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Thread: Home Built (?) Hard Dodger

  1. #1
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Question Home Built (?) Hard Dodger

    Not a current project, but something I have been sketching on and thinking about for several years.
    I just did a coastal delivery on a Jason 35 with a nice frp dodger with glass windows. The visibility forward and the general strength was wonderful.
    Since our our '95 vintage small dodger is nearing the end of the cloth & window life, we are thinking about a full size one next time around.

    Anyone here ever made their own up or had one made?

    I am envisioning something in light weight cored frp with acrylic or glass windows. The design would have to complement the look of the cabin angles and general shape. At least enough to blend in. I have seen quite a few dodgers that looked quite out-of-place on other sailboats.
    Getting the balance right between function and style is tricky. In a "soft" dodger some of the best work I've seen is from a fellow up in Seattle.
    http://www.iversonsdesign.com/index.html
    While I might prefer a solid top, his cloth tops do show a lot of design background and experience.

    Anyone with experiences and photos, feel free to add 'em.


    Thanks,
    Loren

    edit: I have not found much on this subject on the web, but did find a couple of threads.
    http://www.morganscloud.com/2008/06/...t-hard-dodger/
    http://marshalldesign.blogspot.com/2...dger-test.html
    Last edited by Loren Beach; 10-04-2010 at 07:00 PM. Reason: add more detail
    1988 Olson 34 #8
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  2. #2
    Inactive Member Dave Hussey's Avatar
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    I would like to be included in any response to this thread, because it has been an interest of mine as well. Here in the Pacific North West, the weather is often wet when any consistent wind blows, and a hard dodger sounds like the way to go.
    BlueWing
    1976 E27
    hull 954

  3. #3
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    My dodger was replaced this year, the old one was disintegrating. I had planned to do a hard top for the existing dodger frame with "compression struts" on the forward bow as Iverson calls them. A hard top could be constructed fairly easily by bending structural foam or 1/8" marine plywood, laminated, to the existing frame and epoxying in place. Secure with zipties, etc. while the resin sets. Then any holes filled, the piece cut to size, sections of welting channel attached on the inside to hold the side curtains, etc. This would give two things: The watertight integrity of a solid top but the ability to have ventilation when the summer heat peaks. It also does not mess with the structure/appearance of the boat permanently. What you may love the look of a future buyer may hate....
    RT
    Rob Thomas
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  4. #4

    Hard Dodger Project

    I put a Yacht Constructors hard dodger on my E-29 a few years ago. Their gone now, but I just recently saw an ad on Portland Craigslist that someone is offering the dodgers (on the Coast?)

  5. #5
    Senior Moderator Loren Beach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rvivian View Post
    I put a Yacht Constructors hard dodger on my E-29 a few years ago. Their gone now, but I just recently saw an ad on Portland Craigslist that someone is offering the dodgers (on the Coast?)
    Here is a current link.
    http://www.cascadeyachtworks.com/par...gers/index.htm
    This is one version of the hard dodger developed for the Cascade sailboats. There is another more rounded one-piece one, but the molds may have been retained by the original company, now sold and reorganized as Chinook Composites in Portland, OR.
    Either one would look out of place on my boat.

    I do get to look at lots of these dodgers, as there are a herd of Cascades in our YC.
    No hard dodger to slow 'em down, but winning ocean racer Rain Drop moors near me...
    (just to do some name dropping...)

    LB
    1988 Olson 34 #8
    Sail # 28400
    Betamarine 25 (new 2018)
    Fresh Air
    Portland, OR USA

  6. #6
    C34IA Secretary Stu Jackson's Avatar
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    One of our guys built his own: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,4760.0.html

    Don't know if Wavestopper is still in business.

  7. #7
    Contributing Member III
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    Home Built (?) Hard Dodger

    Loren. Attached are a few pictures of the hard dodger that came with our boat when we bought it. We will be the first to agree that it is not pretty but it is very stout, provides support for the solar panel and is very functional. It is built out of aluminum. I think the build concept was good but there should have been more thought and effort put into how the final product would blend with the boat style and lines. Hope maybe you can take some ideas from the pictures. Let me know if you have questions. Thanks. Dave Cahill
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    Dave & Donna-Marie

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  8. #8
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    Hard Dodger thoughts

