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post #1 of 12 Old 01-20-2004 Thread Starter
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opinion: do i really need a dodger?

Hi, need assistance in deciding whether or not to buy a dodger.Do most of you guys/gals have one on your boat. I have little experience and want to know if this is a worthwhile piece of equipment .My first boat! A 1978 S2 9.2A will cruise Lake Michigan, maybe a beer can race or two, will sail in fair to moderate weather. Do I really need one?
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-20-2004
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opinion: do i really need a dodger?

Yes
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-20-2004
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opinion: do i really need a dodger?

A dodger is certianly a nice addition to most sailboats as it blocks both the wind and the spray and, depending on the design of your boat, you can even sit under it and sail in the worst of weather. Addition of a dodger may require you to modify your sail handling systems. Cons would include the cost of the dodger and the install. The addition of numerous attachment points for the dodge and the possible modification of deck hardware and sail handling systems. It may also make it more difficult to get into and out of the cabin.
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-21-2004
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opinion: do i really need a dodger?

I have a dodger on my boat but I usually take it off except when going to the islands offshore for a cruise. I have a cockpit cover that attaches to the rear of the dodger and this makes the hot days quite comfortable. I really enjoy sailing the boat more without the dodger EXCEPT WHEN OUT IN BAD WEATHER OR AT NIGHT WITH SPRAY ALL OVER ME.

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post #5 of 12 Old 01-21-2004
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opinion: do i really need a dodger?

Dodgers are nice, but they need to be done right. As mentioned above, control lines need to be considered. Is it going to stow neatly and nicely when you don''t need it up? Can you get around it easily when it is up? Will it tie in with your bimini or cockpit awning so the helmsman can be shaded too? What color should it be? Does it look right? Will it keep you dry and provide a windbreak for the on watch? We''ve sailed for many years without one, and have finally decided to get one. The trouble is answering all the questions. Checking with others who own boats like yours may help get you some answers and point you in the direction of a particular provider as well. P.S.: go for the extra handrail on the aft end. Everyone holds on there, and if all you have is the rib that the dodger cloth is wrapped around, the cloth gets dirtty and chafed from the extra wear & tear.
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-21-2004
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opinion: do i really need a dodger?

At temps in 60''s a dodger is almost required for anything more than daysailing. In the Northwest 90% of boats have one, here in southern Calif. only about 10% of boats have them. I can''t decide if it''s worth it for the couple of months in the winter I would use it on my present boat. I sort of promised my wife I would get one, she feels they are essential and doesn''t like going on the boat much when it''s below 65 degrees without one. They are absolutely great in a rainy area.
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-22-2004
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opinion: do i really need a dodger?

I have sailed with and without a dodger. The best thing I like about one is that you can leave the hatch open when it''s raining. Some water gets below but not much. It definately isn''t required and unless you find yourself getting cold and wet a lot you may not want one. A bimini is reguired here at Mobile because it gets so hot in the summer. For the many years that I sailed without a dodger I never felt deprived.
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-29-2004
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opinion: do i really need a dodger?

I''m going through the same consideration myself for a Morgan 38 I just purchased. I sail the Chesapeake Bay, where it can be raw in the Spring and is often brutal in the summer.

Prior to this boat, I owned a 28-footer for nearly 13 years and it didn''t have a dodger. I was primarily a weekend sailor.

For my new boat, I''ve pretty much decided that I''ll make a decision on adding a dodger in a year. A dodger can always be added later. The PO''s had a dodger, but the canvas has rotted away and the framing is so awkwardly styled that it needs to be replaced, if I decide to add one.

What is critical, I believe, is a bimini to keep the sun off during the oppressively hot summers. I''m in the midst of replacing that now.

Michael
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-29-2004
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opinion: do i really need a dodger?

It really depends on where you sail. In the Great Lakes no one would dream of going without a dodger. If you anticipate sailing in cool temps with the possibilty of taking cold spray you need one. If you sail in the tropics in boistrous conditions they help keep the salt out of your eyes. If you have a center cockpit boat you definately need one since you''re much closer to the bow and the spray.
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-31-2004
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opinion: do i really need a dodger?

Just spend an afternoon close-hauled off a lee shore in fresh breeze against a steep chop, with green water climbing on while the bow is still buried and rushing along the deck, drenching everything and everyone in the cockpit (which is great sailing, BTW) and you''ll know. :^)

Still Wet,
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