How to Make Enclosure Side Curtains

SKU: X-HT-200661



To accompany the new powerboat bimini we made in our "How to Make a Replacement Powerboat Bimini" video (#200660XHT), 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.

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 enclosure 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 the bimini at the top and snap directly to the boat at the aft and bottom edges. The front edge of the side panels will attach to the front curtain, which we made in a later step (#200663XHT).

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. You can learn how to install awning track in our Aft Curtain Video (#200667XHT).

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 Clear Vinyl During Fabrication" post (300024XHT).

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.

  • Installing Zippers to Bimini Top - 0:38 min.
  • Making Pattern - 4:55 min.
  • Patterning Clear Window Material - 14:36 min.
  • Making Inside Facing Strips - 17:26 min.
  • Making Outside Facing Strips - 21:56 min.
  • Sewing Binding - 29:23 min.
  • Sewing Zipper Along Top - 32:26 min.
  • Installing Zipper for Front Curtain - 35:35 min.
  • Installing Snaps - 38:09 min.
  • Materials List - 42:16 min.
  • YKK® #10 VISLON® Finished Double Pull Zipper #104843
  • Seamstick 1/4" Basting Tape for Canvas #104167
  • Dura-Skrim® Patterning Material #122463
  • O'Sea® Polished 30 Gauge Vinyl 54" x 110" #103734
  • Sunbrella® Marine Grade Fabric (we used 46” Tresco Birch #4696-0000)
  • 1" Sunbrella® Acrylic Bias Binding (we used Cocoa #103018)
  • Seamstick 3/8" Basting Tape for Canvas #129
  • Tex 90 Polyester or Lifetime (PTFE) Thread
  • 1" Polyester Loop Velcro #478100
  • DOT® Snap Fastener Hard Action Socket #333058
  • SnapRite® Snap Fastener Button 1/4" Barrel #104154
  • Soapstone Fabric Marking Pencil White #102766
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed LS Walking Foot Sewing Machine #300500
  • Sailrite® Edge Hotknife Package #103800
  • Fabric Marking Pencil Yellow #111002
  • 1" Swing-Away Straight Binder #100103
  • SnapRite® System (#104237) or Pres-N-Snap Installation Tool (#109011)
  • Pony Clamp #50211
  • Sewing machine
  • Straight edge
  • Scissors
  • Marker