Welcome Aboard!

These pages will cover the restoration and upgrades I have done to a 1979 Choate 40.
I acquired the vessel in poor condition at a reasonable price and so far have put twice that amount into her.
From the evidence I have found, she had been de-masted, run aground several times, slightly flooded, run hard and put away wet.
Fortunately, she had new standing rig with a used mast from a Catalina 40 and a recent head job on the motor.
The rest of the info I'll segregate into pages for detailed information.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Building a Dodger/Wave Brake

One of the times I was out in the rough, I had a wave come over the bow, which hit the canvas dodger so hard it popped a couple snaps loose.
Since I'm taking this boat off shore I decided I needed something a bit stronger. So I've built a windshield to fit up to the old dodger, with a few modifications to the canvas.
Also, up top I'm adding a MFD for the radar/AIS/plotter. This should protect it from any major hits of water/spay.

Here's how it originally looked..................

7/1/13 And here is the build process. First strip off all the canvas and snaps.

Add a foundation....................

Get the right angle......................

Lay in the corners

Start in on the face..................

The windows are going to be set in just like the cabin windows were done, by the use of a register and butyl tape to hold in the windows.
This thing was a mathematical nightmare. The entry hatch and cover are off center by 1-3/4". So the window on the stbd side is slightly more narrow.

Starting the fillet work...............

To create a slight radius I added this upper board, which works great as a hand hold for leaning forward  to reach onto the now, dashboard. This is day 16 into the build.

The dodger will attach to these outer edges.......

The last coat of FG...........................

From a distance.............................

8/8/13... Got the outside painted today (in 20kt winds), but it's going to rain all this weekend, so other projects are on the list.

Well, I guess I under estimated the strength of 3/8" polycarbonate.  I should have went with 1/4".  I tried bending it permanently by hand. It didn't work. So took it to a sheet metal shop and put it thru the rollers and still came out straight. And I didn't want to put it in an oven and bake it for 5 hours (long story) so I had to make up these corner brackets to keep the window bent around the radius of the dodger. 

8/23/13 So with the brackets, butyl tape and poly sealer I now have windows. The canvas top is coming in a couple days.

Well, the dodger canvas is finally done thanks to inCanvas of Everett. She did a great job and even went out of her way to help me get underway on a schedule.  Thank you!

The boat has a whole new look now. Better I think! And stronger too.

The inside of the structure still needs to be finished, but it's functional and sealed. I can finish it when I have some free time after I move out of the PNW.


  1. Just like all your other work, this is incredible. But am I missing something or did you forget to make slots for the lines to get to the winches?

  2. As I suspected you built it in situ. Your pictures are excellent and informative. How did you secure the base to the deck? Good thinking ahead of handhold which I suspect started out as a structural member to which you thought, hey I can add handholds here.

  3. Oh yeah, how did you make those large radius corners? Shaper?

  4. Sorry I haven't replied lately. Been a bit busy lately trying to get this boat ready for the trip South.

    I've put in holes to keep the minimum of water from intruding in. Today I just received some brushes to put behind the holes to also slow the progression. I'll explain when I get them installed and posted.

    The foundation is 1" x 2" solid mahogany epoxied to the cabin top with screws about every foot or so and three in each corner piece. And yeah, the hand holds were an after thought. The board is there to maintain the radius which I was going to cut out the mass once it was epoxied together, but I do like the handholds now.

    The window corners are two pieces of 3/8" marine ply. One on top of the other with the bottom one with a smaller opening. Which makes a register to set in the windows Just like I did with the cabin windows. I should post that too. It was another undertaking.

  5. Del, thanks for the come back. Your work is superb, it looks great.