The dodger project is coming along. There was a lot of evaluation put into the project, with the 270 being in the “pocket cruiser” category, there’s not a lot of leeway to get it right, functionally and visually. The frame has to come apart, or fold away, as there’s no way the mast is coming down with that thing in place, and that means that the canvas has to come off without a lot of fuss. Then again, we are in a position of having to look at things in the reciprocal, the canvas has to go ON without a lot of fuss, since the thing won’t be up as much as it’s put away when not in use.

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Here’s the frame in place. While it looks like the frame is encroaching on the boom, it’s not, the sail cover is quite loose and hangs down, you can see the boom at the left is easily clear of the frame. The sail controls are well away from the front, and the clearance to get in and out of the boat is actually much better than I thought it would be. Sight lines are very good, I can reasonably see over the top.

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The two bows are connected by a Gemini collapsible strut. These are mounted such that the will be the side grabs, and outside the canvas.

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They fold together so the frame can come together for storage. it lays just in front of the traveler, and on the solar panels, but oh well, it’s a compromise. One thing I am going to do is make a sleeve for the end caps that fits over the bolt which holds the struts to the mount. Currently there is a bolt, and two plastic washers, and it’s a friction fit. This isn’t good as the action of folding the frame up makes the bolts want to turn, and we all know how that movie ends. (What was that AlkaSeltzer commercial?  Splash Splash Fizz Fizz)

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The Gemini struts serve as handholds, and tie the whole frame together without webbing straps.

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We used a 6×8′ tarp to test the “look and feel” of the assembly, and while not scientific, and not taking the time to really tuck it in, (It was only 10c and blowing about 30k), it did manage to get put sort-of, in place, and the sitting test revealed almost no wind whatsoever under it. Cool.

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Here’s the frame folded up and laying on the deck. There’s plenty of space to pass by, and the solar panel frame has a brace up the centre that will serve as a monting place for a nylon block that the frame can get attached to so it doesn’t rattle around.

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One more step completed. If the canvas-work has to wait till the winter, it can now, the frame can go up and down anytime, without the rig getting in the way anymore.



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