Dodger canvas replacement cost?

Caca Cabeza

Super Anarchist
I am considering replacing the canvas and windows on the dodger of a Swan 47. Probably about 8 or 9 feet wide. The boat is in Mexico where I have been told it's cheaper. Just wondering about a ballpark cost in California so I can compare.

Thanks!

 

IStream

Super Anarchist
10,925
3,099
Can't speak to CA but in 2015 I replaced the front canvas on my dodger (about the same width), including three 30" square Makrolon windows, for $1600.

 

Ishmael

53,946
13,280
Fuctifino
Full rebuild on existing frame, $3500+ on a 35'er, double it and double it again when Swan is mentioned. Lucky bugger.

 
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zenmasterfred

Super Anarchist
1,553
550
Lopez Island
I am considering replacing the canvas and windows on the dodger of a Swan 47. Probably about 8 or 9 feet wide. The boat is in Mexico where I have been told it's cheaper. Just wondering about a ballpark cost in California so I can compare.

Thanks!
A fucking lot, friend just had two very small dodgers and the closing pieces for the aft ends of them for a Swan 46 and it was $10,000  greenbacks.  I sent my old dodger to Ellen at the Artful Dodger (fabric part) and she made new one and a sun/rain fly for about $5,000.00, fit perfectly.  I know several others who have used her.  She used to be in Port Townsend WA but is in Hood River Oregon now.  Simple, remove the fabric from the frame, send it to her and she sends the new one back.

 

Huggy Bear Brown

Anarchist
691
103
We had a new dodger made using existing framework for our Jeanneau 45DS in Rhode Island back in 2017 for $3000.  Polycarbonate windows (5) with center flip-up, leather chafe guard on trailing edge for the connector, PTFE thread, and Sunbrella Plus (PU layer on inside).  30 hours at $75.  

Makrolon Quote.jpg

 

bennuandthebay

New member
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0
A fucking lot, friend just had two very small dodgers and the closing pieces for the aft ends of them for a Swan 46 and it was $10,000 greenbacks. I sent my old dodger to Ellen at the Artful Dodger (fabric part) and she made new one and a sun/rain fly for about $5,000.00, fit perfectly. I know several others who have used her. She used to be in Port Townsend WA but is in Hood River Oregon now. Simple, remove the fabric from the frame, send it to her and she sends the new one back.
Do you have any contact information for Artful Dodger? I tried to find it online but failed! We really need to replace our dodger cover. Thanks!
 

Windward

Super Anarchist
4,713
774
I sewed one this winter with all supplies from Sailrite.  Whew was that a lot of work.

All done was about $750 in supplies.

Small dodger with only removable largish side windows.  

The size of the dodger probably doesn't impact the cost too much (in the grand scheme of things).  Its the windows and labor for fiddly bits that add up in a hurry.

 

toddster

Super Anarchist
4,339
1,043
The Gorge
Do you have any contact information for Artful Dodger? I tried to find it online but failed! We really need to replace our dodger cover. Thanks!
I found a hand-written receipt on my (new to me) boat from 2016. (PM'd). The dodger is very nice: leather reinforced corners, handy pockets, good visibility. But the windows are already getting a bit hazy. I'd definitely get a cover made at the same time.
 

Leeroy Jenkins

Super Anarchist
1,696
689
Vancouver
I found a hand-written receipt on my (new to me) boat from 2016. (PM'd). The dodger is very nice: leather reinforced corners, handy pockets, good visibility. But the windows are already getting a bit hazy. I'd definitely get a cover made at the same time.
What's the big secret?
 

Leeroy Jenkins

Super Anarchist
1,696
689
Vancouver
Dunno - just posting other people's contact info without permission on the open internet seems kind of a dick move. It's not like it's a storefront. Just someone who works out of their home
It sure would. I was suggesting that you were keeping secret the price of a six year old dodger that someone else paid for. Seemed kinda weird.
 

