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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
QUESTION: Is it typical to move existing fasteners when replacing a dodger in kind?

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My small boat dodger is getting old. Really needs replacing. Here in Newfoundland there are few (well 1) canvas shops. I got a quote which was OK. About $1,200 US plus time and gas to come to the boat twice, 350km.

HOWEVER: he stipulated that all the fastenings would need to be removed and relocated. That kind of stunned me. I am not at the boat and I can not recall exactly how the fasteners are attached but I know wood and fiberglass are not involved. They attach to the metal. Moving them is really not a good option.
 

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Unfortunately pretty typical. Even if they copy the old one rather than using their design, the fastenings seem to need to be in different postions to get the dodger to stretch tightly and look right.
 

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Moody 376
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@hpeer when I rebuilt my dodger last winter. my plan was to reuse all the exiting deck mounted fasteners (male lift the dot studs) i built the dodger, but did not attach any female fasteners to the dodger.

when I returned to the boat I had a rubber board and a hole punch(designed for the the lift-the-dot fasteners) I marked the dodger were it lined up with the old studs and then proceeded to punch the hole in the fabric and attach the female side of the fastener to the edge of the dodger. took a bit extra time to line everything up but it worked well. not nearly as much time as it would have taken to remove old fasteners, drill new holes and then patch up any unused holes.

my studs looked fine, and were not leaking so I felt secure reusing them.. if they look bad, then I would replace.

if you end up having to remove old fasteners then you'll have to fill the hole to maintain waterproofness.
Water Boat Watercraft Naval architecture Hood
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the input guys.


Removing the old is the problem. Not at the boat ATM, will go there tomorrow to refresh myself on how these fasteners are attached to the cabin top. Being metal, not wood or glass, it is a bit more of a chore.
 

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I believe when I redid my dodger.... I used the perfectly good former stainless blows. I believe the fabricator used the old dodger as a template and installed the connectors... common sense in field.... using the same locations. He may have replaced the hardware. To me it makes no sense to set new snaps or common sense connectors and then fill in the old.
 

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Canvas pro here.

There might be a reason to relocate the snaps, but the fabricator should be able to explain exactly WHY this is needed. It's usually not needed, or wanted.

The fabricator may install the snaps in the canvas at the shop or on your boat, but should not relocate any hardware to match what they made without an OK from you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Canvas pro here.

There might be a reason to relocate the snaps, but the fabricator should be able to explain exactly WHY this is needed. It's usually not needed, or wanted.

The fabricator may install the snaps in the canvas at the shop or on your boat, but should not relocate any hardware to match what they made without an OK from you.
So you are in the profession. Where are you located?

We are starting to consider bringing the dodger with us and having it made in the states, without snaps. Then we would install the snaps ourselves.

Most of the snaps are the turn type. But we could replace them with something else.

We are now just learning the options.

My Wife came up with the idea of mounting small loops on the deck, use a couple of pop rivits, and the dodger would have grommets. Mount the loops at or over the existing holes, seal with butyl tape. Then we could use some light cord to fix it in place.

Deck is 10 gage steel.
 

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I'm just north of Detroit. Generally, I only work to the boat, not to old canvas. The existing canvas has stretched in places and shrunk in other places. There is no good way to guess what the shape is supposed to be. Dodgers are complex, picky, little buggers with little fudge factor. It's best not to attempt to copy the old stuff.

Lacing is a tried & true attachment method, but it will need a bunch of loops. Every 6" or so is a pretty good rule of thumb. Shorter spacing is better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for lacing advice. I think we are convienced to not use the old dodger as a pattern. The Wife is watching the SailRite dodger video, 4-1/2 hours long, she says it is “interesting.” I see a new sewing machine in our future.

Part of the problem is distance, it is a 4 hour drive from the canvas shop to the boat, one way. There is a whole lot of not much around here, it is why we like it, but there are draw backs.

ATM we will try to squeeze out another couple of years out of the dodger.

i have coated it with some home brew water repellant, 100% silicone mixed with mineral spirits. Many if the dodger fasteners, which were plastic, have degraded and fallen off. I can replace them with stainless.

The stratoglass, or whatever it is, is about 6 years old. But it has clouded very badly. We had a tarp over the dodger but it blew off sometime during Covid. So either we try some “miracle goo” to restore the vinyl. If that does not work we replace the glass next year. Time is getting short this season.

any recommendation for clear vinyl restorer?
 

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An industrial walking foot machine will make sewing MUCH easier. Juki 562 or 563 (same machine, 563 has a bigger bobbin) are time tested workhorses that are now "obsolete" and usually available at a reasonable price. I have one as a back up in case my whiz-bang primary machine goes down.

If the clear vinyl has gone foggy, it's probably done. I use lots of Strataglass & have not seen it go foggy yet. In most of the other clears, 6 years is a pretty good run, even in northern places.
 

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@hpeer the sail rite videos are worth their weight in gold. I likely watched it a few times, and had it running ready to go when I got to each new stage of assembly.

I altered my dodger frames so I had to make new patterns. its challenging extra hands a huge plus. my boat is an hour away so I had a couple back and forth trips. before final assembly. and even then I have a couple spots that I'd want a "do over" where I could have made the patterns a smidge smaller to make for a tighter fit or I did a bad job of transferring the patterns to the material

a strong sewing machine will work for most of the sewing. but when it comes to multiple layers of the glass/zippers/sunbrella. the walking foot was really nice. also don't be afraid of the seam stick tape, pins, clamps, staples. anything to help keep things together. if you use staples. just don't forget to remove them(rust).

I didn't have much help, so working with the large pieces was a challenge. the bigger the workspace and ability to slide material around rather than having to lift/support it while sewing is key.

Id also recommend color matching the thread or getting a thread that is close in color. While the contrast thread color looks really sharp, it will also highlight your mistakes.

I went with the V92 uv thread (north east no tropics in my future). I recently bought some of the ptfe thread to try to learn how to use it and first couple of tries restitching a friends bimini I could not make it work. Ive not given up on it, but time will tell.

Its a daunting project, but the first time you do something is always the hardest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks guys l, really helpful.
IF we go this route it will be the Wife’s doing. Her decision.
The boat is 3 hours away now, not gonna launch this year.

Most likely scenario is we do some damage control on the existing dodger and move the boat to a closer marina next year.
That marina js only 1-1/2 hours by car, or we anchor out here in the bay so the boat is handy.
Then we can work out of the house.
 
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