I am also going to add a hatch to the top. For front windows not sure of whether to use glass or plastic, thinking glass for now.
We have a half hard dodger. The bottom half uses auto glass. Since the vertical span is not that great and the glass is in sections there isn't a real issue with strength. The frame is fiberglass and the top rail covered in teak
. Above that we have a traditional dodger for use in cold or foul weather
. A half hard dodger really works well and leave the warm weather
sailing still comfortable.
This boat we just finished with a full enclosure. We used Stamoid instead of Sunbrella. It is a laminated fabric
. We went with white - it's cooler. The outer layer is smooth and sheds water
better. We used extruded glass on the side curtains to make it easier to roll them and keep down the cost. For the upper part of the dodger we used Strataglass. It's the best for clarity but expensive. We then added a second set of side curtains made of of a light blocking material that still has small holes. It makes a great sun shade and can be used instead of the side curtains in the summer.
Our last boat could be sailed with the enclosure fully on but this boat the connector must be removed so the main sheet can be operated. Full enclosures can get into some money
but the poster that claims the one they have needs replacement after 5 years must have other problems. You should be able to get more than 10 years from them if properly made.
With all this type of work price
means nothing unless you can examine quality of the materials and workmanship. It is easy to make a full enclosure with marginal materials and poorly done for a low price
. There are many ways that corners can be cut and you won't find out for a year or two. Hire this work only by reputation and examination of other work. It takes a lot of experience to do this work well.
If you can pull off a hard dodger, connector, and Bimini
. I still would consider only a half dodger and use soft material to fill it in when the weather warrants. I would also add side curtains and sun shades as well. A full awning is an even better idea for warm climates. If you are doing a hard top be sure to allow for the solar