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Old 02-02-2004
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c172guy is on a distinguished road
opinion: do i really need a dodger?

Go sailing for a while before you buy!!!! If you find yourself getting cold and wet then buy. Green water coming over the bow doesn''t happen very often(never) for most sailors. I would suggest that you check out a hard dodger if you decide to buy. I am always a little worried when going forward around my soft dodger. You can''t reach the coachtop handrail and must hold onto the soft dodger''s edge for a moment while stepping around the dodger. There is nothing good to grab for a couple of seconds!!! A hard dodger with a strong handhold would make me feel much better. We plan to buy a hard dodger when our soft dodger needs replacing. But even sailing this winter(last weekend) with a good chop very little spray came into the cockpit. It would takes some major chop to let green water come over the bow!!! It doesn''t help as much as you would think in the rain. The wheel is too far aft so wind blows some rain around the dodger and in from the side. With cockpit sheeting the dodger extends aft as far as possible.
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Old 02-02-2004
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GordMay is on a distinguished road
opinion: do i really need a dodger?

Folding Dodgers fabricated from 1" Stainless Steel Pipe, and properly fastened, can provide a safe and secure shelter - and the various shapes and sizes of grab rails which can be added to the forward or aft frames will provide secure hand holds for standing in the cockpit or maneuvering around the dodger.

Iím not arguing against a well conceived Hard Dodger.

For exemplars (from 1 of many manufacturers) go to:
Description of Aft & Side Handles @ http://www.sportechsails.com/dodger.html
Pictures @ http://www.sportechsails.com/thumb.html

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