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Reasonable price for Dodger, or diy?

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Plastic windscreens will last...3 years? At most? A decent sea will explode those? Decided to fire up the laptop and find a few pics. This is how ours went. 2011 we made it, still going strong.

By all means have a go yourself, the Sailrite kits and their vids etc can make it look easy. Their "instructional" videos are done with guys that have been doing it for years and tend to make quite di

How much for the Dodger, chariot?

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Thats really cheap. I know of several people charged over $800 just to change a dodger window.

3K or more is not uncommon.



Not unhappy, only one I've purchased, so nothing to go on. Works a treat.


Seems a lot for a couple of ss hoops,some canvas & clear plastic but then anything custom is time

consuming. and then theres boat bucks and miserable old gits like me.

Hell,  anybody wants me to build something for nothing then theres got to be some other bloody good reason

not to tell them to FO & bother somebody else.

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I went on this path about a year ago and I ended up with an acceptable hard dodger (just search for it here), and I don't regret. Ever since I sold the boat and the current one has a dodger with a bit of life left so I will do the same thing next year or the year after. I also made my own "stack-pack" with lots of support from here. However, I've been "pushed" to do it as not many people in Canterbury who does nice canvas work for boats on a reasonable price. Also I'm in a comfortable position to be able to invest a decent amount of time to projects as well. If you up to, let's get in to it. If you are in the hurry and have some money to throw on , don't think about DIY. All up to you. If you go for make it out of fabric,Sailrite has a bunch of great tutorial on Youtube, that was very helpful to set the mind for it, but you also have to improvise and put your creativity in. All material available locally so you don't have to pay premium price to get it here from the states. Whatever you decide, good luck for it and show us the result if you don't mind.

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It's not hard to do: Get canvas repaired then stretch very tight over the frames on the boat. Cut out the silly plastic window. Mix up a good dollop of polyester resin and start brushing it on making sure you get it into the fabric. Concentrate on the seams and stitching plus around where the new window will go. You will need to do both inside the dodger and out. Once cured give it a good wash with sugar soap and when dry do the outside again this time laying glass strip where the seams are inside and out. When cured wash outside, dry then it's time to start lying the mat. Can't remember what weight glass we used as did this a long time ago and Halfmoon Bay. Avoid voids and air bubbles and go for over all consistency by running 2 cross laminations. Once cured, you can now lift the dodger off, careful it will still be flimsy and could crack under stress. Lay it roof down and give it a good clean. Once dry treat it with alcohol (not meths!) rubbing off the waxy finish. Now time to strengthen it with epoxy. Put epoxy around the window surround and inside the voids where the steel frames go and coat the entire inside with epoxy. Let cure then refit to your vessel. Now do the same outside. You will need someone to keep the epoxy mixes coming as it needs to be done all in one go. Don't mix too much of it will catch fire. Once done, clean again, no need for the alcohol then put the gelcoat on. Done!

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By all means have a go yourself, the Sailrite kits and their vids etc can make it look easy. Their "instructional" videos are done with guys that have been doing it for years and tend to make quite difficult/fiddly things look heaps easier than they actually are, particularly if you want it to look good at the end of the job.  

Machinery is important, it's not a job for mums home sewing machine, you need a walking foot machine that can deal with large thread sizes. And eyelets etc etc 


If you have not done it before I reckon the hours in a hard top option are similar to what you would put in if you were learning how to make a nice looking fabric dodger first time up.


If you are going to go down the solid panel path do this....

Get 5mm H80 foam sheets cut to shape to basically match the panels on the frame, hot glue gun them onto the outside of the frame and where they meet the deck, make them fit snugly together.  Note - do not cut out the window at this stage

Once all in place bog up the gaps with epoxy and skin the whole lot on the outside in one go with a 450GSM double bias/epoxy sticky stuff. 

The whole lot will release quite easily but a knife/screwdriver can assist on the grabby bits. 

Turn it over and fair clean/skin the inside - (at this stage you have the chance of burying wires in the foam before skinning so you can have internal lights etc with hidden cable. )

Mark what shape window you want and then take the while thing to a plastic window guy and they will mold a window to perfectly fit. 

Cut window hole, paint, attach window and 


you have a hard to just like your dodger you can attach to the boat using 3M 5200. 


Or it would be between  $10-1300 ish  to pay someone locally to have it made made in a Sunbrella.

Im off sailing - back January subject to weather. 

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