SV Pilgrim - 1979 Morgan 382 - Homeport: Beaufort, NC

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Sun Cover for Dodger Windows - Part 1

The quality of Pilgrim’s dodger stood out on my first visit to the vessel.  The clarity of the strataglass windows is remarkable when compared to other vessels in our boat search.

Jeff on the foredeck while prepping Pilgrim for transport in the Sandusky Harbor Marina
Now that we own Pilgrim and plan to take her south, protecting her wonderful windows from year round, low latitude UV damage is a high priority on the project list.  Fabricating a removable sun cover for the windows seems like the best solution.

We feared using royal blue that matches the existing dodger fabric would generate too much heat in warmer climates.  Our choice of colors…  a contrasting white UV resistant fabric.

Using the center window panel to create a rough cut out of the fabric. 
Initially I attempted to measure out the pattern.  This worked well to estimate the amount of fabric for the job, but proved too inaccurate for creating a pattern.  After one false start that resulted in a permanent blue line across the lower section of the front panel, I tossed aside the tape measure and simply outlined the panels to create a rough cut out of the covers.  With the fabric atop the panels I was able to fine tune the dimensions of the cover and thus skipped creating a pattern.
I placed the fabric atop the panel to fine tune the shape of the cover.
The side panels were created via an identical process.
using the side panels as pattern for the cover
In the design phase, I decided to use edge binding rather the hemming the covers.  Using red or green 1” webbing as binding tape for the edges allows for easily identification of the port & starboard side panels.  Additionally, I used red and green on the corresponding sides of the center panel to assist with orienting it to the dodger.  White binding tape was used for the top and bottom edges of the center panel.
adding a second row of stitching to the binding tape on the port side panel
To provide additional longevity to the covers the edge binding is double stitched in place. 

The covers were now ready for the installation of snaps that will affix them to the dodger.  I felt the snap placement would be more accurate if completed with the windows installed in the dodger.  Time to load up the project and head out to the boat…  

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