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Old 31-12-2012, 00:46   #1
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hard dodger vs "outside steering"

I've been browsing sailboats and like the external lines of some sailboats with hard dodgers. Sure it's nice, but is it nice to steer "outside". I understand it'd be dryer inside, but I had a thought it might feel enclosed. What do you all think?

The boat I was looking at was a 47' Alden Islander
http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...url=&imc=pg-fs

If any of you know of this boat or kind or others like it
View Boat Photos - YachtWorld.com
this is another one I came across. Not too sure about the no in water survey. That'd be a tough one.

And finally another
http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...url=&imc=pg-fs

I'm not absolutely sure I'll be buying a sail over power as in my previous post questions about rigging etc.

Thanks
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Old 05-01-2013, 18:19   #2
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Re: hard dodger vs "outside steering"

Quote:
Originally Posted by fastinated View Post
I've been browsing sailboats and like the external lines of some sailboats with hard dodgers. Sure it's nice, but is it nice to steer "outside". I understand it'd be dryer inside, but I had a thought it might feel enclosed. What do you all think?

The boat I was looking at was a 47' Alden Islander
http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...url=&imc=pg-fs

If any of you know of this boat or kind or others like it
View Boat Photos - YachtWorld.com
this is another one I came across. Not too sure about the no in water survey. That'd be a tough one.

And finally another
http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...url=&imc=pg-fs

I'm not absolutely sure I'll be buying a sail over power as in my previous post questions about rigging etc.

Thanks
I don't think it is a "vs." argument. You can have both. A hard dodger to tuck up under in poor weather when on watch offshore when you will be letting the vane ot the autopilot steer anyway, or move to the back of the cockpit to the wheel or the stick when you want to hand steer and have the "freedom" of being outside in the cockpit.

We are ditching the canvas dodger and designing and fabricating a (removable) hard dodger for those very reasons.

Todd
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Old 05-01-2013, 18:35   #3
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Re: hard dodger vs "outside steering"

That freedom gets old quick on rainy windy nites. For daysailing I might like to be outside, at nights especially when solo I like to be warm and dry. I prefer to have wind when I sail and spend much more time underway in small craft warning conditions than light breezes.
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Old 05-01-2013, 19:36   #4
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Re: hard dodger vs "outside steering"

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Originally Posted by forsailbyowner View Post
That freedom gets old quick on rainy windy nites. For daysailing I might like to be outside, at nights especially when solo I like to be warm and dry. I prefer to have wind when I sail and spend much more time underway in small craft warning conditions than light breezes.
Well, the title of your post here being hard dodger vs outside steering, that is what I was referring to in the context of my reply.

Seems like what you are referring to in your reply is a pilot house, so you might want to compare those two structures.

On sailboats lots of folks like us and Beth and Evans and Morgans Cloud use variants of hard dodgers in very extreme conditions due to the flexibilty that option affords and of course many others opt for a boat with a purpose built pilot house.

Todd
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Old 05-01-2013, 19:47   #5
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Re: hard dodger vs "outside steering"

I've had both. I think it depends a lot on the boat and how you like to use it.

Pluses (compared to soft)

* Nice in the sun. Hard tops can be well insulated and thus are cooler than fabric.

* Good access to the boom.

* A little better for solar panels. Better for mounting lights etc.

* Expensive, but permanent (replace windows, though).

* A better basis for an enclosure.

Minuses

* Not removable.

* Heavier.

---

I like the one I have now, but my last boat was better open.
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Old 05-01-2013, 20:08   #6
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Re: hard dodger vs "outside steering"

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Originally Posted by SVTwilight View Post
Well, the title of your post here being hard dodger vs outside steering, that is what I was referring to in the context of my reply.

Seems like what you are referring to in your reply is a pilot house, so you might want to compare those two structures.

On sailboats lots of folks like us and Beth and Evans and Morgans Cloud use variants of hard dodgers in very extreme conditions due to the flexibilty that option affords and of course many others opt for a boat with a purpose built pilot house.

Todd
My bad. Ill blame it on mind drift
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Old 05-01-2013, 20:24   #7
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Re: hard dodger vs "outside steering"

We like being able to drop the soft top at night and watch the stars & milky way. That said, the only place we could mount solar panels is over the cockpit. (ketch). Just be sure there is a window to view your windex. Old racer stuff dies hard.
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Old 05-01-2013, 20:30   #8
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Re: hard dodger vs "outside steering"

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Originally Posted by forsailbyowner View Post
My bad. Ill blame it on mind drift
I enjoy a good mind drift myself now and then.

Having spent plenty of time plenty of time wet, cold and miserable in boats, I can also appreciate your goal of avoiding same.
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Old 05-01-2013, 20:41   #9
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Re: hard dodger vs "outside steering"

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
I've had both. I think it depends a lot on the boat and how you like to use it.

Pluses (compared to soft)

* Nice in the sun. Hard tops can be well insulated and thus are cooler than fabric.

* Good access to the boom.

* A little better for solar panels. Better for mounting lights etc.

* Expensive, but permanent (replace windows, though).

* A better basis for an enclosure.

Minuses

* Not removable.

* Heavier.

---

I like the one I have now, but my last boat was better open.
TW-

Good points. Just what at are you using for windows? I am still trying to nail that down. I am designing a removable HD so I can stow it if I want to enjoy conviviality with the heavens. But really more so that I can remove the top if I need to pull the engine or remove the entire thing should I need to truck it.
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Old 05-01-2013, 20:59   #10
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Re: hard dodger vs "outside steering"

My previous boat had a bimini which could not be dropped without major disassembly. I hated that. For me, sailing is an outdoor activity. With good clothing it can be comfortable in even sub-freezing temps. That being said, a hard windshield with a generous sized dodger (not necessarily hard) gives you a place of refuge when you feel like getting out of the rain. If you have instruments there and a remote pilot control, you can do most of your helming from there when you feel like it.

I personally don't like hard dodgers because in really nice weather you really might want to lose the dodger. Experience on my previous boat taught me that anything which gets between you and nature on a boat when you don't want it there is very irritating.
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:51   #11
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How about the best of both worlds, a hard dodger with an outside helm position. But in bad weather a hood can be pulled out of the dodger to protect the helm position. For really bad weather additional attachments enclose the helm position creating a pilot house. Look at Amels, particularly the supermaramu.
Regards Joe
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:59   #12
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Re: hard dodger vs "outside steering"

Our boat came with a fabric dodger and before we left on this trip we installed a hard dodger on a stainless steel frame. Our canvas guy made us removable polycarbonate windows which have been fantastic.

I guess it comes down to what kind of sailing you're doing but if it includes blue water passage making or any high-latitude cruising, I would highly recommend a hard dodger.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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