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Old 02-08-2017, 12:36   #1
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Wheel House or Spray Hood

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I'm not sure what way to go, I like the idea of building a Wheel House on my Heavenly Twins.
I like the Wheel House as it would give me an extra room and keep me dry in bad weather.

What I'm worried about is stability in bad weather and weight issues. I'm interested in any pros and cons you might have.

I'm hoping to do some off shore passages but will be mostly Coastal.
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Old 02-08-2017, 13:36   #2
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Re: Wheel House or Spray Hood

I would not go for the full enclosure, partly because of the weight, but if you ever want to go somewhere warm, it would be pretty stifling.

However, if you enjoy sailing in inclement weather, and are going to pretty much stay around Great Britain, then the enclosure might make the difference, and you would sail more. Foam sandwich construction is pretty light, so maybe.....

Marine hooding, of which spray dodgers are made, has a limited life span, and it shrinks a bit over time, as it loses plasticizers to the atmosphere. The labour is dear, and it will quite possibly be history in 8 yrs, 5 + , in the tropics.

Good luck with it.

Ann
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Old 02-08-2017, 13:52   #3
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Re: Wheel House or Spray Hood

If you do go for the full enclosure, consider making it very, very light and be sure and retain your present watertight hatches in case all or part of the house is carried away during your once in a lifetime storm.

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Old 02-08-2017, 14:17   #4
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Re: Wheel House or Spray Hood

Why not a full canvas enclosure. We're on our second one on our second boat in Alaska and wouldn't bother going to a hard enclosure or dodger. With removalable panel you can customize the enclosure to the weather. I.e completely miserable raining sideways = full; overcast no wind or light drizzle while powering = full top open sides; hot and sunny = open it all up. Sides are the first to go, then the mid connector, then the Bimini folds back and the cockpit is open with a windbreak at the back. Never been nice enough up here long enough to warrant taking everything off and we'll have to move the boat to see those conditions but it will be an easy conversion when that happens.
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Old 03-08-2017, 08:53   #5
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Re: Wheel House or Spray Hood

I cannot speak about the stability of what we call pilothouses in the excolonies on multihulls. But on my monohull it has been a really nice thing. We cruise in hot areas and the pilothouse is no hotter than the rest of the cabin. But in inclement weather and high seas it is sometimes surreal to watch the sea from a warm comfortable place. It has definitely made cruising better for my wife.
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Old 03-08-2017, 09:15   #6
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Re: Wheel House or Spray Hood

Had you considered a hard top and curtains.
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Old 03-08-2017, 11:27   #7
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Re: Wheel House or Spray Hood

experience with both - wheelhous looks ugly but so glad to have it on my own boat
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:58   #8
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Re: Wheel House or Spray Hood

Go for a hard dodger, with one or two of the "windows" being an opening deck hatch, with a removable lid. Along with a cabriolet (canvas) top & enclosure.

You can build a hard dodger for about the same weight as a soft one, if it's done right. Given that carbon fiber can be found reasonably priced anymore, & you don't need much of it. Plus cores are of course super light weight. And it's much easier to add important features to an already rigid structure, such as hand holds.

To me, the nicest part though, is to be able to have hard, acrylic, windows. As the visibility through them tends to be much much better than the soft stuff, especially given what happens as the soft stuff ages, or when it isn't drum tight.

And I know that it's perhaps a bit too late to bring this up, but you've already got windage issues. So anything you can do to avoid making them worse is probably wise. Ergo, go for an aerodynamic design if you can. Aerodynamic from when the wind's dead ahead, as well as when beating.
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Old 03-08-2017, 14:10   #9
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Re: Wheel House or Spray Hood

Phil, I think you could go either way. This is an interesting thread on hard top examples:

Hard Dodger (Sprayhood) Illustrated Guide - Examples, Tips

For reference Ann is correct, our sprayhood has lasted 8 years and has just been re-stitched so hopefully should be good for another 3-4 years in the UK weather. Its permanently rigged, however, in good conditions its nice to be able to drop it down quickly.

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Old 03-08-2017, 15:37   #10
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Re: Wheel House or Spray Hood

My mono wont heave-to with the dodger up - or more to the point the windage of the dodger back there behind the mast causes the boat to tack through even a back-sheeted genoa (with no main sail up at all). Took me a little while to figure what was going on. Not safe at all, to be unable to heave-to imho.

Not sure if that is an issue with multis, but it precludes a hard dodger for me.
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Old 04-08-2017, 21:12   #11
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Wheel House or Spray Hood

Or this may meet some of the need.Click image for larger version

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Old 05-08-2017, 06:59   #12
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Re: Wheel House or Spray Hood

Quote:
Originally Posted by SecondBase View Post
Or this may meet some of the need.Attachment 153400
I prefer this for the pirate infested waters of Lake Michigan..
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:47   #13
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Re: Wheel House or Spray Hood

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