You might think it’s impossible for a boat to get bigger. Usually the opposite phenomenon occurs: boats get smaller with time. Stuff accumulates and every niche, every corner gets filled with things. Books, clothes, shoes, dishes, tools, food reserves, extra sails, and spare parts slowly and almost unnoticeably pile up on top of each other and inevitably conquer the entire space.
Usually, there is no remedy for this situation. In the battle of stuff vs. people, stuff always wins. People, defeated, simply abandon the boat and move to a bigger one where the process repeats. But there are a few rare instances where a boat can get bigger, which has nothing to do with stuff. And I am not talking about adding a second floor or half the crew members moving out taking the salon table along. No, I am talking about an enclosure.
Fata Morgana got her new custom made „jacket“ here in Rio Dulce, and she is sexier than ever. We always wanted to have a dodger and an enclosure as it transforms the open cockpit into another roomy space sheltered from wind and rain where the family can now enjoy dinner ever when the weather is nasty and the helmsman doesn’t get soaked while sailing in the rain. It is like installing glass panes around a balcony.
But the first time we got a quote for a dodger and an enclosure in Florida, we got shocked. The cost of such a luxury in the United States is more than the price of most boats we have seen until now. The materials are expensive and the per-hour fees are lethal. So we considered making an enclosure or at least a dodger ourselves and ultimately dropped the project, as we don’t have a clue how to do it. Until we got to Rio Dulce and met Elmer Rauda.
Elmer has the biggest upholstery company in Rio Dulce, AquaMarine, with six full-time workers and an extensive 15-year experience in the business of making furniture, marine enclosures, boat cushions, dinghy covers, hatch covers, and whatever canvass work you need for the boat.
We found him by asking around and he was the only one strongly recommended by other boaters who have been using his services, even though there are four more small upholstery shops in the area. For less than a quarter of the price we were asked to pay in Florida, he and his men made for us not only a dodger and a full enclosure but also a dinghy cover and even repaired a big hole in our jib. The jobs were done in less than one month: from measure taking to installation. We also got an additional discount thanks to this blog: AguaMarine is now one of our official sponsors. Check them out on our Sponsors page!
Conclusion: If you are ever in need of a custom-made dinghy cover, dodger, enclosure, cushions, etc. for your boat and you want to save money and time, head to Rio Dulce and call Elmer at: 4966-7095. AquaMarine is located in Fronteras de Rio Dulce, Cruce San Felipe de Lara (in front of the Panaderia San Antonio)