How to Make Boat Interior Curtains

How to Make Boat Interior Curtains


In this video we will show you how to install
and make an interior privacy curtain on a boat using the Surface Mount Curtain Track
from Sailrite. Our application requires us to affix the track to the wall so that is
what we will demonstrate here, but Sailrite also stocks tracks that can be installed to
the celling using different types of curtain carriers, so check those systems out at our
website. Let’s begin by installing the mounting clips
which will hold our track to the wall. Brian is going to strike a line above the salon
window insuring that when the curtain is installed it will cover the entire length of the window.
We will be install a mounting clip one inch away from the ends so mark that location on
both ends along the line you struck down. Brian positions the mounting clip and then
he will drill a pilot hole for the screw which will hold the clip in place. Be sure to not
drill too deep into the cabin wall, you do not want a hole to exit out the other side
of the cabin. Now use a stainless steel 6 x ¾ inch flat head screw and secure the mounting
clip. Sailrite recommends a mounting clip to be installed about every 14 to 16 inches
so Brian is marking those locations along his line. Then he installs a total of 4 mounting
clips for this curtain’s length. He will then strike a line along the bottom
edge of the salon window being sure that this line is parallel with the top curtain track
plane and so the ends are at the same location as the above track ends. The fabric curtain
will extend about 1 below that the curtain track’s plane here and 1 inch above the upper
track plane, so position it the track accordingly. Then install mounting clips as done earlier.
Now measure the width from the center of the top mounting clip to the center of the bottom
clip. Write that “track to track” measurement down on paper. Now measure one inch away from
each of the ends mounting clip to get the “track length” measurement and write that
down also. These measurements will be used for calculating the cut size of the curtain’s
fabric panels. Boat interior curtains usually use a fullness
factor of about 1.25% as a general guideline. Since we will be installing two panels we
will need to use the following calculation to determine the cut fabric width for each
of our two curtain panels. The total inches of width should always be rounded up.
The fabric cut height is determined by taking the track to track measurement you took and
adding 2 inches and also 3 inches (which will be used for hem) for a total of 5 inches.
Now with those calculations we can cut the fabric to size, but how much fabric do we
need for our curtains. Well, as always Sailrite tries to make this easy by using the Sailrite
Fabric Calculator. Visit the Sailrite website and pick your favorite fabric. We’re going
to pick a Sunbrella Upholstery fabric in a yellow color. After selecting your fabric
you can see we have a detailed description and even a video showing the fabric up close.
Now click on the “Launch Fabric Calculator” button to pull open Sailrite’s Fabric Calculator.
You will see multiple calculators for various projects we want to pick the Window Treatments
project and click it. Then pick the window curtains. Now you can enter your measurements
into the correct fields for your boat’s curtains. If you have any questions about the fields
just click on a question mark for detailed descriptions. As discussed earlier boat curtains
are usually 1.25 percent for the fullness factor. Hit the calculate button and you will
immediately see how much fabric is required for your curtain application and you will
also see a cut panel rending showing how the panels should be nested on the fabric for
best cloth usage. Now just order the fabric from Sailrite. Many Sunbrella fabric are priced
lower in the shopping cart. Yah, it’s that easy using the Sailrite Fabric Calculator.
Using the calculations we took earlier for our cut fabric size we will mark the fabric
to the correct size in preparation for cutting. Our curtain panels will be cut to a size that
will allow for hems along all the sides. This illustration show the size of the hems that
we will be applying to each panel. After marking the fabric panels on our fabric we will be
incorporating curtain ties which will be used for each of our curtains, so we will also
measure out and cut rectangles that can be used for the curtain ties. These rectangles
will measure about 11 inches by 6 inches. We will make one of these for each of the
curtain panels. The length of the tie is totally dependent on the amount of fabric used in
each curtain panel. A general guideline for an approximate tie cut length is to multiply
the curtains cut length by 0.37. Since we have chosen to use a Sunbrella Upholstery
fabric our Furniture Fabric it is always a good idea to use a hot knife to cut the fabric
to size. We are using a hot knife here onto of a piece of glass to prevent damage to the
table top below. This will prevent the unraveling of the edges of the fabric.
Now we have one curtain panel and one curtain tie cut to size. Next comes the sewing of
the hems and installing the snap on tape from Sailrite.
We will cut the snap on tape to size so it is equal to the length of our curtain panel.
We will need two strips one for the top edge and one for the lower. Try to ensure that
