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Old 05-10-2008, 18:09   #16
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What might I expect to pay for a newly constructed dodger???
An interesting conversation with the person that last built ours as a rebuild for the dodger that died from UV over a long period of time. She said when she started the business she could build a dodger in 24 hours of labor. That is the actual time working the machine and no time fitting and running around. After a while she learned the proper way to build a dodger and it now takes 40 hours. You can get as cheap a dodger as you like. The trick is to bury as many seams as possible. A poor job costs less than a good job and the folks doing the cheap job don't understand what the difference is.

The key is to look at samples of the work. Talk to people and see how they approach the job. All this falls into the profession of "industrial fabrication". Most of the better people charge more and have a waiting list. Right now is the best time to shop for someone to do the job over the winter. Spring is for suckers as that is the peak of job demands and they have already booked the work for most of the coming season. It's a time to raise prices and make the customers wait.

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Old 05-10-2008, 19:55   #17
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Old Dodger:

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Old 05-10-2008, 20:00   #18
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Yeah! I know what you mean by quality of work. This is why I assumed it would probably cost around $5K. I also want a frame that holds up well. My parents had an upholstery shop when I was a young'n and some of that knowledge has been passed onto me. I still have some of the old tools.

Thanks for the info on the thread and fabrics! I'll do some research on the stuff.

The prospective canvas maker has been in business for 30 years and is well known in this marina. So, hopefully, he'll know his stufff!
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:34   #19
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Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
The snap on cover at first sounds like a good idea and is encouraged by the canvas shops because they get a little extra but it in fact scratches the glass and causes about as much damage as leaving it open.
Protecting the glass is not the only reason for covers. That was third down on the list of reasons for us, and I understand how they can damage the glass because they start flapping over 25 knots of wind.

Our primary reason was that we have a lexan/acrylic (not sure which) hatch that is dark and bows when it gets hot in the direct FL summer sun, and can't be opened more than halfway.(sanding it down didn't help) The covers solved that problem for us.

The other reason is privacy, not a big deal at anchor, but you surely understand that feeling in some marinas of being in a fishbowl while all the spectators wander by and stare at the yachties on the boats.
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Old 06-10-2008, 09:57   #20
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My dodger cost $1200 17 years ago. This surprises me for 2 reasons. First, that it seems prices haven't gone up all that much in such a long time. Second, that the thing has lasted so long! It is black sunbrella with vinyl windows. I have done some resewing in the past along the edges where I run my grimy hands (a handrail is worth the extra money) and had the whole thing resewn a few years ago. The sunbrella is still in decent shape but the windows are finally starting to cloud beyound my ability to polish them back to clarity. They are covered but the windows on the side of the boat that faces the sun are starting to yellow. In terms of dollars for value this has been the best investment I ever made.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:13   #21
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Since you are in the PNW, I'd suggest you call Iversons Design. He has a fantastic eye for what makes a good looking dodger on an individual boat. Construction is top notch, with plenty of off-shore options, such as 1 1/4 tubing, side and aft grab rails, thicker glass, covers, etc. You can call them and get a base price over the phone, including a fixed number for each option. They do very good work and are usually booked 6-months out. web site is

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Old 06-10-2008, 10:24   #22
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As far as I'm concerned...

As a consultant to a very, very high end canvas maker here in Maine I can assure you there is only ONE company in Washington State that would even be allowed to set foot on my boat to build a dodger.

There is no better dodger maker on the West Coast IMHO than Iverson's:

Iverson's Canvas/Dodgers (LINK)

As someone in the know I can assure you these guys actually know what they are doing and they do it right (less than 5% do). Building a dodger is not a skill it's an art and you either pay now or pay later...

