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"Nice? It's the only thing," said the Water Rat Solemnly, as he leaned forward for his stroke. "Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats."

Kenneth Grahame - Wind in the Willows

Fall 2004

Wherein it is the End of Sailing Season and I Make Adjustments to the Hard Dodger

I just wasn't happy with the hard dodger. The practicality and sturdiness of it were unparalleled, but the looks just plain irked me. I thought the dodger sat upon the boat like a turtle on a rock, ruining the outstanding lines of our beautiful boat. So, my first big project in my new shop is to re-cut the dodger.

I'll be lowering the profile by a full 4" Hopefully this will give it the nice complementary look the old low canvas dodger had.


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Had to take a break from working on the dodger for a nice picnic lunch. Terry's family are all in town and we grilled some burgers and tried out the new picnic table.

This is the first time in the ten years we've been married that all of Terry's siblings were together.

Back to the dodger, I plan to reduce the sidewall flare out by about 2" on each side.After I've re-attached the lower framework, I'll cut a V shaped chunk out of the roof outboard of the handrails and bring the sides in by 2" at the back. Reducing the flare out should make it easier to get around when entering the cockpit, especially while carrying kids or groceries.


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I've got the cuts all made for the lowering. The bulk of the grinding away of glass and paint has been done in prep for the re-attachment. I'm nearly ready to start putting it back together. The paint I used is the Sherwin Williams equivalent of Awl Grip. I gotta say, that is one tough paint. Even using a belt sander with a 50 grit belt, it was tough getting though that paint down to the epoxy.

Unfortunately, these will be my last pics for a while, since my lovely Rebecca chose to destroy my digital camera tonight, just after uploading these pics to the hard drive. Hopefully, I can have a replacement in a few days and keep moving forward.


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New Camera Arrived today, while I was off doing a final fitting on the dodger.


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Being an essentially lazy person, I've been cheating a little bit. The "Epoxy Book" by System 3 tells you to fill and fill and fill with repeated layers of epoxy to get the smoothest possible surface. And then, to make an epoxy putty to do final smoothing, minimizing required sanding... Well...

Epoxy runs $75 / gallon and takes forever to sand properly smooth. I've already used 1/2 gallon getting the rehab structurally sound. Wood filler on the other hand, is easy to sand and costs $4/qt. When this wood filler cures, I'll sand it smooth in a couple of minutes, then a couple of thin sealing layers of epoxy and a final sanding before painting.


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Okay, so I'm working on the Dodger. It is getting *Bitter* cold out. (for Maryland) After all, there was frost on my windshield at 10:00 pm, can you imagine the horror?

So, Terry comes out dressed like this, complete with the chin strap attached. The one finger salute came when I asked if she needed a ski mask to keep her nose warm, too... She says she was just getting something out of her eye and she always uses that finger...


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Began the painting process...

First Coat Second Coat Third Coat Fourth Coat


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We've had a long run of Bitterly Cold weather. (It's been below 50 for two weeks, now...) So, I have been occupying myself with doing things like building the Teddy Bear Chairs for the kids. After finishing those yesterday, I was bouncing around lingering on the cleanup chores wondering what I could do and finally decided to go ahead with the two front windows, even though I have not yet received the plastic to do the side windows.


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2003.12.24, finally a couple of days with temps in the sixties. Coats 1, 2 and 3 on the inside of the Dodger. All that's left now, is the side curtains and reinstall.


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