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Old 30-06-2014, 07:27   #46
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

starting to look a little like the cape dory design which was actually a nice inside steering station. i agree with the OP: make it so you can see over it from cockpit if you can. but then it may become a potential head banger .. another compromise.

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Old 30-06-2014, 08:02   #47
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

@ Dennis: maybe a flatter roof is more beautiful?

Another thing i saw at your photos: the winches are close to the doghouse. Can you still make a full turn with your winch handle?
I am asking this, because i have concerns about that too.

Taco.
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Old 30-06-2014, 08:48   #48
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

The radical roof down angle simply looks wrong. And the curved aft edge , in the side view, looks contrived and out of place.
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Old 30-06-2014, 14:29   #49
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

Hi - Get rid of the front and side overhangs - they really kill the look.

Leaving a rear overhang is OK and blends in pretty well.

If you can radius the front to side panel edge and the side panel to roof edge, it gives the whole dodger a smoother/softer look. Our dodger is made from aluminum and we have maybe a 1/8" radius on those joints and it makes an incredible difference.

For your rear edge of the dodger - the one by the winch - switch the angle. Go from the winch upward & forward to give you the winch handle clearance. If you go with a rear overhang, it will make up the "coverage space" you lose by going forward with the side panel.

I don't know your cockpit layout, but it is nice to be able to sit upright under the dodger. We have a Swan type "drop down the hole" companionway and that is where we sit when underway for watch keeping.

We did position our instruments & radar so they could be seen from anywhere in the cockpit, including inside the dodger. Works well.

If you send me your e-mail I'll send photos of how our dodger came out.

Nice job so far!

Doug
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Old 30-06-2014, 15:00   #50
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

Hi, Doug,

First off, this one is better. Good on ya!

Aesthetically, it will be a bit more pleasing without the overlap of the "roof"; also, a flat roof is easier for standing on (don't forget non-skid).

If you make the shape of the top of the dodger mimic the contours of the deck house, that will make more visual harmony. If it's possible to lower it another 2 inches, that would help, too. FWIW, it's a trade-off, sometimes you need to look through the dodger, but it is a real help driving the boat if the shortest person can see over it, too. If you're a really tall fellow, it may have come down as far as is practicable. Ours was so that I could both see over and through it, but I'm short. Now I stand on a flat fender to be able to see over our cloth dodger. Different shaped boats.


If you draw in the shapes for the "windows", that may help us visualize the finished product, as well.

You're getting there.

Ann
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Old 30-06-2014, 15:41   #51
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

Coming along. I would be tempted to lean the sides inwards more to try eliminating the boxy look. They usually need more angle than the cabin side to get the shape to flow. The volume inside the upper lateral corners isn't really valuable anyway.

The forward-raked roof looks wrong to me and I really like the height suggestions about being able to look over it while standing in the cockpit. This I could start considering having even on my boat!

Eric
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Old 30-06-2014, 15:45   #52
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

Definitely lose the front and side roof overhangs.
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Old 30-06-2014, 16:14   #53
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

