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Old 04-03-2011, 20:37   #31
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Re: self building a hard dodger

How's the ABS holding up??

I also have a question for the group.
Has anyone ever tried or heard of someone else trying to use Styrofoam (extruded not expanded) for core material for something like a hard dodger?
I wonder it it would work.

Just priced some Coosa Board 4 x 8 x 1/2" $400.00/ Ouch!! !!

Best Regards,
Extemp.
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Old 06-03-2011, 09:44   #32
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Re: self building a hard dodger

I have made a dodger top out of Starboard. It is UV stabilized.

http://www.kingplastic.com/products/StarBoard.aspx

I took my existing cloth dodger off and worked on it in my garage. The Starboard comes in sheets that are 54" x 96" I used 1/4" I think it was around $150 per sheet. I needed one for the top and another for the sides. I haven't decided how I am going to make the front yet b/c I want the windows to operate.
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Old 06-03-2011, 10:01   #33
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Re: self building a hard dodger

Extemp, We built a hard dodger for our Mariner 40 Sea Trek and it worked fantastically. Here are a couple of photos.....
http://tinyurl.com/4ttarf2
http://tinyurl.com/4g26hta
http://tinyurl.com/6l6jyyu
If you look closely you will see that we even had a clear plexi windshield made in front of the hard dodger section, also in Starboard. Chuck
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:55   #34
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Re: self building a hard dodger

Thanks Charlie. I'll have a look. Do you have any pictures you could share?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
I have made a dodger top out of Starboard. It is UV stabilized.

King StarBoard

I took my existing cloth dodger off and worked on it in my garage. The Starboard comes in sheets that are 54" x 96" I used 1/4" I think it was around $150 per sheet. I needed one for the top and another for the sides. I haven't decided how I am going to make the front yet b/c I want the windows to operate.
Good job Chuck! Looks like a fair size structure. How old is it and what's it been through?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterwayguy View Post
Extemp, We built a hard dodger for our Mariner 40 Sea Trek and it worked fantastically. Here are a couple of photos.....
http://tinyurl.com/4ttarf2
http://tinyurl.com/4g26hta
http://tinyurl.com/6l6jyyu
If you look closely you will see that we even had a clear plexi windshield made in front of the hard dodger section, also in Starboard. Chuck
Thanks for the Replies,
Extemp.
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Old 06-03-2011, 12:08   #35
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Re: self building a hard dodger

Extemp, We installed it on the boat about 7 years ago. It has cruised about 10,000 miles. Been through a couple of gales at seas, plenty of thunderstorms with gust to about 50 knots and at least one hurricane and one tropical storm. It was actually very easy to build. We had a local welder build the frame out of aluminum tubing and we bolted the Starboard to the frame. I installed the handrails on the top and the teak strips to hold the side curtains. Susan and I built the side curtains on a picnic table on the oceanside dock at Faro Blanco in the Keys. Chuck
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Old 06-03-2011, 13:40   #36
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Re: self building a hard dodger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waterwayguy View Post
Extemp, We installed it on the boat about 7 years ago. It has cruised about 10,000 miles. Been through a couple of gales at seas, plenty of thunderstorms with gust to about 50 knots and at least one hurricane and one tropical storm. It was actually very easy to build. We had a local welder build the frame out of aluminum tubing and we bolted the Starboard to the frame. I installed the handrails on the top and the teak strips to hold the side curtains. Susan and I built the side curtains on a picnic table on the oceanside dock at Faro Blanco in the Keys. Chuck
Certainly looks like it will take some abuse.
Thanks Chuck.

