Many years and a few boats ago, Bill made these dorade guards for a 31' Irwin out of 7/8" stainless and bimini fittings, so our original intention was to make some for Phoenix as well, but this time with 1" stainless tubing.
|Dorade guards Bill made on an Irwin 31|
Looking at our laundry list of projects, we decided that maybe we shouldn't try to make everything. This could be one of those projects that we outsource to make our lives easier, or at least we could get a couple of quotes to see if it was worth the headache of doing this one ourselves. There are many good (and expensive) companies in the Annapolis and Baltimore areas that we figured we could tap if necessary, but for simplicity we began our search online.
Ahoy Captain was the first company that we tried, and at first pass they seemed like a good fit. Simply fill out their worksheet with your dimensions, email it to them and you'll get a quote. Well, after a week of waiting, I contacted them again, and finally got a quote. Not a bad price, but we wanted a little clarification and discussion before signing on the dotted line. Bill called to discuss the quote, made a few tweaks to the design, and was told we'd get a revised quote. Several days (a week or more) went by, and despite several phone calls and emails on our part to follow up, we never heard back from them. Completely turned off by their lack of customer service, we decided to seek out a more professional company to work with.
We then contacted White Water Marine in Port Huron, Michigan. They custom fabricated all of our stanchion poles (will be installed soon) and we were very happy with their work. We initially hesitated in contacting them because we didn't love the shape of the example they had online (more square than we wanted), but when Bill spoke with them, they said they could custom fabricate the dorade guards to our specification. They provided a quote via email the same day (which was cheaper than Ahoy Captain's), and said they had a 4 week turnaround.
Three weeks later, our new dorade guards arrived -- well packed, made exactly to our specifications, and they looked great!
|Checking out the dorade guards in spot|
|Plastic pad under forward tube|
Now it was time for final fitting and placement, drilling the holes through the deck, filling them with epoxy, and then screwing the pads and guards in place. We used a marine grade silicone to help create the "gaskets" between the base and the pad and the pad and the deck, and to prevent any water penetration. We chose silicone so we could remove them if necessary in the future.
|Time to punch holes in the deck -- never my favorite part!|
|Ready for a dress bead of caulk|
|The finished product|
Once the dorade guards were installed it was time to celebrate with a crab lunch -- we are on the Chesapeake after all!