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Old 04-10-2008, 01:51 PM   #1
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I am considering installation of a hard dodger on our boat. I hesitate for only two reasons: It is a classic with wonderful lines that I don't want to ruin, and in an anchorage during storms I may have to pay for the windage. I like the idea of structural shelter while sailing in rough weather as we have no protective wheelhouse type of secondary helm. It would give me a wonderful place to mold a boom gallows for storms, and a great place to mount solar panels! Beth Leonard and company have a nice one on Hawk...
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Old 04-10-2008, 02:03 PM   #2
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Boom Gallows, Yes! Hard dodger, No.

IMHO.

You've got a lovely boat with great lines not to be ruined with a hard dodger.

In our opinion, if one wishes to be out of the weather in a hard structure, one should have a vessel with chart house or pilot house by design. Since you do not have this, stick with the strengths of your present design.

Finally, heard too many stories of hard dodgers getting messed up during stormy weather and it seems a bit of a hazard.

Again, just an opinion.
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Old 04-10-2008, 05:18 PM   #3
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Generally speaking, I would go along with what Redbopeep wrote. A hard dodger / spray hood can be a good thing and, if strong enough, should stand up to heavy weather. However, there is, as you pointed out, the windage issue and it will almost certainly destroy the lines of a classic boat. I would avoid it unless you are certain of the strength of the construction.

If you do decide to go for one, build a mock-up first in some light, easily workable material and put it in place to see what it looks like and ensure that it does not hinder visabilty, is otherwise in the way etc. etc.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 04-10-2008, 06:54 PM   #4
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Thanks...

I was certain that I couldn't get by without ruining the lines of our boat, and I didn't want to do that. I'll go ahead with the boom gallows and install a soft dodger for crossings that I can remove as necessary. I'll have to mold a sea hood for the companionway slide for open water, but that's no big deal.

David
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Old 04-10-2008, 08:34 PM   #5
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David,

Stephen's points well made in terms of retaining good lines .

Here is a good site with some ideas on Hard Dodgers

Click on Dodger
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Old 04-12-2008, 02:43 PM   #6
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I think I have to offer some disagreement to the consensus. I had a canvas dodger and bimini when I started cruising, but I have studiously avoided the vicinity of strong weather in my travels and in the first 10 years I owned the boat, I never once took any of the canvas off. So when the Sunbrella started to leak, I replaced it with fiberglass. If you can configure canvas work to look OK, then why not something a little more durable? The advantages of the harder material are that it won't leak, takes paint well (I paint the under side dark blue to cut glare and the top side white to keep things cool), and can have molded "gutters" to help you with rainwater collection. I have considered how best to "stow" my hard top bimini in event of hurricane, and conclude that I will a) dismount the 360 watts of solar panels mounted there, disconnect the brackets that secure it to it's 1" stainless tube frame, and c) hang it over the side submerged on the end of a 1/2" rope where it won't become a wind-blown projectile. I also have a hard dodger which has large safety-glass windows that can be removed in a storm so the windage will be greatly reduced - though I have only practiced rigging for storms and have not had to make these preparations in earnest. Still, I think you can have an attractive and -- equally-importantly -- highly practical hard dodger and/or bimini if you give it sufficient thought and mock it up carefully to check your ideas before you build. My own hard dodger is still what I consider a first prototype - though it has been on the boat for three years now.
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Old 04-13-2008, 06:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
I also have a hard dodger which has large safety-glass windows that can be removed in a storm so the windage will be greatly reduced - though I have only practiced rigging for storms and have not had to make these preparations in earnest. Still, I think you can have an attractive and -- equally-importantly -- highly practical hard dodger and/or bimini if you give it sufficient thought and mock it up carefully to check your ideas before you build.
Agreed. But not all boats can take a spray hood / dodger gracefully. Some do, some don't. But the point we both made of building a mock up is important.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:28 AM   #8
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Hi Wildernesstech

From a long time and long range cruiser the thing that is most prominent in this debate is the protection of your body and well being from the enviroment a hard dodger wins hands down.

If your just moving along the coast in a series of protective maneuvers or if you just want to maintain your boats pretty looks then maybe its not a requirementfor you but if your going offshore for some long time through unknown waters where you cant always avoid the bad stuff then think real hard about what it offers.

Like good foul weather gear and warmth at the required time its all about maintaining your well being and energy. nothing else happens with out it.

I have designed and built several of these hard dodgers and been several times to Alaska > New Zealand in my cruising, and all places in between so my comments are not just speculative but based on my experience.

Here's my blog/site lots of pictures to give you some thoughts on dodgers some by designed and built by me and some by others, but all good for inspiration

http://marshalldesign.blogspot.com/

Hope it's some help

Steve Marshall

now in

Queensland Australia
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Old 04-13-2008, 11:51 AM   #9
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HI Steve, Thanks very much for joining CruiserLog - as you have observed much discussion has taken place over the merits/demerits of dodgers. Good to have a professional on board.

Regards

Richard
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Old 04-17-2008, 12:04 PM   #10
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I'm a absolute fan of hard dodgers. On a big boat, it is not difficult to design and make a tough, good looking dodger which is sympathetic to the boat's design. However, on a smaller boat, especially one with an aft cockpit, it is much easier to end up with a bus shelter.

A good heavy dodger, reinforced with s/s tube stays is a pleasure to stand beneath...and although windage is a factor....it is of little real concern to practical cruising.

Cheers

David.
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Old 05-03-2008, 05:02 PM   #11
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Getting into the debate a little late, I would say that both arguments have merit. A hard spray hood, or dodger as it is called in many other parts of the world (dodgers here being canvas screens rigged to protect the cockpit from spray coming from the sides), is certainly a great benefit when cruising but it can destroy your little ship's lines.

If I was to construct a hard "dodger" for my boat I would try and make one which is simply bolted on and can be removed without too much inconvenience thus essentially preserving the vessel's lines by not constructing anything which could not be removed.

A hard "dodger" onto which a cockpit tent can be rigged is a great advantage in northern climes.

James Lidstone-Collingwood
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