Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
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Re: "Philosophy of Sailing: Offshore in Search of the Universe"
I just couldn't imagine sailing without a dodger, in any climate, unless one is always, and I mean always, sailing downwind.
Perhaps it's because my boats are my home, or that I have been messing around with boats almost daily for over 50 years, but by far the most important thing to me is being comfortable when I am out on the water or even at anchor. It seems a shame, on a warm sunny day to have to don your foulies to stay dry and warm because one doesn't have a dodger to deflect the spray when beating or close reaching.
As for the looks of a dodger/bimini, that's rather like purchasing a boat because she's pretty, with no care for anything else. A good dodger/bimini combination adds a whole other living area to a boat when not sailing, and makes those crappy, rainy, days (or boiling hot sunny ones) on the water much more tolerable. I certainly haven't noticed any windage factor, but once again, comfort trumps sailing performance, unless I'm racing.
When I purchased my first big boat at 21, I had an opportunity to buy one of two Herreshoff ketches for sale at the same time. They were clipper bow, wineglass stern boats and as lovely as any Mr. Herreshoff had ever designed. But unless you stood 4'6" tall, you weren't going to stand up below on either! I passed on these gorgeous boats for a Phil Rhodes that was a lot more liveable, if not quite as lovely.
A liveaboard, offshore boat should be as comfortable to live on and sail as it can possibly be, IMO. Anything less seems rather like self-flagellation, which doesn't appeal to me at either.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
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