the snap on each end is equal distance from each end.
Next a single hem will be created along each of the long edges of the curtain. Deb is going
to strike a line on the wrong side or underside of the fabric which is about 3 inches in from
the edge so she can us that as a guide to create a 1 ½ inch single hem. The snap on
tape will eventually be placed along the inside edge of the folded hem so that a snap is positioned
about 1 inch away from the folded edge. A ½ inch hem will be installed along each
of the short edges and so we will need to cut away any extra length of the snap on tape
so it does not need to be folded under this hem. The use of seamstick or basting tape
is a great help in any upholstery or canvas job. We are using the seamstick for canvas
here and applying it to the edges of the fabric which need a hem. This seamstick will hold
the hem in place as we take it to the sewing machine and sew it down.
We will also apply the seamstick to the back side of the snap on tape. Then baste the snap
on tape in place so its edge is almost flush with this raw edge of the hem on the wrong
side of the fabric. Do that to the top edge and also the bottom edge of your curtain panel.
It is always a good idea to measure the distance of the snap from center to center to confirm
that they are about the same measurement as the track to track measurement, if not make
modifications before sewing. Well take it now to the sewing machine and
sew a straight stich at least a 6mm long stitch length. We will secure the snap on tape and
the hem at the same time by just sewing the bottom edge of the snap on tape. Then when
we sew the opposite side the snap on tape we will start from the other end because we
are using a roping zipper foot (the sewing machines presser foot is missing on the right
side) so we can sew close to the snap buttons. Once both snap on tapes are sewn down on the
top and bottom edge we can sew the ½ inch hem on the short sides of the panel. You will
notice that Deb did not use seamstick for this hem, she is folding it while she sews
it shut. Be sure to reverse your stitches at the beginning
and end of your sewing to lock the stitch in place. Here is what the curtain panel looks
like when it is done. We have 4 of these to make for our boat. Now simply install the
snap on carriers to each of the snaps. It is time to make the curtain’s tie. We will
fold this 11 inch x 6 inch assembly in half width wise then sew around the two sides leaving
one of the short ends open. Our stitch is about a ½ inch away from the raw edges of
the fabric. Notice that when Deb takes a turn she buries her needle, lifts her presser foot
turns the fabric then lowers her presser foot and continues to sew. She likes to reverse
at each turn, but I prefer not to do the extra reversing. I only reverse at the beginning
and end of my stitches. Turn the assembly right side out. This will be difficult, but
possible since it is so small. Use a stick to poke out the corners if needed. Then fold
about a ½ inch hem towards the inside of the pocket along the open side and sew this
shut. Cut a 2 inch hook and loop Velcro to approximately
1 inch. Or if you have a 1 inch Velcro cut it to two inches. Then sew this to the ends
of the tie one hook Velcro on one side and the other side a looped Velcro on the opposite
end. We’re going to sew a box stitch here, meaning we will sew around all 4 sides of
the Velcro. The Surface Mount Curtain Track cuts easily
with a hack saw. Cut it to the length required for your application. Ours is 43 inches. We
will install to one end of this track an Curtain End Stop with Loop since we do not want the
curtain to slide open along the two ends. This will allow us to easily sew the curtain
to the loop of the stop. Simply slide the finished curtains onto the track via the snap
on carriers. You will need to slide this curtain on and also the second one.
When both are in place on the track. You will install another End stop with loop on the
opposite end. Follow this same procedure for the second lower portion of the track as well.
Take a needle and thread and sew the curtain to each of the loops on the stop so it will
not pull away from the ends of the track. We will not be showing all of this.
We are now ready to installation the curtain onto our boat. All we need to do, with this
style of track, is snap in into the mounting clips we already installed on our boat.
As you can see it works wonderful and will provide privacy and style to any boat whether
it be a sailboat or power boat. Let’s also show you how it looks with the curtain ties
we made. They simply Velcro in place to hold the curtain open.
For the best UV resistant fabric pick Sunbrella Furniture or Upholstery fabric. At Sailrite
you will also find other brands of interior/exterior fabrics with gorgeous patterns that are classified
for occasional outdoor fabrics use those also work great for interior curtain projects like
this. Here is the materials list of the items we used to build these interior boat curtains.
For more free videos like this check out the Sailrite website or subscribe to the Sailrite
Youtube channel today. It’s your loyal patronage that makes these free videos possible, thanks
for your support!


4 thoughts on “How to Make Boat Interior Curtains

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *