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Chastened
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Specifically, a dodger.

I've been in contact with some canvas shops, and these guys have been rather evasive on cost estimates.

All I'm looking for, is a very rough number to start budgeting for.
I have a frame and old canvas to use as a template.
Would anyone like to opine on what an ordinary dodger on a 30 foot boat should cost?

Like I said, just a very rough number. I'm not trying to nail it down to exact dollars and cents until I'm ready to proceed with construction.
 

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Chastened
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's a Pearson 30, which is common enough but all of my local P30 owners have inherited their dodgers. No one I know has had to pay to build one yet.

The local canvas shops have probably built more than a few of them over the years, but they don't seem to want to answer any of my questions. They just want me to fill out an order form and commit to hiring them to build the dodger without any sort of estimate that I can use for comparison shopping.
 

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"They just want me to fill out an order form and commit to hiring them to build the dodger without any sort of estimate that I can use for comparison shopping. "

Hopefully someone else will jump and explain the difference between quote and estimate.
Me thinks estimate is a guess and not binding on the supplier. A quote is a fixed cost and is binding on the supplier. Pretty sure you want a quote and not an estimate. Also I find it strange that during winter, which I thought was an off time for canvas shops, that the suppliers are so non cooperative .
 
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All I'm looking for, is a very rough number to start budgeting for.
I have a frame and old canvas to use as a template.
Questions:

  1. Does the existing canvas seem to fit well but is just torn and tired?
  2. Does the shape of the existing dodger work for you or would you like modifications in overall size?
  3. What would you like in the way of windows or other opening panels?

If you PM me, I'l be happy to work up a quote for you in your choice of Sunbrella or Surlast colors.

Murph

Mascom Canvas Crafts
S/V Amalia
1965 Cal 30
Muskegon, MI
 

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My dodger originally cost $1,000 for the Morgan, however, if I would have to replace it, I think I would make it myself. I talked with a canvas guy at the marina last summer about that and he gave me a quote of $2,500, which I thought was insane. I then looked up the cost of materials and it was under $300 for the canvas, clear vinyl and zippers combined. I only paid $700 for the full enclosure which is all clear vinyl, lots of snaps and Velcro when I had it made two years ago. Try pricing the sunbrella online and you'll be amazed at the price variations for the same material from different suppliers.

Good luck,

Gary :cool:
 

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I have never had a canvas place let me out the door for less than $300, even for a simple sun cover. Anything will probably cost you twice what you were expecting. A dodger, with windows, zippers and reinforcement where needed is not going to be a cheap project. No canvas maker I've ever worked with will use the old one for a template; it has stretched and therefor probably would not make a good template, so add the cost of a visit to the boat for measuring.
I wish you luck, but it does take a talented canvas person to design and fabricate a good, strong and tight dodger. There is nothing worse than dumping a grand or so into a saggy dodger with windows so wrinkled that you get seasick looking through them, at the dock.
 
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Chastened
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
"They just want me to fill out an order form and commit to hiring them to build the dodger without any sort of estimate that I can use for comparison shopping. "

Hopefully someone else will jump and explain the difference between quote and estimate.
Me thinks estimate is a guess and not binding on the supplier. A quote is a fixed cost and is binding on the supplier. Pretty sure you want a quote and not an estimate. Also I find it strange that during winter, which I thought was an off time for canvas shops, that the suppliers are so non cooperative .
You are incorrect. I am seeking an ESTIMATE, as you have defined it. I am asking for a GUESS, not a QUOTE, to bind the supplier.

Like my OP said- Just rough numbers that I can talk to shops about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Questions:

  1. Does the existing canvas seem to fit well but is just torn and tired?
  2. Does the shape of the existing dodger work for you or would you like modifications in overall size?
  3. What would you like in the way of windows or other opening panels?

If you PM me, I'l be happy to work up a quote for you in your choice of Sunbrella or Surlast colors.

Murph

Mascom Canvas Crafts
S/V Amalia
1965 Cal 30
Muskegon, MI
I appreciate what you're offering, but I prefer to work with local sources.
If there is a problem with the dodger, the hassles and costs of dealing with a distant supplier are more than I want to deal with.

Thanks for the offer though.
 

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I have had really good luck with Marvin Imhoff of Charm City Marine Canvas in Baltimore. Very high quality product and he has been very willing to come to the boat and talk through various options and figure out what I want. Also got the work done within the original time frame estimated and has been willing to stand by his product post installation. I did not have to commit to anything for a quote or to have him come out. Not sure he works down your way, but worth a shot and if not he might be able to recommend someone who does.
 

