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Date: 21 June 2018. Tablecloth becomes Screens.


Approximately eight years ago I spotted an army surplus screen tent at the Army-Navy store over on the east coast. The cost was $15 as I recall. I was wavering on the purchase when I spotted the same item at the Salvation Army for $4. Yes, I bought it then. Eight years later the screen most exposed to sunlight has deteriorated. Here's how I solved that problem for $2.

I cannot fault the screen itself. In my view the longevity is more than adequate under normal circumstances. The screen I have for the back door leading into the cockpit is a-okay. The one over the aft window by the dinette is also okay. Neither were in direct sunlight for hours on end day after day.

Two screens covered my pilothouse doors. Those two were sun damaged. They faded and became brittle. Finally the tears began. Touch the screen and a new tear would appear. I spent too much time with needle and thread pulling the holes together.

This is Cheryl aboard her beautiful Schucker motorsailor Island Time.

Finally I decided this practice of repairing a worn-out screen was a ridiculous waste of time. That's when my friend Cheryl came to the rescue. She offered a trip to the thrift stores. I was hoping to find some fabric with holes that I could use in lieu off a screen.

Screen would be too much to hope for, but I did wish nonetheless. There were some fine meshed curtains that might have sufficed if nothing better came along. Then I spotted the Good Enough solution.

Good Enough turned out to be a rectangular table cloth, lacy, but not horrid.


The tablecloth was large enough to be cut in half. I did so. Now an ambitious person might have carefully stitched down the cut edge however frankly I'm not thrilled with the flower motif. I wanted Good Enough and for now this will keep the mosquitoes out and be reasonably okay to ignore.

I have been using lace curtains and tablecloths in lieu of screens over my windows for years. This is not an air-tight solution. Instead I light an oil lantern with citronella in it. The looser screens keep out the majority of mosquitoes when combined with the citronella lantern.

Perfectly sealed screens keep out bugs AND keep in heat.

Note the nifty koi on the bulkhead. That is one end of a curtain rod holder from my friend Marsha. I love it.

This oil lantern has an inexpensive burner. Citronella will
gum up "better" lantern burners. Use cheap ones instead!

Marsha lived aboard a 30' Freedom named Freebird. I met her on the east coast.

Marsha gave me the koi curtain rod holders shown in the picture of the oil lantern I use for citronella.

Part of boating is moving on... making friends and leaving them behind or being the one staying put. In any event, keeping in contact with old friends is a source of pleasure. Decades ago we all had post office boxes and exchanged letters. Nowadays contact is via email. Honest to goodness, I miss the tactile pleasure of opening up a stack full of mail one at a time.

Nobody writes any more, and that includes me. I should do better.

Flowers are predominant in the tablecloth that is now my de facto screen for the pilothouse doorways.

From close up they do not look nautical. At a distance the flowers don't show. For the interim I'm satisfied. The tablecloth, $2 at a local thrift store, is definitely Good Enough. 

That's it from here. Stay cool, and thanks for reading.

Do you repurpose old things into new uses?
What have you reused? I'm always interested in that sort of thing...


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2018, 2023

Categories: Boats, Characters, Comfort, Gear, Money,

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