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Designing for the elements

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To keep out rain and spray from the ocean while keeping the interior of the vessel comfortable is a common request made of marine fabricators like Cindy Boersema—but every vessel is different, requiring a different approach to the design. Owners of “The Midwestern” vessel requested an upper bridge enclosure that eliminates all possible areas water could enter, but that still has a window for ventilation.

Boersema and her team designed and installed a window that completely zips out, with a fabric “hinge” at the bottom of the curtain to prevent leakage. The most unique part of the enclosure design was the upper bridge side curtains: They used two number 10 coil separating zippers for each removable center section of the side curtains, which start at the top and end at the bottom, incorporating a flap over each of the zippers. “I’m very picky,” Boersema says. “There’s always a way to make something that works better for the client—just give us the opportunity and we’ll figure it out.”

Sigrid Tornquist is a freelance author and editor based in St. Paul, Minn. She is also the associate editor of InTents magazine, a publication of the Industrial Fabrics Association International.

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