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Old 03-23-2009
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Making Companionway Doors

I am about to make some Teak companionway doors to replace my boards. And I would like to make them so that I can exchange the lexan panels for screens since I don't have a/c. I was wondering if anyone had made their own set of them and had any pointers in general, but most specifically on how to make the windows interchangeable while not able to leak?
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Old 03-23-2009
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The problem I see with that, is that most of the ways to make the lexan windows leak proof require installing them from the outside... and that means that a bad buy can uninstall them too...

The simplest way would be to have a rabbeted opening that the Lexan or Screen fits into, that has a groove and rubber seal in it... When the Lexan is in, the rabbet and rubber seal keep water out—but this works best if the lexan is installed from the exterior side...
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Old 03-23-2009
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We have an acrylic dropboard for normal security, but I made a simple plywood facsimile, made some substantial cutouts in it and applied screening to it.

We simply choose which one to use based on the conditions we're in. If you have multiple drop boards you might choose to make one of them with screens and another with a lens and use them interchangeably as required.
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Old 03-24-2009
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I agree with Faster...I haven’t done it yet but that’s my plan as well.
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Old 03-24-2009
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I've contemplated this upgrade too. I haven't got around to it yet, but have pretty much decided that when I do, I will not have the doors "replace" the boards.

Instead, I will mount the new doors just aft of the track for the boards. That way, we would use the doors for the most part while aboard, but still be able to drop the boards in place for more security (against weather, theft, etc).

I plan to build the doors with the screens permanently affixed, but have them somewhat recessed in a rabbet (as SD described) so that the acrylic windows (with gasket) can be set in place over them as needed. They'll be held in place by little wooden twisty toggle thingies.

Here is one vendor of companionway screens, etc, that might give you some ideas:

Glebe Creek Screenworks
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Old 03-24-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
We have an acrylic dropboard for normal security, but I made a simple plywood facsimile, made some substantial cutouts in it and applied screening to it.

We simply choose which one to use based on the conditions we're in. If you have multiple drop boards you might choose to make one of them with screens and another with a lens and use them interchangeably as required.
My usual upper board is smoked acrylic also. We wanted some additional ventilation for overnights and this winter I made exactly what you're describing using 1/2" birch plywood ($10), some Pet-Safe screening (~$4) and scrap moulding. I sealed the edges with epoxy and finished with Cetol. Didn't go for teak to keep the cost down, especially since I'm not going to be using it all the time. I'm pleased with the results and the price was right



*When* (not if...) the screen gets $#&@'d, I can just pop off the trim moulding and staple in another panel.
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Old 03-24-2009
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Same as ours only I used reg plywood and painted it instead. Works great, doesn't take a lot of space (but I have a single smallish drop board similar to yours shown)
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Old 03-24-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
...
Here is one vendor of companionway screens, etc, that might give you some ideas:

Glebe Creek Screenworks
Another vendor (or "inspiration piece")... Zarcor. These look nice, BUT... they'll set you back over $800 with screens.
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My boat has three drop boards and a lock to secure the boat when vacant. When we are aboard the three boards are stowed and we have a single piece (similar to Faster's) which is a frame with screen. This frame has quarter-round trim on the inside into which a smoke colored Lexan panel fits, secured with four butterfly toggles. For privacy I have had a white panel made as well.

Works great, keeps out insects, and provides shelter or privacy when needed.
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Old 03-24-2009
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I have some great pictures on my laptop, which is at home I’ll try to upload them and post a link. In the mean time I’ll try to describe a set up I saw at the Seattle boat show.

They had companionway doors (barn style) that had glass on the outside and screens inside. There was trim all the way around but when you’d look at the top end of the door, there was a handle that when pulled up was attached to the glass. This looked like just a piece of trim. It sat in a channel, just like your hatch boards would.

Another description is they built the frames of each door out is say ˝ stock. Then they placed screens on the inside of that and then finished the inside with trim. The outside had finish trim placed over the face frames but then overlapped the open area for the glass a ˝” or so. There would be a small groove routed into the frame for the glass to slide in from the top.

Like they say a picture is worth a thousand words.

There was also a thin groove on the inside of the overhead slider rails that had a screen too. This retracted into the cabin top. You can open the slider, but then close a screen.

It was a really nice looking set up.
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