C'est la Vie is a 1966 Charlie Morgan 34.

Her home port is Everglades City, FL. Our typical cruising area is Southwest Florida, the Florida Keys, the Southeastern Atlantic Seaboard, and the Bahamas. We are C'est la Vie's third owners and purchased her in 2005. We continue to maintain and update this classic vessel. Please post any questions or comments about C'est la Vie or our travels via the comment links below.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Companionway Screen (a.k.a Reuse/Recycle)

Our existing companionway screen was ill fitting along the sides and bottom of the opening.  When a day off presented the opportunity for some project time I collected an unused dive weight, a retired Outward Bound tent, old tubular webbing, and sunbrella scraps left from previous projects and set about creating a new companionway cover.  Using our well fitting cloth companion way cover as a template, I began by creating the weights for the top and bottom.   Filling tubular webbing with the lead shot from the dive weight was my initial plan.

But once full of lead I felt the tube's stiffness along its length would inhibit it from conforming well to the irregular topography of the top of the cabin.
Using the light weight fabric from the retired tent body, I sewed a larger diameter tube for the upper weight.
Despite receiving more lead the thin nylon and larger cross section served to create a much more supple weight for the top.

Cutting the no-see-um proof mesh screen proved to be much more challenging than anticipated.  After a few failed attempts at straight cuts, I resorted to marking out the proper dimensions out on a sheet of plywood; tacking the mesh out on the plywood atop the lines; and then using a razor blade to cut the mesh to size.  This system worked well.  The relative stiffness of the sunbrella as compared to the screen was easy to lay out and cut to the correct dimensions.

I  do realize many people lay out sewing projects with pins, but for me two sided basting tape is my go to product.  Using the basting tape I assembled the screen one side at a time with the tape and then sewed it together.

The sewing order went vertical sides, the bottom, and then the top.  I added a sunbrella wear patch at the location that the companionway latch contacts the screen.

I gave our old screen covers to a fellow sailor in exchange for some lead shot.  Once he delivers the lead I begin replacing the screen covers on our two cabin hatches.