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  #71  
Old 02-03-2013
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

Sumner, that looks pretty good! Better than my first sewing jobs.

Minnewaska, I think that's the better way to do it.

OK, one more dumb question - Can I template off the frame at home, or does it need to be done at the boat? That is, could I (or the canvas guy) take home the frame and make a template without the frame being on the boat? Just trying to think of ways the job could be made easier. When I tried to make a template for my companionway last spring, the gnats were brutal and made it almost impossible.
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Last edited by jimgo; 02-03-2013 at 10:32 AM.
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  #72  
Old 02-03-2013
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
Can I template off the frame at home, or does it need to be done at the boat? That is, could I (or the canvas guy) take home the frame and make a template without the frame being on the boat? Just trying to think of ways the job could be made easier. When I tried to make a template for my companionway last spring, the gnats were brutal and made it almost impossible.
You could probably rough the main canopy as long as you KNEW you had the same geometry on the mounting points as you do on the boat.. but you couldn't pattern the transition to the cabintop anywhere else.. AFAIK the pros all do this on the boat. Best results would be having the frame exactly as installed (therefore on the boat) and patterning the entire dodger there.
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  #73  
Old 02-03-2013
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
....Can I template off the frame at home, or does it need to be done at the boat?.....
Same with most things. If you want it to come out right, you have to prepare it right.

The difference between canvas that is so tight you can't get it to properly wrap around the frame and canvas that looks saggy and loose is about a 1/4 of an inch.

I would do it in place on the boat.
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Old 02-03-2013
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

On the boat in place.
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  #75  
Old 02-03-2013
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

I was afraid you would say that! Hmmmm... Gotta break out the heavy-duty bug spray.
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  #76  
Old 02-03-2013
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

If we would of had the choice it would of been at the boat and the house, but our boat is 2200 miles from the house.

I took some measurements of the coaming that....



...goes around the cockpit/companionway and tried....



...to duplicate them at home and first setup the old dodger that was torn, old and had a number of zippers that didn't work. It worked pretty well, but as has been mentioned there isn't a lot of difference of being skin tight and loose (we are somewhere in-between).

We are happy with the outcome but one problem area was where...



...the bimini attaches to the dodger where the 2 left double arrows are. I didn't get the angle of the bimini in relation to the dodger quite right at home and..



... the bimini sits higher on the boat vs. what I had at home so we had to cut the area where they join on the sides (rolled up in the above picture) and modify that at the yard with the sewing machine. We did that just before we left and didn't put it back on, so no new pictures.

Our boat will sit for a good part of the year in Florida without us so we wanted the dodger and bimini to go on and off quickly for storage so all of the pockets....



....where they attach to the frame are zippered.

We also wanted the front window to have a lot of options. The screen can zip off and will be off unless we are using...



...the full cockpit screen. The window also zips completely out if you want and I put in 4 zippers pulls so that you can ...



...open the whole window and leave it in place (above) or open any one or two...



...areas of it. This all takes a lot of time. All of this is on the web site,

Sum

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  #77  
Old 02-03-2013
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

If you've ever had a new top put on a convertible the prices of custom dodgers doesn't seem so out of line.
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  #78  
Old 08-09-2013
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
Resurrecting this old thread because prices have changed...

I contracted with a well respected high end canvas shop to replace my ancient POS dodger, and the frame with the following:
Custom sail dodger, 1 " stainless 316L frame, rope groove deck mount, Sunbrella fabric, gore-tex thread, YKK UV zippers, Strataglass .040 window material, removable center window, welded aft grab bar, awning zipper with stamoid covered grab area, rear fixed bracing struts all stainless hardware supplied and installed on site.

In addition, I have elected to have a single tube awning system 1" stainless 316L frame, Two split rail mounts for fixed bracing, side mounted to outside cockpit combing, Zippered pockets and zipper split for single backstay opening installed on site.

The total is slightly north of $7300...

Here is the before picture;

I will post the after next spring when it is finished.
The dodger and bimini were installed in April... Unfortunately it has taken me 'till now to get around to posting back on this topic. The dodger alone cost ~$5k, and here is what I received;
  • Custom sail dodger - the canvas guy came out to my boat with me, and fitted the dodger to me. The height, and width were designed so that I could see without having to duck to see under, or peer over the top.
  • 1 " stainless 316L frame - the old canvas had an aluminum frame
  • rope groove deck mount
  • Sunbrella fabric
  • gore-tex thread
  • YKK UV zippers
  • Strataglass .040 window material
  • removable center window - if I had it to do again, I would opt for a window which I could simply unzip, and flip over the top of the dodger. I keep the window is removed, unless it is raining, and I plan to use it in the late fall when the temps fall below 40ºF.
  • welded aft grab bar
  • awning zipper with stamoid covered grab area
  • adjustable rear fixed bracing struts
  • all stainless hardware supplied and installed on site.

Here are some of the after photos;






I've sailed with it through May, June, and July. Here are my observations:
  • The stainless steel frame with grab rail are a TREMENDOUS improvement
  • Note that the top of the dodger has a very slight crown, so that it sheds water. The old dodger was more square on the top, and as a result retained the water on the top, which then leaked through the Sunbrella and down the companionway
  • The new dodger has mesh pockets near the coming, and THEY ARE AWESOME! perfect for holding binoc's. handheld VHF, bungy cords, shoes, air horn, etc.
  • The support struts that replaced the webbing make great hand holds, and are actually turnbuckles. I can twist the strut, and it will tighten, or loosen the canvas (it is rather loose in the pic above) to make the canvas look neater.
  • he also added two of these leather cutouts for the traveler adjustments.

You can also see, in the pic above one item that I was less impressed with. In the course of removing the old dodger, he also had to remove several "lift the dot screw studs" from the deck. We discussed this concern before he began the work, but he assured me that he runs into this all the time, and he had a solution. His solution was to simply fill the holes in the deck by injecting 4200, and covering with fiberglass packing tape. I will likely bore these out and inject epoxy, and gelcoat next spring.

Here is another pic;

Another nit is that while the rope track was being mounted, there must have been several mistakes in the drilling. Rather than pattern a track, he simply drilled new holes elsewhere in the track. You can see this above. Honestly, this isn't a big deal, but for top dollar (and this was), and from a very highly respected canvas person, I expected everything to be perfect.

We also installed a custom 1 rail Bimini. This cost another ~$2K. The Bimini folds up into this;

Here is how the stainless frame is fastened through the deck.

I say "we" because I was there for the installation. I helped his helper seal the holes as noted above per his direction. However on the through bolts, I insisted that he use Butyl tape to seal holes drilled through the deck (instead of 4200), and that he use fender washers and through bolts, rather than simply screwing the mounting bracket pictured above into the deck.

The canvas guy also made 3 custom winch covers, and a small binnacle cover, which he threw in at no additional cost.

All in all, I am happy with the result, and grateful to take advantage of his experience. However, I am very tempted to buy a SailRite machine, and start my new career...

I am sharing this with the forum, so that you will have a benchmark of what this kind of project costs, and entails. PM me if you want a referral. This guy does great work!
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Last edited by eherlihy; 08-11-2013 at 08:51 AM. Reason: added cost of bimini, and reason for the post.
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  #79  
Old 08-09-2013
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

Nice piece.

As to buying a sewing machine and going into business - how many wealthy canvas stitchers do you know?
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Old 08-10-2013
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Re: Dodger Sticker Shock!

Guess I aint getting one. I thought $375 for my bimini was bad. I figured a dodger would run about 3-5 hundred. Damn.
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