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Dolphin Dodgers, Tents, Flys, Biminis and Related (updated June 21, 2018)  

This subject has come up a few times. The arrival of a picture from Montenegro in the Adriatic - Tom Delamarter's Kiwi - and her unusual dodger, motivated your webmaster to action. We are soliciting input and wlll collect pictures and info on this subject here.


Kiwi's extension dodger. Note the fiberglass intermediate bow supports, the heavier support near the winch and the last bow support which presumably supports an extension for the back of the cockpit



Dick and Sue Watson's Bodes Well, was Kim and Frank Bellizia's boat, and before that Tony and Karen Petrillo's Gem. Tony and Karen bought this custom fitted and installed dodger from The Canvas Group in Old Saybrook, CT perhaps 8 years ago.

In a weak moment, thinking about Marionette's planned 2008 summer cruise to Maine, I spoke with owner of The Canvas Group and he told me a dodger like this custom, fitted and installed, would cost close to $2000 today.

The following pictures are of Bodes Well  taken in her idyllic setting in Southport, Maine.

Note the leather grip patch on the aft edge. The center vinyl window rolls up.


Jay Picotte's Recovery has a dodger and he sent in the following excerpted email and pictures.

         November 26, 2007

I noticed that there was an inquiry about dodgers on the forum. Attached are some shots of Recovery from this past summer, most with the dodger up. I can't recommend one enough for anybody who cruises (that's really the only time I use it). It provides protection from spray when sailing but really comes in handy at anchor or on a mooring when the boat is always pointing upwind. Then, it eliminates wind when sitting in the cockpit and I can leave the companionway hatch open in all but the hardest downpours. It also provides some standing headroom which is nice when putting on pants or when you need to stretch out. In fact, I often stand in the protected companionway under the dodger while underway, which is nice after long spells sitting.



Marionette's Fly - Some of us look at dodger pictures and think hard about pros, cons and $$$. On Marionette, under sail we wear a Tilly or other big brim hat, and foulies as necessary and deal differently with the rain or sun problem when we get to a mooring or slip.

This is Marionette's fly tent used at anchor or at a slip for sun protection, or with the sides angled down as a pup tent type protection in rain. The canvas is 8' 7" wide x 11' long with rope ties to grommets at the corners and at the middle on the edges. The sides are held out by 3 small extendable whisker poles (Defender's $2 ea in their back treasure room) that spread the canvas over the boom. The fore and aft middle ties are tied to the mast and to the back stay. The boom gets pushed to one side. The side ropes tie off to various nearby trip hazards.

In the rain, the boom is centered, the fly is placed ove the boom, and the poles are shortened and placed under the boom such that the outboard edges of the canvas are about a foot above and just outside the combing making the aforementioned pup tent. - pictures someday. The way out is through the back over the transom deck. There are variations - ie., 1/2 pup tent forward, flat fly aft (see below) depending on the weather. The invoice (1998) from the same supplier that made Gem's dodger was $155, plus $6 for the whisker poles.

June 5, 2014 Note. A measurement request resulted in the following - the fly is 11' long by 7' wide. There is a sewn fold over along all the edges maybe an inch wide so the grommets gets placed in a reinforced layer. The Sunbrella material is pretty heavy weight cloth - I don't know the weight spec. Its in good shape after 15+ years use

In the fly position its a kind of horizontal sail...
At Mystic Seaport

In the picture above right that's an Olin Stephens designed Six Meter in front. In this position one can properly protect important visiters. For more on this - and a story, click here. For still another story, click here to go there

July 16, 2013. This 'fly' has several iterations - one of which is both a rain and stormy weather version, as well as a sunny version. The fore and aft poles are removed and the corners are tied down to let rain water drain off. It also works as a sun shade when stronger winds or thunderstorms are possible. If it gets really bad remove the centerpole, tie down the middle lines and you have a snug tent protecting the cockpit and main hatch.


Kaloke's fly - circa late 60's


Petaluma, nee Kestral  has a 'high' dodger. Note the boom is down on the starboard side.


Tillicum, a Yankee Dolphin on Waquoit Bay, Cape Cod has a dodger that looks a little different.


September 15, 2009. Keith Gross (Cats Paws, Pacific Dolphin # 279) has a dodger project going. and sent in the following emails (consolidated and edited) and pictures.

Hi Ron

I got side-tracked and wound up mounting the dodger frame. Hopefuly the new teak will darken with time and teak oil.

I kept the top off my jet-boat when I sold it. It's the right size frame, I just need to recover it. So I bought the instruction file from Sailrite. I have a neighbor ,who does upholstery, that is going to make the new top. The top that's on the frame now used to snap to the windshield frame. I left it in place to check my mount location for headroom,clearance,etc. I had the frame reversed and it came back to about my winches. It provided much more protection, but it blocked forward access and I would have needed another bow to use it that way. The way it is now it extends about a foot behind the cabin and has a more traditional look to it. The standing headroom and shade provided the cabin are both very nice touches.

I have to get my upholsterer over here to make a pattern for the top. More later,


Original dodger



To be continued

Sailrite is a company that provides kits to make your own dodger including frames, or just replacement fabric and parts like zippers, patches, etc. Click here for a link to their website.


July 18, 2011. We had an interesting question on the Forum about the the clearance required for a dodger. This is related to the so called black band on the mast in the neighborhood of the gooseneck. This band determines the maximum low location on the slide track of the top of the boom for handicap measurement purposes. This is not an issue for those that do not race but is for those who do.

On the Sail Plan drawing above there is a side view and measurements of the mast that locate the top of the boom in its lower position. I read it as 24" above the top of the trunk at the centerline. I think this is where the 'black band' is supposed to be. Then the clearance you need for the top of a dodger is based on the section dimensions of your particular boom.


October 28, 2011. Gordon Kyle's Windsong, O'Day #66, Noank, Connecticut with matching dodger and main sail cover

Picture taken when Gordon's dad, Jim, and Mark Chramiec, co-owned the boat


June 21, 2018. Moonshadow, Yankee #173 (http://dolphin24.org/Moonshadow.html) has a new dodger


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