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My dodger originally cost $1,000 for the Morgan, however, if I would have to replace it, I think I would make it myself. I talked with a canvas guy at the marina last summer about that and he gave me a quote of $2,500, which I thought was insane. I then looked up the cost of materials and it was under $300 for the canvas, clear vinyl and zippers combined. I only paid $700 for the full enclosure which is all clear vinyl, lots of snaps and Velcro when I had it made two years ago. Try pricing the sunbrella online and you'll be amazed at the price variations for the same material from different suppliers.
I do a lot of my own canvas work but would not recommend taking on a self-build of a dodger to anyone not well experienced with a sewing and who hadn't first successfully pulled off other less ambitious canvas projects. A dodger has a lot of complex curves and being off by even a little can make a huge difference in fit and taughtness. A bimini that's a little loose may be OK but not so much with a dodger. Having successfully made a replacement bimini skin for my last boat, I still wouldn't attempt a dodger on my own.

As for prices, I easily had at least 40 hours of labor in my bimini project. If a seasoned professional can do it in a third of that time, it's still around 14 hours at whatever the going rate is. When viewed from that perspective, the prices for professional work are not all that hard to understand. Like most things with a boat, it's more the labor than the materials that are the killer.
 

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Bubblehead-
You're looking to do business with a businessperson, and the good news is that the folks who can't figure out how to do an estimate have just disqualified themselves before you got stuck with them.

You should be able to take some photos of the existing dodger, some measurements of the main dimensions and panels, and tell a shop "Its this big, it has xx snaps and xx zippers, the zippers are number? and xx long, two way. Can you get back to me in a couple of days with an estimate for that?"

Someone who knows what they are doing should have no problem with that. Someone who can't plan ahead that way, probably will need to rework, adjust, or get something wrong on the dodger anyway.

Personally I like a Tilley dodger in good weather, and a wool "jeep" cap when it gets colder. And jeep caps were damned hard to find when I got mine!(G)
 

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Bubblehead,
Have you tried Galesville Canvas? We wanted to have some side shade curtains made that would attach to the bimini when the sun was low and in our eyes (at anchor). Vicki Swain met us at the boat, looked at the situation, and talked about what we wanted. A few days later she gave us a price. We agreed, so she came back out to measure and is making them now.

I haven't seen the final product yet, but my boat's PO used Galesville Canvas for most of his canvas work.

On a previous boat, I got an estimate from Quantuum Sails in Annapolis for a bimini--frame and canvas. Never went through with the deal because I sold the boat first.

So, I'm rather puzzled why the shops are not giving you estimates.

Good luck,
Jim
 

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First I wouldn't trust any "experienced" canvas guy who couldn't at least give me a ballpark estimate.

Have you tried asking around the marina? If your existing dodger is in decent enough shape to be used as a pattern you might be able to find someone who could use it as a template for a new one.

I found out about a guy (since passed away) who was retired and taking in work to keep busy. He didn't want to come out to the boat because he didn't get around all that well. We brought him our old dodger and he made us a copy for $300. He gave me directions for fitting it and loaned me the tool for installing the snaps. It fits nicely and has held up well.

I'd imagine that in Annapolis there are a few retired folks and/or cruisers who are doing canvas work.
 
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I bought a new dodger with side curtains last season for my Beneteau 361. I used the old poles and it cost about $1,800. I was able to get an estimate from a couple of places before deciding. Hope that helps.

Sean
 

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Chastened
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks for the recommendation on Galesville canvas. I'll check with them.


One of the canvas shops I visited, sent a representative to my house last night, with no warning, no phone call.

He was just sitting in my driveway, waiting for me. I worked two hours late yesterday, so I was very late getting home, so he could have ended up sitting there for quite a while.

I brought the old dodger out of my garage and let him measure it. He said he'll get back to me with an estimate. I appreciate that, but I didn't appreciate the unannounced visit.
 

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man weird stuff these days...as usual no place is perfect...down south we had the ability to mimick and copy anything what we lacked was stuff like good zippers and sewing thread

however we did have sunbrella

up here its the opposite yuou have everything but getting a good copier seems to be few and far between unless you bite the bullet and just fill out a form

I agree what you need is a GUESSTIMATE first

nothing binding if nobody in your area can or wants to do that EVEN IN WINTER then looking farther away isnt such a bad idea or option...

you can just mail the stuff back and get it tweaked here or there if you do need to do so...

im in the same boat and need one for my boat...Ill have the old one sent to me here and have a good shop make one for me and Ill just mail it back down

beleive me its LESS of a hassle then trying to tell someone who doesnt have a clue what a dodger is over the phone or email despite having the old one available

like I said my issue was down there the lack pf parts and hardware...

good luck btw
 
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