Tech Wiki

Pleated Shades

Pleated Shades for the Fixed Cabin Side Windows, Just like the 1999 Catalina's

by Capt Al Watson, Kindred Spirit #55


Total cost was about $55 (1997)

Anyone who does not want to try this but would like a set for a C34 E-Mail me privately (alwsail@aol.com) and we can see what we can work out

One 36" x 72" will make four, three foot wide, C34 BOAT SHADES.

Materials Needed:

(update 12/8/2000...hard time finding these shades at HD, try a material or shade store)

  1. Natural Weave Semi-Sheer Pleated (JOANNA) Shade, 36 x 72 in. #48027, $35.75
  2. Home Depot 36-inch yardstick, (quantity two)(to use as stiffener at top of shades) $.47ea or 1/8" x 1/2" pine strips...make them on a table saw.
  3. Dowel's, 1/4 inch by three feet long, (quantity three) (to use as stiffener at bottom of shades), $.25 ea. not needed if you use pine strips both top and bottom.
  4. Ten - 12mm round wood bead balls from craft store (to use as ties to hold shades up) $1.75
  5. Package of Stretchrite Round Elastic Cord, one size larger than bead string cord, from craft store (to use with beads to hold shades up) $1.20
  6. Stainless screws and finishing washers, (#6 flat or oval head by 1/2" long and #6 finishing washers), (quantity 11 each), West Marine (To hold shades to cabin wall)

ALTERNATE TO SCREWS:

Velcro self stick, one inch or 3/4 inch wide by nine feet long (need both hook and loop sides) Very Expensive!

Tools Needed:

  1. Flat Razor Blade
  2. HackSaw
  3. HandSaw
  4. Fine Sandpaper
  5. Drill with bit for #6 screws
  6. Sewing Machine with thread to match shades

Procedure for making shades:

  1. Remove shade from box, take all top and bottom hardware off and remove all strings. Cut off the plastic stiffener that is part of the original shade, top and bottom. "We will have to live with the small string holes in the shades that we are not using." OH WELL! Can't beat the price!
  2. Spread shade on table and count the pleats and divide by four. Mark these spots with tape. It is very easy to miss count. You should end up with about ten full pleats for each of the four shades.
  3. At these marked locations you are going to use your Flat Razor Blade to slice at the center of the V of the marked pleats. If the knife makes a wavy line, then you will now have to spread that wavy part of the pleat on a piece of wood, lay on a straight edge and re-cut a straight line. YOU SHOULD NOW HAVE FOUR SHADES WITH AT LEAST 9 or10 PLEATS EACH.
  4. Take these four pleated shade sections to your Sewing Machine. Sew the top pleat closed leaving as LARGE a pocket as possible to insert the top support stick. Sew right on the edge. Do the same to the bottom pleat. Do this to all four shades. YOU SHOULD NOW HAVE FOUR SHADES WITH POCKETS AT THE TOPS AND BOTTOMS. Set these aside.
  5. Take your hand saw and the Home Depot yard stick and cut it the long way right down the middle. You will notice that the yardstick already has the center marked with a line. Do this with both yardsticks. You now have four, half-yard sticks, one yard long. Why? These are your top supports. (If you had some pine and a table saw, you could rip your own.) The Orange markings on the yard stick will show through the shades, so you may want to paint one side of each stick with white paint or you will be advertising for Home Depot or cut 1/8" x 1/2" pine strips on your table saw....don't need to paint these...no markings!
  6. Take your hacksaw and cut: (For 1986 Catalina's) (check your boat for window sizes)
    • Cut two of the 1/4 inch dowels (or strips) at approx 36 inches (measure the width of the big shade).
    • Cut two of the yard stick pieces to a length of 36 inches (measure the width of the big shade).
    • Cut one 1/4-inch dowel at 26 inches (measure the width of the big shade).
    • Cut one-yard stick piece at 26 inches (measure the width of the big shade).
    • Cut one 1/4-inch dowel at 10 inches (measure the width of the big shade).
    • Cut one-yard stick piece at 10 inches (measure the width of the big shade).
  7. Take two of the pleated shades and insert a flat 36 inch stick in the top pocket of each and a 36 inch dowel or stick in the bottom pocket of each. These are now ready for the boat. Set them aside again.
  8. The other two shades must be cut in length. On the window over the galley stove and cart table (26 inches) Close shade up and mark off 27 inches leaving another 10 inches remaining. Make a nice square line across the shade. With a Flat Razor Blade, cut across a closed shade. Work very hard to get a straight cut.
  9. Each shade needs two ties each to hold them in the up position. Fabricate them with the elastic cord and beads. Cut a piece of elastic cord ten inches long. Feed both ends of this cord through the bead and knot the cord together at three inches from end of loop to the knot. Pull the knot real tight and pull it into the center of the hole in the bead. Cut the end off and put a dab of hot glue into the hole to keep it from coming out. This now looks exactly like the elastic that ladies use in their hair for a ponytail. These ties must be placed behind the shade before it is screwed or Velcro mounted.
  10. Screw mounted shades on the boat: (Also see Instructions at the bottom of this page) Center a closed, three foot shade, over the appropriate fixed port, about 1/8 inch above the window opening, centered. You may have to go slightly higher to cover the screw holes from the old rods. Mark location with pencil. Also put a small mark on the fiberglass to show where the string holes on the shade are. Remove shade and draw a line from one end on the shade location to the other. One half inch below this line and at the center of the string hole marks, you drill a hole for the #6 screws. Put a stop on the drill bit, as we do NOT want to drill to the outside. I mounted with three screws in each three-foot shade using the same holes that came with the shade. Don't forget to drill through the wood support piece that you inserted into the top of the shade. Slide a finish washer on the screws and mount shade. Remember to but a tie at each outside screw location.

