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Old 02-15-2008
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Plexiglass dodger window

Here is SE Alaska cold rain, wet rain, and sideways rain dominate our weather patterns. This, of course requires a decent dodger (or pilothouse) for one to be able to reasonably enjoy sailing here. Typical vinyl proves to be too opaque to be used for purposes of navigation. After doing a little research into the alternatives, I decided most everything was cost prohibitive or too difficult (i.e. constructing a solid windscreen) so I decided to try a little experiment.
I constructed a replacement for panel for my hardtop dodger consisting of a 1/8" acrylic sheet bonded with Pliobond contact adhesive to sunbrella trim. The trim is doubled up, bonded on both sides, and then stitched around the perimeter. I am pleased with how this turned out. I conducted a trial of different adhesives several months ago using 1" strips of sunbrella glued to plexiglass. Pliobond was impervious to the elements, and took quite a bit of force to tear off after about a month. Visibility is going to be much better. I'm not sure how long this will last, but it was very cheap to constrct. I used less than 1/2 yard of fabric. I choose 1/8" plexiglass since it is significantly stronger than clear vinyl, yet still flexible. Here is a comparison of the old vinyl panel and the new plexiglass panel (sans snaps).



Hopefully, with a little care the new panel will last at least a few seasons. I am not going to make a cover for it, as I beleive the snap-on covers I did have contributed greatly to the scratching and fogging of the vinyl.
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Old 02-15-2008
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That is a really neat idea. You have to keep us posted on how well it works. Amazing clarity difference.

It's better to have your enemies inside your tent pissing out than outside your tent pissing in...
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