I have owned the boat 32 years... How long should a sunbrella dodger last? Here are 2 of them... you can see how some makers / designs / craftsmenship is better than others. I had one "repaired"... YUCK
I don't make them.... I use a professional canvas shop.
??? in Saybrook, CT (can't recall name)
Wm Mills Sailmakers, Greenport, NY
American Marine Canvas, Mamaronek. NY
The Canvas Store, Huntington, NY
chef2sail... we have a completely different sense of boat aesthetics.. and I would never ever do what you have done with your cockpit... But hey... different strokes...
Not sure it has to do with " boat aesthetics" . We don't exactly have an ugly duckling. I am sure when people see us they do t say....there go the Clampets. I am quite amazed my wife can tackle such a challenging project which costs us less than $800 and saves us big boat bucks. It also gives her/ us a certain expertise in that we have constructed ourselves from scratch rather than buy one. However we are by no means experts so. We employed a reputable canvas maker...Annapolis Canvas to help design a new dodger and Bimini. Their cost was $ 6000. 12 years ago. It sent us in the direction of buying a Sailrite machine since my wife was so adept and sewing.
We utilize Haleakula from March 15-Dec 15. Our canvas encourages that. Most boats in your area are pulled during those shoulder months. We. Average 30 weekends about 1500 miles and two two week vacations , at least 800 miles or about 2300-2500 miles per year conservatively according to Haleakula log over the last 14 years.
Our first dodger was a racing design one like yours. Because when you climb out of our cabin on a ledge/ bulwark, the same height as the cockpit benches we were bent over, we decided to use the height under the boom more effectively. Also on our racing dodger the helmsman was constantly catching the weather as you looked over the dodger. If we put a connector to the Bimini in the helmsman had to duck to look under the window.
Comfort and safety of us are more important than racing aesthetics. We do a lot of long range night sailing so visability I see important. That's were the strataglass also comes in as it specs on visual acuity and distortion is superior to many other types of glass. Particularly important after dark when a distant light / buoy is something you are trying to identify.
Like most things on a boat each person has differing priorities and use of their boat. Choices of dodgers shapes/ uses have very little to do with differences with aesthetics as your backhanded comment implies. It was far less comfortable for us to continue with a racing dodger so. We went in an improved for us direction. Everyone has their own specific needs/ requirements, and none should be considered less aesthetic or inferior looking by someone setting arbitrary standards sitting on a perch.