[Public-List] A30 Dodger

Jeffrey via Public-List public-list at lists.alberg30.org
Thu Sep 11 14:20:13 PDT 2014

Thanks David, this is exactly the information I was looking for.  I've got
a commercial sewing machine that will sew through anything I can jam under
the foot.  But, as they say, "It's not the shoes, it's the dancer".


Seagrass. #116
Boothbay Harbor, Maine


On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 4:23 PM, David Van Denburgh via Public-List <
public-list at lists.alberg30.org> wrote:

> Jeff asked the question about Sailrite's dodger kit. I built one a few
> years back for my Cape Dory 36. At the time, it was just what I needed: a
> straightforward kit that didn't require expensive specialized equipment or
> tons of experience.
> Here are a few observations about Sailrite and the kit. First, Sailrite is
> awesome to deal with. They are knowledgeable and extremely helpful. You
> will receive plenty of support if you need it. Their kits are complete.
> There might be a few extra bits that you could buy to make the job simpler,
> but all the necessary parts come standard with the kit. Sailrite's
> instructions are carefully written and revised over the years, so there
> isn't much guesswork - yes, you'll have to get creative at some points, but
> you won't be utterly confused.
> Like all kits and one-size-fits-all applications, there are limitations:
> 1) the bows are designed in three pieces: two hockey-stick shaped uprights
> and one straight center piece to join the uprights together. The center
> pieces are (or were) straight, which means that your dodger will not have
> any camber to the top - it will be flat across the top. Having camber or
> arc in the bows is not only more attractive and fitting to the lines of
> most boats, but it also helps shed water. 2) The three-piece bow design
> requires splicing the pieces together.
> This really isn't a criticism of the design, but simply the reality of the
> difference between a kit for the do-it-yourselfer and what you get from a
> professionally-built dodger. Naturally, the quality of the workmanship is
> only as good as your skill level and the quality of your equipment.
> Another consideration is your sewing machine. I bought an LSZ-1 from
> Sailrite and used it for the dodger. The LSZ-1 is a great machine for
> DIY-ers, but even it will require some careful handling during
> construction, especially if you intend to incorporate reinforced areas for
> chafe protection, etc. Working a heavier gauge window material (that you
> don't want to scratch) through a small throat area requires care too. A
> moderate-duty machine like the LSZ-1 (or LS-1) is certainly up to the job,
> but keep in mind that most home machines are not.
> If your labor is cheap - as was mine - and you have the inclination and
> skill, I say go for it. I'd plan on investing about 40 hrs into the
> project. You might invest less or more time depending upon the fit and
> polish you're after, but it's a fairly labor-intensive project, especially
> the first time through.
> Whatever you decide, a dodger is a wonderful addition to a boat. I know a
> lot of people dislike them, but when you spend weeks aboard at a time and
> cover a fair bit of water in all kinds of weather, the dodger makes life
> aboard much more pleasant.
> Good luck.
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Jeffrey Fongemie



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