Hale Moana

Member
58
54
Morro Bay
When I made my dodger when I was cruising in Mexico many years ago the cost of sunbrella was the same or higher than in the states. And I don't know if it was really sunbrella. I went with a plywood hardtop on the existing frame with sunbrella and plastic windows for the front and sides. I did all the work myself. Cost around $250 if I recall correctly. Everything is still in good condition. In the picture I had removed the starboard side for easier access for my elderly mother. She was in her late 90's when this picture was taken and loved being on the boat.

IMG_3427.JPG

The dodger was not hard to make. The hard top was the easy part. Only took two days. Fitting the front and the sides took longer. This style of dodger is now referred to as a California style dodger. If you would like more info on how I made it let me know and I will post how I made it.
 

Hale Moana

Member
58
54
Morro Bay
You start with positioning the SS bows to get the height you want. I wanted to be able to stand under mine so I made the aft bow 6' 1" from the cockpit floor. To look right the hard top has to slope very slightly down at the forward end. I used a line to tie the forward bow in place. You just have to keep adjusting the slope until you like it. It doesn't take much slope. You need two struts from the front bow to the cabin top to support the front of the hardtop. You also need two struts that attached to the aft bow that go down to the cockpit combing to support the back of the hardtop. If you look close in the picture of my boat you can see the struts on the starboard side. Once the bows are in place next comes the plywood.

You want to use two pieces of plywood. I used 1/4" 4x8 plywood. The two sheets of plywood are placed on the bows and attached on center to the bows with a #10 machine screw. Fender washers on both sides and a nut on the bottom. I placed the plywood so that it extended 4" past the front bow. Next you need to bend the bottom piece of plywood to the shape of the bows. Use any type of clamp. You are just trying to separate the two pieces of plywood so you have room to spread the epoxy. Next comes the epoxy. Liberally coat the top of the bottom piece of plywood with slightly thickened epoxy. Remove the temporary clamps. Now bend the top piece of plywood to conform to the bottom piece of plywood and attach the plywood to the bows. A friend was helping me do this. As we bent the plywood I would add 1/2" screws to hold the two pieces together while the epoxy set. I used common "U" brackets typically used to hold conduit in place to temporarily hold the plywood to the bows. Next I measured out from center for another #10 machine screw on each side as a permanent fastener to hold the plywood to the bows. I only used 3 fasteners on each bow to hold the plywood to the bows.

The next day we cut the hardtop to shape. Straight lines rarely look good. Curves and angles are your friend to get a good looking dodger. Another thing you want to do is have the front of the hardtop narrower than the back. For the front and back curves I copied the curve of the bows to the hardtop. For the back corners I used a very large salad bowl to make the curve. For the front corners I used a large mixing bowl to make the curves. Lines drawn on the hardtop are hard to see. So I taped white paper to the hardtop. Drew the lines and cut out the inner portion. This gives a good visual on how the hardtop would look. You have to play around with this to get the look you like. Once I liked the look I cut the hardtop. Then rounded off the edges. I used a router to do this. Last step was to apply a layer of light weight fiberglass cloth and epoxy to the top. The hardtop is done except for paint.

Getting late. I will post more tomorrow.
 

ChrisJD

Member
258
180
Boston, MA
I found a hand-written receipt on my (new to me) boat from 2016. (PM'd). The dodger is very nice: leather reinforced corners, handy pockets, good visibility. But the windows are already getting a bit hazy. I'd definitely get a cover made at the same time.
Do you use anything on the windows? Our dodger is 21 years old at this stage and the windows still look good, largely because the previous owner was diligent about, and put me onto, cleaning it a couple of times a season with plastic cleaner/polish.


Though we’re in New England, and I certainly couldn’t vouch for how well it would hold up in the tropics.
 

slug zitski

Super Anarchist
7,089
1,465
worldwide
I am considering replacing the canvas and windows on the dodger of a Swan 47. Probably about 8 or 9 feet wide. The boat is in Mexico where I have been told it's cheaper. Just wondering about a ballpark cost in California so I can compare.

