Today a custom canvas shop is starting to install a new spray dodger for Tahina. The spray dodger is like a windshield in a car. It provides some protection from the wind, rain, and spray. We’re starting with a two sections which will cover just the front (like a front windshield). The material is made from a very clear plastic that is just barely flexible enough to be rolled up when we want to put it away. There will be a track at the top and bottom and zippers on both sides. We will then have pieces made for the corner that will provide some protection on the sides. The picture below shows the approximate position of the front spray dodgers outlined in “yellow”:
Believe it or not, the biggest factor for getting this installed on our boat is the wind more than rain and spray. You are more frequently at the helm on a non-rainy day – since normally you plan your sailing around the weather. But, you also plan your trips so you can sail, so wind is hopefully present! As the boat picks up speed (unless you are going downwind), the apparent wind is higher. So, although the true wind speed may only be 15 knots – if you are going 9 knots at a 45 degree angle to the apparent wind your apparent wind speed is 20 knots! (See a True and Apparent wind calculator) This much wind in your face can not only get annoying, but quite cold when you consider wind chill factors. So far, Tahina gets a lot less spray at sea than our previous smaller boat. But, obviously the dodger will help with spray and rain as well.