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Old 06-03-2011, 20:59   #37
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Re: self building a hard dodger

here is a link to the hard top as I was building it. I don't have any with it on the boat https://picasaweb.google.com/mckenzi...MjZrqvWsZmCCw#
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Old 06-03-2011, 21:29   #38
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Re: self building a hard dodger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlie View Post
here is a link to the hard top as I was building it. I don't have any with it on the boat https://picasaweb.google.com/mckenzi...MjZrqvWsZmCCw#
Excellent!
Looks very nice.
I'm just designing and sourcing material.
I want to fit 2 solar panels on it totaling as close to 500 watts as I can. Trying to make it as convex as possible for two reasons. One for structural reasons and the other so I can attach my solar panels to tracks and slide over or down the curve of the hardtop to get a better angle at the sun. I'm not sure if it's worth it but at the same time, I don't think it will be that hard to do.
Below is where I'm at so far. Because I have no existing structure I'm still leaning toward a fiberglass hardtop that will do the spanning. It would then have 2 vertical posts at the front and then 2 horizontals would attach to my existing radar arch at the back.
But you guys are making your approach very attractive.

Thanks,
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Old 09-03-2011, 12:20   #39
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Re: self building a hard dodger

Any thoughts on whether to use Aluminum or PVC Awning track?
Would the Aluminum be stronger?
Does it make sense to install a Double track?
Should one try to cast it in or apply after?

Best Regards,
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Old 09-03-2011, 13:20   #40
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Re: self building a hard dodger

In the years that we worked on our big boat project, I spent countless hours drawing and figuring how we could have a total or partial cockpit enclosure when needed. The hard dodger was integral to that. I designed it before the mast hardware and deck winch placement. I also wanted it to look good, and be strong enough for two to stand on, while being as light as possible... AND be removable, in order to service the centerboard out the top of the trunk. It was a tall order. That's why I thought about it for years.

I made two vacuum bagging molds. The one for the top was the same curve as the cabin top, and the mold for the front was a scaled down French curve like the cabin front. I made 1/2" thick panels off of these molds. The one for the top was kledgicell foam core, with thin wood veneers, and the others being 90% cut away, were ply veneers. The framing was super light Bass Wood, and the "under ceiling doublers" were Verticell cardboard core.

It was stitched together, like a dinghy, then larger and larger fillets applied underneath. Finally it could be rounded, shaped and glassed... Finishing up with paint, hatches, and installing the 1/4" Lexan.

Before the plastic, it weighed just 35 pounds, but almost doubled with the addition of the Lexan.

It was a huge amount of work, but never really held us up, as it was just a "filler job" to occupy down time for a number of years.

I'd have to say that it is my most successful project yet. The dodger's canvass connecting piece can connect to the Bimini, I can stand on it to raise sail, or sit on it to reef. It also forms the front part of a complete enclosure, that can be used underway if needed.

For others, If weight and aesthetics are a bit less important, The same idea could be done with a top "brow" roof that hangs a few inches off of the sides & front. This, and just using bent or laminated ply, would cut the work in half. If it doesn't have to be removable, but is glassed to the boat instead, it cuts the work in half again. It is a reasonable project for anyone handy with these kind of boat skills.
If I do the glazing over, I will go with 3/16" plastic next time, as my 1/4" is overkill...

The dodger has been through a number of hurricanes, (inc 150 MPH cat 4 winds), and I took a wave once 6' over the top of the dodger, that stopped the boat and half filled the cockpit! Neither of these events would have been survivable by a standard soft dodger.
It was money and time well spent.

Best of luck with it,

Mark
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Old 09-03-2011, 14:07   #41
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Re: self building a hard dodger

Very very Nice Mark!
As I already have a Pilothouse, I guess I'm building more of a Hardtop then a Dodger. I suppose later I could fill in the front?

That looks like very nice work!

Any comment on Aluminum vs plastic awning track?

Cheers,
Extemp.
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Old 09-03-2011, 16:13   #42
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Re: self building a hard dodger

Thanks Extemp. My apologies BTW... I didn't have the right take on your project.

