|Under hatch nets - courtesy SY Rampage|
|Commercial Mosquito Net for over hatch|
blog on making this type) as we already have blinds and also didn't want ugly velcro stuck around the underside of the teak hatch surrounds. It had to be external popping over the open hatch. I started examining nets other boats were using - RC Louise had some rather snazzy ones with a wide white weighted edging supplied by the builder, Summerwind had chain inserted through the hem of nets that a previous owner had made. The basic design of both was much the same a sort of stubby toblerone shape. So thinking "roof shaped" a design evolved; two triangles (gable ends) sewn onto a rectangle to make a net that slips over the hatch and theoretically permits it to be opened or closed from within the boat without removing the net. I started with the largest of the three hatches, the one over the saloon and measured the height of the open hatch plus the dimensions of the opening. It is almost a square opening so the triangular ends must be at least 60x60x60 cm and the main piece 120x60cm. Add a couple of cm for a comfortable fit and another couple for for seam allowances all round. I simply measured and marked the shapes out with pins - this wasn't haute couture requiring a perfect fit!
How about weighting the net down? This was the long pause in the project whilst I solved the problem and sourced something reasonably heavy. Curtain weight seemed ideal as it is heavy and comes in a continuous strand so could be threaded through a hem but wasn't available in Morocco where I first started this project. Or at least my limited French couldn't describe what was required in a couple of fabric shops. What else? My initial plan was to hem the netting over whatever was to be used for holding it down but on sewing the long side of rectangle to two sides of one of the triangles I discovered that mossie net is extremely slippery and has no structure to cope with the pressure of the sewing machine. It quickly vanishes down inside the feed and becomes a mess. When dressmaking with fine material I knew that layering tissue paper either side of the fabric when stitching the seam avoids marking delicate fabrics and provides some support. I tried it with the net but it wasn't that neat a job as once removed the stitching was quite loose due to the holes in the net. OK but not perfect so the remaining net only seams were sewn by hand as it was just as quick as fighting with four slippery layers of fabric and tissue.
|The foreward heads - mossie net in place|
Into production went this design for the two remaining hatches with a minor modification of a wider 6cm hem made of cream canvas so I could stitch the rope into the hem as the hem was attached to the base of the net - a bit like doing cushion piping on a massive scale! The only improvement I would suggest is that the resulting nets are a bit snug so closing the hatches tightly from the inside is impossible as the net gets caught up, the dimensions could be 5 or 6cm larger in every direction for easier use but in some places Temptress' hatches are set down into the deck (a consequence of having a false deck under which all the lines are lead aft from the mast) making it difficult to fit anything too bulky.
|Typical companionway net |
- courtesy Distant Shores
I measured, I drew, I measured, I cut bits of paper as a pattern and after pondering on the subject for several weeks decided I had a design that might work. Mosquitoes are cunning little things and can get through the slightest of spaces so it was important there were absolutely no gaps. So with a length of net longer than the fore aft size of the opening plus a couple of times the washboard height and slightly wider than the width of the companionway and including a couple of cm extra all round for seam allowances ( ie 73x125cm) I started construction.
|Companionway net in place - |
you can even have the hatch closed if needed
|Rolled up and tucked away behind |
the lip/handle of the perspex hatch