Author Topic: Screens for Port Holes  (Read 4178 times)

Soggy Geek

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Screens for Port Holes
« on: March 28, 2011, 05:40:45 PM »
We have been happy with the way the screens we made for our port holes have worked out, and thought we'd share this tip with others.

To make permanent port-hole screens, we got automotive belts the right size to fit inside the exterior side of our bronze port holes, and used that as a frame to hand-sew screening onto.  Then they just slide in (wedge in) from the outside and we tack them in place with hot glue.  They stay in place permanently.  Ours have gone 14,000 miles in the last 4 years and we have only lost one in that time (so buy a spare or two when you find the right size for your ports).

And voila, when you open your port from the inside, no more mosquitos!!

The CSY's used a number of different port holes (square and oval, bronze and plastic).  This (belt) method works best on the large oval portholes.  The belt size we found by trial and error (get one, try it in your porthole, and return it for a different size if it doesn't fit).

What we found works best on our large bronze oval portholes is a 9.5 mm x 821mm (Gates 6320GS).  But we are having trouble finding this exact size in Hawaii to replace our missing one.  Closest thing we've found so far is an 830mm NAPA #7320.  This might work but 821mm would be a better fit.

Just wanted to share what works for us...

Sherry
« Last Edit: November 10, 2014, 02:55:25 PM by Soggy Geek »
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RHoodJr

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Screens for Port Holes
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2011, 08:50:11 PM »
Sherry,   

That's a great and interesting idea.   To add to that, screens for those needing screens for the companionway.   I had a friend with a Catalina 36 that use clear tubing that he filled with copper BBs and inserted them into a slot sewn into screening cut to the size of the opening.   He then would   lay the tubing just over the rails of the sliding hatch to hold the top portion and the bottom was weighted with a separate filled tube and hung in front of the companionway like a curtain.   Worked very well, at least with Chesapeake mosquitoes!   Hope you get the mental picture of this.

BTW. If you need help locating the belt you need I'd be glad to help if I can and send it out to you. ;)
« Last Edit: November 10, 2014, 02:58:04 PM by Soggy Geek »

Peter Roach

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Screens for Port Holes
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2011, 12:52:30 PM »
Cool - never thought of that. I will definitely make up a set for Grace.
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John Richards

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Screens for Port Holes
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2012, 06:57:20 AM »
please send photos...did you use mosquito or no-seeum screen? where did you get the screen from? so you screwed the screen into the belt and then hot glued in the boat..just trying to understand.... can you take the screens in and out or do you have to leave in there perm.?

Soggy Geek

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Screens for Port Holes
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2012, 02:58:16 PM »
Hi John,

I can't find a picture in my photos right now--not sure I took one when I made the last ones up.

We'll try to take one in the next day or so and get it posted.   But don't wait for it, it's simple.

Find a fan belt at your local auto parts store that is as close as possible to the interior circumference of your port hole. If you have the oval ports, the part numbers we give in the post above should get you there. What we did was go to a store who would take them back if they weren't the right size, and then try them out until we found one that would fit.   It doesn't matter how wide the belt is.

The new belts we got in Hawaii were considerably smaller in width and thickness than the original ones Dave had.   And several millimeters too long, which I didn't find until I got the whole thing sewn up and tried to fit it--but I was able to cut the belt, cut a smidge off, and 'glue' it back together.   Obviously this wouldn't work if you were using the belt as a fan belt, but does work OK in the porthole application because you jam them in there and leave them.   So first step is to fit your belt (from the outside) to the porthole.   It should end up pretty snug with no wrinkles (if wrinkles, you need to cut).

Then, using regular window screening--purchased at your local hardware store, cut the screen in the shape of the porthole, but about 3/4-inch longer (about the circumference of the belt material itself).   You should try to get your belt to be roughly the shape of the porthole when you do this, or make a pattern of the porthole in cardboard, and use that.

Then wrap the overlap over the belt, and hand sew it.

We leave ours in more or less permanently, by putting a few generous globs of hot glue in 4-6 places around the porthole before we jam it in.   You can unglue hot glue fairly easily, if you wanted to put them in seasonally.   But if you don't glue them a little, they might get lost in heavy weather.

