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Old 01-11-2016, 11:59   #1
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Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

REASON FOR THIS THREAD?

I am starting this thread because I happen to like to see well made Hard Dodgers on boats. I consider them a valuable addition to a cruising boat. The focus of the thread is on HARD Dodgers because they are more uncommon and pose additional cost and consideration ("How will it look?").

A dodger is one of the most highly suggested additions to a cruising boat. While some racing and purist day sailors will dismiss or discourage them because they affect the appearance of a boat, I think their practicality is undeniable. Some of my favorite cruising boats have hard dodgers.

My Point of View or Experience?
I am no boat expert, and I have not built or bought a Hard Dodger, but I do have experience that influences my Point of View.

I know from personal experience while on a long passage offshore (2,500 miles nonstop) it is nice to have some shelter from the spray that comes from the bow or crosses the cockpit. I spent many hours with hard driven cold spray and rain in my face to appreciate that a dodger would make my time at the helm or on watch much less unpleasant. One night at the helm, as the salt spray was stinging my eyes and the rain felt like needles in the face (due to high winds) I wished the boat I was on had a dodger behind which I could shelter while on watch. It was at that moment I decided I really wanted one on my future boat. Harsh experiences or unpleasant hours doing something tend to make that kind of impression.

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This will be an ONGOING Thread:

I intend to add many examples of hard dodgers to this thread as I come across them while researching boats. I have many examples in my files, and as I have time I will add them to this thread so it can become a good "Illustrated Guide" and I hope it will be a good contribution to CF and useful to members now and in the future.

I also encourage any CF Members to participate by adding photos and descriptions of your own Hard Dodgers too. In particular, mention the boat you have it on, whether it was a custom build, or if you bought a kit or fabricated it yourself. Include recommended changes or tips. Include your estimated total cost. Feel free to add your opinions on your own dodger and its success or usefulness and value to you. Please post a PHOTO of your HARD dodger, if you have one so members can see their style and appearance on your model of boat.
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Hard or Soft Dodger?

I think a HARD dodger has some advantages over a SOFT dodger. A few I think important are:

1. A HARD dodger can have tempered or laminated GLASS window panels that are less likely to be scratched and may provide a clear view forward for many years. This means the viewing forward can be clearer, compared to many soft dodgers that use soft vinyl. In addition, I have noticed that most HARD dodgers have more clear viewing area, while many SOFT dodger have large sections of solid canvas, which can block the helmsmans view forward. I consider maximum visibility (clear sighting) to be important and prefer that. Some Soft dodgers use all vinyl or all clear panels, but they seem rare.

2. The HARD dodger structure can include secure handholds (for leaving the cockpit in transition to the side decks), ports for viewing the sails above the dodger, and a more protective structure for the crew to shelter behind when facing green water over the bow or sides. Some dodgers also include solar panels (though they can be added above some soft dodgers too).

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What about a SOFT Dodger?

Many boats have a soft dodger made of canvas and some clear vinyl. Those are ubiquitous and also useful. The advantage they offer is that the dodger can usually be folded down when not needed. It is also a more "temporary" addition to the boat. Some sailors don't want ANY dodger affecting the appearance of their boats lines.

In short, if I could not afford to add a HARD dodger, I would add a SOFT dodger.

The shortcoming of the SOFT dodger is that it is soft and made of materials that do not last long. The canvas is subject to UV damage and may need to be replaced after a few years. The stainless steel frames may be damaged over time and may not survive a breaking wave. The soft clear vinyl window panels may become scratched or hazed due to abuse, use, or sun damage or age. Some older SOFT dodgers have clear panels that are difficult to see through due to hazing or discoloration (due to age and UV damage).

I will post a few examples of SOFT dodgers too. Some are unusual and noteworthy.

There can also be a HYBRID dodger that has a HARD top and soft sides. I will post some examples of those too.
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Finally, I hope you find this thread interesting and helpful, and I already know it will take hours of work to get it where I expect it to be. I am confident that over the next few months you will see it populated with many examples and opinions. I hope you will subscribe to it because it will take some time to upload all of the photos and examples I will be adding. If you subscribe, you will see those new examples as they are added.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:10   #2
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re: Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

Example #1 SVERIGE

Boat = Bristol 40 Yawl 1970

Hard Dodger
Custom Build

This boat SVERIGE has a hard dodger. I asked the owner about that dodger and how much it cost to fabricate or purchase. Here is his reply:

SVERIGE Owner:
"It took me 80hrs. A Trojan 32ft fish boat with a fly bridge. Used cored flybridge deck and about 20ft hull plate midships. It's solid composite with green Solex Laminated windows. And a good attatude to get it right. If you have a 40 Bristol this would fit it. All custom cutty's need to flow with the lines of your boat.

Priced around 8K for labor, 4k materials, 6 hundred for glass, stainless handrails 12 hundred, 13.9K. Not including hatch, lights, solar panels."
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STEADY NOTES:
1. I am adding a few photos of other Bristol 40s of the same age which have SOFT dodgers on them so you can compare the different styles on the same model boat.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:18   #3
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re: Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

Steady, we have a soft sprayhood (UK name, dodgers go on the sides of the cockpit) and in 8 years we have sailed twice with it down. Oh and as its 8 years old we have just spent 100 ($130) having it re-stitched. Given the choice of sailing at 50 North then a hard dodger has some merit and under consideration.

