When I bought the boat, the windows in the salon that didn't have opening ports embedded in them had these things called Peek-a-Boo shades. The shades are two pieces of clear plastic with white translucent stripes on them. The two plastic pieces are setup so you can slide them across one another so the stripes either align and you can see out between them or block the clear stripe of the other plastic sheet creating a translucent white covering.
|The Peek-a-Boo shade effect|
They seem like a good idea and worked well to add privacy when you are in a marina and don't want to look out of the boat...or have others look in. But when you do want to look out, it is a bit like looking out through prison bars. Now you might be thinking that I could just temporarily re-install them until I found something better, but here is the catch. The shades are held in place by about 20 little Velcro disks that stick directly to the Plexiglass. I just couldn't bring myself to stick a bunch of Velcro discs on my pretty, clear, new windows.
I have been thinking about creating external covers for the windows using Phifertex mesh or maybe even Sunbrella material, but that is a longer term project. In the meantime, it would be nice to have something covering the two big salon windows.
Another thing I wanted to do was to create some insulating panels to put in the windows to help keep the heat down in the summer. In this case, I want something opaque that will prevent light...and heat...transfer as much as is practical. I used to have this silver foil-like sun shade for one of my cars and it did a great job on those hot summer days. I've seen other boats use this material to block out their windows, so I figured I could at least get some of them for now.
Unfortunately, my salon window openings are around 5 feet wide...a bit longer than any of those automotive shades. Fortunately, I was able to find a roll of that silver covered bubble-wrap like material in a roll at one of the local big box hardware stores. And at $16, the 16 inch by 25 foot roll was cheaper than buying two of the automotive car shades. If I want, I could even get some strips of cloth and sew a nice band around the edges to make a custom fit shade that would fit snugly into the window opening.
|The solar shade material and paper for the template.|
So, I made a template using some of my left over masking paper (unfortunately I had already thrown away the templates I used for creating the window blackout or they would have been perfect). I cut out two shades from the roll of silver bubble-wrap and trimmed them to fit.
|The new solar shade for the salon windows|
Now I have something that should be great when the sun is beating down on the boat, and at least for now provides basic window coverings while I am at the marina. Always nice when one simple project solves two different problems on a boat. Maybe sometime when I can find the supplies I'll even create that finished edge for them.