We designed and built a very practical sun awning for the cockpit
that we now use almost all the time. Its main advantage over the
dodger extension is that it lets lots of fresh air into the cockpit.
As a prerequisite, we installed zippers in the dodger frames, to
facilitate installation and removal. First, we fold the dodger up,
and unzip the aft-most frame (this works for all dodger models, old
and new). The awning uses this frame as its forward end, and the
mizzen stays and mizzen mast as the other attachment points. The aft-
most dodger frame is about 6 inches above the top of the dodger when
the awning is in place. Forward tension is provided by lines running
from the frame to the blocks on the edges of the mainsheet
traveller. So you have an awning that runs from the dodger (with a 6
inch air gap) to the mizzen mast, out to the edges of the cockpit.
It can be used under sail (in nice conditions) or at anchor. It will
not replace the dodger in rain or heavy windward sailing, but it sure
is cooler the rest of the time.