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Old 25-11-2013, 00:45   #46
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

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Originally Posted by engele View Post
With any choice I wouldn't sail without one. Critical gear for me is entirely different than some others, but I put a Dodger high on my cruising list:

Dodger

Auto pilot

Big anchor

Good quality simple water maker

A good dodger means that you are less fatigued when it's rough. If it is sloppy out, and it does get that way, three days in you wil be very glad to have your dodger. Anyone who says something like "just sail downwind" hasn't had to deal with the clockwork 3:00 afternoon squalls in Latin America. You can easily get soaked on a big boat going downhill when seas get confused. A dodger, while difficult to see through at night with salt spray is easier to see around than it is trying to look through spray (especially hours or days later).

Our dodger has at times been the only thing that made it possible to see at all. In more than one storm we were in the rain hurt enough to make operating the boat impossible except from behind the dodger. Squinting and trying to hold onto the boat in a blow isn't as safe, and a lot less comfortable. We added sides to our dodger and I think that addition was amazing! To not have a forward facing dodger would be tough at times. If you have the means, rig a dodger.

There is my two cents...
Sailing here in high lat country, a sprayhood is almost essential. Partly because of spraying water (even in summer the sea temp is rarely more than 70 degrees F), partly to shelter from rain (when saying upwind) but also to give the helmsman some shelter from the wind when going upwind.

When it blows 20+ knots, going upwind, it gets cold quickly.

Ours folds down, if it is hot so no problem. We also have a window in the middle we can zip open allowing a breed through.

I wouldn't sail without one
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Old 25-11-2013, 18:55   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carstenb View Post
Sailing here in high lat country, a sprayhood is almost essential. Partly because of spraying water (even in summer the sea temp is rarely more than 70 degrees F), partly to shelter from rain (when saying upwind) but also to give the helmsman some shelter from the wind when going upwind. When it blows 20+ knots, going upwind, it gets cold quickly. Ours folds down, if it is hot so no problem. We also have a window in the middle we can zip open allowing a breed through. I wouldn't sail without one
Our folds down, but from 48 degrees north all the way south to eight or nine degrees of latitude, we have never folded ours down. We do have a window that can be rolled up to allow airflow in the cockpit that has seen some use though.
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Old 17-01-2014, 17:48   #48
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

Do you recommend those openings in the sprayhood then?

We have the option of getting ours with or without. I can fold ours down as well so I guess if it's really hot we can do that.
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Old 18-01-2014, 04:48   #49
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

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Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
Do you recommend those openings in the sprayhood then?

We have the option of getting ours with or without. I can fold ours down as well so I guess if it's really hot we can do that.
Ours has a roll--up window - very nice to be able to get some airflow while sailing or at anchor. Depends on where you are going to sail. In the tropics, you'll probably just have it folded down, further north (i'm at lat 56), you will need something on the cool days and nights
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Old 26-01-2014, 23:04   #50
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

I think they are a must have I built a hard dodger on my boat because my main hatch leaks,best thing I ever did.Also good to hide behind when punching into waves.
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Old 27-01-2014, 01:27   #51
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

For those of you considering adding dodger window that zips open. For my next one, I think I'd like one with double zips, that can zip from the top down, in an arc, so that one can control the airflow through it. My present one has zips port and stb'd, and rolls up from the bottom, all or nothing. There are times when I'd like just a little fresh air coming in, and that's not one of my options.

Otherwise, I am a total dodger/sprayhood addict. I like that it keeps me [mostly] dry. I do not have a problem looking out over it for extended periods of time--only my head gets cold, not all of me. I also do not think it impairs watch keeping, an issue mentioned above. It is true that some clear pvc has wrinkles and wobbles and distortions, but others is/are quite clear. But that's why you stand up and look over the dodger, to be sure your dark-adapted vision can see *whatever* is out there. And that includes looking off to the sides and astern, too. It surprises me how few watchkeepers are savvy enough to look astern, too.

Ann
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Old 27-01-2014, 05:00   #52
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

When I bought Sweet Chariot she didn't have a dodger. After a very wet two week delivery home from Port Pirie SA to Sydney, the first thing I did was put a dodger on her. Best thing I ever did and would not be without one.

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Old 27-01-2014, 05:43   #53
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

I can't believe anyone would say no to a dodger. Except maybe day sailor or racer.

