ideas for diy pilothouse addition?

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by peterchech, Nov 3, 2012.

  1. peterchech
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    peterchech Senior Member

    I'm playing with the idea of adding a pilothouse or else a hard dodger to my '81 hunter 25 sailboat. Does anyone have pics of other boats whose owners have done this sort of thing? Any reasons this is just a dumb idea?
     
  2. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    25ft is pretty small for a hard dodger.

    Yachts from Shipyard AMEL have very elegant, hard windshield, soft tops. Might be worth studying
     

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  3. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    I added a pilothouse to my 18' daysailer/weekender in 1982. I had designed the TS 18 in 1975 and 88 boats were built by T-Craft boats in Titusville Florida. I always liked motorsailers, particularly my Dads boat(see below) and the Fisher types. I tried to capture the "essence" of the Fisher but with a center cockpit so you could sit outside in good weather and not have a big pilothouse in the way. The boat had a 15hp yanmar diesel and a good size rig. It had Edson steering in the cabin and in the center cockpit.
    There was 6' of headroom in the pilothouse. I added 2' to the hull as a swim platform. The plan, when this boat was built, was to go to the 83 Americas Cup by water to show off the boat and then produce it. The business end didn't work out. The boat may still be alive and was last in Jacksonville..
    I liked the pilothouse because it was delightful to be able to go out in the middle of winter( florida-cold but beautiful and windy/rough) just after a front when it was blowing hard. The boat handled rough water really well and the cabin was cosy and warm. The diesel was in its own compartment(4" thick foam/ lead) and was relatively quiet.

    Pictures, L to R: 1&2 my little motorsailer, 3-my Dads 83' Hand designed motorsailer, 4& 5 the daysailer that was modified to become the little motorsailer:
     

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  4. taniwha
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    taniwha Senior Member

  5. bpw
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    bpw Senior Member

    A soft dodger will be almost as good and much lighter.

    And you can take it off in the summer.
     
  6. goodwilltoall
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    goodwilltoall Senior Member

    Goto google image, look at what others have done with similar boats as you are contemplating, then its just a matter of what you prefer.
     
  7. bpw
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    bpw Senior Member

    Whatever you choose, pay lots of attention to weight. A couple hundred pounds 4-6 ft off deck can really mess up the sailing performance of a boat that small and light.

    Try strapping 50 gallons of water to your house top and see how she sails...
     
  8. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Ive built a few hard dodgers over the years but all for bigger boats, while its more difficult to make it work on a small boat while still looking decent, if you can make a soft dodger look ok you can make a hard one work. I finished off one for a customer who had built it himself over the frame of his old soft dodger, this was for a Shannon 38 and ive got to say it was very organic looking, i liked it, my job was to fair and paint it to make it look professional.

    Steve.

    Steve.
     
  9. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    It's easy to make a doghouse or hard dodger look good for a larger boat, but a Hunter 25, will be a difficult task, at least aesthetically, plus the weight issue. A foam core could address some of the weight, so the next step is what do you want.

    Hard dodgers or a doghouse will be permanently affixed, continuously affecting the boat's upwind abilities. A soft dodger can come down and be stowed on those occasions you want to chomp on someone else's transom.

    [​IMG]

    As you can see by the drawing, there's not a lot of room, though an awning type of thing, just under the boom, maybe stiff enough to carry the main sheet traveler. The boat would become a motorsailor in terms of preformance upwind, but beneficial to some I suppose.
     
  10. peterchech
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    peterchech Senior Member

    That's actually not what my boat looks like, this is a similar boat here:
    [​IMG]

    Shoal draft keel though...

    I was thinking maybe to do a hard top dodger, but the traveler is located mid boom, right behind the companionway hatch, and I'm concerned that downwind the main sheet will get stuck on the back corners of the hard top...
     
  11. michael pierzga
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    michael pierzga Senior Member

    Definatly too small. Best to go with a canvas enclosure. Put your thinking cap on and do some marina touring with a camera . Every now and agian I see clever cockpit enclosure detailing on small boats. Leading the mainsheet to an arch that is a component of the cockpit enclosure could be worth studying
     
  12. PAR
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    PAR Yacht Designer/Builder

    Yeah, your Hunter is called the "box top" version.
     
  13. frank smith
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    frank smith Senior Member

  14. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Too bad its not the one Par showed as it looks like it was designed with a dodger in mind. What ive noticed is that once someone adds a soft dodger it never comes down all season,it just gets a bimini joined to it and then roll up sides and on and on. maybe for wednsday night racing but we i cant say ive seen a Hunter 25 on the race course in 25 years. You would certainly want to build it light so i would build a one off female mold out of melemine and mold in the rabbets for the windows in and lay it up with gelcoat and polyester resin and use a foam core. You dont need to be able to walk on it so it only needs a light layup.

    Steve.
     

  15. Steve W
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    Steve W Senior Member

    Some nice looking tops on that Marshall design site btw.

    Steve.
     
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