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  #61  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: Living on Island Time...

Brian,

Looking at your pic, I can see the distortiions everyone is worried about in your enclosure. I can also see where you would not want those at night (I only sail a GP14 at the moment.. so no enclosures for me), but having said that, I do not see any show stoppers as far as seeing what is out there. Keep the clear parts scratch and wrinkle free and you should be good.

And excellant advice on the fumes. I would have never thought of that
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  #62  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: Living on Island Time...

Jon has some good points but not sure what his big beef is other than being ugly. He even doesn't like dodgers for which I don't either (current boat doesn't have one). Having said that though, if one is cruising or liveaboard full time in cold weather or rough/bad seas where water is coming over the bow, I believe it is necessary.
The key to any good Bimini, dodger and full enclosure is how/who made it. Wrinkles in any canvass/ensign glass is a big no no for any good canvass maker. A bad canvass company is the reason why most designs are unworkable and ugly. Like Jon, seeing forward through a dodger is a must. I cannot count how many boats I have sailed where the design and manufacture of these dodgers I want to scream "What are you thinking!" For me a dodger that I can collapse is a must.
For a full enclosure, all have zipper panels for when you don't need them and/or roll up. Even in Brains panel, while wrinkled, you can still see through them. There have been many times I wish the boat I was sailing had them. At anchorage they are nice when it gets raining or cold. Bug screens work too during summer or hot days. Some even keep out most rains.
I understand Jon's concern in isolating oneself from the elements during changing conditions. That accident in the Bermuda Race he cited, is a classic example of even the most experience crews bad things can happen. But most sailors don't go out in those conditions. Even when one finds themselves in those conditions, judgement plays a critical role. It is here that most mistakes are made. If you don't like any panel in any enclosure, you always have the option to take it down, to include a dodger.
When sailing, bottom line is the cockpit is 50% of your living environment. Why take it out due to bad weather. Communing with nature is one reason we sail, good and bad weather.
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  #63  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: Living on Island Time...

Personally I'd not go without a full enclosure on ANY boat.

It just makes it useable.

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Current boat - this one needs some work to get it right.
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  #64  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: Living on Island Time...

Great photos! Brings back memories of my cruise in the Keys in 2010! Fair Winds!
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  #65  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: Living on Island Time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
Wow after reading this I was headed for the door to take the front windshield off of my car and put the windows down. Its 20 here this AM with snow showers.e

Id get some quisical looks driving down I95 to DC this AM in my Gils

I agree with many of your observations. I dont think its as black and white as you present though

Our enlcosures can be added/ subtracted in pieces to preserve the openess and rarely have we ever been fully buttoined up except at anchor. We have full 360 degree range of acccess to all 4 of our cabin top winches. Major visability windows to the top of the mast, main sail, and jib. Our entire fron window zips out for night sailing as that is the most difficult.

I wonder how much to factor in the wear and tear, and dibilitation from sitting in 45 degrees for 8 hours with a 25 knott wind/ and rain and how that also factors into the safety curve. To think it doesnt have a major effect on safety and alertness as you wear down would be serious shortsightedness.

Many of the issues you addessed cam be compensated for such as windows in dodgers and biminis, and the awareness of knowing you are not feeling some of the true conditions is important I agree

So you can look like the old man ibn the sea with a weathered, leathered aged face with melonaoma induced spotted skin grafts or you can choose to cover up somewhat and save your skin, as well as add years on to your sailing experience...your choice. I choose comfort and safety
Well I have been know to drive in the snow with the top down, but that is with the heat blasting.
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  #66  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: Living on Island Time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
Brian,

Looking at your pic, I can see the distortiions everyone is worried about in your enclosure. I can also see where you would not want those at night (I only sail a GP14 at the moment.. so no enclosures for me), but having said that, I do not see any show stoppers as far as seeing what is out there. Keep the clear parts scratch and wrinkle free and you should be good.

And excellant advice on the fumes. I would have never thought of that

Yep, Jon's comments are right on about the issues, except I dissagree about the deterioating conditions. My experience is that you don't even need eyeballs to know when things are getting bad. It becomes pretty obvious with the boat motion! I sure wish my enclosure was good enough to shut out all the bad weather!

