Category Archives: Exterior Projects

DIY Screens for Pilothouse Doors

Magnolia, a 1997 Kadey Krogen 42, has a raised pilothouse with two side doors. Being averse to biting black flies, I wanted screens before going down the Delaware Bay - a known fly habitat.  No one seems to enjoy their visits as they arrive in swarms.  I completed the first phase of the screens before we left the Chesapeake Bay bound for the Great Lakes. Reporting no flies aboard to date.  The screen material is cut the actual size I wanted with a two inch binding top and bottom which I made from Sunbrella and a 1" Sunbrella binding on the sides.  The material is Phifertex white 54".  This is the basic Phifertex which will allow more air flow, but may not keep out any noseeums.  For noseeums, I'd spray the mesh with "Shoo-Fly".  Primarily Read more [...]

Line Lock Covers

 More covers.  Everything teak needs a cover from the sun. Handrails, winches and line locks.  The two line locks on the aft cabin deck got new varnish, hence, new covers.   Basically, I made a box cover to slip over the top. Using a "boxing strip" for the top and forward and aft sides; I sewed the top to a side panel; then carefully lined up and sewed the forward and aft side strips to the side panel. Repeat for the other side. After testing the fit, I hemmed all around the base/opening, trimmed the corners, and carefully pushed out the corners with the blunt end of the seam ripper. (You could use your fingers or a pencil eraser.)  That's it.  The Captain used wire ties to secure the cover to the base.  You could add snaps Read more [...]

Chaps Aren’t Just for Cowboys

Who wants a set of dinghy chaps? I haven't made chaps but I've collected a few sites that have information on making them.  I made that huge cover shown in Sewing Projects. The cover is a great protector of the hypalon dinghy against sun.  But it is a pain to store when not in use due to its size. Using the dinghy on a regular basis, chaps make sense. You may want to  jump in and go or come home and pull her up for the night.  Chaps may help keep the  dinghy cooler to sit on when it gets hot in the sun.  I am collecting pictures and instructions for chaps.  Here's my list so far. Sailrite free downloadable  instructions Ruth's description Linda's great collection of chaps project photos Good Old Boat article - "Dinghy Chaps Made Read more [...]

Wind Scoop 2.0 – Blowing in the Wind

"The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind"*...so if we scoop up lots of air we'll have all the answers to life's questions? Or we'll just have happy husbands who like to nap under a big breeze at anchor?  I'll be glad when I have found the perfect wind scoop (WS) design. I've made two wind scoops with different designs.  Sure I could have bought a kit or copied a design from a book.  Or heaven forbid - bought one**.  (There are several styles on the market that you've probably seen deployed, but they can be pricey.)  But noooo I have an engineer for a husband.  He draws plans on napkins at dock bars and says "here make this".  (The more wine, the more complex the design.)  So why have I made two different designs if he Read more [...]

Cover the Cables

The Captain is upgrading our electrical shore power cables. Considering the small investment in the cables (although the value of any fire safety improvement is unquestioned), we want to cover the cables to reduce the potential detrimental impact of sun, weather and dirt on the cables.  So another Sunbrella cover. First a bit about the cables…We bought the SmartPlug cables at Defender during their annual warehouse sale in April. These cables are supposed to be safer because they have 20 times more cross-section connector area than traditional marine power plugs which were designed in the 1930s.  The design should reduce the chance of overheating and fire. The plug connector allows an easier snap-in connection rather than the older threaded Read more [...]

Screen Out the Bugs – Port Lights and Hatches

We had a bad case of the flies in July in the Bay.  It took several days to get them all.  But, we got them!  Now how to avoid those buggers in the future?  My sailing friends know that I've complained about flies before and haven't had a good solution for our boat.  Our 1990 Morgan 44 didn't come with screens on the plastic-frame portlights.  I envy my friends with the lovely stainless portlights with screens built in.  But, you can't have it all. Boats are about compromise. I looked at marine consignment shops for screens and found some, but none were right.  I thought of a couple of ideas for working with old screens and those ideas didn't cut it. They had gaps or wouldn't stay in place. I decided to try the stiff plastic mesh canvas Read more [...]