Adding a Chafing Guard to a Dodger

Item # X-HT-300398

It's no secret that your dodger is bound to encounter the wear and tear that comes from everyday use. Exposed to the sun, wind and spray, a dodger provides much-needed protection for the crew. Considering the abuse a dodger can receive, it's also important to consider putting a chafing guard on your dodger. Tune in as we explain more about this practical addition and how to add one to your dodger!

The top aft edge of a dodger experiences its fair share of activity. Oftentimes, the sail or gear can rub on the edge, or incessant touching can make your dodger look grubby from fingerprints. For these reasons, you'll want a protective chafe guard to help combat these issues. In this video tutorial, we're going to explain how to sew your own using premium vinyl fabric. Whether you have an extension panel zipper sewn to your dodger or not, this short video will detail how to successfully make a chafe guard.

These chafing guards can be made from high-quality leather or a marine-quality vinyl. For our tutorial, we've chosen to use Naugahyde® All American in the color American Beauty, as it matches our red Sunbrella® Marine Grade Fabric quite well and is both durable and waterproof. We would also recommend Naugahyde Universal for this project, but ultimately the choice is yours. And, of course, to sew everything together we've chosen the Ultrafeed® LSZ-1. This portable, powerful sewing machine is equipped to tackle multiple layers of marine fabric with ease, making it ideal for this project.

If you don't have a dodger top yet but you're interested in sewing your own, check out our 2-Bow Dodger Skin Kits. Made from your choice of standard or premium Sunbrella Marine Grade Fabric, these kits include all fabric, fasteners and notions needed to create your own custom boat addition. And be sure to show us photos of how your latest DIY turned out in the comments below!

Video Chapters:

  • Determining Zipper Placement – 01:17 min
  • Installing Binding Strips – 2:46 min
  • Basting & Sewing Zipper – 11:34 min
  • Installing Zipper Slider – 18:54 min
  • Making Snap-On Webbing Straps – 22:10 min
  • Materials List – 26:44 min

Materials List:

  • Marine Quality Vinyl or Leather - Item #559 - we used Naugahyde® All American Vinyl Fabric (Item #120024)
  • Polyester or Profilen® Lifetime Thread - we used V-92 Polyester
  • Seamstick 3/8" Basting Tape for Canvas - Item #129

Tools List:

  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" - Item #102400
  • Scribe-All® Black Marking Pencil for Vinyl - Item #120682
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Hand Lightweight 8” - Item #101017
  • Deluxe 5 1/2" Magnetic Sewing Guide - Item #103597
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ-1 PLUS Walking Foot Sewing Machine - Item #300602
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® Sewing Table & Workhorse™ Servo Motor - Item #120931
  • Battery Operated Thread Burner - Item #121592
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler - Item #107040
  • Tape Measure, Tape