Boat Curtain Styles

When you are thinking about decorating the interior of your boat, curtains can play a big role in creating the feel for your living space.  What style fits your boating lifestyle?  Formal pinch pleats? An easy cover on a bungee cord?   I’ve gathered some pictures of curtain styles as ideas to ponder in this blog post and on my Pinterest Boat Curtains Board.  Also listed below are some blogs by others who have done a great job documenting their curtain projects and some companies that offer curtain tracks and materials.

Magnolia's saloon 2013
Magnolia’s saloon 2013

Each boat is so unique.  Port lights are often at an angle as opposed to your windows at home. The track or method of hanging the curtains will play a role in defining your style also.  Do you want them hanging loose at the bottom when the boat is heeling or on a track top and bottom?  Do you want tie backs? Will the track show if you run it fore and aft?  Surface, vertical or horizontal mounting?  Tabs or snaps for the tracks?  You can sew on each tab or snap individually (less expensive) or you can buy a tape with the tabs or snaps already attached (a bit easier).  Or do you want just an attachment at each port light or roll them up? Will you line them? Do you need them to block light and maintain cabin temperatures?  Tip:  Car windshield foil sunshades (inexpensive) can be cut to fit into port holes to insulate behind curtains especially when leaving the boat for extended times.

The track is surface mounted and hidden by a teak rail on Magnolia.

Curtains are a good beginner to intermediate project depending on what you plan to make.   How much effort, money and time are you willing to commit to making curtains?   Have you counted how many port lights you have?!   In this post I wrote about how I made the curtains for Magnolia.

The curtains we inherited were probably original to the boat – pinch pleats.
Eleanor Q’s curtains have a top track and a soft pleat.
Aft overhead curtain
Aft overhead curtain with roll up tabs

Blogs about making curtains:

Sewing snap tape on Curtains

Boat curtains 2


Do you have other styles to add to the pictures? Let me know and I’ll update this post.

4 thoughts on “Boat Curtain Styles

  1. Could you quote on making four (4) accordion folded white sailboat privacy curtains (2″ fold depth, 49″ flattened full length, 11″ height with dark navy braided trim – 3/16″ wide positioned at 2″ insides and parallel to the top and bottom edges, with nylon track sliders for rails 9 1/2″ apart? Pictures available. These curtains would be matching replacements for original equipment curtains on a ’87 Ericson 32 – Mark III sailboat

    for an Ericson sailboat to match the originals. White

    1. Bill, Unfortunately at this time I am not sewing curtains for others. I provide ideas for other DIY’ers. You might want to try Sew Sew Sew Your Boat or Sailboat Interiors or a local seamstress. Thanks for checking out Seamless Sailor! -Annette

  2. Hi, Annette. My husband and I are currently renovating a ’74 Cooper Searbird 37. Two of its galley windows are oddly shaped – starting as normal rectangles but tapering down into an angle as it moves forward, kind of like the bottom of a Z. 😉 It didn’t have any curtains when we bought it – just a lot of termites :O – and I’m racking my brain trying to figure out how to finagle curtains that would fit and look nice. Any suggestions? I’m so glad I found your blog! My husband’s already got a list of sewing projects as long as my arm, and my sewing skills are modest.

    1. Hi, Glad you found the blog. We have two fixed ports that are irregular rectangles with a “point”. We have tracks that run at the top and bottom and hidden behind a teak rail. The curtains are rectangles have tabs that run in the tracks. There is a blog post on the curtains. The track and tabs are from Sailrite. I’ve also seen curtains that run on stetchy “bungee” cord line or tied off on small cleats on the bulkheads. I have some pix on Pinterest too. I hope that gives you some ideas. Good luck with the curtains and the renovations!

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