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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 06-06-2009
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camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
"under coastal sailing I haven't been able to use them to stay all that dry"

That's why full cockpit enclosures are even better than dodgers.
3 parts...dodger, bimini, enclosure. Use each as needed.
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  #12  
Old 06-06-2009
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We wouldn't be without one either, for all the reasons previously mentioned. The biggest factor for us is reducing crew exposure. Getting forward into the wind/sea break formed by the dodger makes a world of difference in comfort. The watch can put the boat on autopilot and stay in shelter with a good view and easy access to the radio, plotter, etc. We ran without an autopilot for a number of years, and not having that option dramatically reduced the amount of time someone could safely stand a watch.

I notice your handle is MedSailor but your location is Seattle... is that a recent move? I'd be very surprised if you went through a complete season up here and didn't see some value in a dodger. Indeed, a lot of people around here do go with a full-cockpit or pilot-house arrangement.
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  #13  
Old 06-06-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScuzzMonkey View Post
We wouldn't be without one either, for all the reasons previously mentioned. The biggest factor for us is reducing crew exposure. Getting forward into the wind/sea break formed by the dodger makes a world of difference in comfort. The watch can put the boat on autopilot and stay in shelter with a good view and easy access to the radio, plotter, etc. We ran without an autopilot for a number of years, and not having that option dramatically reduced the amount of time someone could safely stand a watch.

I notice your handle is MedSailor but your location is Seattle... is that a recent move? I'd be very surprised if you went through a complete season up here and didn't see some value in a dodger. Indeed, a lot of people around here do go with a full-cockpit or pilot-house arrangement.
Med refers to Medicine actually. I've been boating in the PNW for 8 years. I guess I've relied on my gore-tex foul weather gear more than anything. I've never owned an autopilot though I guess standing watch in the companionway under autopilot would be an advantage.
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  #14  
Old 06-06-2009
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I think that it somewhat depends on the style of dodger that you have. There are small ones that really don't do anything but cover the companionway and offer limited protection from wind and rain, and then there are dodgers that extend well aft of the companionway and as wide as the cabin. We have a dodger that covers enough of the cockpit that you can sit in out of the wind and rain on either side of the companionway and it also has small side walls that can be unrolled to give protection from wind and water on the windward side when needed. We love it, but I agree with you about the distorted vision.
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  #15  
Old 06-06-2009
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Depends on the dodger...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
So how exactly does it do that? Keeping the companionway open I can see. But keeping the helmsman, winchman, or anyone dry I can't. Most dodgers I see don't extend much past the coachroof so unless you're standing right up against it, leaning forward, AND going to windward, it won't help much. I can see that if you're on a passage and sailing under autopilot/windvane you could sit in the companionway and look out the dodger, but under coastal sailing I haven't been able to use them to stay all that dry. User error perhaps?

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This, on a 20F morning in January.

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  #16  
Old 06-07-2009
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Now that's a dodger! I could see using one like that, but as I contemplate building a nice wooden one on my boat, it won't be extending aft into the cockpit and definitely not aft enough to enclose the helmsman.

Wouldn't have to worry about your beer getting warm on a 20F day....

MedSailor
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  #17  
Old 06-07-2009
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Honest, if it did not keep me out of the rain/sun, it wouldn't be worth the loss...

Quote:
Originally Posted by MedSailor View Post
Now that's a dodger! I could see using one like that, but as I contemplate building a nice wooden one on my boat, it won't be extending aft into the cockpit and definitely not aft enough to enclose the helmsman.

Wouldn't have to worry about your beer getting warm on a 20F day....

MedSailor
of visibility. I keep the windows zipped down in nice weather, to see better. Try several boats before you chose. I have been on some where the visibility loss was terrible.
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  #18  
Old 06-07-2009
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  #19  
Old 06-07-2009
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Once a very long time ago I sailed from Hawaii to Ventura, Ca., with two other guys on a 28' trimaran. It was bare bones sailing, and no matter what the weather or the time of your watch, you would pull your 4 hour watch in a completely open cockpit. Sometimes the sun baked you to a crisp, sometimes the wind dried all the moisture out of your skin, and sometime the cold sucked the life out of you. There were times when sitting out in the open was nice, but most times it sucked...sometimes it took all of your endurance to make it to the change of watch. I promised myself if I ever got a boat of my own, protection at the helm would be a high priority. Now I have a very good dodger covering a good area of the cockpit, and a bimini type top over my head to the stern. I have the appropriate clothing for the weather if I need it, and standing a watch is a dream compared to those old days…I would never own a boat without a good dodger. Some people live for the open cockpit (but not this guy), so for those that do you can have it!
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Old 06-07-2009
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Thumbs up to Dodgers for all the reasons above.....Also in the tropics the protection they provide (non-helming) crew from the sun is invaluable.
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