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Thread: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

  1. #1
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    Default A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Many forum members have come up with clever tents for their small boats. Some have used commercial tents modified to fit the boat, some use hoop supports, some sailboats use the spars for support. McMullen's is one of the more elegant, just a catenary cut fabric stretched up to the mizzen mast. Mine is not so elegant, but it is a bit different so I'm posting the details. It actually started out as a folding dodger, then went along a couple of false starts before turning into something useful. I'm just going to pretend it was planned this way from the start

    First, some of the pieces that go into it. A wood arch was made by epoxy laminating oak strips:



    The arch was later ripped into 3 separate smaller arches.

    8-32 stainless steel weld nuts were painted with copper colored Rustoleum:



    These were then epoxied into holes drilled in the coaming, to make threaded inserts for screws or snap fittings:


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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Bimini fittings were used to make the folding parts of the support. I used several of these universal ones in stainless and in nylon:



    The nylon bimini fittings are cheap and probably strong enough to use everywhere, but I wanted the dodger strong and used some in stainless. Both stainless and nylon can be drilled out to take fast pins instead of the normal screws, for quick assembly:



    Here is a double bimini mount, and also shows cotton/phenolic tubes used for the structure. These tubes are strong and light, used with 3/4" dowels to make fit-together pieces. They look nicer than some of the plumbing type tubes, I think, and go better on a wooden boat:

    Last edited by rgthom; 06-14-2015 at 07:49 PM.

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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    The dodger and cuddy extension were made from Shelterite vinyl coated polyester. This is tough material, and can be glued with vinyl adhesive instead of sewing. The instructions say to allow the adhesive to dry for a few minutes before joining, but I had more success joining wet and clamping:



    The dodger is attached to coaming and folding arch with screws. It can be removed in about 10 minutes, but I leave it on:



    A support rod holds it up, held by one fast pin:



    Pull the pin to fold the dodger:


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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    The dodger worked well, but a bigger cuddy like on Scamp would be even better. Next up was a cuddy extension made also from one of the arches, Shelterite and cotton/phenolic tubes:



    The extension attaches with two fast pins and several snaps:



    Now we have a decent sized shelter to duck behind:



    The whole lot still folds down and can be left on the boat:

    Last edited by rgthom; 06-18-2015 at 10:12 PM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    The arch with support rod worked well for the dodger, so I did the same to make a folding part for the rear of the tent:



    Material for the tent is Weathermax breathable fabric (similar to Sunbrella). Now I had to learn to sew, and this old treadle powered Singer 66 worked great:



    The rear tent part can also be left on most of the time, it covers any gear in the stern:



    Alternately it can be removed and stowed:


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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Finally, a center section made of Weathermax snaps across to make the full cover:



    There is sitting headroom inside, not luxury but good enough to keep a solo rower dry. It can also be rowed with front and back up to keep most water out in the rain:



    For when bugs are more of a problem than rain there is also a bug screen to snap on instead of the central tent:



    Still to make are windows for the tent, and maybe adding flexible battens so the central tent part could extend out as a sun screen.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Wow! I love it. I've been imagining something like this for the Welsford Pathfinder I am building. Beautiful job. Have you camped under it yet? I'd love to hear a follow up on how well it performs for you. I'm guessing yours is also a Welsford boat design?

    --Mike
    “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go -- so long as you do not stop.”
    -Confucius

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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by MoMan View Post
    Wow! I love it. I've been imagining something like this for the Welsford Pathfinder I am building. Beautiful job. Have you camped under it yet? I'd love to hear a follow up on how well it performs for you. I'm guessing yours is also a Welsford boat design?

    --Mike
    Rowing only Pathfinder IIRC.


    Where did you find the tubing, Roger? Thats some pretty useful stuff.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

    15' Welsford Navigator Inconceivable
    16' W. Simmons Mattinicus double ender ​Matty

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Very nice!

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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by MoMan View Post
    Wow! I love it. I've been imagining something like this for the Welsford Pathfinder I am building. Beautiful job. Have you camped under it yet? I'd love to hear a follow up on how well it performs for you. I'm guessing yours is also a Welsford boat design?

    --Mike
    Thanks Mike. It's Walkabout, the little cousin to Pathfinder. I just got back from a week long trip in the Sacramento Delta. We had rain, heat and bugs and the tent worked well, trip post here: http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...amping-rowboat

    I'm very happy with the Sailrite Shelterite material. I keep the dodger up while on the trailer, driving at 60+ mph. No tears or wear noticed yet, it is a very tough fabric. Shelterite does not breathe though, so the Weathermax was used for the main part of the tent. I did notice that it can pass some drips through if you touch the inside while wet, so am going to give it a water repellent coating.

