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Old 19-04-2019, 08:11   #16
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Re: Dodger design decisions driving me crazy!

Hrmpf.

I built a custom hard dodger on my boat a decade or so back. I made it with three windows in the front, centre one opens.

I built molds and placed 1/4 acrylic in the mold, put the mold in an oven I built and cooked them . The centre opening section was !/2.

Awsome . simply awsome.

However, a decade later the 1/4 acrylic had crazed and fractured. Not bad, still way better than the statoglass plastic when its new. So, being one to think ahead I had made spares and stored them.

Last year before a southern jaunt I replaced the two 1/4 acrylics. Bugger....within a month I had fractures. Not stress fractures either, all over the place.

So I have to knock up another set of molds while she's on the ground getting prepped for another offshore run.

So the question is; Anybody done this before? I understand there's different standards of acrylic and am thinking my spares may just have been a bad batch. Likely?

At least when I have a set of molds again I can trail and error as much as needed, just be good to get a little expertise or knowledge (more than I have) beforehand.

I can get some pics monday, of the whole dodger as well to add to the link.
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Old 19-04-2019, 08:33   #17
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Re: Dodger design decisions driving me crazy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allied39 View Post
Hrmpf.

I built a custom hard dodger on my boat a decade or so back. I made it with three windows in the front, centre one opens.

I built molds and placed 1/4 acrylic in the mold, put the mold in an oven I built and cooked them . The centre opening section was !/2.

Awsome . simply awsome.

However, a decade later the 1/4 acrylic had crazed and fractured. Not bad, still way better than the statoglass plastic when its new. So, being one to think ahead I had made spares and stored them.

Last year before a southern jaunt I replaced the two 1/4 acrylics. Bugger....within a month I had fractures. Not stress fractures either, all over the place.

So I have to knock up another set of molds while she's on the ground getting prepped for another offshore run.

So the question is; Anybody done this before? I understand there's different standards of acrylic and am thinking my spares may just have been a bad batch. Likely?

At least when I have a set of molds again I can trail and error as much as needed, just be good to get a little expertise or knowledge (more than I have) beforehand.

I can get some pics monday, of the whole dodger as well to add to the link.
If you can use tempered glass you'll eliminate the problems of crazing etc. Of course, this assumes there is no curvature to the glass panels.
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Old 19-04-2019, 08:39   #18
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Re: Dodger design decisions driving me crazy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allied39 View Post
Hrmpf.

I built a custom hard dodger on my boat a decade or so back. I made it with three windows in the front, centre one opens.

I built molds and placed 1/4 acrylic in the mold, put the mold in an oven I built and cooked them . The centre opening section was !/2.

Awsome . simply awsome.

However, a decade later the 1/4 acrylic had crazed and fractured. Not bad, still way better than the statoglass plastic when its new. So, being one to think ahead I had made spares and stored them.

Last year before a southern jaunt I replaced the two 1/4 acrylics. Bugger....within a month I had fractures. Not stress fractures either, all over the place.

So I have to knock up another set of molds while she's on the ground getting prepped for another offshore run.

So the question is; Anybody done this before? I understand there's different standards of acrylic and am thinking my spares may just have been a bad batch. Likely?

At least when I have a set of molds again I can trail and error as much as needed, just be good to get a little expertise or knowledge (more than I have) beforehand.

I can get some pics monday, of the whole dodger as well to add to the link.
They most likely were stress fractures from forming them. When you actually started to use them they simply released quickly because the material had already weakened from time/sitting. There is an annealing process for acrylic to minimize this from happening. Stick to name brand high quality cell cast acrylic for longer lifespan but even good quality acrylic will start to deteriorate in 8-10 years. If they lasted a decade sounds about right.
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Old 22-04-2019, 04:48   #19
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Re: Dodger design decisions driving me crazy!

Seems like a little thing, but I finally made a commitment and drilled the holes to mount my stainless tube dodger frame yesterday. Four little #10 screws (they'll be replaced with #14's) but it is finally underway. Taking it off today to go to the welder to get a rear handrail welded on as I now have the position, etc.


Thinking of talking to a local canvas shop about 1/8" polycarbonate windows mounted in canvas.


I have an old hatch I might put in the top.
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Old 22-04-2019, 17:05   #20
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Re: Dodger design decisions driving me crazy!

This dodger began a little bit like your pic with the ply bent around the fore end of your dodger. I built a mold that way, custom to the boat, perfect fit.

It was a lot of work, but I dont mind doing a lot of work , especially when it turns out as good as this dodger did.

To be honest I have seen maybe 2 or 3 dodgers ever that I feel compare with the quality, fit, function and beauty of mine.

The centre acrylic opens, which is excellent.

Anyhow, just posting these pics for the OP.

I can't for the life of me figure out how to rotate pics on this post, and they seem to rotate 90 deg going from my comp to the post, so I rotated them before moving them. Maybe work....maybe not.
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Old 01-05-2019, 08:55   #21
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Re: Dodger design decisions driving me crazy!

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Originally Posted by sanibel sailor View Post
Bristol 35.5, hoping to do some extended cruising and high on my list is a dodger (sprayhood). I started thinking and planning 3 or 4 years ago and am no closer to a decision. I am paralyzed by too many options. On my old canvas dodgers, I was dissatisfied how the vinyl became wavy and cloudy over time. I also wanted it to be strong and rigid with good handholds sides and rear as well as ability to mount solar panels. I would like hard plastic windows. I have a stainless dodger frame and I built a hardtop to fit it, was thinking about going hybrid, although Iím still a little uncertain how to attach hard windows to it. I had discarded that plan as it proved to be too close to the boom. However my gooseneck broke and the new one relocated boom about six inches higher with plenty of clearance. So now that option is back on the table. Recently I have considered just going with an entirely hard dodger although Iím not sure I want to pay somebody to build it from aluminum nor do I feel like doing a lot of sanding and finish work if I make it myself out of wood/fiberglass/foam core. I lust after the Sundeer/Bougainvillea dodgers. Part of what makes it hard is that my boat has a curved raised spray rail, similar to a Tartan 37. That would make it difficult to do any sort of flat panel construction that would look decent. Just fooling around with a piece of 1/8 inch plywood to get the shape for a hard dodger is a bit challenging. If I go with canvas, I have the material and skills to do it myself. Even thought about a glass windshield like a Hallberg-Rassey. Looked at adapting a used runabout windscreen but wouldnít match the compound curves.

And by the way aesthetics are quite important to me. I would hate to put a ton of time into a hard dodger and have it be ugly. I have patterned the canvas one and it looks ok.

One further minor complication is that my port cabintop winch handle overhangs where the dodger will go. It is not able to be relocated. I plan to use a ratcheting winch handle to deal with it. Spin halyard and reef lines run there. They can also be managed at a mast mounted winch.

Last picture is a Bristol 38.8 dodger that looked good to me.

Hello ...Why you want to make a hard dodger out of canvas? I will try to explain. As the pictures show, pic 1 pic 2 pic 3. Pic one is the same as the Canvas Dodger so is 2 an 3. you have the pattern on the present frame. Take the ply 1/8 okoume cut (or cardboard) cut a pattern inside the original frame (it will help you to fold the pattern) frame as to stay on top of the design splash curve presenthly on the boat. Keep it inside (on top) follow the curves to the side of the boat. an you wont have to worry about the winches as much. Attachment are leather or canvas snaps using the present snaps on the boat. Once you have your pattern for that an in place then draw the windows to view. the frame is laminated as the strenghts comes from making it laminated with the top also. You can design hand holds on port an starbrd sides. Plus it would be removable.
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