Originally Posted by MedSailor
I had the same problem when I looked into having a doger made for my first boat. I actually wanted a full enclosure with side windows as a "Seattle sunroom". I was floored by the price!
Solution? I went without a dodger. I know I'm in the minority here, but I still don't really get the point of them. At ANY point of sail (since you can't go directly upwind) the dodger won't protect you from the wind if you're at the helm or cockpit benches. The only place you are protected is huddled under it! They're hard to see under and around and get in the way of a lot of things.
Over 10 years in the Pacific Northwest without a dodger I still don't want one. I've also been on many many boats with them and still don't see the appeal. Try a couple seasons without before you spend that much money.
"Seattle Sunroom"....I love it!
As I indicated earlier, I basically agree. However, if your sailing into a brisk head wind and sit to leeward, a dodger can give some relief. That counts when you are doing a long watch. In addition, when you see green water heading your way, it gives you a place to duck into (never fun getting hosed, even if you're in foulies). Both reasons I think dodgers have a place at sea. For bay sailing?....not on my boat.