The purpose of a dodger is to keep you dry(ish), this has to be accomplished without adding extra windage, getting in the way of the operation of the boat but has to look good doing it. The "soft" dodgers I have seen on Macwester 26s appear to "work", you could use the same shape (even the metal bows) for a hard dodger.
What a nice image mine was the same colour.
Yes as you say the soft ones could be better. I could make them myself with a small clear view plastic window
I would have liked to have had the canvas top over the main hatchway door but our design is a bit different : our top hatch will be a lift up one on Gas shocks.
With a solar panel fitted in a recess on the top of it..
The reason it will give some cockpit protection. that will not need to be renewed or replaced.
This is a knockon effect from lifting the rear cockpit flooring to form channels for water to run off the deck into scuppers.
But could have been the way the last owner fitted the sliding hatch.It would not slide much...