On our first cruise around Vancouver Island and south to Mexico, we learned that Hello World’s original canvas dodger and bimini just weren’t going to cut it. The frames weren’t terribly strong, the canvas was wearing out and the dodger windows were cloudy and starting to crack and break. We’ve watched too many skippers of powerboats pass us while sitting in their warm, dry pilot houses sipping coffee and listening to soft jazz. We were tired of standing out in the howling wind covered head to toe in foulies convincing each other that we were, indeed, having fun. We decided that before heading north to Alaska we were going full cockpit enclosure.

It didn’t take long for us to zero in on an Iverson’s Designs to do they work. They do beautiful work that’s clearly built to last. Any conversation about boat canvas in the Pacific Northwest starts with Iversons. We were ecstatic with their work from both an aesthetic standpoint and craftsmanship. Which is good because we ordered pretty much every upgrade they offered for this package. Here’s a short list of our canvas upgrades:

  • I-Top dodger: individual window panels easily zip out to improve air-flow on warm days without removing the dodger entirely
  • Side grab rail on the dodger
  • Welded-on aft grab rail on the dodger
  • 60 mil polycarbonate windows (instead of cheaper Eisenglass type windows)
  • Bimini top window so you can see the mainsail from the helm
  • Upgraded bimini stainless steel frame to 1.25″ tubing
  • Bimini dodger connector panel with windows
  • Full cockpit enclosure panels
  • Bimini solar panel mounting rails

We’ve had several days of cold, sunny sailing up north. With the enclosure in place, the wind can be howling but the sun heats up the cockpit enclosure like a greenhouse. We call our cockpit enclosure “Mini Mexico”. We’ve spent many a cold, windy day sailing in Alaska in our underwear and slippers. Here’s our blog post on our experience with Iverson’s Designs and our impression of their work.

Hello World’s transom has a nice big swim step with an included fold down ladder. We’ve found this swim step to be a huge feature. We had no idea at the time we bought her how important it would be. But after a couple years of cruising and watching all of our friends with double-ended and high-freeboard boats perform climbing gymnastics to get on and off their boats safely, we’re sold on the idea of a swim step. The first time you have step into a dinghy holding a bag with a laptop in it in wind chop from a norther blowing in La Paz harbor, you will hold dear this swim step.