses are set up to do, blacking out the instrument until you tilt your head sideways 45 degrees. I notice it most when signing on some of the older electronic charge card displays.

5. Wear croakies with your eyewear. They have saved mine numerous times.

6. A broad brimmed hat will not only shade your eyes (more comfort), but also reduce some of the rear lens surface reflections that can decrease clarity by 4%.
Posted By: northsea junkie

Re: Bi-Focal Glasses and Sailing - 08/08/17 09:52 AM

I'm 71 and wear glasses since my 14 birthday. Ofcourse I lost innumerable glasses with sailing and windsurfing.

Thirty year ago I discovered soft contact lenses so I started to use them especially on the water. lost a lot of them too when being washed by waves.
Problem began when I developed a cylindrical deviation in my eyes. At that time there were no softlenses which could compensate for that.

I'm not for sure, but I believe they can compensate nowadays for this cylindrical deviation too . Problems stay however because view to my age I need progressive lenses too.
So my momentary solution for sailing is to use throw-away (one-day) soft contact lenses which are on purpose not in accordance with the prescribed negative correction, and because of that, correct some of these cylindrical issue.

It's a trick which I heard from someone. That works more or less.
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