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post #12 of Old 09-12-2008
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: St Peters, MO
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Smile Design is the secret!

A well designed Bimini and a well designed dodger are each worth their weight in gold under certain conditions. The photo of Ragtime attached to all my posts was taken before I had a dodger. The Bimini in the photo keeps the sun from frying my brain and blistering my ears. Takes 2-3 minutes to fold and cover when sail trim is critical, as in racing. I do not normally need to see the Windex, as I have a wind instrument on the binnacle which shows both speed and direction. I recently had a dodger custom designed and made for me - I can stand under it, just as I can stand under the Bimini. (I am 6'6") The clear windows on all three sides zip out completely, so it becomes only another short bimini when I want greater ventilation, but it protects me from cold winds and spray in November (that reads August if you sail the North Channel with Sea Monkey!) Because my mainsheet traveler is in the front of the cockpit, just aft of the companionway, I have a zip out panel connecting the Bimini to the dodger. The mainsheet goes through there, with no interference. When I pull the boom and mainsheet off to the side (At anchor) I can put in that panel, attach screens all around, and I have another room in my house! I am currently making a heavy plastic rainshield to go all around for when the rain comes through the screens.
I can see where it wouldn't work on a smaller boat, because the boom is lower on a smaller boat, but for me, it's wonderful! BTW, I contacted a large canvas company on line that said they had dodger patterns for all boats- the photo of a 37 Endeavour they sent me looked like the dodger was 4 feet high!

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1980 Endeavour 37 sloop, currently in the Mississippi near St Louis
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