Thanks!
Don’t know your dodger detailing

I think your boat only has a small-companionway dodger

Not so expensive

4000 is a common for a full cockpit style dodger

high quality windows are expensive
 

toddster

Super Anarchist
4,339
1,043
The Gorge
Do you use anything on the windows? Our dodger is 21 years old at this stage and the windows still look good, largely because the previous owner was diligent about, and put me onto, cleaning it a couple of times a season with plastic cleaner/polish.


Though we’re in New England, and I certainly couldn’t vouch for how well it would hold up in the tropics.
Thanks for the tip. When I took over, there were at least a dozen different kinds of "cleaners" on board. Like, two full lockers. I reduced the collection considerably, but didn't see that one.

It's just that a similar boat a few slips down the dock had the same sort of dodger but with a cover, and theirs looked great. Of course, now that I've slipped the dock lines there won't be many opportunities to "cover" things, as they are in use!

Do'H! Just realized I left behind my big bottle of all-purpose pine cleaner and generic spray bottles on the old boat!
 

Hale Moana

Member
58
54
Morro Bay
After getting the top done I went back out to the Magote anchorage in La Paz to finish the project.

Took the top off and set it in the cockpit to paint the underside. The mahogany plywood had a nice grain and color so decided to varnish it instead of paint. Reinstalled the top on the bows and set to work on the canvas.

I used flex-a-rail track that I got from Sailrite to attach the sunbrella to the top. I chose flex-a-rail because it is easy bend to a curve. I used the existing teak on the cabin top from the old dodger to attach the sunbrella to the cabin top.

One of the big expenses in a traditional dodger is the sunbrella. Most of which gets thrown away after the cut outs for the windows. I wasn't about to do that. My dodger style is now called a California dodger. All window with only small strips of sunbrella along the edges. I figured out all of the sizes of the pieces of sunbrella for my dodger and drew a cutting diagram to see how much sunbrella I would need. I used just over a yard of sunbrella to make the front and sides. This saved me a ton of money.

I used the bottom of my old dodger as a pattern for the bottom pieces. The side pieces had finished widths of 3 1/2" and 4" whereas the top piece had a finished with of 2 1/2" plus the bolt rope to fit in the flex-a-rail. There are zippers to attach the front to the sides and zippers so the center section of the front can be opened and rolled up for more air flow on hot days. The pieces overlapped with velcro to keep the flaps covering the zippers in place.

The sides were easy to make because they were flat. Just had to be careful keep everything in line. The plastic windows really helped with that. All of the seams were first stuck together with double stick tape. Then sewed Could not have done the project without double stick tape. Then I cut the plastic to size, stuck it to the sunbrella with double stick tape and sewed it.

The front piece was just the opposite from the sides because of the curves. Took forever to get a taught fit. Any little bit of wind blew things out of place. I eventually sewed the side pieces and the bottom piece together. Then stretched the side pieces up to the top pieces and used a heavy duty stapler to attach the sides to the top. Sewed those together. Next came the window. Cut the window to fit the bottom leaving a lot of excess for the top and sides. Sewed the window to the bottom. Put the front piece in place and with double stick tape stuck the window to the top and sides. Took a few tries to get everything laying smooth with no puckers.

For windows I ended up using some kind of clear plastic that is sold for windows in homes in La Paz. Not all of the houses/shacks have glass windows. The canvas shops that cater to the boaters had the same stuff that is available here but it was horribly expensive. I recall only paying $20 to $30 for the plastic for the windows. It is still in good condition with little maintenance.

This took me a couple of weeks to accomplish because as soon as the wind came up every morning I was done for the day. I left out details that were specific to my boat.

I was concerned about how the flex-a-rail would hold up to waves coming over the bow and strong winds. It survived 50 to 60 knot wind gusts. On the bash back to California we took some green water over the bow that rolled all the way back to the dodger. It hit pretty hard. The flex-a-rail survived that too.

The dodger has been on the boat for almost 15 years. I have had to fix some dry rot caused by my failure to properly attach and bed the supports for the solar panels Other than that I have not had any problems with the dodger.
 

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