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Old 09-04-2014, 14:40   #16
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Re: Full enclosure worth it in the tropics?

Went without one for many years. Now I have one and wonder how I ever lived without one. If you can afford it get one.
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Old 09-04-2014, 16:03   #17
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Re: Full enclosure worth it in the tropics?

If you're going to be cruising in the Tradewind zone, think about having a sunscreen curtain made for the aft end of the cockpit. We had one made from a fabric that blocked 90% of the light. It attached to the bimini with clips and tied off to points on the stern. We could see through it, but it blocked the very strong light of the setting sun.

At anchor in the Trades, your stern is always pointed toward the sundown. Without a sun screen the light can be painfully bright, right at cocktail hour. Not good! You can raise it up to see the Green Flash.
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Old 09-04-2014, 16:13   #18
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Re: Full enclosure worth it in the tropics?

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Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
Finally, I wonder how a more enclosed boat would be to use a computer? My cockpit is too bright to see the screen.

Our enclosure is all clear so, unfortunately, the computer screen viewing has not improved. Sadly, I must work in the hull during the day.

We had no doger before this and it was wet a lot and our cushions molded. I at least have a chance at keeping the mold at bay.
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Old 09-04-2014, 21:42   #19
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Re: Full enclosure worth it in the tropics?

Going through this very same process in our boat. Our decision is to get the new hard dodger, a full Bimini and have them stitch the zippers for a full enclosure I. Case we decide to add down the line for extending the summer/fall season in New England and the first half of the sail to miami in early November. We will know by late summer if we want to add the sides on or not.

As a contributor said earlier, it's all about where you are, or even better where you're going!!
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Old 09-04-2014, 22:04   #20
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Re: Full enclosure worth it in the tropics?

We, too, have a center cockpit ketch. Our boat came with a fixed glass windshield and a 'convertible top' dodger. Before we left on our circumnavigation, we fabricated and installed a hard dodger along with a Bimini, full isinglass enclosure and full screen enclosure.

The hard dodger was our best investment. I've lost count of how many people have asked to come aboard so they could take pictures of it. We stopped at one yard where the yard manager came to us and said that another boat was on the way to the yard and they want a hard dodger just like ours.

We have used the full enclosure some but mostly in the higher latitudes. On some longer passages, we'll put up one side of the enclosure on the weather side just to keep things comfortable at night. We've never used the full screen enclosure.

Fair winds and calm seas.
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Old 10-04-2014, 03:21   #21
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Re: Full enclosure worth it in the tropics?

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Originally Posted by biltong View Post
Had a hard dodger with zip down sides and an opening aft piece. Also put a hatch in the roof facing forward the best thing ever, especially for the Atlantic crossing. come rain or shine, the extra room made all the difference.

we went around the entire carib witout full enclosure just dodger and bimini -- had full enclosure put on in southern eastern carib as we had longed for it for a while -- one of our better investments -- nothing better than sailing when a squall comes up and other boats are running for foul wx gear and we just drop the flaps and stay nice and dry and warm and comfy (yea i am getting old and soft) -- and when at anchor it adds a lot of room to the boat when the wx turns a bit nasty --

then when we crossed the atlantic it was invaluable -- and now in a marina for the winter adds room to the boat so we can sit "outside" without the cold blast of nw winds
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Old 10-04-2014, 13:27   #22
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Re: Full enclosure worth it in the tropics?

after a year usually anchored out in the eastern carib we found that since the bow always points in the direction the wind is coming from we never had a problem in the cockpit - but when it rained it was nice to have the connector between the bimini and the dodger

cant imagine being in the tropics without a bimini
cant imagine sailing on the open ocean without a dodger.

I think a full enclosure would get pretty hot. Being in the trades, bugs were never a problem so long as we didnt anchor next to mangroves
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Old 10-04-2014, 14:32   #23
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Re: Full enclosure worth it in the tropics?

Our boat has a hard dodger. We love it. Keep the boat in the Chesapeake so having the dodger extends the season, and on cold mornings when there is a breeze, it is a godsend. Takes the bite from the wind. The front has two clear glass panels, and while a third opening one in the center would be ideal, it did not come with one. A hatch (Lewmar 30) on top that opens helps circulate air. There are ceiling lights in the dodger (as well as stereo speakers), so I can read and listen to music in the evening at anchor.

As you can see, we have a Bimini and full enclosure as well. All the sides on the enclosure zip out for removal when underway in good weather, and the side and aft curtains roll up as well if you do not want to unzip everything. We added screen sections to the two aft panels, and we can roll up the clear glass sections in those panels to expose the screens, providing ventilation. Such an arrangement allows us to use the cockpit as a room (primarily dining and reading) in the evening at anchor on the Bay when the bugs come.
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Old 10-04-2014, 16:12   #24
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Re: Full enclosure worth it in the tropics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sck5 View Post
after a year usually anchored out in the eastern carib we found that since the bow always points in the direction the wind is coming from we never had a problem in the cockpit - but when it rained it was nice to have the connector between the bimini and the dodger

cant imagine being in the tropics without a bimini
cant imagine sailing on the open ocean without a dodger.

I think a full enclosure would get pretty hot. Being in the trades, bugs were never a problem so long as we didnt anchor next to mangroves
I think most will find that. I cant imagine using an enclosure in the Caribe, by 9am it would be a hothouse.
Yea on the connector and whoever mentioned the attachable sunscreen material .....that is a big plus for sundown! If you get all the same length zippers you can just buy one sunscreen...
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