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Old 27-01-2014, 06:08   #54
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

I understand why some sailors don't have dodgers/spray hoods, primarily because we didn't have one for many years ourselves.
We mostly sailed on weekends and we did a lot of beer can racing and dodgers were a pain in the butt plus on many boats with funky companion entries a dodger is really hard to fit without looking like a portable garden shed.
Of course that was when we were young and tough, now that we are older and spend a lot of our time crossing oceans we love our dodger and would not want to be without it.
I have to tell you that for long term cruisers a hard dodger makes a lot of sense. They are just so much better than the soft dodgers and over time cheaper as we find soft dodgers don't really last that long in the tropics and replacement costs continue to go up. Unfortunately we still have a soft dodger. I remember Steve Dashew commenting on how ugly some dodgers were but felt that it depended on where you were viewing them from because they sure looked sweet from the inside!
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Old 27-01-2014, 15:13   #55
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

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I remember Steve Dashew commenting on how ugly some dodgers were but felt that it depended on where you were viewing them from because they sure looked sweet from the inside!
So true! IMO, the reason that many dodgers are so ugly is from requiring that they be high enough for full standing headroom under them. When we designed a hard dodger for our previous boat, we only required height to allow headroom for comfortable sitting and scrambling to the companionway. Came out looking fairly good on a flush-decked IOR type boat, and really improved our lives (very wet boat at times).

We describe the appearance of many add-on hard dodgers as looking like someone put half of a telephone booth on the boat... soooo ugly!

But dry and warm...

Jim
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Old 06-02-2014, 03:04   #56
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

It's a must! Simple as that.
After all, you can take it down when the weather is fair, but beating upwind and having fun...
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Old 06-02-2014, 04:01   #57
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

One should live life on the edge and run with the dodger on backwards.
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Old 06-02-2014, 04:25   #58
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

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I prefer the cleaner look of boats without them.
Oh, yes! Oh yes! This clean look!

Sorry - it should be "clean and ucluttered".
This is the proper phrase from the current marketing blah, blah, blah...
It generally mean that You have no enough winches and each of the left need to work the snake nest of lines, You have no proper anchor arrangements, you have no enough cleats to moor properly, You have no fairleads at all, Your running rigging is unaccessible or at least difficult to access, Your coamings are too low to form a decent backrests, Your deck is not driving the water outboard and so on, and so on...

But a "clean, uncluttered look" is promoted and for good reason.
It is way cheaper for builder. Loads of money to save on all the cluttering and abusing clean look hardware, awkward curvatures in moulds...

It is much the same as for "cool, refreshing and minimalist look" for interior layouts.
May be You know this architect's saying: "The minimalism is getting the clients to pay for what they are NOT getting."

Of course - this is not a problem for most of the sales in the boat industry.
Most boats are selling not for cruising but for occasional sailing and mainly... just for show.

But - if You want to go cruising, not showing up, at the end of the day You will be not happy with the boat of "clean, uncluttered look" with "cool, refreshing, minimalist interior".

So - depends what You need a boat for
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:20   #59
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

sprayhood-free since 1985.

sprayhoods reduce the sailing efficiency of the boat. Windage is
especially a consideration in leeshore situations. And my experience on
a sistership that did have a sprayhood, was that it much inhibited going
forward to make sail adjustments.

remember, sailing is a water sport
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:26   #60
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

In our experience, dodgers are a North American term & spray hoods are a European term--meaning the same thing.

Do you need a spray hood? Depends on where you're sailing & when. We didn't have one for 20 years on our Beneteau--we like that clean uncluttered look referred to above. Nor did we have a bimini. In those years there was only twice I recall being in full wet gear & wearing a dive mask at the helm. All the rest of the time we enjoyed the sun, unencumbered views, cooling breezes, and not having to clamber over or around the spray hood. But--I'd be the first one to have a spray hood if I was sailing anywhere the temps were less than hot!

We also have a rain tent which goes over the boom to keep the companionway dry in anything less than a downpour, and a large sun awning which covers the entire cockpit & much of the coachroof to keep the boat cooler in port or at anchor in fine wx.

Our new boat had both spray hood & bimini but the canvas was finished so we'll have new of both next summer. After reading the views here I'm glad we opted for the zip open window in the front.
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