Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Updating the Dodger

It's due! Time to replace the Dodger

This project is going to take some time: It's the most challenging I've tackled so far. It's expensive - at least $650 (by my initial calculation, but look at the Materials page of the spreadsheet below)  dependent upon materials choice. And it's complex compared to everything I've sewn so far.

Why update it?
Old Dodger with 2 year old side windows.
Note front window folded open towards the center for ventilation.

Much of the stitching is failing, it no longer fits well - many of the snaps can no longer be used (material is probably 10-20 years old and has shrunk) and, most importantly, the top of the dodger is directly in Peggy's line of sight, so she has either to sit at the helm or stoop to see under it. I can easily see over it, but I still have to duck coming out or going into the cabin.

Step 1: Decide on the features we want.
  • Dodger height increased - at least 6" but it can be raised as much as 7.5"
  • Front window panel center opening for ventilation
  • Add Dodger frame struts to replace existing lashing from aft of top to combing.
  • Wear strips on Aft top edge of dodger (existing canvas has suffered for not having this)
Step 2: Raise the existing Dodger Frame.
  • Add a Frame Extension to the bottom of the existing frame.
  • Basically I'll remove the lower end Cap end of the main Dodger frame tube, insert a internal splint and add a new piece of 1" SS 316 tubing to the bottom and replace the end cap. Then make any adjustments before templating the new dodger (have to make sure the Boom will not touch the dodger when the sail is fully raised and the topping lift is slack)
Step 3: Follow Sailrite's example concept of templating the new canvas & windows

Step 4: Get down to the construction process - I'll detail that as I go.


Those prices are after a 10% discount as I purchased them during the Annapolis Boat Show special.
I had some of the binding left over from previous projects for Eximius, and a couple of yards of the Sunbrella and a couple of the zippers. 

With all of the materials at the ready, it's time to start on the project. But 1st, I need to go earn a few boat bucks!!! I'm sure I'll have some material left over, but still had to pay for it. It had better turn our really really well!!

I'll add new posts with pics as we (Peggy will have to help with some of the work - it's much easier to move all of this stuff around with two people involved, besides, this is catering to some of her needs (being able to see out of the dodger when it's raining)  ... at least, that's my story.

Existing Dodger - new side windows, bottom edge does not
reach the studs except for the front, the rear tensioning line
is not strong enough for someone to grab hold and they do!
The Grab rail is one of my additions, it's a huge help so they
will be incorporated in the new design.

Note the lower edge is not snapped in place. The Dodger tubes
are covered in boat blanket and the window was new a couple of
years ago, the old windows were crispy from being burnt by
contact with the tubing in the hot Florida Sunshine

The existing Dodger does not handle the running rigging lines
that now come back to the cockpit, the new Dodger will.

See you on the water!

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