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Old 04-10-2008, 22:32   #1
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Cost of a Dodger

Now that I'm almost finished with my cockpit upgrade I'll be installing a dodger.

What might I expect to pay for a newly constructed dodger???

I'm also considering adding a bimini over the steering station with a removable extension between the two. From what I've read so far, that would be another $2000 US.
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:10   #2
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I just had some covers made for the isenglass on my dodger, and the woman told me that to replace the dodger, using the existing frame, would cost me $1500. I have a few years left in it, so I didn't shop around anymore than that.

I see a lot of dodger/biminis that connect together like you mentioned. My bimini is about 6" higher than the dodger and extends over the dodger about 6". It's been pretty nice so far, I don't get water between the two, and the gap is at the right height so that when I stand at the helm I can see between the two.
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:24   #3
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About $1500 is in the ballpark for replacement. New might be a bit more as there's the stainless. Bimini with rails would be about $1700. If you want to spend the big bucks go for the full enclosure.
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:48   #4
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At that price it starts to look very cost effective to buy the sailrite sewing machine and make them yourself.
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Old 05-10-2008, 07:59   #5
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How much does a dodger cost is like asking "how long is a piece of string?"
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:12   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsalt_1942 View Post
How much does a dodger cost is like asking "how long is a piece of string?"
Not really. You'd be surprised how close these ballpark figures are to the cost of canvas for a 40 foot boat. Having gotten a dodger, bimini and then a full enclosure over the last few years it's surprising how close all the quotes were.

As for the Sailrite and doing it yourself I have a Sailrite but when I saw the amount of labour and time and designing that went into the full enclosure I'm glad I didn't try it myself. Most folks thing sewing canvas is a cinch. Repairing stitching is a cinch but designing and making dodgers, biminis anfd full enclosures requires a lot of expertise.

We use the Sailrite for repairs and relatively simple jobs such as a cover for the pedestal and steering wheel for when the boat's laid up in the summer.
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Old 05-10-2008, 08:49   #7
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Dodger

I just had a dodger made and installed, no stainless involved. $1350, in Pensacola, FL. Has extra snap-on cover to protect glass when not in use.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:00   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silver heels View Post
I just had a dodger made and installed, no stainless involved. $1350, in Pensacola, FL. Has extra snap-on cover to protect glass when not in use.
Silver Heels
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. Keeping it clean and using a good protection coating on it will help to last longer.
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Old 05-10-2008, 09:57   #9
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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.
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Old 05-10-2008, 10:17   #10
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Had a new dodger this spring (in Toronto for a 27-foot Mirage with just the canvas using existing frame, so YMMV).

Cost was slightly about $1,200 (if memory serves) after a boat show discount.

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Old 05-10-2008, 10:33   #11
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Our hard dodger is 2 pieces of lexan bent at the corners and joined in the center with a Starboard top. The attached photo was taken when we were doing storm prep but gives a good idea of the all around visibility we had. The corners are only strips of vinyl tape to protect them.

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Old 05-10-2008, 13:17   #12
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Thanks all for the come back!

I should have mentioned I'll be taking it to the tropics so fold up windows will be important.

As for making it myself, I've tried sewing and I don't have the patients.

Chuck, I would concur with not adding covers over the windows, which I will have the Stradaglass 30ga.

I want a dodger I can take down so if I ever get in one of those Pacific storms I can take it down away from breaking waves. I've seen fishing boats come back without windshields. I don't have a lot of freeboard. One of the reasons I built up the cockpit. Maybe with a larger boat higher out of the water I'd go with a hard dodger.

Below is a picture before the cockpit upgrade. You can see if I were to take a wave over the bow the dodger would take the brunt of it all. And another picture of the new cockpit.

$1500 doesn't sound too bad. I was expecting a lot more like $5K for a well built unit. This is a 40' boat but I think the beam and height isn't too much different then a dodger for a 30' boat.

Any more suggestions/comments?
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Old 05-10-2008, 16:23   #13
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Hard dodger a much bigger job than I expected...

I am currently building a hard dodger for Boracay, and it has turned out to be a much bigger job than I expected. I estimate the I am up around the 200 hour mark now with more to go.

I'm building from three layers of 7mm ply, laminated together. For the top, stretching 2m across the boat this is the lightest that I think would take my full weight (I'm not that heavy really) and that's maximum weight , not safe working load. No bouncing up and down.
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Old 05-10-2008, 17:36   #14
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I think the $1500 figures folks are quoting are for a new cover to an existing dodger.
I am thinking ~2500-2800 for a completely new setup. I need one too - ours is built on a wimpy 3/4 tubing frame. Good for sheltered sailing.

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Old 05-10-2008, 17:37   #15
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Prices down the east coast will range from $2100 to $2600 for a complete dodger with stainless frame. Make sure you get strataglass or something equivalent for the clear. There are three grades of vinyl and the bottom two grades dont last long in the sun before yellowing. The strataglass has a polymer coating that equals at least 3 times the useable life. Another thing to look for is a canvas guy that uses tenara or profilen thread. These threads have a lifetime warranty and will save you a restitch job in 3-4 years. make sure its the EX also the regular is only around 12 lb test. Handrails are sweet on the sides and will generally run another $150 -$200. When choosing a fabric check out Topgun and Topnotch by Marchem coated fabrics. They have a polyester base weave and are much stronger and durable fabrics than pure acrylic weaves like sunbrella. Sunbrella strethches abominably and when it does it loses water resistant qualities quickly. After 5 years exposure the fabrics mentioned are still 300-500% stronger than sunbrella is new.
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