If you put a small piece of round Velcro behind the back of the first flap of the shade and on the cabin side right below the window, you have something to hold it down. Get the Velcro as low behind the teak (on older Catalina's) to keep from seeing it. Use white Velcro not black.

  1. Velcro mounted shades on the boat: If you are mounting the shades with Velcro, you have one more step. At the top of each shade, on the backside, place a full-length piece of the HOOK self stick Velcro. The back of the shade will be the top edge with the cut facing the wall. If you did a neat job cutting, it will not make a big difference. When the shade is down it is nice to have the cut edge to the back.

Center a closed, three foot shade, over the appropriate fixed port, about 1/8 inch above the window opening, centered. You may have to go slightly higher to cover the screw holes from the old rods. Mark location with pencil. Also put a small mark on the fiberglass to show where the string holes on the shade are. Remove shades and draw a line from one end on the shade location to the other. Place a full-length piece of the LOOP self stick Velcro just covering the pencil line so that you do not have to erase it. Take a three-foot shade and carefully line it up, on the Velcro, with the ties over the marked string hole locations and press it in. If you put a small piece of Velcro behind the back of the first flap of the shade and on the cabin side right below the window, you have something to hold it down. Get the Velcro as low behind the teak (on older Catalina's) to keep from seeing it. Use white Velcro not black.

ALTERNATE WAY OF MAKING TIES:

Ribbon ties can be used instead of the elastic cords to hold shades up if you like. Cut eight ribbon pieces, four inches long. Fold in half to find and mark the centers. Take an awl or for those who do not have one, a ballpoint pen and punch a small hole in the center of each ribbon. If you are using Velcro mounted shades, you can skip the hole but should still mark the centers. Mount a small piece, 3/8 wide x one inch long, of self-stick "loop" Velcro at the one end of the ribbon. FLIP THE RIBBON OVER and mount the self-stick "hook" Velcro on the other end. You want the ribbon ties to be over the string holes. Take a ribbon and hold it up to the location of the shade, centered on the string hole mark and the center of the ribbon 1/2 inch below the pencil line you drew for the top of the shade. Tape it top and bottom in place so it will not move. Mount shades.


I have a real good, cheap, idea for the opening ports. Well here it is, a stiff cardboard cover that bends into the inside of the port. I made mine out of a file folder and laminated it so that moisture would not be a problem. If it bows in one direction, turn it over and use the other side. No-one can peak in my ports! PleatedShades7.gif

Capt Al Watson


Comments:

I ordered a set of the shades that Capt. Al offered back in January. I installed them this weekend (tons of rain, in Southern California no less, only got to sail Friday and Saturday, not Sunday nor Monday). The shades look terrific! They're a huge improvement over the 1986 curtains that used to be there. If Al ever offers to make more sets, and you don't like the way your curtains look, take him up on the offer. Great idea, great result. Thanks Al!

