Replacing Dodger Windows (aka: Keeping Busy in Paradise)

While we wait for the second round of new engine mounts to arrive (thank you Shamaness! and yes, yes, we really did have one engine mount die in *less* than a month of use), and for the machine shop to finish up our new alternator mounting bracket, we needed some kind of project to keep us busy…

So we decided to replace the super-clouded, very brittle, very old and ugly cracked windows in our dodger with the new plastic that my awesome friend Zach huffed down on the airplane for us 🙂

Old cracked and cloudy dodger windows

On closer inspection, we think that the new plastic might be a cheaper style  than we ideally would have used (it came from a Tent & Awning shop in Vancouver) — so next time we’ll order from Sailrite and buy the lifetime stuff — but it’s so much better than the old windows that we don’t even care!

Removing the dodger from its frame was a little frightening — zippers were ripping out, snaps were breaking, windows were cracking… but luckily we had 4 zippers on stand-by, and snaps-to-order from our sailing friends!

Sailrite sewing the new plastic in our dodger windows

Jon told me to put my ‘happy sewing face on’, since apparently I get a little grumpy while stitching… but it’s stressful work!! Sometimes the dodger is the only thing protecting me from the scary world of winds and waves and I definitely didn’t want to screw it up by sewing something wrong!

Happily replacing the plastic windows on our old dodgerI should say that “Tip of the Day”, or maybe even “Tip of the Year” for making it easier to replace the windows in our dodger goes to Dan on Dazzler — he suggested that rather than trying to rip out the old windows and then sew in new ones, we simply sew the new plastic right over the old plastic (so the dodger keeps its shape and the windows go in completely flat and beautiful) and then carefully cut the old ones out.

I appointed this job to Jon, and he did a fantastic job.

Jon cutting out the old dodger windows, AFTER we sewed in the new ones -- much much easier and you can't even tell unless you are looking!He’s also very good at demonstrating the “Before and After” of our new see-through-able windows!

Jon demonstrates the before and after of new dodger windows

We can see through our windows again! Replacing the dodger plastic windows Before and After

So, long story short, the whole thing went super well. We replaced 4 zippers, 5 snaps, and all 6 windows, and although the primary fabric is still a little grungy looking, the overall dodger is much much better!

Just look at how clearly you can see through that front window again!

P1040105Oh, and in true random Brio-fashion, we decided to add a Brio Stripe™ 😉 to our mainsail cover. Really it’s because our new mainsail is much stiffer than the old one, so the cover wasn’t fitting very well and we needed to do something about it… but also it’s because we like making the boat a little prettier when possible, and thought a racing stripe down the cover would be pretty sweet 😀

Oh and another Brio Stripe (TM) to make our mainsail cover fit a little better over the new mainsail... and cuz it looks pretty!

And that’s it from paradise! (Where it’s dang hot by the way — just this last week the temps have seriously jumped to the point that we’re sleeping without blankets and having many “where else should we install a fan” conversations!)

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Replacing Dodger Windows (aka: Keeping Busy in Paradise) — 1 Comment

  1. So if you are going to insist on spending time where the temp is above 30, I guess I will have to develop a synthetic tropical navigation butter that just starts to get soft at 30degrees

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