Maintaining a good view from inside an enclosed pilot house is essential. If you cannot see out well you will be straining to see what is ahead, what other vessels around you are doing and this could compromise your safety. The mantra that was drummed into use when I was studying for my master ticket was that you should keep a sharp lookout and this is indeed spelled out in the international regulations for collisions at sea (COLREGS). Essentially this means that you must do everything in your power to avoid a collision. You may be the stand on vessel and technically have right of way but if you do not take avoiding action in good time you are just as much at fault as the skipper of the give way vessel. Not just that but poor visibility from inside a wheel house has other effect too and leads to increased fatigue and can actually make you feel seasick if you cannot clearly see the horizon.
Of course the design of the boat has a lot to do with the lines of sight, the overall visibility from the wheel house and all the other ergonomics of the vessel that either make boating a pleasure or a chore.
Many boat manufacturers seem to have forgotten that you need to know what is behind you as well as in front and have resorted to cameras to see what is behind. I think that restricted visibility is why many owners take to operating their boats from the fly bridge even in poor weather even though they would be far better off at the lower helm where they can stay warm and dry.
It may seem like stating the obvious but keeping the windscreen clean will go along way to helping see where you are going. On navy ships the screens are cleaned everyday. I love using Rain X on glass windscreens (aka windshields) as the water runs off and you hardly if ever have to use the wipers if these are fitted. Also it is worth noting that many vessels only actually have wipers on the helmsman's side the crew often do not get a wiper thus restricting their view. Wipers are good when they work but can become overwhelmed in bad weather when they are expected to clear not only rain but large amounts of salt water spray that may be coming over the bow and hitting the pilot house. Keeping wiper blades in good shape helps, but the salt water is abrasive and can soon take the keen edge off the blade which is so important for clearing the water away efficiently.
I don't think that I would be overstating it to say therefore that I was excited to see a 'Clearscreen' on a boat that I recently surveyed. These gadgets are a central circular window inset into the main screen which are driven round and round by an electric motor water is then flung off by centrifugal force and they do a fine job. Although the bit you look through is somewhat small the helmsman's vision stays remarkably clear no matter what the weather or how much water gets chucked a the screen.
I think that many boats out there are more concerned with image and although I could see you might not one of these on your 'Sundecker 54' that spends it entire life at the marina dock I can see the attraction of these on boats that actually travel off shore. Having become familiar with these devices in the 70's they seem to have fallen from favor in recent years which is a shame because I do think that many serious yachtsmen should give these nifty gadgets a second look.