I got the dodger I ordered from my dealer last week. It wasn't difficult to install but I'll say the directions could be improved. Plus I was missing several parts which made the installation more difficult because I had to fabricate the parts from junk I had in my garage. But I got it to work.
The adventure Island kit has extra snaps that go all around which I opted not to install. The less holes in the boat the better and the only benefit I could see with the snaps is to make it more waterproof inside. The other attachments secure it onto the boat quite well and it's a lot easier to open up quickly without the snaps if you need to reach inside quickly.
The first day I used it the winds were pretty calm and it was a beautiful sunny day. So after a short time, I took it apart while sailing and stowed it in the bag it came in. It's pretty easy to take down and put together. Just don't let the pole sections slide away from your grip and into the water.
I wanted to bring the New Year in right and take my AI out in the Gulf of Mexico. The weather was pretty strong on New Years day with small craft advisories and strong winds. When I launched, there were not many others on the water. I attached the dodger and took a little longer making sure that everything was ready to go when I hop aboard and sail off so I wouldn't have to have my head under the dodger looking for the lines or installing the mirage drive. The dodger did a great job keeping the majority of the water off me. As it was a little chilly and I only had a t-shirt, it also kept me warm enough to enjoy the ride. I didn't feel the snaps were needed in strong wind conditions so I'll probably leave them off my boat. I was only out for about 45 minutes because of the conditions but it was fun.
One thing I was wondering about is what the Dodger does to the AI aerodynamically. Does it help cut down on drag and give better performance or does it actually create more resistance/drag. The reason I ask is I'll need to consider performance options sailing in the Miami Regatta in a few weeks.
All in all, I like my new dodger. I have a Red AI and the silver dodger which looks decent. And I will say, that everytime I launch it on the causeway, the AI gets some interesting looks and comments.
There seems to be lots of info/feedback etc re the Dodger scattered throughout the AI forums.
I want to provide some feedback but there are many previous posts contained in other topic threads.
Is there a Forum Administrator and if so could all this important information be collated into its own thread??
If not, I guess I might have to do what many others have done - start yet another new thread on a topic that has been raised many times previously