Since my OEM curtains fell apart due to 15+ years sun exposure, I had my new curtains made from navy Sunbrella using the snap on track system. They turned out really well, with nice sharp pleats. I am sure they will outlast the boat.
We are in the proccess of making new curtains as well on our 34-t and had a similar idea. I was going to screw some small bronze eye-straps into the teak panel and thread the curtains through a piece of line attached to the eye strap with some sort of "nautical looking knot"
I thought about that sort of thing too, but as you can see from the top picture the mounting screws and knots are all hidden behind the curtain. So I figured why not just use some small SS screws and a simple square knot at one end.
The one thing I didn't show was that the span for the deadlights was so great that the line sagged a bit in the middle. So I added a third screw in the middle which I used to capture the doubled line and support it mid span.
For those of us who have a hangup on oem replacements, from what I can tell by conversation, http://www.mar-lou.com/ will make it like the original. They say they were once the largest curtain supplier in the US. For my E34 1987, each of the main salon ports is a 4' wide curtain. If they mount the top/bottom slides, the cost is $45 each. About half if you sew them on.
HOWEVER.... after a dry cleaning of my old curtains, they were almost ok, but many of the folds were torn badly - due to sun rot. There is a product called Pellon fusible nonwoven interfacing" (lightweight through heavy choices) which will bond to cloth with an iron. It is off white about the color of my curtains. So I have ironed on the cut out strips of this material and it appears I'll get a few more years service. Found it at a fabric place. Be careful not to scortch when ironing.
Reopening this question.... Mar Lou at one time made original equipment curtains for the Ericson. My previous comment was that I can't find a contact for them although they were in business a few years back. Has anyone found a place to order the original curtains design?
The original equipment curtains on the Ericsons were really nothing to write home about. Same with the original traveler, the original seacocks, the original Atomic 4 etc. Some things aren't worth reliving because they didn't really represent the ultimate vision of the Naval architect in the first place. I think there are much better window solutions out there now that do the boats greater justice.
Thanks so much for the comments, but I'm not certain we are on the same page. Mine is an '87 34 version - diesel, very nice traveler, through hulls, etc. While the curtains I have might have been installed by the original owner, I doubt it. The curtains are attached with individually sewed plastic slides (handsown, not possible with a sewing machine) both top and bottom which fit into tracks. The slides are sewn such that a very crisp fold can be ironed in - each fold is about 2" or so. When removed the folds are so neat that they accordian into a neat folded pile. This creates a very nice curtain - as nice or nicer than anything I have seen all through the internet - of course that is an opinion. So I'll probably make my own if I have to, which means hours of handsewing those tiny slides. (I am aware of the alternative slides that can be sewn by machine.)
My critisizm of that kind of curtain has as much to do with the tracks as with the curtains. Those type of tracks have to sit parallel to work while the cabins sides of boats are wider towards the stern and narrower towards the bow. When the curtains are open those bars are unsightly and out of context with the other graceful lines of the boat. The piece de resistance is when they put the little blue stripe on the top and the bottom of the curtain to really highlight the fact that the curtains are completely out of plumb with the lines of the boat. I just think there are better things out now for boat privacy that wont junk up the style of the cabin like those tracked pleated curtains.
I'm not sure how many previous owners Issaqueena had but each one tryed a different method to attach the curtains and rods. Now I have 8 to 10 holes around each port. Looks awful. Any ideas on patching the holes so the liner does't jump out at me and say "look at these ratty patched up holes" ???
Spin a counter sink by hand in each of the holes to take off the raised edge, then fill with marine grade bondo and sand it flat and smooth (without scratching surrounding gel coat). Next, mix some gel coat with a little pigment to match the greyish Ericson white. Mix the gel coat with catalist and apply it to each of the holes. I sometimes take a piece of masking tape and make a hole in it with a hole punch and then lay the masking tape over the hole I'm filling. Last you can take a small piece of waxed paper and press it into the wet gel coat. When it's cured, remove the wax paper and the masking tape and sand and buff it out. The patch should be virtually undetectable.
MY last comments were of course for a fiberglass cabin liner. It occures to me that the boats from 83 and beyond have teak sided cabins, and that is a wood plug repair, or a veneer replacements. Thought it sounded like you were talking about fiberglass, but not sure.
A fellow Ericson owner emailed me photos of how he made curtains like the originals - using the slides but sew on slightly differently, but with less trouble. He allowed me to post the 4 images here. Heck if I can see an vertical alignment problem worth noting.
His comments were: I see in the latest Sailrite flyer that there are more slides offered that appear to fit my track. So there could be more options than when I did this project. The thing I would do different would be to spend more time selecting the fabric. The one I chose had a great color match, but also had some elasticity in one direction and at first was a little tight between the tracks and I had to pull it closed with two hands. And now the stretchiness has allowed the curtain to sag a little. One area that might confuse is when I used my sewing machine to attach the slides to the fabric. I essentially set it up to zig-zag the needle inside and outside of the ring (with zero stitch length so it remained in place) to quickly get seven or eight thread wraps around each slide. I'm sure hand sewing would work just as well - or better. Others have gone to different slide and track systems, but I do like the low profile and good functionality of the original system, so I'm sticking with it even though it may be more work.
I should add that the photo in the above posting shows two types of curtain refurbs. The one on the left was done by removing the ratty center portion and sewing in a replacement panel. This was done to do a quick job and used the upper and lower portions with original slides intact. Even though the seams are not pretty under the camera's flash, it actually isn't as noticeable under normal conditions and allows my procrastination for redoing the rest. The curtain on the right is from scratch with Sailrite slides and new fabric. The binding tape strips are nearly a perfect color match and again inhibits me from doing the work necessary to replace them all.
After the second set of curtains for my E38 I bought Portshades to go over the fixed ports. They roll up into a cassette and install with two screws each. Completely blacked out when down but not a problem as they can be raised and lowered as easily as tearing off a papertowel. Cost about $70 each from ahoycaptain.com SKU # (OA) PSH-5. I'm very pleased with mine.
Okay, I know this thread is old, but then so is my faithful E27.
I, too, had nice curtains that eventually rotted from sun exposure. I had gotten a quote of $500 to make new curtains; too much, in my view.
Then I happened to find out that a friend's aunt would be happy to make them for $280, including hand-sewing on the nylon slides. The curtain slides fit inside a U-shaped aluminum track that mounts above and below the windows. There are four large curtains and four smaller ones for the E27.
I gave her the old rotted curtains, waited a few weeks, and got nice new ones. I've enclosed two photos showing the installed curtains (up in Friday Harbor, Washington).
I fortunately had all the nylon slides needed. I'm sure the slides are available on the Internet, but in addition I have seen them at J&R Upholstery ("Ruby") 360 378-2850.
If you want to get pricing on curtains for your boat, contact Auggie at 503 869-4300.
Those curtains look very nice and at a reasonable cost. I may have to look into replacing the ones I have - which were done in different ways at different times - and although they are functional, they don't match too well. Besides supplying the slides, sending the originals would be important because the track to track distance might not be the same from boat to boat. This might have to wait for spring. Thanks for posting.