I like this one from Sabbatical II

Soft Dodger or Hard Dodger - Pros / Cons

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Old 01-11-2016, 12:25   #4
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re: Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

I knew it! As soon as I saw that Bristol you posted with the unusual hard dodger I figured that was the genesis of this thread! Got you figured out Steady.. but keep up the good work... I started thinking about how I'd design my own hard dodger after looking at that Bristol!
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:26   #5
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re: Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

I don't think anyone would argue that a hard dodger is not preferable if there is not the occasion (usually racing) where you want your dodger off. In addition to the advantages already mentioned, you can install all manner of hardware in one, from lights to instruments, etc.

I know a few people who have made their own and it's not at all difficult. Make a plywood mold, using luan, and lay it up. Stainless tubing for supports and you at least have your roof. You can get as extensive and fancy as you like.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:31   #6
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re: Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
I don't think anyone would argue that a hard dodger is not preferable if there is not the occasion (usually racing) where you want your dodger off. In addition to the advantages already mentioned, you can install all manner of hardware in one, from lights to instruments, etc.

I know a few people who have made their own and it's not at all difficult. Make a plywood mold, using luan, and lay it up. Stainless tubing for supports and you at least have your roof. You can get as extensive and fancy as you like.
Good points. Thanks.

I know DELMARREY built a nice one for his Choate 40 UGLY DUCKLING, and I hope he will post some photos and a link to his DIY pages that show his build. I will ask him.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:33   #7
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re: Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
I knew it! As soon as I saw that Bristol you posted with the unusual hard dodger I figured that was the genesis of this thread! Got you figured out Steady.. but keep up the good work... I started thinking about how I'd design my own hard dodger after looking at that Bristol!


I have been collecting the material for this thread topic for a year, but today's post was still on my iPad memory so easy to start with those images and text.

Much more to come in the next few months!
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:36   #8
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re: Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete7 View Post
Steady, we have a soft sprayhood (UK name, dodgers go on the sides of the cockpit) and in 8 years we have sailed twice with it down. Oh and as its 8 years old we have just spent 100 ($130) having it re-stitched. Given the choice of sailing at 50 North then a hard dodger has some merit and under consideration.

I like this one:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_F8TF6n1HS7...P1010048-1.JPG

G_Fr0GN6xUM/s1600/P1010048-1.JPG"]
Howdy Pete!
Thanks for adding your comment. And for adding that nice Hard spray screen too!


I was not aware of the term difference. Good to know. I would edit my OPening post if I could but the time outs get me. Maybe later.

I have another thread idea related to U.K. Boats I will remember to pass some stuff by you first.
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Old 01-11-2016, 13:15   #9
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Re: Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

I realy love the Hard Dodgers as designed by Van de Stadt for their 34, last pic is what a PO made out of mine. Maybe in a later stage i will replace it by the "original".
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Old 01-11-2016, 13:30   #10
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Re: Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

This year I first want to try to give the Dodger more appeal by painting the window frame black as in the following photo shop impression.
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Old 01-11-2016, 13:47   #11
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Re: Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

http://snowpetrelsailing.blogspot.co...de-dodger.html



The dome on the top is very handy.



My eyes are still watering from that Bristol 40 dodger you posted steady!
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Old 01-11-2016, 14:03   #12
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Re: Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

Good posts everybody!

SNOWPETREL, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

For example, I have always thought a Bubble Hatch or clear dome would be on my own future boat. Seeing one on your Hard Spray Hood/Dodger shows another good location. I like that, as I imagine it serves the purpose of looking at the sails above, but also without having to expose ones face over the top of the dodger. Cool!

I reallly like your boat. And more importantly, what you do with her and where you have gone with her.
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Old 01-11-2016, 14:08   #13
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Re: Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tricolor View Post
This year I first want to try to give the Dodger more appeal by painting the window frame black as in the following photo shop impression.
Looks good either way to me.

Thanks for addding to the discusssion with some photos.

The smoke glass and dark frame may look more modern and appealing.

But, I am not decided on clear, tinted, or dark tinted glass. My gut says to go clear for better vision at night, depending upon polarized sunglassses for day. So, I am inclined to stay clear on the windscreen glass.
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Old 01-11-2016, 14:51   #14
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Re: Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

^^ Steady, I guess the first big decision is if its going to be if its a "look through" or a "see over" dodger. If its a look through then clear glass windows are pretty important for night time visibility. With a "see over" dodger visibility through the windows is less important. I used 4mm smoked perspex on my low dodger.

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Old 01-11-2016, 15:26   #15
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Re: Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

The PO of my boat added the hard dodger which was a very attractive feature to me. The center windscreen window opens to permit very good airflow in warm weather.
The only issue I find that is a drawback is the limiting of line of site for close quarters maneuvering, although it's really the loss of visuals below the bow that is problematic not really the presence or height of the dodger. I agree completely about using clear glass for night use.
The combination of bimini and dodger allows me to be a mostly fair weather sailor even when the weather doesn't co-operate.
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