During my last voyage to the BVI, and especially on the downwind sail home, it became evident to me that life aboard would be improved if I could prevent rain from being blown into the boat through the companionway from an aft wind while at the same time maintaining airflow in the boat.
I loved sailing downwind in the trade winds but the rain squalls and aft wind drove the rain right in to the saloon. My only recourse was to put in all three drop boards…but that cut off the breeze in the cabin and made it hot and stuffy inside.
I remembered the Pardey’s had written in their book The Cost Conscious Cruiser about a self made type of jalousie window that serves to keep rain out yet maintain ventilation.
This past week I built the jalousie window for the Far Reach. I followed the basic design described in their book. I purchased an 18” x 24” x 1/4” piece of plexiglass from Lowe’s Hardware store. I took the plexiglass to the boat and traced the center companionway dropboard onto the plexiglass.
I returned home and drew the center cutout onto the main plexiglass frame. Then, I covered the lines with 3M 233 tape to prevent chipping of the plexiglass by the jigsaw. I redrew the lines over the tape. I used a my Bosch jig saw with a plexiglass blade to cut the frame out. I used a 1/2” Fostner bit as a starter hole for the jig saw so I could cut the center opening. I used metal files to smooth the edges. I then drew out the removable jalousie window, taped the lines, redrew the lines over the tape and cut it out with the jigsaw too.
It took just a few hours and was pleasant work. I took it back to the boat. It fit perfectly. It easily comes apart and stows flat in the same padded bag that contains the bug screen drop boards.
Another place the jalousie window can be used is when anchored with the bow into the current but the wind and rain are aft and blowing in the companionway. And I can see using it when we want to leave the boat anchored during the day but worry it might rain. Without the jalousie we would close the boat up. With the jalousie insert we can leave the boat and keep it ventilated but not worry about the possibility of rain.
The only thing required to use the jalousie is simply swap out center teak drop board. Only takes a minute. It comes apart and stows flat.
This should be a big help…plus it lets more light inside.
Total cost of material was $11.00 and a trip to Lowe’s.