Ellysuim’s Hard Top

Jul 13, 2018 | Technical

Are you thinking of buying a canvas dodger for your boat?

Are you thinking of replacing your current canvas to your dodger?

Why not consider a solid one.

I now have a new Hard top on my boat. I am sorting out final costings and considering whether or not I should spend some MORE money and build a mould, hence I would like to know who would want one.

The dodger or correctly named the Hard Top is made of solid GRP, including (if required) a companionway hatch envelope, which locks in place with the dodger. This all bolts down to the cabin top and top of coamings and sealed, so there are no visible fixings seen from the outside and it is totally waterproof.

Windows are currently 4.5mm polycarbonate (Lexan), but I would change that to 6mm Polycarbonate or 6mm Toughened glass (Armour Plate) as they do flex a little and scratching is possible. An addition to my dodger will be some form of frame around the windows to match existing windows. I currently have not made or fitted these as they are only cosmetic. If I produce these dodgers, the windows may be installed using a one piece alloy frame. (still to be decided, depending on cost)

The coach roof will have short handrails placed in line with existing handrails on the rest of cabin tops. I have a mainsheet traveler, which will possibly be fitted to the front of dodger and fixed over the envelope on two solid timber bases each side of the cabin top. I will be seeking some technical details as to whether or not the purchase on the boom will be OK with this system. If so, this will give all sorts of possibilities to place a Bimini from the aft end of the dodger to the backstay, giving superb protection from the elements.

This has been the best thing I have ever done to my yacht. I have sailed in all weathers and all points of sailing and cannot find one fault. Visibility is excellent. When at the Galley, just stand on the first step, pop you head out the companionway and you have 360 degree views. When you are sailing (with your autohelm on), stand on the second step of the companionway and you have the best position to see everything, again 360 degrees, and you are comfortable, warm and dry. At the same time you can see all surfaces of your sails…no more hanging on to the dodger on the leeward side to check if your Genoa is set properly…just look through the windows! And by the way…you can see the windex on top of the mast from this position!

If you think H28’s are a comfortable boat, well, add a Hard Top and you will have a “luxurious” boat.

I had a comment from someone who motored past whilst I was at anchor the other day…”is that a 36 foot Herreshoff? Doesn’t she look great with a hard top” …now that made me feel good!

Darrell Meehan