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Author Topic:   Dodgers!!!
compounder posted 11-18-2000 02:22 PM ET (US)   Profile for compounder   Send Email to compounder  
Somebody talk to me about a dodger for my Montauk!
Advantages? Disadvantages? Cost? Easy/Difficult Installation? Buy from Mills?
I've taken a few waves over the bow---don't want to do it again---will a dodger help much in this situation? Comments/Advice? Thanks.
dfmcintyre posted 11-18-2000 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
A dodger (also known as a foward shelter in the catalog) will pretty much eliminate taking a wave over the bow. By going with the Mills canvas, your getting a product designed for that specific hull, and installation very easy, since the kit includes everything, including instructions.

If you are leaning toward's a custom job, which many people do, be sure specify (during the quote, not while the shop is building):
stainless steel of the right diameter (same size as the bow rail, at a minimum)

ss fittings and hardware

sunbrella (a good cloth) of the right color

The nice thing about custom canvas is that you can have some unique features. I've seen canvas with a large eisenglass (sp) section in the bow that zipped open and was screened. Another shelter used a portion of the bow rail as a support, and the canvas layed _over_ the bow rail and attached using whaler clips to the gunnel, giving much more room down under.

Best - Don McIntyre

dgp posted 11-18-2000 05:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
I recently asked Mills about this setup. Forward Shelter w/ boot, SS frame and hdwe is $736 + shipping. Fly Top w/ boot, frame, etc is $508 and Windshield Connector is $160. Since this is their off-season take an add'l 10% off. Don
hauptjm posted 11-20-2000 11:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
In addition to the sea dodging qualities, the wind dodging is a plus as well. I do have a "window" that is zippered. Approx. 1 ft. square. Normally, I don't even put mine on the boat during the summer, but right about now is the time for me, and it will stay on until March or April. I also second the use of Stainless Steel for the frame as well as the fittings. It can take a beating up forward; even when it's down.
JimU posted 11-20-2000 11:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for JimU  Send Email to JimU     
What does a dodger look like? Any pics in the Cetacea?
dgp posted 11-20-2000 03:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for dgp  Send Email to dgp     
JimU, got a fax? I have a side view drawing of the Mills Forward Shelter on a Montauk. I can fax it to you. Don
mattr posted 11-20-2000 04:30 PM ET (US)     Profile for mattr  Send Email to mattr     
Quick question for you all on the dodger topic - I have seen montauks with the dodger attaching to the platform in the bow, which is 12 - 18 inches or so below the top of the gunwale...seems to me that with this setup, any water that comes over the bow would run well into the boat, rather than be deflected out over the rails.

Is there an adapter or fitting that can be attached to the top of the gunwales around the bow area to allow a dodger to be mounted on top?

Sorry for the confusing question - but I've been wondering about this for a while. I think the montauk is not totally complete for ocean use without a bow dodger - water and wind protection is a must - especially in Casco Bay, Maine!

JimU posted 11-20-2000 04:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for JimU  Send Email to JimU     
dgp-My fax is 337-482-1051. thanks. Jim
bigz posted 11-20-2000 04:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
mattr, the Whaler dodger, forward shelter turtle shell whatever you want to call it made by Mills canvas does mount on the topside of the gunwales --- little silly to mount it below I would think --- in fact the design is basically the same for the 13's -- and the Outrages --- when folded it stores nicely in its boot right up across the bow out of the way nice easy to use setup worth the price -- Tom
mattr posted 11-21-2000 09:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for mattr  Send Email to mattr     
Tom -

Thanks for the clarification! I was at my local boatyard this past weekend, and saw a setup as I described in my earilier post - I agree - it didn't seem very logical! I am new to the powerboat scene (I owned a 24' sailboat for years) so I am learning as I go. The advice here is preping me for my first montauk purchase.

thanks again!


bigz posted 11-21-2000 10:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    

No problem -- that's what info forums are all about ---

Since your up in Portland you might also check these folks out when you do get your Whaler

Nilsen Canvas
212 Warren Ave
Portland, ME 04103
(207) 797-4863

Not sure they are still in business, been a long time since we used them --- do nice work similar to Mills ---


mattr posted 11-22-2000 08:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for mattr  Send Email to mattr     
I'll poke around and see if they are still in business. If they are, I may stop by and find out about their dodgers and other canvas builds for montauks. I'll post their prices (if they exist) for comparison for other New England whaler folks.

I happened to shoot up to Freeport the other day - you know, to do the LL Bean thing - and in the Casco Bay Yacht Exchange yard were two late 80's montauks. They must have just come in! Maybe they will have a x-mas special... :)


Such posted 11-22-2000 07:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Such  Send Email to Such     
I went into see Nilsen several weeks ago about a dodger for my Montauk. He is still in business. I think you will find that he does good work. I plan on getting my done after the new year.
Macman posted 11-22-2000 10:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for Macman  Send Email to Macman     
Nilsen is still in business and it seems to me is quite busy. I inquired there about a dodger and they were quite willing to oblige...with about a month's lead time.
My brother in law had one built there for his Aquasport...they did a nice job.
They quoted me a price of about $5oo for my Montauk. Should I spend the extra money for a Mills shelter? What do you guys think?
Whats the differnce?
andygere posted 11-26-2000 11:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
My '79 Montauk has a full Mills canvas set, including dodger, flying top, windshield, side curtains and aft curtain. It does not sit on the gunwales, but rather, just inside of them. With the tall bow rail, there is no way to mount the dodger on top. In any event, the canvas is 1983 vintage and in great shape. It keeps the wind and spray off you nicely, but a wave taken over the bow would land mostly inside the boat (but not on your electronics, clothing, etc. I have a few pictures, and will e-mail them on request.
bigz posted 11-27-2000 05:58 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigz    
Oops sorry for the error guys, Andy is 100% correct --- it's this old mind which had Outrages on the mind ---

