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Old 03-16-2017, 10:18 PM   #1
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Question for the canvas makers

Here's what I am dealing with in the cockpit of my boat. I am installing flex-a rail track and patterning over the next couple of days.

The photo shows the port forward part of my cockpit.

Would you extend the track to the forward part of the cockpit?

Or

Would you extend the rail to the aft edge of the "gusset" shown in the photo and use snaps from there foreward, and around the curved part of the "gusset" By snaps I mean a combination of regular DOT snaps and the kind that twist to lock.

Thanks!!!
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Old 03-17-2017, 01:43 AM   #2
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I like using Keder rail when I can. It is easy to put the canvas up and down. Also it is pretty weather proof.
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Old 03-17-2017, 06:18 AM   #3
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Kevin
Are you planning on installing the rail on the edge of the roof lip or onboard?
Also...are you installing a zipper on the west that stays in place and allows the panel to be easily removed.
I haven't installed a lot of rail but have made panels to fit existing rails. I find the transition at the end especially where curved to be a common leak point.
From your pic my first thought would be install the rail on the roof lip on the inboard side w a zip and go straight to or close to the bulkhead. You could use the section of curve close to the bulkhead to bring the canvas from inside to outside where it would snap on the exterior to shed all water outside.
You just need to find a place to start the narrow zipper & went piece into the track...either from aft or fwd depending on room & access. Even fwd could work w 1 snap or common sense twist at the end / corner.
Hope that helps and I'm picturing what you are planning correctly.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:54 AM   #4
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As an owner I began to specify twist snaps over dots because they held up better and never got stuck.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:19 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
Kevin
Are you planning on installing the rail on the edge of the roof lip or onboard?
Also...are you installing a zipper on the west that stays in place and allows the panel to be easily removed.
I haven't installed a lot of rail but have made panels to fit existing rails. I find the transition at the end especially where curved to be a common leak point.
From your pic my first thought would be install the rail on the roof lip on the inboard side w a zip and go straight to or close to the bulkhead. You could use the section of curve close to the bulkhead to bring the canvas from inside to outside where it would snap on the exterior to shed all water outside.
You just need to find a place to start the narrow zipper & went piece into the track...either from aft or fwd depending on room & access. Even fwd could work w 1 snap or common sense twist at the end / corner.
Hope that helps and I'm picturing what you are planning correctly.
I am installing the keeder rail as far outboard as possible, just adjacent to the roof edge.

There is about 1 1/2 of space between the roof edge and the outboard edge of the "corner gusset" shown in my photo.

Based on that...

Would you end the Keeder rail at the aft edge of the "gusset" and then use snaps going foreward, attached to the gusset?

Or

Would you extend the keeder rail as far foreward as possible?

Either way this panel is not going to be so easy to roll up from the inside of the boat since it will be outboard of the Gusset.

THANKS!!!!
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:35 AM   #6
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Kevin, I did a similar job on my boat last year and I ended the track at the end of the gusset and then used Snap fasteners on the inside the rest of the way. It worked out very well and with the partial track it makes it easy to install or remove. Sorry I don't have pictures.
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:47 AM   #7
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I have not constructed one but side curtains are very common around here and I have used a number of them. I would suggest running the Keeder rail all the way forward, staying outside of the gusset and secure the forward and bottom edges of the curtain with snaps. You are able to avoid twists and turns this way, keeping the curtain flat. Keeping the entire curtain outside of the gusset will keep rain water will stay outside of the boat rather than following the curtain into the boat. When you are running, water may follow the side of the cabin inside of the curtain but by overlapping the curtain by 6" or so it usually looses momentum and drips down before coming into the cockpit, a batten sewn into the leading edge could virtually eliminate this. If you want to roll up the panels frequently, a zippered section following the profile of the gusset makes them user friendly although more complicated to build. I hope makes sense. I've worked with some really nice ones and some not so nice curtains that allowed a lot of water in.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:05 AM   #8
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What GDavid said is what I would do. If you want to roll it up, then you could put a zipper section that starts at the aft end of the gusset in order to roll it up. You would then have 2 panels on the side. The forward one would essentially be a permanent panel that does not roll up. The after panel would zip to the forward permanent panel and could roll up for entry and ventilation.
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
I am installing the keeder rail as far outboard as possible, just adjacent to the roof edge.

There is about 1 1/2 of space between the roof edge and the outboard edge of the "corner gusset" shown in my photo.

THANKS!!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gdavid View Post
... I would suggest running the Keeder rail all the way forward, staying outside of the gusset and secure the forward and bottom edges of the curtain with snaps..
Kevin
If you have the space on the bottom edge of the roof I think I agree w/ Gdavid - running the rail all the way Fwd has a couple of advantages.
Better choice for shedding rain vs running between snaps & getting inside the panel.
Likely a more consistent look from the outside - panel follows the roof edge with a consistent look.

Are you planing on using a zipper on the welt to make removal easy or use welt only - requiring sliding the whole panel in / out of the track for removal.
I'd think the choice will depend on how often you want to "open" the panel...zip makes removal easy and neater vs rolling it up.
If you add the zip and end it at the gusset it would also allow partially unzipping the gusset end and rolling it up inside the gusset for storage w/ straps / snaps
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Old 03-17-2017, 11:42 AM   #10
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Kevin

Couldn't find many pics of 4788 w/ canvas panels but did find this one.
You might consider something like this if you want an easy / neat way to open up frequently.... It looke like they made the fwd small section separate from the panel aft of the gusset - allows zip separation & either roll up or removal while leaving the fwd "gusset filler in place. This should make access to the zips easier than reaching around the gusset to snap / unsnap.

Just a thought??
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Old 03-17-2017, 12:03 PM   #11
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Thanks everybody!

Don

Yes I am going to sew a zipper to the keeder "rope" to make removal easier.

I like the last photo you posted. It's warming up for the morning and I'm going to look very closely at that area and think about how to put a zipper.

As a thought, I might just do a zipper just aft of the gusset, but following its contour, at least in the vertical section. If I did that I could roll up the canvas much easier. If I did that, the zipper would not completely separate the panel, it would just zip up to allow easier rolling of the panel.
I could also do the straight up and down zipper like shown in the photo you posted.
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Old 03-17-2017, 02:47 PM   #12
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I used Lift the Dots on my canvas the first time around. Now that I just installed a new hardtop, I resented using them based on prior experience. So I purchased Flex-A-Rail from Sailrite and installed it around the entire periphery on the upper hardtop. I secured it onto the inside of the aluminum tubing to minimize water intrusion. I heated the rail with my heat gun to make the corners.

My plan is to use the same technique on the lower hardtop but that will get done after spring launch. It has to be changed in any case, Wifey wants navy blue which I have started to fabricate for the upper deck.

I could have sewn a zipper directly to the awning rope, instead I sewed the rope to a 4" header that I made; the zipper is sewn into the middle of the header. I thought this approach will give me several advantages. First, the zipper gets covered with 2" of canvas to minimize water intrusion. Second, with my old system with a canvas top, the zipper (for the curtains) was too high for me to easily reach.

I do not use smiles! I just unzip the top and sides of curtains that I want open and fold the curtains after they are open. I have a personal dislike for smiles..... not trying to preach no smiles, it's everybody's individual choice on how he wants to open curtains.
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