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post #5 of Old 03-14-2004
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Hard dodgers

Karen, I think you''re actually asking about a somewhat hybrid dodger type, altho'' these days it''s often referred to as a ''hard dodger''. Friends recently purchased and set up a Caliber 40 with the kind of ''hard top'' dodger I think you''re considering, with plastic front ''ports'' (more like windows) and a stainless frame to anchor it all down.

Nereus has described the benefits well, and Rich is pointing out the downsides (which won''t apply to you initially, but might when you head E or W to begin offshore cruising. The ''hard top dodger'' I''ve seen on multiple new Calibers isn''t really that different - structurally or in the kind of protection it offers - than a conventional Sunbrella + Frame dodger that''s similarly designed...and the frame supporting it is also similar. The benefit of the ''hard top dodger'' IMO is more about longevity. Fabric dodgers that use Strataglas windows can also offer long-term clear viewing. Hard dodgers cost more and you must live with them when e.g. you''re rigging the boat for an approaching tropical storm...but they last longer than the fabric kind. Offshore, I think both types are vulnerable.

I think it''s partly just my taste in boat lines, but I find the C47 LRC to already have too much windage and ''height'', perhaps defeating a bit the kind of performance you''d like to enjoy from a boat of that size. Adding another ''floor'' to the boat''s lines by virtue of a tall ''hard top'' dodger srikes me as going in the wrong direction...but as I said, this may be more subjective on my part. You might want to take another good look at your new boat, ask yourself what you think of her current appearance, and how you feel about that kind of mod.

Good luck on the shakedown and heading out, full-time!

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