Saturday, March 24, 2012

Making Screens

Drift Away had no screens.  This wasn't a problem in Fairfield County, Connecticut because insects are illegal there.  It wasn't a problem in Annapolis because it was winter.  It is now gnat season here in Georgia, and the mosquitoes are also on their way, so now it's a problem. 

We've been spending most of our Georgia days indoors with the A/C running.  It's 82 degrees outside and 75 inside right now in Savannah, but the A/C means low humidity so it actually feels pretty good.  We'll be getting underway soon and (hopefully) anchoring out and so won't be running the A/C anywhere near as much.  It was time to make screens.

We made a trip to Lowes and bought nylon screen material, Velcro, and heavy magnets.   We actually did this a couple of weeks ago, but I've been putting off this project because... well... I didn't want to.  Now I have to.

I measured the first door, in the helmstation.  Laying the screen on the saloon floor, I laid the tape measure on top and made a small cut at 29 inches.   Then I very carefully cut the entire length of the screen's 84 inches, making sure to stay "between the lines".  This ain't easy with 61.5 year old eyeballs.

I put the hook half of the Velcro over the top of the doorway and the loop half on the screen and then hung it.  Down near the bottom, I put two thumbtacks into the wall on each side of the screen and attached the heavy magnets to them, and then laid the screen on  it and smeared it with hot glue to attach the magnets to the screen.    About half way down on each side, I put a small patch of Velcro on the door jamb and the screen to help hold the screen in place when the wind blows.

If you undertake a similar project, do not do what I did and assume that the end of the screen was cut off square at the screen factory.  People who work in screen factories are not college graduates, and I suspect most not even high school graduates, and do not understand the meaning of a square cut.   It was not, by a long shot, and I had to cut off the top of the screen to square it up.   Luckily, the screen was more than long enough.   Once I had the right fit, I took a razor and cut the excess screen off at the bottom.

I then went on to the aft saloon door and did the same process.

As I'm looking at this pic, I just realized that it's probably pretty hard for you to see the screen.  You're probably thinking "Geez Dave, all I see is a door and a wet spot on the floor where the critter's water bowl was".  Good point.  But do you see how the door looks darker than the paneling next to it?  That's because there's a screen there.  Use your imagination.

Next were the two sliding windows on the sides of the boat.  I decided to cut small individual pieces of Velcro to insert into the old trim track that encircles the windows.   I put these Velcro pieces in strategic places around the track.  I cut the screen to the approximate size of the window, stuck it to the Velcro, and trimmed off the excess.  It looked like crap.  

I decided to do the other window differently.  On that one, I cut the Velcro in half lengthwise and then completely filled the track around the window with the hook part, and then applied the loop part and removed the  paper backing, exposing the sticky side.   I cut the screen larger than the window.  I pressed the screen material onto the sticky side of the Velcro, stretching it a bit as I did so.   Lastly, I trimmed the screen by cuting around the outside of the track with a razor blade. 

This one came out much better than the first.

I would have redone the first window but I don't have enough Velcro.   I'll pick some up and do the window over again, maybe tomorrow since we have to run some errands.

As I entered Drift Away's saloon to reflect on this boat project, I came across this.  The critters, as usual, were snoozin'.  Gertie claimed the entire sofa as her own, and the dogs were left to sleep on the floor.  There's no question who rules the roost here.

This called for a victory beer for me!   None for the dogs and cat. 

They can get their own darn beer.


  1. The Navi Nut team is proud of your work and is looking forward to Drift Away to get underway again...

  2. Can't imagine you guys anchoring out. The Whaler won't be runnin till the Navi Nut Team up north gets hold of it! Nice job on the windows though Dave. I think it's worth two victory beers! Or Three......

  3. The entire Navi Nut Team has faith that the Whaler will be running soon...

  4. Just wait till you get to Florida and meet the love bugs. You'll love those..and they love you. Cuz they are everywhere and in everything. Yep...they mate in mid air. A feat I have yet to master and probably won't. lol