Doors vs Curtains

Hubby and I have talked in length about if it would be better to have doors or curtains on Rad Mode. After our experience on our first sailboat and advice from serious sailor friends of ours we made the decision to go with curtains and forgo doors so today Annabelle helped me finish up making the curtains for Rad Mode with our trusty Sailrite Ultrafeed sewing machine.

Why curtains you ask? Privacy obviously is the first thing that comes to mind. How can you have any privacy with some fabric between you and the whole crew, especially in the head? Well, let me tell you about our experience and why we opted for curtains.

First, doors are loud.They clang and batter around if you have any rough or semi rough waves. It doesn’t seem that bad during the day when you are busy sailing, but at night it is rather obnoxious when you are trying to sleep.

Second, doors are dangerous. In rough weather the locks can jiggle open and the door flies open. Not much privacy when the door won’t stay shut. It also is not fun when you are passing through the walk way when the door flies open and smacks you in the shoulder, or worse the head. I have had it happen more than once.

Third, in terms of privacy there is not much difference. If you think about it there is only a bulkhead, which is usually 3/4in thick (depending on the boat) and the door usually about 1/2in- 3/4in thick separating you from everyone else on board. It really is not much of a sound barrier. If you think that thin piece of wood with a person sitting directly on the other side of it is absorbing all the noise that goes on in the head think again.

A curtain is thinner, but fabric does provide a good sound barrier. I recommend a thick upholstery fabric. We used it in our camper as a door and it worked great. On Rad Mode I was given some fabric, but it was a little thin so I managed to get some more fabric to make it thicker. I think it will work pretty good now. If not I will upgrade to an upholstery fabric in the future.

A good sailor friend told us on his boat that he has a rule for the head. “It never happened. You didn’t hear it. You don’t talk about it. You didn’t smell it. It never happened.”



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