After becoming tired of bugs getting around the sagged and bagged door screens on Sir Tugley and the hassle of undoing the snaps each time we wanted to use the doors, we decided there had to be a better solution. We considered the velcro’d screens and the screens with the circular zippers we had seen on other tugs but they all had drawbacks when getting on and off the boat. These screens also limited visibility if we wanted to run with the doors open.
After considering options and staring at the door openings, the idea for a proper screen door emerged. Since our model year in effect has metal door jambs and no obstructions to an in-swinging door, we figured it was the solution.
I made a template of the angles of the door opening and at home constructed a frame of teak 7/8″ thick with 3″ wide stiles, a 3″ rail at the top, and a 4 1/2″ rail at the bottom. I used loose tenons since they are easy to rout. I routed a 1/8″ slot about 1/4″ in from the inner edge on the outer face for the screen spline and used fiberglass screen mesh fabric.
To fasten the door, I used an old Perko lockset I had on hand. In retrospect, a simple spring catch and two small pulls would have been best. I had to make a wooden teak handle for the exterior since there was only 3/4″ clearance for the sliding door and cutting a hole for the lock bolt was not easy. The door was finished using the NT process and I gained an appreciation for the amount of work involved in finishing an entire NT interior! The door was mounted to the rear of the opening with two stainless steel separating hinges so that it could easily be removed.
We also added a sunscreen of Sunbrella View fabric to the interior of the door with snaps to match our other new sunsceens and only use this in port as it does limit visibility.
After a few months of use, the door has proved to be very functional and we have received numerous comments on it.
The idea won’t work for all NTs as the door configurations vary but could be adapted to many. Now for the rear door!!!
Dave & Judy Jones
Sir Tugley Green – NT 32-190