Wednesday, October 1, 2014

On The Opening Of Ports

One of Eolian's two Previous Owners outfitted her opening ports with curtains.  In order to hang them, he used an extruded aluminum curtain track that was available at the time - the same track, as a matter of fact, that the factory used to hang the shower curtains in the heads.  But on two of the aft cabin ports, the installed track interfered with an overhead beam, preventing the complete opening of the ports.  (These are not the original curtains; they are the curtains that Jane made back in 1989, one of her "make the boat mine" projects.)

Original setup only opens part way
Unfortunately, the only fittings available at the time for attaching the curtain extrusions were these (now rusty) steel spring clips, which he installed by wiring them to the port hinges.

Rusty steel attachment clip, wired on
While making a recent Sailrite order (I must do a post on this wonderful company sometime soon!), I found that they carried three forms of the curtain track:
  • one like the ones used on Eolian,
  • one designed for mounting to a vertical surface,
  • and one designed for mounting to a horizontal surface.
It was the last one of these that caught my eye.  With a little modification, a piece of this track could be used to mount the curtain track to the port in a much lower position...  that would allow the ports to open quite a bit further!  So I included a piece of this track in that order.

A little work with a hacksaw cut two pieces of tracks to length, and then removed the mounting flange from their ends so that they could be mounted to the port lens:

Hacksaw hack
Then I drilled holes in the track flange and matching holes in the port lens.  Using a couple of 3/4" 6-32 SS screws and nylock nuts, I attached the track to the under side of the top flange of the port lens:

Better than a wired-on rusty steel clip
The port now opens almost completely!

Open wide!
Look Ma!  No wires!
And yes, it looks a lot better.  Eolian has six more ports for which this treatment should be done, tho none of them have overhead interferences... doing the work would only serve to improve the professionalism of the interior finish.  So, yeah, that means that I will do them, but not as a high priority task.  There will be another piece of track in the next Sailrite order.

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