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Old 20-04-2008, 15:19   #1
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Mounting curtains

I need to mount curtains in the interior of my Maine Cat 30 cruising catamaran. There is no wood, only fiberglass, where I would like to put the curtain tracks (tracks are better than rods in this application). The construction of the boat is fiberglass/gelcoat over CoreCell foam.

Is it usual, as I am told, to use short self-tapping screws into the fiberglass to mount the metal curtain tracks? The reason I ask is because so far, nothing in this boat seems to be installed that way. The load bearing stuff is through-bolted and bedded. The non-load bearing stuff is glued with some sort of white material, not sure what it is.

My choices are to use the screws and the metal tracks, or to use vinyl tracks (which will not last as long) and glue them to the hull. If I glue them, I am not sure what an appropriate adhesive is. I asked a pro curtain installed, he says he always uses metal tracks and screws, but that almost all boats (that he works in, higher end) have false wood panels that he can screw the screws into.

What do you think?


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Old 20-04-2008, 18:41   #2
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Depending on the weight of the curtains you could use double stick tape onn the entire track and perhaps two small screws tapped into the fiberglass.
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Old 20-04-2008, 18:53   #3
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Small self tapping screws work just fine. They are only curtains. We have the plastic tracks and they last as long as metal. Ours are fine and 17 years old. You don't intend to swing on them.
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Old 21-04-2008, 01:59   #4
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This may be one of the few applications aboard, where I’d permit (self-tapping, or thread-cutting) screwed fastenings.

As a rule of thumb, the laminate into which the screw is driven should be at least equal in thickness to the diameter of the screw (use the smallest diameter & length screw practical).

See the attached chart, for recommended pilot hole diameters*:

* The diameter of the pilot hole is generally greater than the root diameter of the screw, but smaller than the outside diameter of the screw.
Chamfer the pilot hole, to prevent chipping & spalling.
Maintain a relatively slow drill speed, and advance the drill bit very slowly; letting the drill bit do all the work.
Gord May
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Old 21-04-2008, 05:30   #5
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I don't care what the core is or where in the boat a screw is put. Drill the hole oversize and fill with thickened epoxy then redrill for the screw. A self tapper will need a pilot hole just under the larger diameter of the screw, If the root diameter is used it will most likely be too tight and crack the filler material. I would lightly oil the screw, with spray on cooking oil, and screw it into the filler before it sets, obviously without the fitting it is going to hold. Undo when cured and you have a very solid mounting.
Maybe overkill but it makes me comfortable

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