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post #78 of Old 08-09-2013
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Resurrecting this old thread because prices have changed...

I contracted with a well respected high end canvas shop to replace my ancient POS dodger, and the frame with the following:
Custom sail dodger, 1 " stainless 316L frame, rope groove deck mount, Sunbrella fabric, gore-tex thread, YKK UV zippers, Strataglass .040 window material, removable center window, welded aft grab bar, awning zipper with stamoid covered grab area, rear fixed bracing struts all stainless hardware supplied and installed on site.

In addition, I have elected to have a single tube awning system 1" stainless 316L frame, Two split rail mounts for fixed bracing, side mounted to outside cockpit combing, Zippered pockets and zipper split for single backstay opening installed on site.

The total is slightly north of $7300...

Here is the before picture;

I will post the after next spring when it is finished.
The dodger and bimini were installed in April... Unfortunately it has taken me 'till now to get around to posting back on this topic. The dodger alone cost ~$5k, and here is what I received;
  • Custom sail dodger - the canvas guy came out to my boat with me, and fitted the dodger to me. The height, and width were designed so that I could see without having to duck to see under, or peer over the top.
  • 1 " stainless 316L frame - the old canvas had an aluminum frame
  • rope groove deck mount
  • Sunbrella fabric
  • gore-tex thread
  • YKK UV zippers
  • Strataglass .040 window material
  • removable center window - if I had it to do again, I would opt for a window which I could simply unzip, and flip over the top of the dodger. I keep the window is removed, unless it is raining, and I plan to use it in the late fall when the temps fall below 40F.
  • welded aft grab bar
  • awning zipper with stamoid covered grab area
  • adjustable rear fixed bracing struts
  • all stainless hardware supplied and installed on site.

Here are some of the after photos;

I've sailed with it through May, June, and July. Here are my observations:
  • The stainless steel frame with grab rail are a TREMENDOUS improvement
  • Note that the top of the dodger has a very slight crown, so that it sheds water. The old dodger was more square on the top, and as a result retained the water on the top, which then leaked through the Sunbrella and down the companionway
  • The new dodger has mesh pockets near the coming, and THEY ARE AWESOME! perfect for holding binoc's. handheld VHF, bungy cords, shoes, air horn, etc.
  • The support struts that replaced the webbing make great hand holds, and are actually turnbuckles. I can twist the strut, and it will tighten, or loosen the canvas (it is rather loose in the pic above) to make the canvas look neater.
  • he also added two of these leather cutouts for the traveler adjustments.

You can also see, in the pic above one item that I was less impressed with. In the course of removing the old dodger, he also had to remove several "lift the dot screw studs" from the deck. We discussed this concern before he began the work, but he assured me that he runs into this all the time, and he had a solution. His solution was to simply fill the holes in the deck by injecting 4200, and covering with fiberglass packing tape. I will likely bore these out and inject epoxy, and gelcoat next spring.

Here is another pic;

Another nit is that while the rope track was being mounted, there must have been several mistakes in the drilling. Rather than pattern a track, he simply drilled new holes elsewhere in the track. You can see this above. Honestly, this isn't a big deal, but for top dollar (and this was), and from a very highly respected canvas person, I expected everything to be perfect.

We also installed a custom 1 rail Bimini. This cost another ~$2K. The Bimini folds up into this;

Here is how the stainless frame is fastened through the deck.

I say "we" because I was there for the installation. I helped his helper seal the holes as noted above per his direction. However on the through bolts, I insisted that he use Butyl tape to seal holes drilled through the deck (instead of 4200), and that he use fender washers and through bolts, rather than simply screwing the mounting bracket pictured above into the deck.

The canvas guy also made 3 custom winch covers, and a small binnacle cover, which he threw in at no additional cost.

All in all, I am happy with the result, and grateful to take advantage of his experience. However, I am very tempted to buy a SailRite machine, and start my new career...

I am sharing this with the forum, so that you will have a benchmark of what this kind of project costs, and entails. PM me if you want a referral. This guy does great work!

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USCG Licensed OUPV Captain, ASA 101/103/104/105/106/118 Instructor - Also certified in Marine Electrical Systems

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Last edited by eherlihy; 08-11-2013 at 07:51 AM. Reason: added cost of bimini, and reason for the post.
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