    I went through this a couple of years ago with my e-39. I bought it because I liked the clean lines of the boat, but since putting the dodger on I find it's much nicer on the rainy days we get up here in BC.
    I am a designer so I put a lot of thought into making it "fit the shape of the boat" and used Autocad 3d to look at varoius shapes before I started. I wanted something I could build myself so I bent the tubes with an electrical conduit bender, rolled the Aluminum sheet under a welding bottle, and sewed the sides on my old sewing machine.
    I agonized over making it tall enough to stand under and still have forward visibility around it on each side. The e-39 has that raised curver ridge around the front of the cockpit and I wanted to kerep the curved lines rather than letting it get too square, so it curved the top round enough to allow me to stand under the centre, and curving down enough to see by either edge if I lean to the side.
    It is hard to put a dodger on a flushdeck and not have it look too tall, and mine probably does, but I wouldn't trade the convenience for a sleeker shape now.

    What I'm trying to say is make it work well first. I spend a lot of my life trying to make things look great, but if it doesn't work well because it is too low or doesn't reach back far enough you are going to be disappointed.

    The only thing I would change is to use the hard polycarbonate windows - I used the soft plastic and am going tochange it this winter.

    John Gleadle
    Shanwari

  9. #9
    Principal Partner davisr's Avatar
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    Anybody ever had any problems with hard dodgers in gusty conditions or squalls? I've read about this before and have backed away from the thought of hard dodgers for this reason. I must, though, confess that I would prefer a permanently mounted hard dodger to a soft one, especially given the intensity of the sunshine and heat in this area for much of the year.

    Thanks,
    Roscoe

  10. #10
    Seglare Sven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamwari View Post
    I bent the tubes with an electrical conduit bender
    So you bent 1" SS with a manual conduit bender ? I thought SS would be too hard for that.

    It also sounds as if you used aluminum as the top ?

    Any pictures ?

    Thanks,



    -Sven
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    Photo for Sven

    Hi Sven
    I was able to bend SS fairly easily although it is quite limiting in that you only get one radius. When I wanted to bend a larger one I bent it around a cutout shape of plywood attached to a sturdy bench. You just need to make the shape smaller to account for the bendback.
    I don't know how to add a photo but if someone can explain it I'll send one.

    John Gleadle
    jgleadle@3dservices.com

  12. #12
    Seglare Sven's Avatar
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    Hi John,

    Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shamwari View Post
    I don't know how to add a photo but if someone can explain it I'll send one.
    After you edit a message scroll down a bit and click on manage attachments. Then click "browse" to fin the picture on your disk and upload.

    That's it :-)



    -Sven
    Senta II
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    e-39 Dodger Photo

    here is the photo. I think.

    John Gleadle
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  14. #14
    Seglare Sven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shamwari View Post
    here is the photo. I think.
    It worked.

    Looks very nice.

    Thanks,



    -Sven
    Senta II
    1977 Ericson 39-B -- Hull # 216
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  15. #15
    Principal Partner exoduse35's Avatar
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    Molding tricks...

    This is probably better as a stand alone thread but here it goes. The simple ways to copy curves are to first tape out some reference lines. Then either place a pattern board vertical to the piece and then mount a pencil to a block then run the block across the curve. Or run a series of strips from it like a giant set of those things with the thousand pins to copy shapes. I use like a 1x6 pine and staple 1/8 lewan strips about 1/2" wide. then just use a french curve to connect the contact points. As I type it, it sounds harder than it is. If you can copy a curve then, then you can do one at the front and back. Then if you cut out those shapes and re align them you can then use them as the form to bend and secure a panel. this gives you a female mold in one dimension. From there you can cut to the desired shape for the second dimension. Then build up the perimeter for the third dimension. It is really not much harder to copy a simple curve than a flat surface. If you can remember to work in reverse a simple mold for a 1-off part is relatively cheep and easy to make with cheep wood and paneling. Then several coats of wax and some parting compound and glass & mat/roving/cloth and you can break apart the mold and you have a working part! I found that lining the mold with duct tape will also guarantee a separation of part & mold. This method is a bit crude so don't bother with gel coat as you will need to do a bit of sanding to remove wood grain and corner ooze, but these are easy as all the inside corners of the mold are the outside edges of the part. After fairing up the piece paint or gel coat can go on and your friends will think it was store bought! A hard dodger is a big project but it is doable! I would practice on a smaller project to get the basics down. but then it is just a thousand piece jigsaw puzzle as apposed to the 500 piece ones you just mastered! Hope this all makes sense It would be much better in a 5 minute video. Have fun, Edd

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