Having struggled with the same hard dodger issue for a long time I thought I should offer my input, for what it may be worth.
I have had a canvas dodger for years. After many patches and resewings I decided it must be replaced. However over the years the use of my boat had changed from a weekender to more long term cruising. This being the case the demands I now had of a dodger also changed. The original dodger was low and relatively unobtrusive on the lines of the boat, but, now it was seriously short of my present needs. To meet my present needs I felt I must go for a hard dodger. I have never liked any hard dodger I have seen on any boat under 50+ft, but for that matter, I never liked any canvas dodgers either however they were usually made low and less intrusive. If one wants to deal with the needs of longer term cruising you must face the fact now that form must follow function, that is, function must dominate, but not to a fault I must add. The following is what I thought important in the design of my hard dodger.
- increase the ease of entering the companionway. On my boat there is a seat in front of the companionway that one must step over to reach the first step of the ladder, and as a result of the height of the canvas dodger, it led to uncomfortable contortions entering or leaving the companionway.
- there was a need for more protected space in the cockpit in a seaway and in storms.
- needed as little obstructive view from the helm as possible. To insure this for the canvas dodger I made sure the dodger was lower than my line of sight from the helm. I did not want to look thru plexiglass which wrinkled and clouded restricting sight. The height was OK since it made the dodger lower which was consistent with the desired lines of the boat. However the requirements of the new dodger were making the dodger higher which meant I would have to look thru it. This now meant I had to have a sheet of clear hard material to look thru which really dictated the need for a hard dodger. I started with 1/4in slightly tinted lexan as windows but soon learned that the tinting compromised my night vision and within two years the lexan was beginning to cloud up. I changed them to auto glass which I should have done at the very beginning.
- definitely needed ventilation
- needed a protective environment for my navigation instruments. In my case radar, sonar, chartplotter and VHF radio
- cannot tolerate interference with sheeting and winch operation. This was a problem since the design of the side panels of the dodger was such that their appearance was not acceptable to my eye. I moderated the effect by making vinyl snap on panels that improved the appearance of the dodger and allowed access to the winch by unclipping the bottom of the vinyl panel.
- needed a white/red cockpit dome light
- the design must accommodate a bimini, which is absolutely needed for little latitude cruising
- the dodger must have handles to facilitate entering and leaving the cockpit plus trips to the foredeck. Also needed are handles for bracing oneself in a seaway.
-design must not restrict entering or leaving the cockpit

I used the construction technique mentioned in Ocean Sea Spray note to you. I sure wish I knew of his existence before I started.
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Old 01-07-2014, 17:13   #54
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

More revisions based on your suggestions. First I tried cutting off the overhangs on the more curved roof. Then I put on a flatter roof that is level, not sloping down in the front. I'm partial to the overhangs because I can curve the leading edge to relieve the hard angles of the front. Next I put the piece back in the curved aft edge of the side panels and then angled it forward more. I think that's a go. Yes, the winch handle will strike it but I plan to put a "door" piece in too allow a full swing.

So what do you think? I must admit that I'm getting tired of modeling and want to get started on the real McCoy.
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Old 01-07-2014, 17:56   #55
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

No need to crowd the winch so tightly.

Lose the overhangs.

Ease the sharp corners with large radii, when building.
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Old 01-07-2014, 18:01   #56
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

I think it needs more crown to the roof.
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Old 01-07-2014, 22:07   #57
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

Looks good without the front and side overhangs!

If you put a overhang on the back side, you can have "slots" a tiny bit forward of the rear edge which will work as handholds. If you do go with overhangs on the side, you could also make the slot handholds there too.

We opted to not do the slot idea and ended up with no handholds on the back edge. On the side, we had a handrail weld on. Works great and it blends in and you hardly know they are there.

If you make your dodger out of wood/fiberglass/foam, you could just install the pre-made stainless steel handrails. Pretty inexpensive and much simpler to do that having them fabricated.

I noticed in the picture of the rear of the dodger you have a "beam" running across just the top edge. Wile a lot more work, we made the beam go across the top and down each side. It really stiffened up the whole structure and gave it a pretty nice look. You probably won't be able to do it though with your winch location....

If you want to truly visualize how the dodger will look when finished, paint the proto-type white (cheap paint and a roller - you want the effect, not perfection) and then paint on the windows using black paint.

Looking good!

Keep making all you changes with the proto-type!!! Much easier and cheaper to do than with the real thing!
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Old 01-07-2014, 23:13   #58
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

The last series of photos are looking much better!
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Old 02-07-2014, 03:11   #59
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

I had another look after a picture of a doghouse.
This is nice i thing.
I know, i know, it is a bigger $$$$-sailboat, but nevertheless, the doghouse has nice shapes.




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Old 02-07-2014, 03:26   #60
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Re: Suggestions for Hard Dodger Construction Please

I agree the HR dodger looks good. Notice how the crown of the dodger is higher than the crown of the deck, looks better that way.
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