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Old 05-10-2013, 16:10   #1
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Best Material For Dodgers?

not sure if this is the right forum but, I'm pretty handy with a sewing machine, am looking for recommendations on best material to make dodgers. Price is a consideration, waterproof/non waterproof (non waterproof for sail covers) Sunlight resistance (australia = high sun exposure) any recommendations on suppliers in sydney would also be helpful.
cheers, Charlie.
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Old 05-10-2013, 16:12   #2
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Re: Best Material For Dodgers?

Always used Sunbrella, but next time it will be Stamoid, sewn with Tenara.
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Old 05-10-2013, 16:17   #3
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One thing I found with stamoid is it doesn't breath like sunbrella. I get more condensation on the underside then I did with sunbrella otherwise its fine. Time will tell if using the expensive thread Tenara and stamoid pays off.
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Old 05-10-2013, 17:12   #4
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Re: Best Material For Dodgers?

WeatherMax
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Old 05-10-2013, 17:22   #5
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Re: Best Material For Dodgers?

Another vote for Stamoid. We are just restiching a 10 year old dodger and bimini made of Stamoid.
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Old 05-10-2013, 17:47   #6
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Re: Best Material For Dodgers?

Stamoid is good stuff in many ways, but because of its lack of bias stretch it is troublesome for the amateur to fit well. Add the difficulties found in using the slippery Tenara thread and you have an advanced project for a non-pro. IF successful, it should last very well indeed, so good luck.

Cheers,

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Old 05-10-2013, 20:19   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Stamoid is good stuff in many ways, but because of its lack of bias stretch it is troublesome for the amateur to fit well. Add the difficulties found in using the slippery Tenara thread and you have an advanced project for a non-pro. IF successful, it should last very well indeed, so good luck. Cheers, Jim
Agree,
I did mine with Tenara and stamoid on board skills with old singer machine. Looks pretty good but more difficult then past materials. Not sure that its worth not using sunbrella.
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Old 05-10-2013, 21:16   #8
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Re: Best Material For Dodgers?

Aluminum or carbon fiber
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Old 05-10-2013, 23:15   #9
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Re: Best Material For Dodgers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul L View Post
Another vote for Stamoid. We are just restiching a 10 year old dodger and bimini made of Stamoid.
I agree…a good vinyl will outlast Sunbrella materials for many years.

As we all know, it is the “thread” that becomes the weak link.
It fails and repeated stitching weakens the material.

That is why I don’t understand why those who chose vinyl, do not weld it together to avoid the threads?

That is what I did here in Subic with a company PacTec that has all the vinyl welding equipment.
The only stitching is where we sewed Velcro on sides to attach shade cloths and to wrap stainless pipe.

My Bimini cover is now 4 years old, and has gone thru a few typhoons with no damages and I can stand on the material without worry.
These photos were taken when very dirty, but later it cleaned up like new.
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Old 06-10-2013, 09:22   #10
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Re: Best Material For Dodgers?

Another point: Sunbrella is very resistant to UV damage, and that's a good feature indeed... for covers and so on. But, it has very poor chafe resistance and its waterproofing only lasts a year or two. Those drawbacks, for us, have ruled it out for dodgers.

We built one Sunbrella dodger on Insatiable I, quite some years ago. It was a bugger of a project, and never quite satisfied us as to fit, appearance or adequacy of shelter. Recognizing our limitations, all further dodgers have been built by professionals, and even these experienced chaps don't always get it right! All these have been constructed from what is called "PVC hooding material" in Oz. It is the sort of stuff that convertible tops are made from, a sturdy textile scrim base with PVC impregnated into it for waterproofing. Seems to last about 8 to 10 years in severe UV conditions... gradually shrinks a tiny bit and becomes stiff. The Tenara stitching outlasts the cloth, and is well worth the extra cost.

The big failing point in our usage has been in the material used for the "clears". Again the good stuff is expensive, but in our opinion (honed by several cheaper failures) worth doing right from the start.

A good dodger is such an important feature in a cruising boat -- I hope that you get it done well!

Cheers,

Jim

PS: I agree with Evans... a hard dodger, whatever it is made from, is better than any "soft" one. The sad thing is that far too many of them look like sawed-off telephone booths, spoiling the appearance of otherwise pretty boats. It is possible to avoid that downfall if one exercises some restraint in the height of the structure, and gets the slope of the forward panels right. I think that Van de Stadt (the designers of Evans' Hawk) do a very good job of this, BTW.
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Old 06-10-2013, 10:30   #11
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Re: Best Material For Dodgers?

This 2011 Marine Fabric Specifier's Guide from the Marine Fabricators Association shows all the important characteristics of marine fabric in tabular form.

They also have a handy 2013 Time Standards Manual that lists standard time for each project.

The PTFE thread is the best / only option to prevent the thread from disintegrating from sun exposure.

My selection was for Sunbrella Supreme w/ Captain Navy color on the exterior and Linen color on the interior. The linen interior color aids w/ decreasing radiated heat transfer to occupants, as compared to the darker interior colors. It is also nicer at night, making the boat not as dark. The Sunbrella Supreme is waterproof. This fabric has flocking on the interior, that I needed for the exterior sunshade panels that contact the Strataglass during dockage times.

Here is my enclosure.
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Old 06-10-2013, 18:03   #12
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I made our dodger with regular sunbrella, strataglass clear and solarfix ptfe thread. I also had the frames made with plenty of curve. one of the most common reasons for sunbrella leaking is water pooling. after 3.5 years its still good as new except for the stratglass is getting murky. I've made about 50+ dodger. always reinforced with pvc on the inside and used 25mm polyester webbing as binding. The first ones i made are wearing out now after 10 years. used swella, seapatrol and sunbrella. was one of my least favorite jobs but could patten in the morning and have it fitted late afternoon so the money was good..
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Old 06-10-2013, 19:15   #13
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Re: Best Material For Dodgers?

Kenomac mentioned Weather-Max.

I like it, too. It is very easy to work with. It is more chafe resistant than sunbrella. Next time my choice for weather cloths will be based on the cost of the fabric involved. The W-M has lasted quite well so far. But for a dodger, I'd have it constructed from Stamoid (if you can't fit a suitable hard dodger), using ptfe thread. The thread means you'll never have to re-stitch it. Yes!

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Old 07-10-2013, 00:30   #14
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Re: Best Material For Dodgers?

Uhmmm...Hard dodger?
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Old 07-10-2013, 07:46   #15
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Re: Best Material For Dodgers?

We have a Stamoid dodger and bimini... Can't beat the durability and it is completely water proof.

The problem we had in the tropics was mildew... Although it does clean off with a mild solution of bleach and water... leaving no stains.
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