    Here is another picture showing the center part opened for getting in and out at the dock:


  11. #11
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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by BBSebens View Post
    Where did you find the tubing, Roger? Thats some pretty useful stuff.
    It came from McMaster-Carr. At around $5/foot it's expensive, but not much is usually needed. http://www.mcmaster.com/#86555k452/=xmyfy1

    Rick

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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    One reason why even small coamings are very usefull. Very nice set up.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Very nice work, lots of good tips. Thanks for posting it.
    John Welsford

    Quote Originally Posted by rgthom View Post
    Finally, a center section made of Weathermax snaps across to make the full cover:



    There is sitting headroom inside, not luxury but good enough to keep a solo rower dry. It can also be rowed with front and back up to keep most water out in the rain:



    For when bugs are more of a problem than rain there is also a bug screen to snap on instead of the central tent:



    Still to make are windows for the tent, and maybe adding flexible battens so the central tent part could extend out as a sun screen.
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Rick-- I've been looking at your anchor set up too -- that looks pretty slick. Is it your design? Can you both deploy and retrieve it back onto the guide from the cockpit? What keeps it from bouncing around in chop?
    “It doesn’t matter how slowly you go -- so long as you do not stop.”
    -Confucius

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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Now that is NICE! Lots of good ideas ( I really like the use of bimini fittings )..... I going to read this thread a few times !

    Thank you.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by rgthom View Post




    Tell us a little more about what you rigged up for nav lights.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

    15' Welsford Navigator Inconceivable
    16' W. Simmons Mattinicus double ender ​Matty

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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by MoMan View Post
    Rick-- I've been looking at your anchor set up too -- that looks pretty slick. Is it your design? Can you both deploy and retrieve it back onto the guide from the cockpit? What keeps it from bouncing around in chop?
    It's just a bow roller, I made it from a piece of wood, a brass strip, and a sheave. The anchor is handled from the cockpit - the rode goes around a center cleat then ties off to a cleat on the side deck. This is my small 4.5 lb Bruce, more of a lunch hook size but it holds well enough in the Delta mud. Cleated off tight it does not bounce around. The main anchor is a 9 lb Danforth with chain, that is too big to hang on the bow so it goes on a holder on the sole and gets deployed over the side.

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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterSibley View Post
    Now that is NICE! Lots of good ideas ( I really like the use of bimini fittings )..... I going to read this thread a few times !

    Thank you.
    Thanks, Peter. My fiddling with boats is not in your league, especially the metalwork you produce.

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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by BBSebens View Post
    Tell us a little more about what you rigged up for nav lights.
    The bow and all-around are AA powered LED lights. Bow is from Duckworks, the all-around is a kayak unit Yeadon recommended. I got them for the R2AK, but I'm usually tucked in by dark on the Delta so they are not much used.

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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Rick, does the center Weathermax section breath enough to avoid condensation? Or do you have vents to allow some cross ventilation? I'm assuming that you do get some condensation inside both Shelterite ends?
    Excellent designs and workmanship.

    Steve C.
    blindeyeboats

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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Completely impressed.
    Gerard>
    ​Freeland, WA

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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    Quote Originally Posted by asloth View Post
    Rick, does the center Weathermax section breath enough to avoid condensation? Or do you have vents to allow some cross ventilation? I'm assuming that you do get some condensation inside both Shelterite ends?
    Steve C.
    blindeyeboats
    Hi Steve - I did not notice condensation on the trip, but only closed the tent up fully on the one rainy night. Otherwise it was bug screen or open flaps for some breeze.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: A dodger/cuddy/tent for a camping rowboat

    One of the reasons that the yawl rigged Pathfinder was drawn with a sprit boom on the main was to create space for a dodger of this general type.
    And yes, Ricks Walkabout is one of "mine". I'm very proud to say that, his craftsmanship is wonderful and the use that he puts the boat to is a real compliment.

    John Welsford


    Quote Originally Posted by MoMan View Post
    Wow! I love it. I've been imagining something like this for the Welsford Pathfinder I am building. Beautiful job. Have you camped under it yet? I'd love to hear a follow up on how well it performs for you. I'm guessing yours is also a Welsford boat design?

    --Mike
    An expert is but a beginner with experience.

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