With all the framework complete for the flip blind doors, it was time to sew Cordura nylon to the frames. I made the plunge and bought a heavy duty sewing machine that I’d considered for many years.
This is the Sailrite Ultrafeed LSZ-1 sewing machine. I considered this a major tool purchase and it will definitely make it easier to outfit these three layout boats. Here's a link to Sailrite Kits for more information on the machine.
We chose 1000D Cordura Nylon in Coyote Brown for the main panels from a vendor on E-Bay. We found 9/16” webbing for the brushing straps at a good price from an E-Bay vendor. We purchased the rest of the material online from Rockywoods Outdoors. Here's a link to Rockywoods Outdoor Fabrics. The binding is 1” Grosgrain Ribbon, Mil-Spec 5038, Stiff. We used 3/4” webbing and buckles for fastening the door edges to the gunnel. The mesh panel over the face area is Mil-Spec Heavyweight Mesh fabric.
I modeled the flip blind doors after quality blinds for field hunting geese. The mesh panel in the face area helps hide your hands and face while calling ducks in.
I added 12 gauge wire from some scrap remaining after wiring the basement to make the mesh panel moldable. I worked this between the binding edge. NOTE: On subsequent doors, I’ll run the wire deeper into the binding of the door frame to add rigidity and durability to the transition area of the mesh panel and the door.
View of face panel with door open.
Three rows of brushing straps provide a place to attach natural or artificial vegetation. The entire boat will be covered with Avery Killer Weed.
A 12” flap extends over the open foot area to cover my feet. NOTE: The square stitching pattern in the lower left of the picture is a double layer of Cordura reinforcement where the door chafes against the oarlock socket.
I extended the second layer of material from the frame edges to the hinge points to beef up the whole assembly. The lower edges are held in with three tabs of Velcro. The frame edges are stabilized with stitching to prevent the panel from falling into the water when the door is flipped open.
Three buckles hold the flip blind door to the gunnel edge. This is a view of the buckle at the stern.
View of bow buckle. These buckles allow me to store my fancy oars out of sight of the ducks and outside the cockpit.
Good view of prototype door.
The highest point on this door assembly is only 16 1/2” above the waterline.
This portion of the project is highly custom work and the sewing is quite involved. Four Rivers and MoMarsh both sell flip blind door kits worth considering. I wanted to sit up a little higher for more comfortable viewing, so I opted to make our own custom doors.
Coming up with a design that worked took a lot of trial and error. I had never sewed anything prior to this project and warmed up by sewing the two seat cushions and two layout boards before proceeding to the layout doors. I’m happy with how the prototype turned out and am convinced that the next five doors will turn out even better. I wouldn’t attempt this project without a heavy duty sewing machine and a binding attachment. The binding produces clean edges avoiding the extra work of folding over and pinning the raw edges.
In the next installment, I’ll discuss sewing the brushing panels for the bow and stern.
-- Mark, Minnesota