However, the glare issue is one to consider. I cannot even stand it through the dodger! I lean over through the enclosure, light shinning out, to see. Anything that lights hit (which includes stainless, mast, things on the deck, etc) shines back and screws up your night vision. Mine already sucks, so we often have the kids doing some lookout for us. Incredible how well their eyes see.

We have eisenglass panels on the top of our bimini to see the sails, but they still aren't great compared to not having a bimini. But not having a bimini in Florida is paramount to skin cancer and heat stroke. I'll just have to deal with the irritation of looking up through the eisenglass.

All things in boating are tradeoffs. I believe, on this issue, that keeping the crew relatively warm and comfortable supercededs the issues of the enclosure. However, each person has to figure out what works for them.

Brian
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  #67  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: Living on Island Time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
All things in boating are tradeoffs. I believe, on this issue, that keeping the crew relatively warm and comfortable supercededs the issues of the enclosure.
+1. If you're cruising - especially with family - comfort is extremely important, and is actually a safety factor in itself.

I'm certainly not convinced by the arguments against. I understand the strong preferences - but I don't think those rise to absolutes by any means.
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  #68  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: Living on Island Time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
Brian,

Looking at your pic, I can see the distortiions everyone is worried about in your enclosure. I can also see where you would not want those at night (I only sail a GP14 at the moment.. so no enclosures for me), but having said that, I do not see any show stoppers as far as seeing what is out there. Keep the clear parts scratch and wrinkle free and you should be good.

And excellant advice on the fumes. I would have never thought of that
My wife made our windows out of Strataglass. You cant roll our windows up, but they zip out, so you dont have any wrinlkling like cruisingdads. They are as clear 4 years later, as regular windows. The trick is ib their care and to use the space age portectant when polishing them which acts like rainex.
You also have to cover them when not at the boat. Theonly problem is refected light from the inside like Jon said. I highly recommend Strataglass over all the other dodger glasses.

A CO2 detector is important on board also as you can be downwind of a PB spewing CO@ all night from their onboard generator you cant hear as well as the vacum effect CD talked about.

Dave
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  #69  
Old 01-22-2013
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Re: Living on Island Time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
A CO2 detector is important on board also as you can be downwind of a PB spewing CO@ all night from their onboard generator you cant hear as well as the vacum effect CD talked about.

Dave
Another very good point I would not have thought of.
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  #70  
Old 01-23-2013
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Re: Living on Island Time...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mad_machine View Post
Brian,

Looking at your pic, I can see the distortiions everyone is worried about in your enclosure. I can also see where you would not want those at night (I only sail a GP14 at the moment.. so no enclosures for me), but having said that, I do not see any show stoppers as far as seeing what is out there. Keep the clear parts scratch and wrinkle free and you should be good.
I’m getting the impression that very few of the proponents of full enclosures do much, if any, sailing after dark… Like I said, it’s one thing to motor down the ICW in daylight hours inside such greenhouses, but after dark, or in fog, it’s a whole different ballgame… Entering a place like Charleston, for example, behind the passage of a cold front, sailing close hauled and taking continuous spray, it’s truly frightening how blind you can be flying, forced to peer through a narrow funhouse-effect panel of vinyl 6 or 10 feet away… So, you brighten the chartplotter display in an effort to help ensure you're not straying towards the submerged jetties to either side, which only results in becoming even more blind to the world outside the enclosure...