The Montauk/13/15 dodgers mount just forward of the anchor locker snapped around on the bow seat deck that's due to the rail configuration --- on the Outrages it snaps on to the gunwales ---

At $500 Macman that should be close to the Mills price, make sure they are using ss for the frame. I would say a toss up since both can also produce almost identical tops and storm curtains if you need them --- Mills though would be my choice, however since Nilsen is in your backyard shipping cost do come into play because of the frame.


mattr posted 11-27-2000 10:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for mattr  Send Email to mattr     
macman and all -

Thanks for the info - as always, it is much appreciated! I was wondering how the dodger would set around the grabrails...

Anyway, glad to see I am one of many Portland, ME area participants. Casco Bay is hard to beat for island exploring. Called the "calendar islands", there is supposed to be over 365 in the general area -explore one every day of the year - um...the not-privately-owned-ones, anyway :) Can't wait to put that one to the test!


David Reid posted 11-27-2000 04:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Reid  Send Email to David Reid     
While we're on the topic, I picked up a used forward shelter for my '86 Outrage 18' this summer. It's 1985 vintage Mills canvas and looks great. The snaps and hardware mounting we figured out with some help from the seller. But the tie-offs on the aft ends of the shelter leave something to be desired. Tied to the cleats and tightened, they leave enough play in the canvas that we get quite a rattle at speed. No real problem, just annoying. Has anyone tried adding a grommet or two to the canvas to secure the ends with some of those little twist-type, screw-in closures mounted to that little 2" riser on the gun'l? Any thought on the down-side of such an approach? Any other ideas? As we plow into duck and winter redfish season down here in Louisiana, that shelter's coming in handy... for everybody on board except the captain! He's still got his face into the wind to see over the shelter. Guess that topset and windshield are lookin' better and better as I get older and softer.
lhg posted 11-28-2000 04:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
As a complete fan of the Mills canvas, I would say the extra cost for a Montauk is well worth the money. Everything is pre-designed and custom fitted to the boat.
Although the Montauk Forward Shelter sits down on the forward deck, below the gunnels as indicated, I believe they make a set of "deck cloths" that attach to the inside of the shelter and cause rain and run-off to flow down the sides of the floor to the transom, keeping most of what you have inside dry. Ask them about this item, which was mentioned in the 1970 Whaler catalog!

David, regarding the shelter for your 18 Outrage, it should tie down absolutely tight, with no flapping. See mine in the Rendezvous section, page 2. I have the original installation instructions, lashing details and pictures for the entire Flying top set. Let me know if you need a copy, as this will solve your problems. There is a special grommet end tie-down detail that Mills devised, and I have seen many instances where the owners do not use this feature correctly. Lashed correctly, the Forward Shelter is solid as a rock under all wind conditions. Don't forget to treat it with spray silicon waterproofing once a year.

Incidentally, for foul or cold weather boating, the windshield and flying top addition to the Forward Shelter make all the difference in the world. I would not be without it.

Hoop posted 11-28-2000 05:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hoop  Send Email to Hoop     
How easy to install is the Mills Montauk canvas? How do the mounting brackets attach to the fiberglass when there is no wood underneath? Is professional help recommended? Thanks! Hoop, San Jose
jimmer posted 11-28-2000 06:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimmer  Send Email to jimmer     
Regarding the deck cloths for inside the dodger, we had these on the original (tan) canvas for our '70 Sakonnet. When we replaced the canvas with a Mills set a few years ago (...okay, maybe 10 years ago, but when the boats 30 years old, it seems recent!), the new set was lacking the attachment snaps for the deck cloths.
It would be no big deal to have them fabricated, but we've been getting along without them just fine.
The item we couldn't get along without, however, was the mooring cover that snapped to the trailing edge of the dodger and extended back to cover the console and the seat. This piece was no longer offered by Mills, so since I was working at a sail loft at the time, I made one up out of Sunbrella using the old one as a pattern.
I found a picture from the summer of '71 showing Dad's '69 Vista Cruiser towing the Whaler with the dodger and mooring cover in place. I'll hook up with a scanner and send them in along with a shot of the new cover.
lhg posted 11-28-2000 07:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Jimmer: The item you are referring to was called a "Shelter Aft Curtain". I've seen them offered in the Outrage canvas listings also. The idea was that you could combine this with the Forward Shelter for an alternative style mooring cover. They did say that this was also good for trailering. I'll bet Mills could still make one, as long as they still have the pattern.

Hoop, from what I can tell, none of the Mills canvas snaps or clips screw into wood backing. They furnish screws for mounting into just the glass skin, since this is a relatively light duty application. They furnish complete installation and dimensioned drawings, for easy installation. Not difficult at all, as long as you can read a blueprint and follow the directions.

David Reid posted 11-30-2000 09:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Reid  Send Email to David Reid     
Ihg, I'd be ever gratefull for a copy of your Mills installation instructions. Maybe Jim could post them for all to share, or would that get him into trouble with the Mills copyright?...Jim? If not, I'm at Thanks!

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