I strongly suggest Staimoid for the dodger & bimini but NEVER have someone build out of Stamoid who does not have a clue it is extremely unforgiving and needs to be within 1/8" from pattern to final product to achieve a proper fit..
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:36   #23
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There are dodgers and there are dodgers. My boat has one made by a famous canvas company out of the LI area. It's a POS. 1. The frame is held upright by the Sunbrella fabric. Not very stable and sags when it gets wet. The frame for a dodger should be self supporting. That will make it harder to fold down out of the way but most people never take down their dodger so who cares. 2. There is no arch in the tubing as it goes athwartship. The resulting flat area on top makes a great pond that drips water down the companionway while at anchor or in the marina. 3. There are no hand holds, possibly because of the rickety nature of the dodger which makes grabbing hold of it an adventure. Without handholds, areas that you'd normally grab get grungy and wear from hands. Added leather to these areas which helps keeping the appearance up but does nothing for poor stability.

I did a little checking around the SF Bay area. It looks like $2500 plus for a well made dodger. Make sure you know what you are getting for the price.

Peter O.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:46   #24
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The doger bimimi combo is very nice. Include the zip out filler in between for rainy days and to keep the water/condensation out of the cabin at anchor. I had a new dodger made in Annapolis for an existing frame for $600. They did a nice , basic job. You can spend a lot of money and get leather trim etc and those are real nice, but not really necessary. You will want stainless 1" tubing and quality stainless fittings. I would avoid window covers, not worth the trouble and can scratch the glass if left on too long. My guess would be for a good dodger/bimini combo you are right...$5k range. For leather trim etc probably more. I notice you are in Puget Sound, Schautthauer Sails in Ballard made me a set once and they were a real work of art, although expensive. Kinda like their sails, grey leather trim etc. These are the guys who will NOT use a pressed in cringle on your sails and insist in hand sewn.
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Old 06-10-2008, 10:54   #25
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I just noticed that Iverson Dodger picture and the Schautthauers is similar to a lesser degree. One thought though. I had the grab bars on two of my dodgers, if you feel you really need them, that is one thing, however they complicate folding, and decrease upper body room on a narrow deck space. Personally, I think folding a dodger is not something to worry about as long as you can strip the canvas from the frame in 15-20 minutes when you store the boat or the big blow is coming....
Basically the Sunbrella is expendable eventually, so you have to ask yourself if it's worth paying for all that beautiful work or not.
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Old 06-10-2008, 11:14   #26
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Earlier in this thread someone suggested not using Sunbrella to cover the windows for UV protection. I just contacted Sailrite and they suggested using the Sunbrella supreme which is supposed to have a softer back to it. Anybody tried this yet?
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Old 04-07-2011, 13:03   #27
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Re: Cost of a Dodger?

Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
I've looked at both soft and hard dodgers. I am about to start this project myself. I have decided to go with a hard dodger. I once took a square wave off Oahu that creamed the soft dodger. I ducked. I want something more substantial now. Being able to stand on top of it is another benefit. I've looked at many designs in my quest for my ultimate windshield. Mine will be constructed of two layers of Baltic birch plywood, to provide rigidity, the first piece, 1/4" thick, forms an inner lip to support the clear acrylic panes, the second is 3/8" to match the thickness of the acrylic and give the needed strength for the area of the panes. There will be a 1/4" finishing rim around the perimeter of the pane to protect the sealant from UV (even though I'm using 3M 4000). The vertical faces will be flat slabs, the main cover will be 2 layers of 1/4" ply, curved athwartships. The entire unit should weigh, I estimate, under 50 pounds, including the foam coamings. I will include small inspection plates in the coamings to allow air to flow in from forward, when weather requires it, and an opening hatch in the overhead to allow even better draft. It seems massive in design, but allows me full protection in the center cockpit, almost like a pilot house, only shorter in length. I'll send pics when I have something to show.
Hi Roy.
Just wondering how your dodger worked out and if you have any pictures you could share?
I'd be interested in seeing them if you do.

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Old 04-07-2011, 13:09   #28
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Re: Cost of a Dodger?

I see continual mention that one of the crucial advantages of the hard dodger is that you can stand on it.

I have a soft dodger, and I can stand on mine in order to stow my sail. I have a reinforced piece, which has a corresponding marked walkway similar to an aircraft wing.
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Old 04-07-2011, 19:39   #29
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Iverson has a great product, anything like this available in the Chesapeake Bay?

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