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  #51  
Old 12-11-2012
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
The bottom line is that owning a boat is expensive. This is why I do my own work, including canvas. There is no way that I could afford to own my boat otherwise.
Agree,

I also do my own car repairs (except for things like vac and filling the air conditioning system- after I replaced the compressor, dryer and condensor), fix my washer and dryer, fix my house, and fix my boat, fix my refrigerator, fix my solar hot water system.

I could not afford to live if I had to pay $100/hr to pay others to do this work.
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  #52  
Old 12-11-2012
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

Wonder if the OP ever got a dodger? Hope he sailed the Ericson for a bit to determine if he really needed one. I sail the SF Bay as well, and took my dodger off to do some work on the companion way years ago. It's not going back on as long as I own the boat unless I go cruising.
Better visibility. Easier access to control lines and it's rare that I find myself putting the foulies on any earlier. Last, and least importantly...the boat looks a lot better without the dodger.
Unless you have a really wet boat or are going offshore, I'd think twice before shelling out over $3,000!
BTW, a dock mate recently spent 3K to have a dodger re-canvassed on a Cal 29. I couldn't believe it!

Last edited by L124C; 12-11-2012 at 08:49 PM.
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  #53  
Old 12-11-2012
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
You don't need to justify it but the numbers do add up.. Labor is labor and canvas making is one of the more labor intensive things you can do on a boat.......
M.S.
don't not want to stray too far from topic but please explain the overhead of the bimini maker to me. The examples you site as a dealer for your car have extreme overhead; building, machinery, staff, huge insurance premiums.....not even the same or even close!
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  #54  
Old 12-11-2012
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

I recently went through the same thing. I was thinking a nice dodger would set me back 12 - 15 hundred bucks. Holy crap, I nearly soiled myself when I got the $3,000 estimate.
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  #55  
Old 12-11-2012
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

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Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
I recently went through the same thing. I was thinking a nice dodger would set me back 12 - 15 hundred bucks. Holy crap, I nearly soiled myself when I got the $3,000 estimate.
nice ones....works of art........cost 2.5X that..... or about 6xtimes what you thought!:lau gher...I cant help it!
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  #56  
Old 12-11-2012
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

What do folks think about the small just over the companion way mini-dogers.
If you have an auto-helm that is working and just want to get out of the spray but still see what is going on maybe that would be good enough.
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  #57  
Old 12-11-2012
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruiser2B View Post
M.S.
don't not want to stray too far from topic but please explain the overhead of the bimini maker to me. The examples you site as a dealer for your car have extreme overhead; building, machinery, staff, huge insurance premiums.....not even the same or even close!

Yep car dealers have huge over head. I have a college room mate who is a car dealer. He has one of the largest most expensive homes in town (property taxes alone are roughly 50k per year), a house in Aspen, Sugarloaf & a private island off the coast of Maine (that I know about).. He seems to be doing just fine..

My canvas guy on the other hand drives an old car and lives in a very modest home. He also does not own multiple Rolex, Omega and other multi-thousand dollar watches..

The canvas maker who did our current boat has about 10 people on the payroll, has a huge waterfront sail loft to support and up until last year had two locations but with the economy & a lack of "qualified help" he had to close one and consolidate. His insurance is pretty outrageous because he also does rigging and has employees up spars. We use the same insurance agency so have commiserated about insurance costs before. He has the lowest labor rate of any of the local canvas or sail lofts in the area. Still did not make my canvas project inexpensive because it all comes down to the sheer number of hours involved in a quality job..

He also charges me fairly for an honest hours work. He works for an hour, I pay him for an hour. He works for a half hour I pay him for a half hour. There is no "shop rate" book for boats so he does not work for 15 minutes and charge me for 1.25 hours of work....

His operation is quite different in scale from the Mom & Pop car garage down the street who charges the same exact labor rate, has less employees (two to be exact), a smaller lower rent shop, but does the job in 15 minutes and still charges customers for the 1.25 hours the book says...

My point is that boating labor is often not any more or less expensive than other comparable work. Heck the local awning maker is more expensive than our local canvas & sailmaker. One of my customers now uses this same guy to do the canvas work for all his local restaurants. He discovered this because the local "awning company" was about 50% more and had less attention to detail. He was sure glad he had him make a sail cover this summer because it saved him big money on the new awning that got blown off the building during Hurricane Sandy.

My canvas guy is actually less per hour than these other local services:

Car Repair
Oil Burner Service Tech
Plumber
Electrician
Appliance Repair
My Wife's Hair Dresser ($140.00 - $170.00 for about 35-40 minutes)
Landscaper ($60.00 to mow my neighbors lawn in 20 minutes)
Snow Plow Guy (my neighbor pays $40.00 per plow and it takes less than 5 minutes)

I prefer quality work and am willing to pay for it, some are not. I see lots of crappy canvas work out there that can destroy the aesthetics of an otherwise pretty boat. Not what I want to pay for but you can if you want to......

BTW the tan dodger in post #8 still looks just as good today as it did then. It still fits perfectly, not s single thread has blown out, the windows are still clear and it has held up perfectly due to a great fit and great installation. You would never know that dodger is going on 13 years old. The ugly green one in that post was just four years old and pretty much junk when I replaced it. I fully expect that the current owner will likely get 16-20 years out of it.
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 12-11-2012 at 10:19 PM.
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  #58  
Old 12-11-2012
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

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.

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  #59  
Old 12-12-2012
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabreman View Post
The bottom line is that owning a boat is expensive. This is why I do my own work, including canvas. There is no way that I could afford to own my boat otherwise.
Yep same for us and being around 70 for both of us probably won't have the boat all that long relatively so even if we could afford those prices we would never get a fraction of the money back when it came time to sell. It is one thing putting an expensive Dodger/Bimini/Whatever on a $80,000+ boat vs. say a $30,000+ dollar boat.

We have done a number of canvas projects...

Ruth Canvas Mods Index

...for both boats and could never of afforded to of had them done. They have been fun and rewarding to do. They still have been an expense that we will probably never make back when we sell either boat, but they will make the boats easier to sell and we will get a lot of enjoyment out of the boats while we own them because of the mods.

Of course.....



...they don't look like what a professional canvas guy is going to do, but ...




.....we aren't ashamed of them either and there are things that we have done that I just haven't seen in professionally done work either. If you do these projects yourself you can do some extra little things that would really add to the cost if you were paying to have them done.

I've used the same approach with our house and vehicles,

Sum

================================================

Our 37 Endeavour --- Our 26 MacGregor --- Trips With Both

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  #60  
Old 12-12-2012
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
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.
MedSailor
"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.

Last edited by L124C; 12-12-2012 at 02:03 AM.
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