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Old 17-10-2013, 23:22   #1
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Cruising without a Sprayhood?

Hello all,

I was just wondering if a Sprayhood is a must have on a boat if you're cruising long term? Is there anyone out there doing this without one?

I understand the benefits of course, but prefer the cleaner look of boats without them.

Are they a must have item?

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Simon
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Old 18-10-2013, 00:08   #2
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

It's a personal preference. I've moved from open cockpit to an enclosed pilot house upon reaching old age. Are you feeling old?
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Old 18-10-2013, 01:22   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simonpickard
Hello all,

I was just wondering if a Sprayhood is a must have on a boat if you're cruising long term? Is there anyone out there doing this without one?

I understand the benefits of course, but prefer the cleaner look of boats without them.

Are they a must have item?

Regards,
Simon
I'd say it's a must if the weather is bad, especially if sailing upwind.

I take mine off sometimes in settled weather.

I do not have a bimini on this boat. I have a full cockpit enclosure which I almost never use underway. The spray hood is long enough that you can get out of the rain under it, sitting in the front of the cockpit, and it keeps spray and rain out of the open companionway hatch.
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Old 18-10-2013, 01:41   #4
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

Quote:
Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
Hello all,

I was just wondering if a Sprayhood is a must have on a boat if you're cruising long term? Is there anyone out there doing this without one?

I understand the benefits of course, but prefer the cleaner look of boats without them.

Are they a must have item?

Regards,
Simon
If you enjoy being very wet - don't have one. If you enjoy water going down your entryway and getting everything in your salon wet - don't have one.

Seriously, when the weather turns rough and you are going upwind or even on a reach, the sprayhood is a godsend. Keeps everything dry and give your crew a place to shelter.
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Old 18-10-2013, 01:46   #5
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And what is a sprayhood?
Is it what we call a dodger?
Or something else?
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Old 18-10-2013, 06:06   #6
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Of all the extra crap on the boat, added at great expense, the dodger is the one item I would still have added if the cost of every addition had been doubled.
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Old 18-10-2013, 07:24   #7
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

My first boat didn't have a dodger... My second and third did.

I would not cruise without one.

Can it be done... That would be up to you. The first time you get hit in the face with a wave would probably change your mind.
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Old 18-10-2013, 07:38   #8
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

We don't have a dodger, and I often wish we did. Not just under way, but at anchor on a windy day too.
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Old 18-10-2013, 07:40   #9
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

The only things absolutely necessary for a sailboat is the boat and sails. So a sprayhood isn't necessary but I do love mine.

It allows me to keep the companionway hatch open in rain or when getting a lot of spray over the deck which keeps it much cooler and drier below.

Very high on my option list.
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Old 18-10-2013, 07:50   #10
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

If you really want to use your boat and be ready and able to go places without getting beat up by the weather,the spray hood (dodger) may be the single most important
"non essential " improvement possible with the possible exception of a rum locker.
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Old 18-10-2013, 07:54   #11
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

I'm sailing in the Caribbean and sprayhood / dodger for me is a must. I have also extended the dodger so that we don’t cook while sailing. Waves are generally 6 feet on a calm day can come over the bow. Being in the sun all day is also not a pleasant thing. It is nice to get under cover from both the sun and waves.
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Old 18-10-2013, 08:21   #12
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

I wouldn't consider a spray hood optional equipment for long term cruising. Cruising to me is about comfort and enjoyment, not survival. It wouldn't take very long to be miserable without one.

For that matter I don't consider a bimini top optional either. Being of northern European decent, sun protection is not optional. Getting out of the sun, wind and rain make cruising enjoyable, not an endurance contest.

Scott
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Old 18-10-2013, 08:47   #13
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, reason for cruising accidents is fatigue. Fatigue causes bad decision making, delayed action and its bad for your attitude. Being on watch hour after hour without the protection of a dodger is asking for fatigue to set in.
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Old 18-10-2013, 08:58   #14
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

Of course one may sail without a spray hood or dodger but if you are cruising it is a matter of "when" not "if " you encounter large and raging seas. It is at this momement that not only a spray hood is great to have, as well as a bimini with side curtains of eisenglass to eliminate the eternal buffeting of winds. You will find you will be less tired and and more warm which will only enhance your ability to make clear and effective decisions.
When I do long distance (1500 miles or more)boat deliveries, my very first question is does the vessel have a full enclosure? Does this make sense to you?
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Old 18-10-2013, 09:48   #15
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Re: Cruising without a Sprayhood?

What you don't like water in the face?

I don't have a dodger. I'm really not fond of looking through plastic. I do get rather moist sometimes and it can be chilling to say the least.

My boat is a old design with a full bow, so wet is less a problem, unless the winds are up. It goes to windward with a bone in its teeth. Newer designed boats (80's up) have fair bows and are a bit wetter, but faster too.

The older full bows tend to push the water more to the sides, like a plow. It also slows the boat down some. Newer boats with their fine entry and more vertical bow hull shape tend to throw the water up and back, but are faster.

There was a time or two where if a dodger / sprayhood appeared, I've had kept it for that trip. But I'm weird and perhaps slightly masochistic.

If I did a lot of offshore sailing, I would be looking for a hard dodger or pilothouse. I just try to plan my days for when the weather is nicer. That does not always work out, mind you.
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