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Nice looking hard dodger on small boat-difficult (impossible) task


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As the topic title, I attempted to build a (good looking) hard dodger to my Nova 28. Main goal to get shelter from the elements on the go, or on anchor. Keep the companionway dry, accommodate some built in equipment and provide some joy to eyes is secondary, but important too.

That's what I ended up yesterday when I trimmed the edges and made the rough positioning before painting and installing other features like built in lighting and GPS aerial, pre wiring for the solar panel....

 Any professional opinion out there? (I can take criticisms, just please be gentle). 

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Looks very practical. Looks a little higher than a soft dodger would be, which I think makes it look high.

 

Not sure it provides joy to my eyes, but not a bad effort. I've seen plenty worse. Nice job

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Thanks guys you to confirming my feelings. Down and move it aft... I can easily lower it by 50 mm (2") but only before fiberglass it to the boat as the front cross member alone, under the middle window would be too weak. I was thinking to lower it further to cut the mentioned part and move it up, reduce the size of the middle window, but that is quite a bit of work, but still can be done in last minute... To moving aft is quite possible as well and I will consider it but I have to change the main sheet position on the boom. The boom position is set to the lowest possible position what I measured earlier, so the boom will not come lower unless something is broken... With reefing is even better as the reefs just move the boom higher. Another thing, the boom cover will be replaced for a "stack-pack" so it will keep the sail away when not in use. 

Unfortunately the "joy to the eyes" part, hmm the title says everything.

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Hi, spoke to you yesterday. Looking from afar, methinks too, too, high

Hi, yes I walked around, tried to judge from the distance... but you know cutting off in any stage is lot easier than adding to it... I planed to haul out early next month to install it. You are welcome to come along.

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Nice job

I agree lose 50mm and if it's not too bigger job making it longer, this will make it look lower

You will probably need to move the mainsheet to the end of the boom with maybe just a strong point on the cockpit sole ?

Lots of work but you only get one chance to make it look right

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I would suggest asking yourself the question - What is the absolute lowest height I need that will provide the functionality I really need?

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The answer to Mark is-  this is on the picture. In the other hand 50 mm lowering wouldn't cost much in terms of functionality, but could improve the visual "harmony". So I'm certain about to lower it that much.  

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Aesthetically it would look better lower and longer and by extending the roof you could add some roll down canvas sides for added protection when required. I would add raised lips on the trailing edges (top & sides) to help deal with water running across it and onto you plus it would provide a better grip for hanging on to. I would also move the handrails further inboard so that you can still use them if necessary more comfortably on the leeward side when heeled over.

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Aesthetically it would look better lower and longer and by extending the roof you could add some roll down canvas sides for added protection when required. I would add raised lips on the trailing edges (top & sides) to help deal with water running across it and onto you plus it would provide a better grip for hanging on to. I would also move the handrails further inboard so that you can still use them if necessary more comfortably on the leeward side when heeled over.

Nice job ! I'm planning on using  the same construction technique on a hard dodger for a 38 ft yacht. Its always going to be difficult to get good proportions on a small yacht such as the Nova. I might have put more curvature in the roof so you retain the height over the companion way but the outer edge is lowered. But hey when your coming back from man-o-war bay in a howling SW you will be way more comfortable.

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Nice job ! I'm planning on using  the same construction technique on a hard dodger for a 38 ft yacht. Its always going to be difficult to get good proportions on a small yacht such as the Nova. I might have put more curvature in the roof so you retain the height over the companion way but the outer edge is lowered. But hey when your coming back from man-o-war bay in a howling SW you will be way more comfortable.

Are you want to keep the option to look forward over the dodger? On small boat is kind of useful but I'm not sure about on a larger one. 

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 "I would add raised lips on the trailing edges (top & sides) to help deal with water running across it and onto you plus it would provide a better grip for hanging on to."

 

Yes I did. Actually I added extra lay of foam inside and outside as well, to add some strength, help to guide the water off the roof and also accommodates internal conduit for wiring, the GPS areal and built in lighting as well. The handrail is in perfect position... already started to yell "Please grab me !"

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Are you want to keep the option to look forward over the dodger? On small boat is kind of useful but I'm not sure about on a larger one. 

its a good point, I need to do more research, It will most likely have tempered glass panels fwd facing so vis through the dodger should be very good. For a clearer view  I expect to be looking to oneside when seated or over the top perhaps by standing on the cockpit seat. Another possibility re the height over the companionway would be to have an additional  moulded "blister" to avoid bumping your head . Its kind of hard to draw here but standing in the cockpit looking at the rear edge of the dodger you would see a double bubble curve.

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Well, I believe the glass is lot more permanent than acrylic (what I intended to install) so alternative way to observation is not quite necessary. Also a larger boat have more chance to provide full headroom under the dodger which make sense to extend it a bit further aft. I don't have full headroom under the boom either so the dodger is even lower. I've been on larger boat with hard dodger and I will never re-create the comfort what I experienced there (in terms of dodger height but of course it is true for the entire boat). I don't even try. 28" is really a funny size, probably the top of day/weekend sailing and probably the minimum for longer trips for one or two person. So as far I agree with this I will not expect more from it. Back to yours, do you have a similar companionway setup as on Waimanu? Some larger boats, mainly IOR boats have very small horizontal access way to the cabin, which is great as easy to seal it in case of needed but very uncomfortable to use in every day use.

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Thanks Myjane, yes I have enough clearance, also I will lower it another 50mm when I install it (hopefully within a couple of weeks from now). I'll install windows beforehand I guess same as you have done it recently. I already made a "trial one of the port side windows with 3M VHB+ MS and that looks and works pretty well so far. Any advise on that? 

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A bit of delay on the haul out yard, so the plane slightly changed and installation is 22nd September onward. I also realized, I have to make all changes on the running rigging what I want advance so I have plenty to do anyway. Also I decided to modify the cockpit hatch cover as well to make it permanent. Is anyone done it before? I know the only way to access to the slide track, but do I have  to keep it accessible?

Anyway the mold is still intact and available if someone interested to use it. I can grab the key dimensions if needed. In theory very easy to make it fit to different coach-roof, also the window size and shape only depends on the foam core shaping which is pretty handy. Give me a PM for further details.

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