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Featured Bristol 40s WoodWorking Boat Projects Runabout

A Stitch and Glue Hard Dodger for The Write Byte

Winter 2003

This has been one snowy and cold winter... well for Maryland, anyway. I'm awfully anxious to get back to sailing. So, my latest project is a boat project. Thanks to really lousy sewing during my attempt at making a canvas dodger three years ago, the old one is already decrepit and falling apart. This despite the canvas still being in excellent shape. Since my woodworking and fiberglass skills though still meager are far superior to my canvas sewing skills, I thought I'd take a whack at a hard dodger. These snow pics were taken the weekend of March first. By the weekend of March 7th, the temps were in the 70s and I was hard at work on the Dodger.


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It may not look like much, but these four simple panels represent about 10 hrs of work. First, a trip to the boat to make a paper template, difficult enough in the blowing wind. Then, transferred the paper template to a piece of Luan for a more rigid template. A trip back to the boat to fine tune the wooden template. Were it not for the able assistance of my friend and neighbor Ken Barlow, I'd still be there, struggling with that template. Today, a couple of hours for a trip to the Lumber Yard, some cutting, sanding, putty work and finally some stain.


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Today, I went to the boat and using Postal Paper, made a template of the leading edge of my dodger attachment rail. It was becoming painfully obvious that if I had to drag everything to the boat to work on the dodger, I would never get it done. Not to mention it being extremely difficult to do the epoxy work on the boat without getting epoxy all over everything. So, I made the paper template and on returning home, fashioned a wooden template. A couple of sawhorses and some more wood strips fashioned a working jig and I was ready to start "stitching the dodger together.


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After about 8 hrs of work, the dodger is stitched together and ready for the first batches of epoxy. Of course, since I couldn't start on it till after work, it's now after 2:00 am and I need to hit the rack, so I can be at work bright and early, tomorrow...


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After about 20 more hrs of work, the seams are all glued, 8 coats of epoxy have been applied, hand rails installed, the roof fiberglassed for additional strength and the exterior has been puttied in preparation for painting.


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