How to Make Enclosure Side Curtains

To accompany your powerboat’s new bimini, we’re going to outline how to make a full boat enclosure, piece by piece. Full enclosures around your cockpit can make your boat feel secure in inclement weather or when you’re away. Today we’re going to take a closer look at how to create the enclosure side curtains.

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Finished side curtain

The configuration and set up of enclosures is going to be different for every type of boat. Sometimes it takes a bit of creativity to figure out the best way to get all your enclosures pieces attached. Careful patterning and consideration of what you want and how you use your boat will help you to get the best configuration. We’re demonstrating on a powerboat, but the principles can be applied for a sailboat, too. For our Maxum 2900 SCR powerboat the side curtains will attach to your bimini at the top and snap directly to your boat at the aft and bottom edges. The front edge of the side panels will attach to the front curtain, which we’ll make in a later step.

If you have a canvas bimini top, the first step for creating your side panels is to add a zipper to your bimini top fabric. If you have a hard top, you’ll want to use awning track and rope or fasteners to attach your side panels. We’ll show you how to install awning track in our next video.

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View of old side curtain

After you have made a careful pattern, you can transfer your pattern to your clear vinyl. For this project we used a 30 Gauge O’Sea vinyl. We chose O’Sea because it is UV, scratch and chemical resistant and has excellent clarity. When sewing with your clear vinyl, you’ll want to be careful to not scratch it. We have some great tips for this in our “How to Protect Your Clear Vinyl During Fabrication” post.

In this video you will learn how to install zippers in your bimini top, pattern for side curtains, add facing strips, sew binding, install zippers, and install the curtains on your boat.

Materials List:

Find all the materials needed to make these side curtains and your whole boat enclosure at Sailrite.com.

Do you have a full enclosure on your boat? Did you have the panels customized to your boat and how you use it? Share your experiences with us in the comments!

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