How to Build a Dodger Frame

Item # X-HT-300399

Dodgers protect you from the sun, rain, wind and other elements while on your boat. If you are adding a dodger to your boat, you have to start with a dodger frame. A dodger frame is the support structure onto which your dodger canvas top is attached. Our how-to video will give you step-by-step instructions on constructing your own dodger frame using the Sailrite® 2-Bow Dodger Frame Kit. Let’s get started.

Build your own 2-bow dodger frame with kit and instructions from Sailrite.

The first thing you’ll need to build your own 2-bow dodger frame is the all-inclusive frame kit sold right here at Sailrite. Our 2-Bow Dodger Frame Kit includes all the tubing — made from 1-inch, marine grade 304 stainless steel — fittings, rigid support struts, handrails (also known as grab rails) and all hardware pieces needed. The tubing sections can be cut down in both height and width for a perfect, custom fit to your boat. Also included in the kit are Universal Deck Hinges that feature pivoting hinges so you can adjust the angle of the tubing to your desired specifications.

Once you have your frame kit, follow the video instructions for how to cut, assemble and mount the frame to your boat. Our comprehensive video covers the following topics: measuring your boat to determine if the frame kit will fit, mounting deck hardware and cutting down the tubing, assembling the bows, and installing the rigid support struts and handrails. Once the frame is installed on your boat, we show you how to reverse the handrails to the inside of the frame to make patterning for the dodger top much easier.

Now that your dodger frame is erected, it’s time to move on to our dodger top video. “How to Make a Dodger” (#300078XHT) is an extremely detailed and comprehensive tutorial that walks you through the entire process of patterning, cutting, sewing and assembling a dodger canvas top made from high-quality Sunbrella Marine Grade fabric. Our 2-Bow Dodger Skin Kits include all the materials and supplies (not including tools) to sew your own professional-looking dodger.

Video Chapters:

  • Will It Fit My Boat? – 1:00 min
  • Mounting & Bedding Deck Hinge – 2:05 min
  • Measuring & Cutting Tubing – 6:04 min
  • Assembling the Bow – 12:12 min
  • Forward & Aft Bow Assembly – 14:38 min
  • Mounting Bows – 17:38 min
  • Adding Rigid Supports – 22:41 min
  • Adding Hand Rails – 27:55 min
  • Prepping for Patterning of Dodger – 32:44 min
  • Materials List – 36:26 min

Materials List:

  • 2-Bow 1" SS Dodger Frame Kit w/Rigid Supports & Hand Rails (#121918)
  • Trimmable Butyl Tape 3/4" (#103689)

Tools List:

  • Professional Heavy Duty Rivet Tool (#103520)
  • McLube™ Sailkote 8oz (#120679)
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Hand Lightweight 8" (#101017)
  • Marker, Tape Measure, 5/32" Drill Bit, Drill, Countersink Drill Bit, Screwdrivers, Spring Loaded Center Hole Punch, 1/8" Allen Wrench, Hacksaw, Electrical Tape, File, #11 or 13/64" Drill Bit, Cutting Oil, Level