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Old 11-02-2011
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Dodger details

I'm posting this to this forum rather than Islander because it probably applies to more boats than just my Islander 30. I'm replacing my current aluminum frame dodger with a new stainless frame one. The current dodger is at exactly the wrong height. I can't see over it without standing up very tall and I can see under it without crouching. I don't want to go lower as I already bonk my head coming out of the companion way. Unless I'm very cleaver, going higher means it won't fold forward because it interferes with the traveler. I've looked at moving the pivot to the bulkhead and adding an elbow, but haven't convinced myself I'm cleaver enough to make it look elegant.

I'm leaning strongly toward making it taller and making it such that the top part (between the bows) is never stowed and that all of the forward panels can either be removed, rolled or pulled over the top when I don't want a dodger. Sojourn has a tiller, so in typical sailing attitude I'm sitting on the combing looking past the dodger and in typical motoring (at least when not using auto tiller) I would be looking through the center panel.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Old 11-02-2011
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Any chance you could solve this problem by standing on a flat fender at the helm in order to gain a couple inches of height and see over the top?

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Old 11-02-2011
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That is an interesting thought - effectively raising the cockpit floor.
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That's the trick I use on the Catalina 36 in our charter fleet, on which I'm just the wrong height for the dodger. The extra couple inches makes all the difference, with the added bonus of a little extra cushion underfoot. I mainly use it motoring; when sailing I'm usually sitting or standing off to the side a bit.
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Old 11-02-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shogan50 View Post
Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Get a couple of pockets sewn in the sides (on the inside of course). Very handy for stowing light items.
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Old 11-02-2011
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Pix would be helpful.

Also, I bought two of the flat fenders from West Marine for protection during Irene. The exterior cushion (blue) started to separate from the internal foam (grey) within a week of late August sun in New England. Fortunately, the fenders were not needed and I returned them.
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Quote:
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Any chance you could solve this problem by standing on a flat fender at the helm in order to gain a couple inches of height and see over the top?


Those flat fenders are very slippery when wet. Don't ask how I know.
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Old 11-02-2011
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I do that when I have my bimini folded forward. It's RIGHT across the horizon, unless I sit on a flat fender.

Quote:
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Any chance you could solve this problem by standing on a flat fender at the helm in order to gain a couple inches of height and see over the top?

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"It ain't all buttons and charts, little albatross. You know what the first rule of sailing is? Love. You take a boat in to sea that you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of worlds. Love keeps her afloat when she oughtta founder... tells ya she's hurtin' 'fore she keens… makes her a home." Captain Malcom Reynolds, Paraphrased
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Old 11-02-2011
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I have a 30 ft sailboat with a dodger, and have it set up to be low enough to see over the top while standing. Sitting I look through the dodger's plastic windows. This is an advantage since as the windows age, or durring spray and rain, they are not as clear. I can improve my vision by just standing up and looking over the top. I do not think adding a step or fender to step on is a good long term solution, it would be one more thing to trip over and slide around.

It is low enough that we have to duck when entering the cabin, and I have hit my head on it more than once, but for me the compromise has been worth it.

I would second the recomendation for pockets in the dodger, handy for GPS, phones and other small items to have close at hand. I also added grab bars on the outside of the dodger which was a great saftey plus while boarding or going forward. A removable center panel is good to increase ventilation to the cockpit on hot days, so we never fold it down.
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The fact that you never fold it down is helpful to me. I'll definitely add some pockets. I also intend to install a grab rail going from back bow to the cabin top forward enough that I can transition from this hand hold to the shrouds without having to bend down. My cabin top hand rails are at about knee level. There is currently a couple of uncomfortable steps with really nothing to grab a hold of between the back of the (currently flimsy aluminum) dodger and the shrouds.
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