This is our major project while we are in New Zealand this season. It is something we have talked about doing the last three years.
Why a hard dodger? When we left on our journey with our new canvas dodger and Bimini, it was something that we never even considered. But after 25,000 miles of ocean sailing, nine passages between the tropics and New Zealand and six and a half years of living aboard, it became very obvious.
The current dodger is at the end of it’s life. Sun, salt and waves have taken their toll. The cost of building a permanent structure was just a bit more than replacing again with canvas. As well, there is something to be said for something more robust when sailing outside of the tropics. The trip to New Zealand is mostly forward of the beam, with waves over the bow that go along with that. Different than mostly downwind sailing following the trade winds. Most boats here in New Zealand are fitted with a hard dodger, so there is a lot of knowledge here on building.
This year it worked out that we had a place to build it (Ted’s extra shed that we rented) and some professional help (Matt Barrie, a boat builder). The construction is 18mm marine plywood, glass and epoxy. Should be strong enough for anywhere we want to sail. I am very cheap labour, so I am relagated to sanding and fairing….sanding and fairing…..and sanding and faring. We are close to painting and ordering the glass for the windows. We should have it installed by the end of February.
Here are some earlier pictures during construction:
More updates to come. Meanwhile, back to work.
Sanding and fairing and sanding and fairing………..