January 25, 2016

Tidbit: New Dodger and Bimini with Hard Tops [Updated Apr-2019]

This is one of a series of brief, no nonsense posts that we call aTidbit: 
noun; small and [possibly] particularly interesting item of gossip or information...
The purpose is to share succinct posts about lessons learned, or things we use or do that work [or don't...] that are common to most of us boaters. 

The goal is to garner feedback from those of you having first-hand experience with a different approach/ solution/ product/ or additional useful information to share...  

We never assume what we are sharing is the ideal or only; it just seems to best suit our needs [and/or habits and/or budget] from our experiences thus far...
Note: The original blog post [below] has been inducted into Tidbits since it qualifies, but was published 3 years before we initiated the Tidbit series...

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We've been researching DIY options for replacing our 'canvas' dodger and bimini with hard tops using the existing 1" stainless steel frames, and adding a rigid windshield to the dodger. 

Sounds like a great spring 2017 2018 
2019 project, doesn't it?

Following are the current finalists in my order of preference by method, then approach

———— Latest revisions: 30-Apr-2019 [by Bill] ————

Using Starboard:

Using polycarbonate [e.g., Lexan] sheets:

Fabrication from scratch:

Third Party Manufacturers: [A sampling; not a comprehensive list.]

Related Resources:

Materials Research:
  • Top:
    • HDU [High Density Urethane] board instead of Starboard or as core with FRP skins
    • Starboard
    • FRP Skins [glued back-to-back either with or without foam core]
    • Opaque polycarbonate sheet 
      • See above article Hard Dodger made with lexan sheets from Cruising World
  • Windshield:
    • EZ2CY 
    • Makrolon
    • Polycarbonate [e.g., Lexan]
      • See above article Hard Dodger made with lexan sheets from Cruising World

I'll keep adding to this list as I find viable resources in an effort to narrow our focus, and as a source of ideas for a possible hybrid approach. [...And as a rational for procrastinating...]

1/2" Starboard formed to match existing dodger frame.
(Photo from Roger Dodger article linked above...)


  1. Replies
    1. Yes, that's because it is Yahtzee's dodger. Hahahaha. Sorry, we didn't label it correctly at first. I hope ours turns out as nice. I'm tired of the leaky old fabric one we have. DH threatened to rip it off and burn it last summer, but I pointed out it was better than nothing..... Now our main sail cover has shredded due probably to stupid birds, and high winds. We aren't on the boat at the moment, so caretaker will be using a tarp and bungees to secure it for now. AND (as usual) the projects just keep stacking up. GEEZ!!


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