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  #1  
Old 04-12-2010
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Advise on dodger windows please?

Hi,
Now that our bimin is finished we are about to have our dodger built and the piece in between. The framing is already done.
We thought we would have the windows on the dodger all un-zip so we could store them away and get all the breeze we can.
We are doing this because we will be heading south from San Diego in the future. Cursing the pacific side of Central America.

What do you think of this idea, all the windows being removable?

Most dodgers here have two removable side windows with the center one that rolls up.
The two corner ones stay on forever.

Like I said we would like to have the two corner ones be removable and the center roll up on be a roll up and be removable.

Our thinking with the bimini and doger and the piece in between (dodger and bimni) the whole area would just be one big patio cover without any obstruction.

Is this over kill?

A bad idea?

A good idea?

Thanks,
Chip s/v Elegant'sea IF36-B #29
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Old 04-12-2010
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I wouldn't do it. It is likely to make the dodger far weaker than it would be if the corner ones were fixed in place. BTW, rolling up isinglass is one of the worst things you can do to it.
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Old 04-12-2010
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I would agree that rolling up unclean eisenglass or acetate windscreens is damaging, but if you rinse them and dry them and don't wipe them down with particulates not rinsed from the surface, you will do well. Also, be sure to cover any stainless with felt, hose of sunbrella sleeves if they are in contact with the clear plastic windscreen. The hot metal will burn and discolor the windscreen. 210 plastic cleaner/polish is a product that also greatly increases the lifespan of our plastic. If you're living on board as we do south of 30 degrees latitude, I would agree with the plan to be able to fully ventilate the cockpit. I agree with Sailingdog's suggestion of not removing or rolling the corner panels. take care and joy, Aythya crew

Last edited by CaptainForce; 04-12-2010 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 04-12-2010
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I find myself disagreeing with Dog on this one.

My wife just redid our dodger and built it exactly the way you described. We have three zip in panels to the top piece...which essentially is a bimini. You see this design on some boats with a permanent dodger and they are no less structurally sound.

The panels zip into the dodger bimini and are held by snaps to the boat on the bottom edge. Make sure you create the overlap of the bimini long enough to have material from it covering the zippers. We also used Eisenglass. Rolling any of the glasses will ruin them. We take our panels out and have air from all sides when its hot. The panels lay flat in our quarter berth. Our front panel is almost like a huge picture window. Make covers for them when the boat is at anchor or at the dock to minimize the exposure and irt on the windows.

The trick here is to creat a bimini...then use side and fron panels. Its all in the design and of course measurement and fit...measure and fit. We now know why the canvas people get so much money for their craft.

Dave
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Old 04-12-2010
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I think a boom tent or awning would do far more than opening up the dodger completely. The space between the bimini/extension/dodger and the boom tent would act as an insulator, reducing heat in the cabin and cockpit.
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Old 04-12-2010
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Given the difficulty in handling the stuff, are the exotic materials really worthwhile for dodger clears ?

We are about to have our new Dodger made and I'm debating the advantages with the maker. He's against it.
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Old 04-12-2010
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My 1st dodger had the zip out side windows. over time it was the zippers that went, and weakened the panels. When I purchased a new dodger I made the side panels permanent. Put SS grab handles ion the side ( Bolt thru. )
And welded a full length grab bar on the cockpit side.

I haven't missed the side panels.
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Old 04-12-2010
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Our current boat, as well as our last, has a dodger where all the panels can be unzipped and removed. I wouldn't be without the feature as it definately gives you a lot of flexibility based on the weather. Summer days on the Chesapeake can but rather hot and humid and the extra air flow keeps the cockpit much more comfortable. As for materials, the last boat had eisenglass the current has acrylic. After 7+ yrs the eisenglass was in great shape. Some of that probably due to the covers we kept on them during the week. The acrylic wont flex and scratches easily but provides fantastic visibility. We also have a full enclosure made of eisenglass. My wife cut felt panels to roll up with the panels to protect them. The same thing for the acrylic panels. Takes a few minutes extra but well worth it.
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Old 04-12-2010
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Dodger

My dodger actually has 6 seperate and removable panels and I don't think it lessens the strength of it at all. It has two front windows with the seam in the middle. The sides both have a small section toward the rear that is removed when we are beating to weather because the sheets will rub on them otherwise. As far as to what the windows should be, I'd recommend Stratoglass but practice some caution with it as it can be broken. I know I've broke two of mine so far by allowing a sheet to slap against them while making quick tacks in races .

Good luck!



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Old 04-12-2010
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Dog...hard to sail with that tent over the boom....but at anchor or in the slip I agree.

Good glass is well worth the price. Take care of it..Cover it when not using it. Use the correct materials to clean it.

We put grab rails on also. With the new adjustable unlocking jaw slides which are made now, these can be removed to replace the panel with just the removal of two set screws.

Zippers are the weak points. So buy a machine and make your own panels. When a zipper deteriorates...take it off and put a new one on. When a panel wears out...make a new one. So much cheaper that way. When the glass gets bad...cut it out and replace it. The machione pays for itself quickly...not to mention the savings fromsending the sail to the loft for minor tuneups every winter.

Dave
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