I have used the anodized Aluminum track. (Not that shiny track above, the dull looking aluminum) The shiny stuff is neither anodized aluminum or the right alloy... Anodized 6061 T-6 alloy is what you want. (It will look exactly like a new, bare aluminum mast does)... I used it on the back cabin brow's canvass attachment (7 years old), and on my wing mesh net attachment on one side. (15 years old)

The canvass piece's track is still like new, but it is not in a salty place or as old. The wing net's track is likely a fatal disaster if it lets go, but I still have total confidence in it after 15 years. It is worst case for a salty spot. In fact, while cruising, it is caked on there for months! This track has a little ring of white powder corrosion around each machine screw's head, but it is purely cosmetic. In 15 MORE years, who knows? Otherwise the track is in great shape.

The aluminum track ends can be sanded really round on the ends, and even polished out with finer and finer grits. I'm not so sure about the vinyl. It might fuzz up on sanding and be a bit more difficult to feed the hemmed rope into. The Aluminum is twice as strong and twice as stiff, so would require fewer fastenings. The vinyl wouldn't corrode, but out in the sun the UVs might make it brittle in 15 years, rather than just a ring of corrosion around screw heads. The vinyl also expands & contracts at 3 times the rate. This can make it roller coaster if you space fasteners too far apart.

I think that something lightly loaded and out of the direct sun, would be fine with the Vinyl track, but for something really important, heavily loaded, or out in the sun, I'd go with the aluminum. So what that it will someday get a spot of corrosion around the screw heads. IMO...

Best regards, Mark
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Old 09-03-2011, 16:41   #43
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Re: self building a hard dodger

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
Thanks Extemp. My apologies BTW... I didn't have the right take on your project.

I have used the anodized Aluminum track. (Not that shiny track above, the dull looking aluminum) The shiny stuff is neither anodized aluminum or the right alloy... Anodized 6061 T-6 alloy is what you want. I used it on the back cabin brow's canvass attachment (7 years old), and on my wing mesh net attachment on one side. (15 years old)
Thanks Mark,
I agree the 6061 with a T6 temper would be the material of choice!

Any idea's where to get such an animal now a days?

Bye the way, it was through this project I learned of 6061 aluminum. New custom Toerail question

Thanks,
Extemp.
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Old 09-03-2011, 17:10   #44
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Re: self building a hard dodger

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Originally Posted by Extemporaneous View Post
Thanks Mark,
I agree the 6061 with a T6 temper would be the material of choice!

Any idea's where to get such an animal now a days?

Bye the way, it was through this project I learned of 6061 aluminum. New custom Toerail question

Thanks,
Extemp.
I haven't bought any in years, but bought mine from a marine canvass shop. It has about twice the wall thickness of that shiny stuff pictured above. That shiny stuff is for interior use only, IMO.

If it is hard to find at marine canvass places try the companies that install HUGE awnings for commercial buildings & homes. If that strikes out, you might try major supply houses. In building our boat I needed some 1.5 X 1.5 angle aluminum @ 1/4" thick, as well as 3 X 3" @ 3/8" thick, and two sizes of flat stock. (All in 6061 T-6) I found it one state away, and they only sold it in 20' lengths, but I found it. It is remarkably cheap per foot, in long lengths from the distributor.

It has to be out there somewhere! Mark
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Old 09-03-2011, 17:37   #45
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Re: self building a hard dodger

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Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
I haven't bought any in years, but bought mine from a marine canvass shop. It has about twice the wall thickness of that shiny stuff pictured above. That shiny stuff is for interior use only, IMO.

If it is hard to find at marine canvass places try the companies that install HUGE awnings for commercial buildings & homes. If that strikes out, you might try major supply houses. In building our boat I needed some 1.5 X 1.5 angle aluminum @ 1/4" thick, as well as 3 X 3" @ 3/8" thick, and two sizes of flat stock. (All in 6061 T-6) I found it one state away, and they only sold it in 20' lengths, but I found it. It is remarkably cheap per foot, in long lengths from the distributor.

It has to be out there somewhere! Mark


WOW! after looking over your old posts about the rubrail with stantion base project, I'm impressed! It came out beautifully. You obviously know all about aluminum fabricators and finding, or making what you need.

Very nice work... Mark
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