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 Post subject: Hobie Dodger Review
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 1:43 pm 
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Location: Escondido
Hobie's dodger gets little fanfare, yet purports to offer some intriguing benefits -- better stealth for wildlife close-ups, warmth in cool weather, and spray shield. I decided to try one out for possible winter use and ordered the camouflage. They come in silver and yellow also, but I thought the camo would keep the sun's brightness and reflection off the eyes better. Here's what it looks like on the Adventure:
Image
Composite side view

Image
Note on this picture, the stored sail is pressing the Dodger a little off center. This is because the front sail loop is too short, not a problem with the Dodger.

Image Looking out from the cockpit.

Features:
The Dodger is bigger than I thought. The material feels quite heavy duty and fit for the job. There is a small flap forward for the sail to fit in, and the extreme rear section has a split flap that Velcros open and closed for entry and exit.
Image

Installation:
Two sets of fiberglass (?) rods assemble in pockets inside to give shape. The unit is then attached to the boat with six sewn in bungee loops to eyelet posts that have been pre-installed with an included kit. The eyelets are very easy to install once you mark their location. Once in position, the Dodger holds its shape well without any flopping around.

General operation:
I took the sail along to see how everything fits with my rigging scheme. I run the mainsheet forward to a block in the front cockpit area and was concerned that the Dodger might get in the way of this. There was absolutely no interference or problem, however.

With the Adventure, the rudder can be operated from either inside the Dodger or outside without any difficulty.

The only problem I noted was a tendency for the Dodger to knock the paddle off its front support and can be seen here:
Image
I have the earlier modelAdventure, so the improved bungee on the newer models may have less of a problem. Likewise, other Hobie kayak models are wider and may not have this issue. I also found that it's easier to insert the Mirage Drive before mounting the Dodger.

Operation was pretty slick. At first it felt a little strange not to be able to see the Drive. Learning how to flip the pedals onto the feet without looking took a few tries, but wasn't hard to learn. Pedaling, my bent knees lightly touched the rear of the Dodger, but it wasn't bothersome, and I forgot about it after a few minutes. I initially wondered if the Dodger would be restricting in case of capsize under sail. I concluded that it would take about 3 to 5 seconds to clear the legs and was pretty sure I couldn't drown that fast. After getting underway I didn't give it another thought.

Comfort:
The Adventure is the wettest of the Hobie kayaks, so it is an ideal boat to assess comfort with. My legs kept warm and dry the whole time. The wind only got up to about 10 kts and there was no breaking water over the bow, but the scuppers were sealed and I stayed completely dry and comfortable. There were no problems with overheating or humidity inside the Dodger despite my continually active pedaling for almost two hours. There was some spray and splash on the outside of the Dodger so you could see that it was doing its job. I think this would work quite well in rain also. Although not necessary, I plan to spray some silicon fabric waterproofing on it to minimize water absorption. Perhaps it has some on already since any spray tended to bead up on the surface.

Stealth:
I'm more familiar with the behavior of the lake birds than the bay birds, but even with the sail, I was surprised how close I was able to get to the birds down on Mission Bay. No doubt, with no visible leg motion, you can approach silently just like a drifting log. Here's how close I got with some of birds.
ImageImage Image
The more I looked at it, the more attached I became to the "Mossy Oak" camouflage. It doesn't match a darned thing, but is easy on the eyes and I really think it helps get me closer to wildlife in spite of the stark white boat. Perhaps it camouflages the whole boat? Besides, it's way cooler than my "Gucci" seat back fanny pack pouch!! :wink:

Sailing:
As noted above, there was no interference with sailing. The mast drops in through the open flap and the downhaul bungee is reachable from the outside by slipping the hand under the Dodger.
Image
I detached the right rear dodger bungee to get a little more freedom of movement for the sheeting hand and for ease slipping the daggerboard in and out.. It's also necessary to enter and exit the boat.
Image
I got in and out a few times with the Dodger in this position and didn't experience any problems.

I crashed through a flotilla of (mostly) sabots (not racing). All they could see was the sail, not the pedals operating. I'm sure they wondered how I got such ridiculous speed from such a small sail in light wind. This was totally cool to my juvenile sense of humor!

Summary:
The Dodger does its job well. and should extend the kayaking season, especially for those who live in the more Northern climates where it actually gets cold!

I also plan to get another mounting kit so I can set this up for the forward cockpit on our tandem Oasis for my wife. This should keep her much drier in choppy water. Hobie doesn't carry kits by themselves, but it should be possible to order the individual eyelet posts (PN 41220001) and screws (PN 8031130). 8)

Here's another thread on the Dodger with links to more pics: http://kfs.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/ ... 5441025932


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:40 pm 
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Nice report! Any ideas on if this would work on an AI?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 7:29 pm 
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Location: Santa Rosa Beach, Florida
Thanx for the insight, RR. Do you think that the Dodger could be altered to fit an Oasis Tandem?

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Last edited by Moose Tags on Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 8:08 pm 
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Location: Escondido
Tom, that's a great question. They do make one for the AI and I'm now wondering why I didn't get that version, as it should fit the other Hobies as well!

I don't know first hand, but I'm estimating that it would make things a lot drier especially for your lower body. It probably depends on what conditions you go out in. The Dodger looks stout enough to withstand bow waves up to a point. If you were expecting larger bow waves, I'd recommend replacing the front eyelet post screws with machine screws and nuts so they couldn't rip out (if the AI kit doesn't already have that mod). Obviously it won't stop water that hits you in the face, but I think it's tall enough to sort of duck behind! It looks like whatever water gets in underneath the Dodger can easily be handled.

