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Old 21-02-2010, 19:58   #1
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Is it High for Dodger Cost?

I know it comes with the territory of owning a large cat but - WOW!

What have been your experiences in cost with just fabric to install on a dodger over existing frame? Our frame is 9' x 11' with side curtains on both sides and aft curtain also. Side curtains will be 4' x 9' and aft will be 3' x 11'. Our quote was using Sunbrella Surpreme fabric which added 15% to the total.

We know that we want a dry room to extend our living space and with two kids, we need to be able to use exterior space even in the rain. We are planning on traveling to the South Pacific and would like to have some protection from the sun.

So, is $6,000 about right or is that high in this market. Just asking for opinions.

Will be getting another quote soon.
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Old 22-02-2010, 08:49   #2
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for that amount of money, I'd buy a sweing machine and learn how to sew! Damn, seems a little high to me, I'm thinking, if I don't have to do anything except write the check, maybe around $1000-1500. Maybe I'm just too cheap...
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Old 22-02-2010, 09:19   #3
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On our Seawind 1000 soft top the previous owner had a new bimini, front , and about 1/2 the side done in curtains for $4,500, the top is about 11'x13'. We priced finishing the side curtains and enclosing the back and it came to $2,500.
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Old 22-02-2010, 09:21   #4
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I got a qoute on my bimini top a few years ago. about 8' x 8' at $4000 k from local guy. But there is used to be a guy called indy canvas thats was quoting 9 sf for sunbrella. You need to get dimensions and send to him. He did my interior cushions.

Good luck
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Old 22-02-2010, 09:24   #5
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I was quoted $4500 Canadian for one for my mono. Thats including frame and fabric.
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Old 22-02-2010, 10:36   #6
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Are you folks factoring in the cost of the clear panels, the zippers, panel covers and other hardware? And for those who think sewing your own is the answer, you should rent a machine and try to fabricate one small element of the whole deal. It's much more complex than most folks understand. Learning how to adjust bobbin tension, alone, can drive the beginner to distraction. Hence the great variations in price and quality that one finds. Making something that will be tight, attractive and durable often requires having had experience that resulted in less than these qualities, and having to pay more money to repair the "learning experience". If it were easy, we'd all have home-made sails. Sometimes it's much easier to make money than to learn a new trade or art from scratch.
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Old 22-02-2010, 11:28   #7
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My mother and I made one out of sunbrella for a Bayliner we have...what a bearcat!..sure we didn't have the proper sewing machine but she has 60 years of sewing skills and it was all she could do to figure it out with my help.

It is definitely an art...If I didn't care what it looked like I would do it myself... but if I did No way!...ours looked pretty rough.

If I were you I would try and barter with some one for a portion of the labor...what skills do you have to trade....If your a Lawyer it should be really easy...seems everyone now days has something requiring advice or paper preparation rather its wills or probate or whatever...same with computer skills.

Im always asking now if people need Septic/Sewer or excavation work of any thing done when Im getting quotes on things...I Knocked 1500.00 off my yard bill by removing 100 cy of soil from their parking lot to the owners house 8 miles away.
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Old 22-02-2010, 11:47   #8
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Roy has it about right..
you've got to figure the stuff you dont see.. Figure in the running yardage for the sunbrella.. sells for about 20 dollars a yard figure in shipping.. we charge around 34 per yard which included re-inforcement on the zippers and the binding.. dont forget the thread.. the zippers.. figure in 3 per pannel at around 12 to 15 each..
And now the glass.. what ever you figured in yardage, figure it again in glass... strada glass cost me around 140 per sheet.. 54 x 100.. or 8 feet..
I would almost guess that your top has 1800 to 2000 in materials alone, not counting the frame.. that would be another 5 to 8 hundred..
Then you put it together..
Each pannel will take about 2 to three hours to build, installing to glass and zippers, and re-inforcement.. and every pannel is fitted to the boat..
2 pannels in the front, two in the side, 3 in the back and another 4 to 6 hours to build the top.. 9 pannels at three hours each..27 hours plus the top at 6..
So I figure 2640 for labor and 2000 for material........YEP.. sounds like 4650 is a good round number.. and thats my labor rate at 80 per hour without any special additions.... all the extras count in hours.... and I'm only 1340 off the 6000..
Without seeing the project.......
By the way.....we do own a canvas shop so we kinda know the costs involved.....
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Old 22-02-2010, 12:15   #9
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Calculate the area and materials. Price these. Price the work-hours. Add 50% on top of the sum of materials and workmanship. If the 6k is much higher than the figure you got, you are being cheated.