We have one porthole in the Walkthru (in the galley) that I like to keep un-screened (to chuck food scraps out of when I'm cooking).   I made a removable one for that one out of a plastic-coated metal coathanger, and put that one in from the inside when I need it.   It's not elegant, but it works.

This might not work for the rectangular portholes, but is worth a try.

What you use for screening is up to you, though, of course, you want to not block the air flow. If you HAD to have a no-see-um version, you might want to make them removable.

Sherry
« Last Edit: November 10, 2014, 03:03:27 PM by Soggy Geek »
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Bill Bischoff

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Screens for Port Holes
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2012, 08:00:15 PM »
Hi Sherry,

I tried the belt that you recommended, but it didn't fit the oval ports on my 44WO.  The belt that does fit my oval ports is:  Gates 7250, which is 3/8"; by 25 5/8"  The Gates belt is really expensive, $12-15, but there are equivalents available from other companies for about half of that.

Bill
« Last Edit: November 10, 2014, 03:05:29 PM by Soggy Geek »
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Michael O\'Laughlin

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Screens for Port Holes
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2013, 07:51:04 PM »
On the cheap and easy side... 

On the inside of the port hole put a bead of silicon on the edge where it makes contact with the gasket of the window.  Place the cloth screen covering the silicon.  Place a piece of waxed paper on the window side and close the window and dog it down.  Leave long enough for silicon to dry.  Open the window, peel off the waxed paper and trim the cloth screen with razor or scissors.  Bingo.

Mine usually last about 3 years.  Takes about 5 minutes per port hole.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2014, 03:07:20 PM by Soggy Geek »

Matthew Balch

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Screens for Port Holes
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2013, 08:17:33 AM »
This weekend I made screens for the 19 portholes on my 44'.

Soggy Geek

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Re: Screens for Port Holes
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2014, 03:10:36 PM »
For those of you who are new since this discussion in 2013, I have restored the text (which got truncated last year when the forum crashed) about some innovative ways to make cheap port hole screens.  There are some great tips here.

Matt Balch, I couldn't restore your response about your 19 portholes, so if you want, you can go in and edit that message yourself.

Sherry
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Matthew Balch

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Re: Screens for Port Holes
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2014, 04:21:26 PM »
Thanks Sherry for trying to restore the original message.

I was able to make all 19 port hole screens in a weekend for about $120 bucks.  The way I did it was with 1/4 inch copper tubing and bronze screen purchased at a local hardware store.  I bent the soft tubing by hand using the port holes as the template.  I connected the ends together with a piece of smaller diameter copper tube, or you could use a fat piece of copper wire inserted into the tube and caulked or glued to make it water tight.  Then I cut the bronze screen with a scissors and used a hot glue gun to fasten it to the frame.  Then the screens were painted to match the color of the port hole and protect the copper from corroding.

This has worked out well and the screens are.still looking good after a year or so.  It might be good to put a dab of hot glue on the outside of the port to help hold in the screen, but if you make the frames snug, they will stay put for the most part.  Matthew

Soggy Geek

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Re: Screens for Port Holes
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2014, 12:29:29 PM »
Matthew, great seeing you this weekend at the SSCA Gam!

Your idea seems a much more straightforward way to do this than we did with the alternator belts and sewing the (regular screening, not bronze) screens on.

Yours are inserted from the outside like ours are, right?

Make a spare or two while you have your production line going... we have lost one in heavy weather and one due to damage.

Sherry
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Matthew Balch

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Re: Screens for Port Holes
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2014, 07:51:15 AM »
Hi Sherry.   That's  right they are inserted from the outside.  Next time I make some more, I'll do some extras.  Do you need the forward cabin or the large ovals in the aft?  Matthew

Amata Marie

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Re: Screens for Port Holes
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2014, 12:20:13 PM »
I will be making someof these screens, we have some that Nancy made they are like screen bags that fit over the inside of the ports, but we have to take them off everytime we close the ports.  I like the idea of having the screens on the exterior and semi permanent.
Thanks
Jim
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Soggy Geek

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Re: Screens for Port Holes
« Reply #13 on: November 27, 2014, 08:17:39 AM »
Next time someone does this, take a couple of pictures and we can post them.  (If not here, I'll put it on svsoggypaws.com)
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