Join Date: Jun 2004
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I agree wholeheartedly that it's all about design for a bimini and for a dodger. Assuming the design and construction is right, you then get into the realm of personal opinion and individual boat use. Joan and I took the well built bimini off of our Passport 50 when we bought her; we use the boat from the Chesapeake to Maine and have never found we needed a bimini due to the sun or rain. Hats and wicking shirts on deck in the sun and hats and rain gear in the rain have worked well. We find that the bimini restricts our movement and our lines of sight when we are underway; this isn't acceptable for us.
The dodger is another story. An absolute must for cold weather and for beating into head seas. Many cruisers are fond of well designed and appropriate looking hard dogers - we are thinking of one of these. It is astonishing how much protection from spray and cold a good dodger provides to the crew on watch.
There are multiple sun shades with various tie-down solutions and batten frames that serve quiet well as sun shelters when anchored. We really find the frame and canvas of a bimini restrictive when underway.
But - again - that's one couple's opinion FWIW.
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