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mdelmonaco 01-26-2009 12:32 PM

How lo lower a doghouse profile
I'm the proud owner of an Alpa 9, a 1967 Illingworth designed 30 foot sloop.
I love my sailboat, the only question is that I really dislike her doghouse, I find it too high.
Here're some picture of my sailboat:
Fulvia III ‎(Alpa A9‎)

I'm looking for some ideas to lower the appareance of my doghouse. Anybody has any idea?
SOme toughts: insert s wooden strip on the cabin side, change the stanchoins with other higher, raise the gunwale...but I'm pretty in doubt about the final effect.

Thank you to everybody!


JohnRPollard 01-26-2009 12:56 PM


Originally Posted by mdelmonaco (Post 438289)
I'm looking for some ideas to lower the appareance of my doghouse. Anybody has any idea?

Have you tried raising the waterline?

Just kidding!:D :D :D

Actually, your idea to try a "wooden strip" on the cabin side is a good one. This is usually called an "eyebrow" trim, and is very effective at reducing the "visual height" of a coachroof.

The designer of our boat employed that trick, and it works fairly well. I once saw a low-maintenance (no exterior teak trim) version of our boat and I was surprised how tall the coachroof seemed without it.

Faster 01-26-2009 02:27 PM

I have to say that I don't find the proportions of your boat unpleasing.. I think the designer did a reasonable job.

That said, trim and stripe treatment as you suggest (and JRP agrees) can be very effective. Another thing to try perhaps (do this on paper first) is to try a wider, bolder cove stripe and see if that visually makes the house look comparatively lower.

AllThumbs 01-26-2009 02:59 PM

I think it's a sexy boat and I wouldn't touch it.

JohnRPollard 01-26-2009 03:15 PM


Originally Posted by Faster (Post 438379)
I have to say that I don't find the proportions of your boat unpleasing.. I think the designer did a reasonable job.

Yes, I forgot to mention how nice your boat looks, as is.

Also, that is a fairly unusual design, what with the full keel, and the propeller seeming to exit the hull aft of the rudder. Interesting. I'd be curious to hear more about it's origins.:)

bubb2 01-26-2009 04:14 PM

mdelmonaco 01-26-2009 04:41 PM

Alpa 9
My sailboat was designed in 1966 by John H. Illingworth, a very famous english architect and racer. It's named "the father of modern sailboat". Illingworth designed for Alpa company both the A9 (9 metre) the A11 (11 metres) and A8. The A11 is based upon the famous Maica, wich in the '60 won several regattas in Englend and France (in France there's a class website with beaufiful photo.
The sailboat is one of the first attempt to build in fibreglass, so very heavy, with a long keel and an attached rudder. The alpa A9 lines resembles in small, the Gipsy Moth one, as they came from the same pencil.
I own one since 15 years, have made several cruise in the Med (I use to live in Rome) and, apart from the doghouse, I like it very much.
Like all Illingworth sailboat, it's really a joy to sail.
Regarding the propeller, it's just te old way...forget the reverse...
Grazie mille (thank you a lot!).

Jeff_H 01-26-2009 05:12 PM

A couple things that hurt the appearance is that the cove stripe (the white stripe with the arrow head) is level rather than following the sheerline (the curve of the deck.) That makes it look like there is more height between the implied deckline and the top of the cabin. I would suggest experimenting with inexpensive tape to see what looks right but I would look at reworking the cove stripe to more closely follow the sheer and if you add an accent stripe on the cabin side I would also have it loosely follow the sheerline as well.

I also have a boat with a high house. I experimented with dark electrical tape to see whether a stripe or drip-molding would make it look any better. Ultimately, I have decided that when I paint the decks I plan to paint the sides of the cabin off-white and leave the deck on the cabin top bright white bringing the bright white down to just above the fixed portlights.

JohnRPollard 01-26-2009 05:14 PM


De nada. Or is it "prego"?

And grazie for the info about your boat. Maybe you would consider coming back and telling us more about your Mediterranean voyages?

Ciao. - John

Giulietta 01-26-2009 05:41 PM

Jeff I agree with the sheer line was a trend amongst older european deisgns, the objective was to make the bows look bigger, inspiring confidence...I don't like it..Dudour did that a lot and so did Moody.

Michele, one thing you can do is istall a a thin line (mine is sticky vinyl), that starts thicker the the rear of the cabin (not a doghouse, the doghouse is a dodger, or windshield), and as the lines moves forward, it gets thiner. It must run paralel to the deck and not cabin top.

Start with 10 to 15 mm in the rear and finish at 1 mm in the front, 30 to 40 cm before the begining of the cabin in the front.

I also dislike a litle the height of my cabin, which had to be like that so I could walk inside, and have a lot of space above head.

So to compensate and "break" the bulkness, I installed said line.

Look at the photos bellow to see the effect. Mine goes thru the you can see it makes the cabin look much lower

total cost 10 Euros!!

I think your sheer line is engraved in the hull so without an expensive repair and filling paint, you can't do anything.

Thry the line first, BUT remeber, it must thin as it gets forward.


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