It would be nice if your dodger
can be quickly easily removed or folded away.
We have what I consider to be the best situation: a low charthouse that acts as a pilothouse where we can steer inside out of sun and rain and cold, as well as a nice big aft cockpit
with clear views of the rig and all around should we want to be outside in the elements. Most the sailing we do on the west coast
tends to be in harsher weather
that one really wants an enclosed cockpit
or a pilothouse for. Since I don't like the way enclosures look (yes, I'm one of those folks who really doesn't like the canvas
add-ons whether dodgers, biminis or full enclosures) we made sure to purchase
a vessel with the ability to have the inside steering
station. We knew we were going to sail in high latitudes so that was best for us.
I don't know how many times I've sat anchor
watch--or watch while underway--in the comfort of the charthouse and been so happy with this situation.
Our charthouse has a traditional sliding hatch
that I briefly thought would need a dodger
but after using the boat in some pretty nasty weather
I can say the only time the inside ever got wet was when the wind
was from directly astern at 60 kts and the rain was pelting horizontally strait into the companionway
door when it was open. A dodger wouldn't have helped matters. And that was a strange situation -- we were steering
from the outside station rather than inside because we were heading into an anchorage (before the winds really rose up that is) with both of us on deck
ready to anchor
. We decided anchoring
in 60 kts wasn't wise so turned back out to sea and upon the retreat to the inside steering, in the few minutes the companionway
was open, the water
just flew inside.
Onto dodgers -- the only ones I find acceptable are those which are easily folded down and stowed away.
This time lapse of a cold overcast day in Glacier Bay National Park (Alaska) shows that we spend a lot of time steering using the INSIDE station. A day in the life...time lapse videos - Sailing Mahdee
Sometimes that outside steering is wet or cold or not so nice without a dodger. Dry Me and Soggy David - Sailing Mahdee