More Canvas! Soon after the propane grill cover it was time to make some new foil backed boat curtains. The old curtains were made out of some kind of white cotton material and were literally falling apart and letting lots of heat into the boat through our round portlights. I really wanted the heat issue fixed before sailing out in the middle of summer for weeks.
Old curtains in the boat
I also found the stark white color wasn’t easy on my eyes and wanted to find something warmer. Sweet, I get to decorate! A pleasant change from our frugal habits that forbid me from shopping and buying anything to decorate the house. I went online to look at photos of boats with similar all wood interiors to see what colors might work with our currently green boat cushions.

Sailrite has a large selection of Sunbrella so I picked out 6 colors in various light shades and purchased swatches at $1 each. It’s WELL worth it to get the swatches!! I had my heart kinda set on this crazy “Pango Cream” pattern that turned out to be awful and another color appeared to have been cut off of a 1970’s casino lamp shade.

After a trip to the boat I got Tate to agree to the color “Sailcloth Sand“. While it’s expensive at $30/yard, I only needed one yard for all of the curtains. Next stop was the Basic Bag shop where my mom was going to cut and sew all the curtains for Sundowner with her super special foil backing.

The old curtains used the “Curtain Mate” arrangement where you sew “snap tape” onto the curtains, press on sliders, then slide the curtain on the rod which is screwed into the side of the boat.
Curtain mate curtain rods
I measured one portlight for width and height and brought the old curtains for reference.  We figured out how much material was needed for each curtain and my mom proceeded to draw and cut out each one.  I then cut the snap tape to size with a heat gun and she sewed it all together.
Calculations for sewing
Measuring to Cut
Cutting foil backing to size
Marking canvas like grid for cutting
Foil backed boat curtains
Sewing snap tape on Curtains
Finished foil back boat curtains

And Finito! New Curtains.
New curtains in the boat

I now have a new found respect for canvas work. I figured 16 small curtains couldn’t take that long, but it ended up taking about 5 or 6 hours both of us working the whole time. There were all kinds of issues, and I learned alot of tricks of how to deal with canvas, thread and sewing in general. I installed the curtains on the boat on the old curtain rods and they look great! They also do an amazing job keeping the light and heat out of the boat.
Foil backed port light cover
We ran out of the fine Sail Cloth Sand fabric so a week later she made me a few of these little round foil backed portlight covers that I simply taped onto portlights we don’t use that don’t have a curtain rod (disregard the green and rotted wood, those are on the list to fix soon). Thanks mom for all your help! These curtains make a huge difference, and I highly recommend backing them with foil.

Feel free to email me if you are ever interested in more details on how we did this project.