Curtains over cabin port lights

u079721

Contributing Partner
OK, I know that replacing your cabin curtains isn't nearly as interesting (or as important) as much of what we write about. But...

We thought we would wash the 13 year old curtains on our E-38. Big mistake! When I opened up the wahsing machine the curtains were nothing but shreaded rags. Talk about sun damage.

Well, I guess the way to think about it is that all that sunlight could have been destroying the cushions. Now instead of just washing the curtains, we have to fabricate 18 new ones.

(Ever notice how the to-do list never seems to get shorter?)
 

Walter Pearson

Member III
Did they shred all the way to the top and bottom? Mine disintegrated mostly in the center portion, so as an interim solution I was able to sew new fabric to the old where the slides were still sewn into the multiple folds. It'll get me by until completely new ones can be made. If I want to keep the old aluminum extrusion, putting the new plastic slides in seems to be the hard, time-consuming part. I've decided to go with slides that have an eye as the attachment means. Setting a zig-zag sewing machine to zero feed length puts them in fairly quickly.
 

u079721

Contributing Partner
Well, they didn't shread completely, as there is still about an inch around the outside perimiter remaining on most of them. But they are WAY beyond the patching stage.

My wife also suggested replacing the aluminum extrusions with something easier to use, but she may reconsider (I hope) when we add up just how much work it would be to replace all those rods.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
An Alternative Idea

If you look at the C&C and Hinterhoeller boats from the 70's and 80's, you will see that they used a simple yet effective system for this.
(I owned a Niagara 26 for a decade.)

They put an SS round-head screw into the cabin interior liner with about an eighth inch standing proud, about two inches beyond the end of the window opening, at top and bottom on each side. The way the cafe style curtain is carried/captured is that it is threaded along a vinyl-covered steel (stainless?) wire coil that has its ends formed into eyes. This covered coil is stretched tight at top and bottom of the window. The two-piece curtains are slid/bunched (as I would call it) to each end to reveal the window. This style of curtain easy to make at home. The "curtain holders" are slightly stretched and removed by unhooking from the end screws.
It is simple and attractive. With just the right tension on the "wires" there was never *any* noticeable sag over the 2 foot of window length on my boat.
I believe that these coils can be sourced from any bicycle shop because they look just like the covers for the shift wires.
:)

Loren in Portland, OR
 
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Brent Wright

Please Contact Admin.
Wow,
KISS theory at its best. I have a similar problem eccept that each curtain in the boat is made from different materials, makes for a quite interesting look though.
 

ccorcoran

Member II
Steve,

While I agree that there are more "important" things than replacing curtains, I recently succumb to the urge to get rid of the 15 year-old rags that were partially covering the portlights on our E34. After much consideration, we opted for a really good looking Sunbrella materials (warm gold with a navy pin stripe) that complements the teak, the blue cushions and the cane trim. That said, we had the curtains made (original quote - $200; not that bad). With no alternative for hanging the curtains (I wish we had read Loren's post first), we stayed with the aluminum extrusions and had slides "hand-sewn" to the curtains (another $200). All said and done, we now have some beautiful curtains that fit, look great and -- since the materials is Subrella -- should last forever. Long story short, take a look at the available Sunbrella material and use Loren's method for attachment; should yield great results and relatively low cost!

Chris
 

Sean Engle

Your Friendly Administrator
Administrator
Founder
FYI -

For those of you who were not aware, Sail Rite is an EXCELLENT resource for sewing needs for sailors of all kinds. It runs from sails themselves to the little plastic things you need for curtains (and tracks, etc). They have a fat catalog (their full printed catalog is now available as a pdf on their site), full of great stuff!

//sse
 

noproblemo2

Member III
WE REPLACED OURS IN OUR E38 BUT WE WENT TO MINI BLINDS PURCHASED AT WALMART WENT WITH ALMOND AND BUILT A TEAK FRAME AROUND THEM THEY LOOK FANTASTIC!! :egrin:
 

Brent Wright

Please Contact Admin.
Pictures, Pictures!
Do you think you could post some pictures? I really like the idea but not being much of a carpenter I need some visual help.
Greatly appreciated.
 
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noproblemo2

Member III
I'LL GET SOME PICS THIS WEEKEND AND POST. WE'VE DONE A LOT OF ALTERATIONS TO OUR E 38 THAT YOU MAY LIKE SO I'LL GET THOSE AS WELL. HERE IS ONE OF THEM. OUR LATEST PROJECT ( A MONSTER ) WE'RE STRIPPING ALL OF THE INTERIOR WOOD DOWN TO THE TEAK AND VARNISHING IT. WHAT A DIFFERENCE THAT MAKES!!:egrin:
 

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Brent Wright

Please Contact Admin.
looks good, I'll be looking forward to seeing your progress. I haven't gathered up enough courage to start that one yet.

:)
 

Walt Boughner

Junior Member
Replacing Curtains

Hi Folks

I'm going now to buy material to make curtains for my E-27, Rough est. is I'll need two yards of material. We are going to sew them ourselves and try Loren's method of hanging them with the SS wire and screws. Will keep youal posted as to how they turn out and if they are OK I'll take pictures.

Walt

73 - E-27
Miss Ruthie
Titusville Fl
 

Walt Boughner

Junior Member
Replacing curtains

OK, Curtains are done and hung. They turned out OK and cost in total less than $12.00. It was a fun project and one my wife and I worked together on. Here is the picture of the finished product.

Have a Happy Holiday Season

Walt and Annette
 

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Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Looks great! Goes nicely with the upholstery as well. Thanks for the photo.

Loren
 

Jeanne

Member I
Window Curtains

I only know how to sew by hand which takes more patience than skill. I took the curtains from the head and used them to replaced a couple of the really bad curtains on other ports. For the head I went to the store and bought a fancy towel with a decorated border. I just cut and hemmed the towel to fit the port. I had to sew the plastic clips on one at a time but it came out great. For the salon I am thinking of cutting up a nautical table cloth I was given.
:cool:
 

Brisdon

Inactive Member
Well, actually I think curtains are kind of important. These along with the cushions can really make or break the boat as far as how it shows. I like my boat to look good and for everything to be functional. The curtain hardware that came on your boat from the factory is about as bad as it gets. I would look at boat shows at how newer boats are addressing the curtain issue and get some brochures from the companies that make the hardware. There are also things that can be done in a completely custom way from whats available outside the marine industry. Don't use material with any cotton in it as it will mildew. If you don't like polyester, then linen works well even though it's not a synthetic. I have an E35 with really nice curtains. Want to trade boats?
 

u079721

Contributing Partner
Well, like all boating projects it took a bit longer than we anticipated, but we finally finished the cabin curtains that we needed to replace. You can see one of them below.
 

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u079721

Contributing Partner
There were so many clever ideas on how to mount them that I wasn't sure what to go with. I just knew I didn't want to reuse those ugly aluminum channels that came with the boat. In the end we just sewed small rings onto the back of the curtains, put small screws to either side of the port, and hung the curtains on a loop of small diameter twine. You can see part of the loop below.
 

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u079721

Contributing Partner
The final detail was to capture the end ring of the curtain panels at the end of the loops to keep the edges of the curtain off to the side while closing them. You can see this detail, along with one of the loop ends and screw below.

It was a lot of work, but we are pleased with the result. And it just somehow seems fitting to use twine to rig curtains on a SAILboat.
 

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