Quote:
Originally Posted by smackdaddy View Post
+1. If you're cruising - especially with family - comfort is extremely important, and is actually a safety factor in itself.
Probably just me, but I’d say the ability to be able to see where you’re going should generally trump “comfort”, and can actually be a safety factor in itself… (grin)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Melrna View Post
Jon has some good points but not sure what his big beef is other than being ugly. He even doesn't like dodgers for which I don't either (current boat doesn't have one). Having said that though, if one is cruising or liveaboard full time in cold weather or rough/bad seas where water is coming over the bow, I believe it is necessary.
“Ugly”? How can anyone think today's breed of ICW Conestoga Wagons are ugly? (grin)



Nah, I don’t mind most dodgers, though I still think a rigid windshield with a “convertible” dodger top and side panels is the overall best way to go… Scandanavian builders like Hallberg-Rassy and Malo are the ones who have really sorted that arrangement best, IMO... Unless you've cruised with such a setup for awhile, it might be difficult to appreciate its practicality, and I've always been surprised more production builders haven't followed suit. In periods of clement weather, it's surprising how little one might really "need" a dodger, and how much the absence of one opens up the boat, and can make sailing and moving about the boat much more effortless. Fold down the top when you don’t need it, rather than be stuck with a dodger all the time… A windshield alone can still afford an impressive amount of shelter from the elements. This was one of the chillier days on my trip south last year, I’d come out of Hilton Head behind the passage of a very frigid front in mid-January, but as long as I was in a position where either the windshield or weather cloths was sheltering me from the wind, I was totally comfortable… I don’t believe I ever put the dodger back up until a rain shower came thru one day in Miami Beach…



What I object to, is the inability to have a clear, unobstructed view over the top of the dodger from the helm, whenever necessary… I think anything less can be extremely dangerous… And, no - those tiny "slits" that can usually be opened with the removal of a panel between dodger and bimini don't count for nuthin'... (grin)

The utility of being able to stand up behind the dodger, on top of the cockpit seats, cannot possibly be underestimated… Just that little bit of elevation can so often be of great value, whether one is dodging lobster pots in Maine, or trying to read the water in the Bahamas… How often in an open cockpit boat, is one's first reaction to attempting to identify something in the distance, or floating on the surface, to stand up on the cockpit seats or deck level, in an effort to gain a better, clearer view?

Quote:
Originally Posted by chef2sail View Post
My wife made our windows out of Strataglass. You cant roll our windows up, but they zip out, so you dont have any wrinlkling like cruisingdads. They are as clear 4 years later, as regular windows. The trick is ib their care and to use the space age portectant when polishing them which acts like rainex.
You also have to cover them when not at the boat. Theonly problem is refected light from the inside like Jon said. I highly recommend Strataglass over all the other dodger glasses.
That’s definitely the way to go, I’ve used EZ2CY for my windshield, it’s used on bridge enclosures on many of the powerboats I’ve run… Great stuff, closest there is to clear glass… However, I would guess stowing those panels for an enclosure could present a problem on many smaller boats…

One final point, a minor and all but forgotten one to many, no doubt… But IMHO, one of the greatest pleasures and more mystical experiences to be had on the water, is a night spent offshore under sail, beneath a brilliant canopy of stars, or a bright moon… To snuff that out from view, and isolate oneself from such majesty, well – just seems downright criminal, to me… That sort of communing with the world and universe outside of the boat is one of the primary reasons I'm out there to begin with, after all... And, not the least of reasons why, whenever I start a trip on a boat with such a cockpit canopy, one of the first orders of business is usually to dismantle the damn thing...

I’m certainly in the minority here, no doubt about it… Although, I would imagine Hamish and Kate Laird might get a chuckle hearing about the “necessity” of a full cockpit enclosure to motor down the Ditch late in the season… Shuttling their expedition charter vessel SEAL between Greenland and Antarctica, these folks know a thing or two about sailing in cold weather… (grin)

Quote:

We are surprised to find no internal steering station. “That is because only a hydraulic system would do the job,” Kate replies, “… and we don’t want leaking hydraulic oil inside the boat. But we can use the autopilot for internal steering when the on-watch person has to be monitoring the radar. When the wind and seas are rough, however, we feel it is very important to be outside helming — with the wind on your face you can react much faster and more accurately. The other issue is that if you are already outside you are much more in tune with the weather and are more likely to reef early if conditions deteriorate.”

Seal: A Cape Horner for the 21st century - Ocean Navigator - January/February 2008

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Last edited by JonEisberg; 01-23-2013 at 10:06 AM.
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