I've sailed many years without a dodger
. for a long time I never thought anything of it. As I got older and comfort in the elements got higher on the scale, a dodger became something to think about. I built a hard one on one boat, as I didn't have the money
to hire someone to build one. I built it our of glass and wood with plexiglass windows. I made it removable to cut windage in case of hurricanes, altho i never needed to do so. I got another boat without one and missed it immensely. Not long after that I got a sewing machine
and a tubing bender and built one. Ahhh.
I noticed that the extra added windage gave me a little more weather helm
, but that was negligible, as I wasn't racing
. and I can fold it down if need be. Yes it does cut down on visibility fwd and I do have to be a little flexible when transiting the companionway
. I have to be a little more active,,,ie...stepping to the side for a view fwd to see the headsail trim or see my path immediately fwd of the boat, in close quarters or stretch a little to see over top. My body thanks me by being a little less stiff. I've had 14 broken bones through my life and the less active I am, the more they let me know which ones were broken.
all the things mentioned above, in previous posts are why I prefer one, also, when at anchor
I can leave the companionway
open in the rain. With the durrades it helps the air flow to keep the cabin
It's your choice and I can only give you my experience. But if you have a partner/crew. they may thank you when they are sitting on watch on a wet night and that would make them more companionable. ;-) A happy crew is a well functioning ship.
PEACE LUV & HAPPINESS