On a pictorial scale, I would expect the Dodger would help for this:
Image

and this:
Image

but you might get wet on this one anyway (at least your face!):
Image

As an alternative, have you seen gwizs' and KayakingBob's sprayshields / sprayskirts?


Moose, I've ordered a mounting kit for our Oasis and will get back to you with the results in a week or two. 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:06 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:12 am
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Location: Florida
The Island dodger only comes in a Yellow or a Silver and lists for $30.00 more than the standard yellow or silver dodger.

I sure would be nice to see one on an Island if anyone has some pics to share.

I think a doger would keep you both dryer and warmer than a spray shield.

I don't plan on taking on 4' swells head-on so I think the doger might make a good accessory.

Ron, Thanks for the review!


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 8:18 pm 
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Location: Florida
Another Dodger question.

Where are the other mounts attached to on the Adventure hull?
I see 2 of them on the front.
Are the rest mounted on the gunnels?

I ask because I store and transport Island/Adventure hull on the gunnels. I have all my racks set up to avoid the aka x-bar assemblies & ball brace.

Is there a pdf instruction manual I can look at before I buy the Island dodger?

TIA

Yakaholic


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2007 9:26 pm 
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Here are some additional pictures showing the how the back panel splits to open for access and egress. Also, previously I neglected to report on the paddling action.

The Dodger is evidently not designed to work with a paddle. I tried various positions with the Dodger open and closed. At least with the Adventure, the best paddling position is achieved by reaching over the top of the unit and using short strokes. It works, but lacks power and comfort. It would be OK for tight maneuvering or backing down, but not for distance.

Yak, the mid and aft eyelet posts are below the gunwales. In this view, the port mid mount is seen inside the mesh pocket.
Image

The next pic shows the aft starboard eyelet post. You can see it on the far left, aft of the paddle bungee outside just below the gunwale.
Image

This last photo takes a look inside the "jungle room". you can see how the Dodger fits from the inside perspective.
Image

Keep in mind, the AI mounts may differ, but it looks like this was designed to keep the gunwales clear.

One more note -- I took a file and rounded the outboard ends of the fiberglass rods. This makes it much easier to push the rods through the retaining pockets. 8)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2007 8:43 am 
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Thanks!

The rear mounts look to be aft of the ball brace that mounts to the hull. Which would make the dodger bungie cross over the aka brace assembly. The other thought is will there be enough room in the dodger to cleat and uncleat the main sheet line. It seems uncleating requires a lot of overhead space to pull up on the rope.


Baring those concerns, I think the Dodger would have the most use on the Island.

On the Island you almost never use the paddle. The Island allows ultimate stability for being able to install or remove the dodger while on the water. The Island encounters the most wind and the most splash/spray.

On a regular kayak the dodger might catch a sudden gust and cause some tippyness - whereas on the Island wind is welcome.

One problem sailing in mid-summer is the intense sun on the legs and you can hardly carry an umbrella while sailing the Island. So, once again the dodger sounds perfect.

:lol: Ya, I'm surprised you didn't get the Island version of the dodger.

Yakaholic


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 12:31 pm 
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Yak, here is a picture of Dave Whitford's AI w/ a dodger.
Image

This picture was taken during a camping trip to Cape Romano. Dave is real careful w/ his boats, so here he has anchored to prevent scratching the bottom.

Keith


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:47 pm 
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My Island doger is in. Standard dodger has 6 eyelet posts. Island doger adds 2 more eyelet posts and 6 additional snaps.

The 2 additional eylet posts accomodate 2 loops of rope on the Island doger.

So, to be clear, Island doger has 6 bungie loops and 2 rope loops attached to 8 eyelets. Plus 6 snaps to hold the doger tighter to the hull.

To qoute Hobie These extra parts change the performance of the dodger to handle sailing conditions.

It ain't going to blow off. :lol:


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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 3:55 am 
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Quote:
Moose, I've ordered a mounting kit for our Oasis and will get back to you with the results in a week or two. 8)


Hey RoadRunner. I was wondering if you ever got the chance to install the dodger on the Oasis. i wouldd really appriciate some instructions if you have them!


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 Post subject: Re: Hobie Dodger Review
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:51 am 
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Great post, thanks.
Does the dodger affect visability to the outside of the boat? I realize the height of the sailor will likely affect visability over the top of the dodger so I'll add that I'm 6'2''.
Also, just to be clear, installation requires one to drill holes in the hull?


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 Post subject: Re: Hobie Dodger Review
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:55 pm 
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Location: Escondido
EuroKayaker wrote:
I was wondering if you ever got the chance to install the dodger on the Oasis. i wouldd really appriciate some instructions if you have them!
I ordered the mounting kit, but never got around to installing it on the Oasis.
elklo wrote:
Does the dodger affect visibility to the outside of the boat? Also, just to be clear, installation requires one to drill holes in the hull?
No problem with visibility. The third picture down from the top shows my view; I'm 5'10". No drilling is required, but the mounting eyelets use small self-taping screws. 8)


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 6:07 am 
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Does the Dodger fit the Revo 11 :?:

Seems like the only complaint I hear from Revo 11 users is water coming over the bow in fairly heavy water.

If the Dodger fits the Revo 11, that should help with this problem?

Thanks

Dave

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 Post subject: Re: Hobie Dodger Review
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:30 am 
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Thank you Roadrunner for answering my questions. Your answers were just what I hoped for too; I'll be able to easily and clearly see over the dodger and no need to drill holes in my AI to install it. So, again, thanks both for your original post and for your response to my questions.


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