Cabin Doors

Page updated: 22 November 2011

Go to TopThe Standard One-Piece Door

The main cabin door was supplied by Reedcraft in either a one piece or two piece form. When supplied as a two piece door it was always split horizontally, with top and bottom parts.

A single piece door

It is unclear whether the type of door was an option that the customer could specify. Moore's boats all seem to have been supplied with a horizontally split cabin door. The one piece door sometimes supplied by Reedcraft lacks some flexibility but perhaps its biggest disadvantage is that there is no convenient place to stow it on board. Below three approaches to dealing with the single piece door are described.

Go to TopConstructing a Two-Piece Door

The balsa infill crumbled easily

Cutting the door is simple. This owner made the cut at an angle sufficient that the slope was still downwards even when the door was in place. With the door in two pieces the balsa sandwich construction was revealed. The balsa layer is cut across the grain so it is easy to insert a narrow bladed chisel and chip out small pieces of the wood. Sufficient was removed to allow a length of hardwood to be inserted.

The cut door showing edge of new infill plank

The inevitable gaps round the strip of wood were sealed with a marine epoxy filler and, before being painted, the edge planed to match the angle of the cut.

The new door from the outside

In this case a weather strip was made from a length of stainless steel and fixed to the top half of the door with stainless screws. Now with a hardwood core this provided a secure fixing, which it would not have had with a balsa core. In this photograph the strip can be seen to be long enough to wrap round the sides of the door. However, this made the door a little difficult to locate accurately and it began to chip the GRP so at the end of the first season was shortened to remove the wrap-around ends.

Bottom half of the door stowed

The boat featured here is rare, in that it does not have the shelves and padded back rests sited above the bunks, which are a standard fitting on all but the earliest SeaHawks. This allows the two parts of the door either to be laid flat on the bunk or slid along the bunk vertically. This has the advantage that it is easier to stow and remove the door without major disruption of other goods placed in the depths of the quarter-berth.

Cut to the right height, the bottom half of the door stows neatly to the outside of the bunk foot well. Bolts are needed on this part to hold the door in position when fitted in the doorway. These have been carefully sited so that, when the hatch is closed, the shafts will pass through new holes that have been drilled into the lip of the door frame, but not so far that they reach the outer lip on the door itself.

Top half of the door stowed

With the door cut at this height, the upper part fits into the same area. The head of the door fits into the void under the raised part of the gunwales, and because of the substantial overlap, both parts of the door are held upright regardless of any heel in the boat. Although shown upright in the photograph, it was found that it is better to push the upper part into position on its side, then it rests on the lip around the edge of the door panel and there is no risk of the metal weather strip, fitted to this door, cutting into the bunk cushion.

Go to TopMaking a Multi-Part Door

Another owner was reluctant to cut his door in half. Instead, when cruising, he leaves his main door ashore and takes with him a three part wooden door that he made himself and easily stows in his cabin.

Wooden Door Bottom Part

From the outside the door looks similar to the standard two-part door. (The photograph above was taken before locks were fitted to the outside.) From the inside it can be seen that it is held in place with simple off-set turn-button. These cannot drop below the horizontal because of a small dowel which is set far enough back that it also helps hold the turn-button in the vertical position when putting the door segments in place.

Wooden Door Bottom Part

The top section has a different arrangement to hold it in place. A vertical bar is fed up through the handle of the mid section and into a similar handle in the top section. The bar is then prevented from dropping by a pin that is inserted in a hole in the bar. The pin is attached to the bar with a length of cord so it doesn't get lost.

Wooden Door Bottom Part

When under way the three parts of the door are stowed under the footwell of the port bunk.held in place by a specially made bracket that clips onto the aft part of the shelf and backrest.

Wooden Door Bottom Part

Go to TopDoor Curtain

The owner who put together this simple curtain, calls it his "modesty screen". While it does keep out the rain during light showers, it's main use is when you want to use the toilet while on a crowded mooring.

Door Curtain

The curtain was made from an old sack that was originally used to deliver a load of shingle. Once cut to size, a hem was sown round the edge of the welded woven cloth in which was placed a length of bungee cord. The cord is tied off at a length to provide some tension when it is passed over two hooks screwed on the outside of the doorway below the threshold.

Door Curtain Detail

Because the bottom edge of the curtain is loose, it is easy, even from inside the cabin, to slip the top of the curtain over the round arch and then pull down on the cord and slip both sides over the two hooks.

Go to TopVertically Split Doors

There are a handful of owners who have split their cabin doors vertically, as in the Dutch example below. Reports would be welcome, via the Forum, from owners with experience of this conversion and the perceived benefits of the design.

A Home Built Vertically Split Door

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