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Old 22-02-2010, 12:24   #10
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Old 22-02-2010, 12:41   #11
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Quote:
My mother and I made one out of sunbrella for a Bayliner we have...what a bearcat!..sure we didn't have the proper sewing machine but she has 60 years of sewing skills and it was all she could do to figure it out with my help.
I know a good friend that sews and said the same thing. She got it close but it was just to sell the boat. Making dodgers is the hardest sewing job on a boat. You need to bury as many seams as possible to minimize leaks and UV damage. The quality of the materials matters. Good Strataglass on a dodger is worth it even if not for a full enclosure. Getting it perfectly tight and strong enough to take a beating is not easy. You are sewing in three dimensions and nothing is flat. Designing it so it's easy to step up and out with just the right angles comes form experience.

The person that made ours said it this way. "When I first learned to make dodgers I eventually got them down to 24 hours of labor and then I learned how to do them properly and it now takes 40 hours." There is far more to it than sewing. There are a million ways to do the job cheaper or quicker. None of them leads to a good dodger let alone a quality one. Everyone that cruises needs a first class dodger. I would add a full enclosure and a full awning too.

You want a dodger that you can go into serious weather with waves crashing over the bow. You need to count on being protected as well as hold up to the punishment of UV and salt. A poor home made dodger won't last more than a few waves.
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Old 22-02-2010, 12:51   #12
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How much is the cost diffrence between a fabric dodger, and the "hard" version of the same?

$6000 buys quite a bit of fiberglass work, but...
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Old 23-02-2010, 07:03   #13
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Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
... "When I first learned to make dodgers I eventually got them down to 24 hours of labor and then I learned how to do them properly and it now takes 40 hours." ...
... There are a million ways to do the job cheaper or quicker. None of them leads to a good (sic: anything) ...
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Old 23-02-2010, 07:21   #14
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"How much is the cost diffrence between a fabric dodger, and the "hard" version of the same?

$6000 buys quite a bit of fiberglass work, but... "

Funny you should ask. My winter project is to build a fiberglass Bimini to replace the fabric one. Why? I want to put solar panels on top, I want to be able to see the main sail shape and I want to enclose cockpit so I can be high and dry. So I am almost done (51%). I used 3/4 polyisocyanate core foam and mostly 8 oz fabric.

So I have most of my material.
foam $180.00
Fiberglass $300.00
Resin 8 gal at About $60/gal or $480.00
Large hatch window in top 12 * 24 $100.00
I still need side windows (plastic) and front glass windows.

Labor so far about 40 hrs and probably 40 hrs to go.

I will include pictures at a later date.
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Old 23-02-2010, 07:47   #15
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In this little part of the world our "economics" has traditionally worked a bit differently from elsewhere, high cost and full employment = folk both not cheap and also somewhat fussy about what they will do. Like elsewhere though a bit of movement on both those scores in recent times............

How that translates into Sprayhoods (Dodgers) is that a) very expensive and b) a couple of the firms (really 1 man bands) not wanting to do them at all, or begrudgingly.

I was kinda puzzled why this would be (especially as on the face of it good money involved)........but it seems to boil down to that Sprayhoods (Dodgers) are simply a royal PITA, involve leaving the workshop too much (someone has to pay for the travelling time) which could otherwise be spent more productively, take a lot of time (that excludes other jobs) and they can easily involve more work than anticipated (someone has to pay for that)......with the kicker being that no punters ever saying "that's really good value", rather the opposite because the work / skill / time involved is never as apparent as the large sum on the bill.

Possibly an opportunity for someone to sail into these waters every year for a couple of months.........(bit of paperwork involved though, but quite happy to p/ex some help on that..........for a canopy ).
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