I've written a lot about what can be done, in terms of options with hard dodgers, in various threads on here. And most of said posts can be found via a custom Google
Search, using the key words; "hard dodger", & my User Name.
Including many, many great features which one can build into them. As you'll commonly find on the single
handed/short handed racing classes
. Especially the French boats.
And admittedly, I went a bit overboard
on explaining such, in the below linked post, but if you peruse it, it'll perhaps give you a better idea of what's possible. Pilothouse Variations -- Boreal
Especially to include things like removable, light weight, composite, solid rear walls. Built from modular, interlocking pieces. With Lexan
windows, & WT composite doors.
For when you're operating in an area with truly crappy weather
conditions. When canvas
& isinglass rear curtains aren't enough.
Too, you can add things like Acrylic
, or Polycarbonate domes to the lids of hard dodgers, which allow you to see everything, both from the companionway
, without going on deck
at all. As well as integrating one into the hard dodger
itself. As detailed by Snowpetrel
here Snowpetrel Sailing: A High Latitude Dodger.
Plus, he addresses how to integrate a lot of subtle, but key
features, to improve comfort onboard. Even in the harshest of climes. Whether your dodger is canvas
, or something more permanent...
Which, he covers, regarding how he built the hard dodger, out of wood & composites, on his steel
boat, in great detail. As well as the canvas one on his prior boat. Including the dodger's critical features, in terms of it's design, & the reasoning behind such.
And when it comes to the design process, you can always have a good yard or boat designer
, create some lines, & a pattern of offsets for you, & then build to them.
Such is something which I've chatted about at length, with Steve Rander, who used to own Schooner Creek Boatworks. A premium, custom yard, in Portland
As that's the technique which they used to build a hard dodger which weighed maybe 50lbs, total, on an 80'er. Out of carbon fiber, foam, & Lexan
. That cost under $1k in materials, including consumables, etc.
So a lot's possible. And it doesn't need be complex, or difficult. As, even using strips of door skins, & a hot glue gun, is often a marvelous tool for quickly, & cheaply, creating a mockup; in a day or a weekend. And some guys actually build their whole dodgers, using essentially this method. Via stitch & glue, plus a bit of laminating, with bending plywood
, & or, composites.