How to Make a Dodger

Item # X-HT-300078

In 2019, we updated our Dodger Series with a new design and new video instructions. A dodger is a great way to stay sheltered from rain or spray while on your boat and at the dock. Sometimes called a sprayhood, a dodger covers the companionway and acts as a windshield, offering protection to those in the cockpit. Custom dodgers can be expensive from a canvas shop, but you can get a custom fit for less by building your own using a dodger kit and our comprehensive video tutorial.

Sew your own dodger like this following Sailrite's video tutorial

This thorough and comprehensive, 4-1/2-hour video will walk you through the entire process of building a dodger. Some of the steps include preparing the dodger frame for patterning, patterning and cutting the fabric, sewing all the panels and pockets together, reinforcing the openings with leather patches, and more.

At Sailrite, we offer complete dodger kits that contain everything you need (except for tools) to build your own 2-bow dodger. Our 2-Bow Frame Kits include all the hardware and 1-inch stainless steel tubing to construct a sturdy and well-built frame. Our 2-Bow Skin Kits, offered in both Standard and Premium Sunbrella Marine Grade colors, contain all the necessary materials to sew a custom canvas top to attach to your dodger frame. It's never been easier to sew your own marine canvaswork with professional-looking results with all-inclusive kits, tools and video instructions from Sailrite!

In the video, we show the dodger with an optional roll-up window. If you would like to add a roll-up window to your dodger, our companion blog (300393XHT) will show you how to install this easy DIY. If you have both a dodger and bimini on your boat, consider adding an extension panel connecting the two to provide even more protection from the sun and weather. Our blog “How to Make an Extension Panel Between Dodger & Bimini” (300386XHT) will walk you through the steps of fabricating this extension piece. It’s also a good idea to add a chafe guard to the top aft edge of your dodger, where the canvas experiences abrasion and rubbing from the sail or other gear. Our blog “Adding a Chafe Guard to a Dodger” (300398XHT) will show you how to add this protective vinyl patch to your dodger top.

Video Chapters:

  • Preparing for Patterning – 1:00 min
  • Creating the Pattern – 17:15 min
  • Patterning Fabric – 46:19 min
  • Sewing Facing to Forward Edge – 1:09:53 min
  • Reinforcing Openings – 1:24:14 min
  • Patterning Pockets & Tail – 1:38:47 min
  • Installing Window – 1:52:41 min
  • Finishing Tail & Pockets – 2:11:34 min
  • Joining Panels Together – 2:25:47 min
  • Adding Corner Patch – 2:42:59 min
  • Sewing Aft Panel’s Tail & Pocket – 2:47:08 min
  • Sewing Pocket’s Zipper to Top – 3:02:01 min
  • Cutting Out & Finishing Window – 3:15:25 min
  • Placement of Fasteners & Adding Relief Cuts – 3:24:43 min
  • Sewing Binding On Forward Edge – 3:38:30 min
  • Installing Fasteners – 3:46:02 min
  • Creating Hand Rail Openings – 4:14:10 min
  • Installing Finished Dodger – 4:22:49 min
  • Materials & Tools List – 4:28:16 min

Materials List:

  • 2-Bow Dodger Skin Kit – Standard or Premium Fabric

Tools List:

  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ-1 PLUS Sewing Machine (#300602)
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® Sewing Table & Workhorse™ Servo Motor (#120931)
  • Grease Marking Pencil Yellow (#111002)
  • McLube™ Sailkote 8oz (#120679)
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Hand Lightweight 8" (#101017)
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" (#102400)
  • Chalk Pencil Cartridge Set (#121669)
  • Sailrite® Edge Hotknife Package (#103800)
  • Scribe-All® Black Marking Pencil for Vinyl (#121977)
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler (#107040)
  • Sailrite® Cutting Block & Die Holder (#121597)
  • Sailrite® Drill Hole Cutter 5/8" (#121824)
  • Sailrite® Drill Hole Cutter 1/8" (#121817)
  • Tape Measure 120 Inch (#102986)
  • Multi Use Pins 1 1/2" (#102985)
  • Seam Ripper Deluxe (#18104)
  • Sailrite® 1" Swing-Away Binder (#100103)
  • Deluxe 5 1/2" Magnetic Sewing Guide (#103597)
  • Spring Clamp (#50211)
  • Common Sense® Eyelet Hole Cutter (#108001)
  • Barry King Mallet Hammer Style 3# (#68563)
  • Prong Bending Tool for Common Sense Fasteners (#120445)
  • 3M™ Specialty Adhesive Remover 32oz (Quart) (#108984)
  • Trimmable Butyl Tape 3/4" (#103689)
  • Easy Fit Kit in Waterproof Box - Snap Positioning System (#102565)
  • Pres-N-Snap Installation Tool (#109011)
  • Battery Operated Thread Burner (#121592)
  • Tape Measure, Markers, Yardsticks, Drill, Straightedge, Tape, Stapler, Pliers
  • Drill Bits: 7/32” and 1/8”, Countersink Bit, Screwdrivers