How to Make Your Own California Dodger Front Window

Item # X-HT-300637

Now that you have the top of your California dodger done, you’re ready to make the front window curtain! In this second blog in our California Dodger Series, you'll use clear vinyl as sprayhood window material to make the large front windscreen for this boat upgrade project. You'll love how well this large window protects you from wind, spray and rain while making it easy to see the front of your boat and the water beyond.

This spray dodger for a boat has a large front windshield for easy visibility.

A key part of sewing a removable dodger window is making sure that you can quickly and easily attach the window to the dodger top and to your boat. The California Dodger Skin Kits available at Sailrite® (#124251 and #124252) come with zippers to attach the top edge of the front screen to the underside of the dodger top. You’ll also get plenty of snaps and Twist-Lock fasteners to secure the bottom of the front curtain to the deck of your boat. It’s easy!

Sailrite's boat dodger kits come with leather to reinforce hardware installation points.
It's important to reinforce hardware installation points for long-lasting hold.

This DIY video will walk you through all the steps to make a front curtain for your boat sprayhood. We’ll show you how to measure and install the fasteners to get a secure fit on the top and bottom of your clear vinyl window. You’ll also learn how to pattern around obstacles and contours, and how to reinforce fastener installation areas. At the end of the video, you’ll have a quality, long-lasting front window for your California dodger! Watch this video now to get started.

Now that you’ve completed the front window curtain, you’re almost done with your California dodger! The last step is to make the two side curtains. To learn how to sew those, see our blog, "How to Make Your Own California Dodger Side Windows" (#300638XHT). And if you missed the first blog in this series about DIYing the top of the dodger, don’t worry! Head over to the blog, "How to Make Your Own California Dodger Top" (#300636XHT), to get started on your boat upgrade.

Chapters List:

  • Intro — 0:00 min.
  • Sewing Zipper Half on Pattern Material — 1:05 min.
  • Patterning Front Curtain on Boat — 8:04 min.
  • Patterning Bottom Canvas — 21:31 min.
  • Adding Vinyl Reinforcement — 28:58 min.
  • Adding Leather for Rigging — 37:39 min.
  • Installing Twist-Lock Eyelets — 48:21 min.
  • Cutting Bottom Canvas to Size — 55:10 min.
  • Sewing Binding on Bottom Edge — 58:02 min.
  • Hemming Canvas Edge & Sewing to Window — 1:01:05 min.
  • Cutting Clear Vinyl Window to Size — 1:11:31 min.
  • Sewing Top Edge Zipper — 1:14:46 min.
  • Creating a Zipper Flange on Sides — 1:19:16 min.
  • Installing Snaps & Twist-Locks — 1:39:44 min.
  • Materials & Tools List — 1:44:02 min.

Materials List:

All listed materials are included in the California Dodger Skin Kit (#124251 or #124252).

  • Filament Strapping Tape 3/4" (#5643)
  • Seamstick 3/8" Basting Tape for Canvas (50 yds.) (#129)
  • Dura-Skrim® Patterning Material 74" (#103134)
  • Sunbrella® Marine Grade Fabric 46" — Pick a color
  • PremoBond® V-92 White UV Bonded Polyester Thread 4 oz. (1,350 yds.) (#123337) — Pick a different color if desired
  • Lenzip® #10 White Single Pull Finished Zipper (Molded Tooth) (#123744) — Pick a different color if desired
  • Seamstick 1/4" Basting Tape for Canvas & Upholstery (36 yds.) (#122065)
  • Sunbrella® Acrylic Bias Binding Tape 1" — Pick a color
  • YKK® SNAPCAP® #10 White Zipper Top Stop (VISLON®) (#123706) — Pick a different color if desired
  • Lenzip® #10 White Double Pull Finished Zipper (Molded Tooth) (#123746) — Pick a different color if desired
  • DOT® Snap Fastener Cloth-to-Cloth Stud (Stainless Steel) (#444100)
  • Blind Rivet for SnapRite® Surface Die (Stainless Steel) (#103755)
  • DOT® Snap Fastener Cloth-to-Surface Set 3/8" Screw (Stainless Steel) (#444002)
  • Shelter-Rite® White 61" Fabric (#112011)
  • Leather 4-5 oz. Chrome Pearl Grey (#559111)
  • DOT® Twist-Lock Fastener 2 Screw Stud Cloth-to-Surface Set (Nickel-Plated Brass) (#777400)
  • DOT® Twist-Lock Fastener Extended Legs Eyelet (Nickel-Plated Brass) (#777006)
  • Strataglass™ 30 Gauge Vinyl Window Material 54" x 110" Clear (#791123)
  • DOT® Twist-Lock Fastener Double-High 2-Hole Screw Stud (Nickel-Plated Brass) (#777035)
  • Trimmable Butyl Tape 1" (30 Feet) (#103689)
  • Sample of Boat Blanket Gray 72" Fabric (#100111)
  • Polyester White Hook 1" (#473100)

Tools List:

  • 2-Bow 1" Dodger Frame Kit with Rigid Supports & Hand Rails 84" x 40" x 40" (Stainless Steel) (#121918)
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Hand Lightweight 8" (#101017)
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" (#102400)
  • Soapstone Fabric Marking Pencil White (#102766)
  • Sailrite® Tempered Cutting Glass (#121915)
  • Sailrite® Edge Cordless Hotknife 18V Package (#122177)
  • Tape Measure 120" (#102986)
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler (#107040)
  • Scribe-All® Water Soluble White Marking Pencil (#120681)
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ-1 PREMIUM Sewing Machine With WorkerB® Power Pack (110V) (#311603)
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® Industrial Sewing Table (#120934)
  • Basic Thread Snips (#123222)
  • Deluxe 5-1/2" Magnetic Sewing Guide (#103597)
  • Prong Bending Tool for Twist-Lock & Lift-The-DOT® Fasteners (#120445)
  • Sailrite® 1" Swing-Away Binder (#100103)
  • Spring Clamp (#50211)
  • Sailrite® Professional Rotary Hole Punch (#123274)
  • Professional Rivet Tool (#103520)
  • SnapRite® Surface Mount Stud Die (#103754)
  • Pres-N-Snap Installation Tool (#109011)
  • Scribe-All® Black Marking Pencil for Vinyl (#121977)
  • Chalk Pencil Cartridge Set (#121669)
  • McLube™ Sailkote 8 oz. (#120679)
  • 3M™ Specialty Adhesive Remover 32 oz. (Quart) (#108984)
  • Rubber Cutting Block 10" x 10" (#378100)
  • Sailrite® Twist-Lock Eyelet Hole Cutter (#108001)
  • Barry King Mallet Hammer Style 3# (#68563)
  • Sailrite® #5 Drill Hole Cutter 5/8" (#121824)
  • Seam Ripper Deluxe (#18104)
  • Triangle Tailor's Chalk - Red (#121914)
  • Tape Measure, Permanent Marker, Yardstick, Straightedge, Fine Point Marker, Center Punch, Hammer, 1/8" Drill Bit, Drill, Packing Tape, Countersink Drill Bit