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Hard dodger or traditional canvas?

Discussion in 'Ask A Hunter Owner' started by Jack, Jun 16, 2010. Add this thread to a FAQ

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  1. Jack

    Jack

    Joined Jan 30, 2008
    120 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter 33
    US -
    This is really a curiosity question. What are the opinions regarding hard dodgers and canvas dodgers? Cost? Weight? Windage? Types of glass? etc...
    I know some people don't like any dodger, but this is really for the people in the north east where they are very useful.
    Jack
     


  2. Steve Dion

    Steve Dion

    Joined Dec 2, 1999
    15,184 posts, 13 likes
    Hunter Vision-36
    US Rio Vista, CA.
    Jack:

    Hard Dodger (very expensive)

    Canvas Dodger: We had one made a couple of years ago. We ended up using Sunbrella Plus for the top piece. This is a great idea. It makes cleaning much easier and it does not require that it is treated each year. Our bimini is also made from the same material.

    Windows: We ended up using Lexan. The good thing about Lexan is that is alway clear unlike vinyl that wrinkles and gets cloudy. All of our window panels are removable (I would suggest that every dodger is made this way). When they need zippers for the top and bottom panel, it should start the zippers on opposite sides to make starting the zipper much easier if possible. The down side of Lexan is that it will abrade easily. The panels also need to be stored flat (cannot roll or fold them).

    Frame: Be sure that the frame is made from thick walled stainless steel tubing (NOT aluminum). A hand hold on the aft and sides.

    Also you need consider the height of the unit. You and the designer need to talk about egress, design and how you can integrate it with a bimini if you think you may want to do that too.

    We paid $3600 for a dodger on our HV'36. If you have a bimini or plan to get one be sure that you have zippers installed on the trailing edge of the dodger. This make putting a connector between the two units much easier.

    I am sure you will get some additionals but the dodger is one of the better enhancements for cruisers. It helps keep the sun off the interior and makes fall and winter trips a lot more comfortable.

    Be sure to look at the work of the company that is going to make the unit for you. There are good looking dodgers on powerboats that look like crap on a sailboat. So even if a company can sew a good dodger it does not mean that they can design one that looks good.
     


  3. Maine Sail

    Maine Sail Moderator

    Joined Feb 6, 1998
    10,906 posts, 726 likes
    Canadian Sailcraft 36T
    US Casco Bay, ME
    There are soooooo many options that it gets mind boggling. The best advice I can give is to find the best canvas guy you can. Dodgers are one of the toughest canvas items to do well and many fail miserably at it.

    Some options:

    Stratta Glass windows
    EZ2CY Glass Windows
    Welded Grab Rail
    Side Grab Rails
    Luff Tape Type Attachment To Deck
    Lift-A-Dot Attachment
    Snap Attachment
    Twist Lock Attachment
    Stamoid Fabric
    Sunbrella Fabric
    Sunbrella Plus Fabric
    Zip Off Side Windows
    Zip Out Front Window
    Drop top
    Bracing Struts
    304 or 316 SS
    Heavy Wall or Thin Walled Tube
    Polyester Thread or Tenara (Gore Thread)
    Leather/Suede Wrap On Grab Rail
    Crown & Rake (shape of dodger)
    Window Placement
    Window Covers
    Lapels To Cover Zippers


    etc. etc. on and on

    A very poor & pathetic example of a dodger:
    [​IMG]

    The well made and well executed replacement for that dodger:
    [​IMG]
     


  4. Johnb

    Johnb

    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    1,082 posts, 99 likes
    Hunter 37-cutter
    US Richmond CA
    On San Francisco bay our dodger is a huge asset to us. At times when we are in shorts and tee shirt we see the dodgerless racers in full foul weather gear. It creates a zone of protection in the cockpit that is invaluable.

    My dodger has been patched and mended to the point were it must be replaced soon. As noted above, whatever I get, the frame is going to be strong enough for a gorilla to do pull ups on, and there will be handles along the sides.
     


  5. DianaOfBurlington

    DianaOfBurlington

    Joined Jun 5, 2010
    979 posts, 49 likes
    Hunter 25
    US Burlington NJ
    I would rather have a good canvas dodger any day than a hard dodger or even a Bimini. It's more practical in every respect.

    The hard dodger may provide space for solar panels, but it would have to be very deftly designed or it will be an obnoxious eyesore. Someone had put a hard dodger on a Cherubini 44 that came into our yard. Needless to say the new owner had us take it off at once.

    On Diana my solar panels go on the spray hood (hatch cover).

    I designed a rigid dodger frame for Diana in the style of the one Robin Lee Graham had on Dove. But the idea is to cover the hatch and a little to either side, leaving plenty of room for getting around it and seeing past it while still protecting the hatchway. I have not yet had it made or the frame put up yet so I'll let you know how it works.
     


  6. Jack

    Jack

    Joined Jan 30, 2008
    120 posts, 2 likes
    Hunter 33
    US -
    thanx

    Thank you to all...
    sorry for late reply...
    lots to think about...
    jack
     


  7. Johnb

    Johnb

    Joined Jan 22, 2008
    1,082 posts, 99 likes
    Hunter 37-cutter
    US Richmond CA
    Steve Dion,

    Since we are in the same area, who made your dodger for you?

    John Brecher
     


  8. Steve Dion

    Steve Dion

    Joined Dec 2, 1999
    15,184 posts, 13 likes
    Hunter Vision-36
    US Rio Vista, CA.
    John:

    It was Pacific Coast Canvas at the time. They have changed their name, but I think that they are still making a quality product. I am quite pleased with ours. We have had it for 3 years. They only had one minor screw-up and that is correctable.

    They are located in Grand Marina in Alameda.

    Here is their link!

    http://www.pacificcrestcanvas.com/
     


  9. stephen Penny

    stephen Penny

    Joined Nov 8, 2009
    537 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter 386LE
    US San Fancisco
    Suggest contacting Sandra Sandra@newjsi.com, 1-800-652-4914, 2233 3rd Ave S.
    St Petersburg, FL 33712, Local: (727) 577-3220
    with jsi about an economical east coast dodger. Consider Seamarkfabric and Strataglass window vinyl. Cost is less than 50% of local canvas shops.



     


  10. stephen Penny

    stephen Penny

    Joined Nov 8, 2009
    537 posts, 1 likes
    Hunter 386LE
    US San Fancisco


    Johnb,

    Besides Pacific Coast Canvas at the Grand Marina in Alameda at 510-521-1829
    you might want to contact Tom with Cover Craft at Brickyard Cover in Point Richmond 5
    10.234.4400, Elizabeth Durrant elizabethmdurrant@yahoo.com 510-325-7501 at KKMI in Point Richmond and Rick and Ronda at Bayside Canvas in Vallejo 707-812-8108 baysidecanvas3@aol.com. Elizabeth Durrant and Bayside Canvas are the most cost competitive and very timely.
     


  11. Steve W

    Steve W

    Joined Jun 2, 2004
    217 posts, 0 likes
    Hunter 376
    US Oyster Bay, LI, NY
    Jack, you don't say where in the Northeast you're located.

    If you're in the Long Island Sound area (Port Washington, Oyster Bay, Huntington) I'd strongly recommend Greg Fitzmaurice at Custom Canvas, Shop Phone: (516) 624-0247 or Cell Phone: (516) 375-3170.

    Excellent work....
     


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