Chuck Hughes


Different mounting style

Hey Al! They look great!!

I installed them a little differently than you suggested. I used the existing curtain track above the windows (cut down to length) and just used stainless machine screws connected to the pre-existing nuts that were within the curtain track. No extra drilling of holes in the hull. As an added benefit, the shades can be removed easily by sliding the track out of its base (don't know why I'd need to remove the shades, but I can, so I suppose that's an added benefit). Thanks very much for putting them together for me! Great idea and great result, at a bargain price. Thanks again!

Chuck Hughes, Sand Save #223, Long Beach, CA


Capt. Al! Great minds think alike! I made shades for my Catalina 30, 3 years ago using almost the same method. You mentioned having to "...live with the holes...". We have the burgundy interior (1989) so the 1st mate went to the craft store and come back with some matching burgundy yarn. Thread that through the holes so that it wraps over every other pleat and Voila! color coordinated curtains.

Chuck Amos, C30 Melody, Pecan Grove Marina, Oriental, NC


Catalina 30 Shades

by Terry, Eau de Vie

I have not figured out yet what sizes you would need on the C30. Possible that 30" x 72" might work.

These are the measurements for our Catalina 30.

There are a total of 8 windows, Six in the cabin area. How would I make these size shades?

  1. Two measure aluminum rim to rim (Galley) 27-1/2 inches wide, 11 inch drop
  2. Two measure from rim to rim( Main Cabin) 26-1/2 inches wide, 9 inch drop
  3. Two measure from rim to rim( Main Cabin) 25 inches wide, 8-1/2 inch drop
    • Two others are in the head and on other side.
  4. Two measure from rim to rim 14-1/2 inches wide, 8 inch drop

Directions I include with shades people purchase from me (Al Watson)

Instructions for Installation of Pleated Shades for the Fixed Cabin Side Windows

Screw mounted shades on the boat:

  1. Included in the package are 14 # 6 washers and # 6 - ½" screws to fasten the shades to the walls. Three go in each 36" shade and two in each of the others. The ½" length will not penetrate the wall to the exterior. I would have been happier with 3/8" long but they are not made. I included one ¼" long screw that shows it might be too short, though they do work in a pinch.
  2. Drill mounting holes through the top bars of the shades with clearance holes for the #6 screws. Make the holes equal distance in from each side of the shade.
    • BE REAL CAREFUL NOT TO DRILL THROUGH THE WALL while installing these shades!
  3. Center a closed, three-foot shade, over the appropriate fixed port, about 1/8 inch above the window opening, centered. You may have to go slightly higher to cover the screw holes from the old rods. Mark location with pencil. Now let the shade open (holding it in place) and mark through the mounting holes the location for the screws.
  4. Remove shades and drill a hole for the #6 screws at each mark.
  5. Put a stop on the drill bit, as we do NOT want to drill to the outside.
  6. I mounted shades with three screws in each three-foot shade. Two screws each, mounted all the others. Slide a washer on the screws and mount shade. Remember to but a tie at each outside screw location.
  7. To do the job properly you must drill a relief at the beginning of each of the holes in the fiberglass, as the glass will chip as you screw the fastener in.
  8. If you put a small piece of Velcro behind the back of the first bottom flap of the shade and on the cabin side right below the window, you have something to hold it down. (This would be the first flap that does not show when the shade is in the up position.
  9. Get the Velcro as low behind the teak (on older Catalina's) to keep from seeing it. Clean the fiberglass well before attaching the Velcro or it will not stay.

Velcro mounting the 10" small shades on the boat:

  1. If you are mounting the small shades with Velcro, you have one more step. At the top of each 10" shade, on the backside, place a full-length piece of the HOOK self stick Velcro.
  2. Mark the location with pencil as you did with the large shades. Remove shades and draw a line from one end on the shade location to the other. Place a full-length piece of the LOOP self stick Velcro just covering the pencil line so that you do not have to erase it.
  3. Take the 10" shade and carefully line it up, on the Velcro, with the ties held about one inch in from the ends and press it in. Note that the ties must be placed between the Velcro’s or you will not have anything to hold the shade up!

Again, you put a small piece of Velcro behind the back of the first flap of the shade and on the cabin side right below the window, you have something to hold it down.