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Mosquito netting for the companionway

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What is the issue?
Mosquitoes can be a scourge and you will want to keep them out of the boat to be comfortable at night. Hatches are easy to cover, but the awkwardly shaped and well-trafficked companionway can present a challenge.

Why address this?
Mosquito bites are nasty and just the sound of one buzzing around the cabin in the early hours, waiting to feast upon you, is not conducive to a restful night.

How to address this?
After devising many alternative companionway approaches, we settled on the setup below to provide a mosquito barrier for our companionway. We finally found this setup to be totally effective and the easiest netting to live with whilst coming and going.

Companionway mosquito net
Photo: Tony Gibson

Before I begin it is fair to say that the most effective seal will always be created by specifically tailored frames. However, these can be unwieldy to step through and represent another large stowage item on an already overcrowded yacht. They are also subject to ripping when stored.

Companionway netting frame
Photo: Tony Gibson

Our system utilised a simple frame that slid into the main hatch’s tracks. This comprised of two rods joined by a length of shock cord. The hatch trapped the rods, that held the netting in a seam, and the shock cord which was also enclosed snapped over the hatch's handle. This completely tightly sealed the sides and back on the top of the hatch.

The front was then enclosed by an extensive amount of netting flowing down out of the main body. It falls flush over the bulkhead, and just a little push back of the bunch of the material sealed the front. Coming in and out just required us to lift the netting over ourselves and drop the net back down again. There was no velcro to unseal and reseal, the weight of the netting material was enough to make the seal, and especially so if it was just given a little gathering tug at the foot of the companionway. The net tends to bag and sag down into the companionway at the front. A baton can be left on the top front edge to keep it up. But generally, we tended never to bother as it made no difference to the performance.

Fitting the rods into a pocket in the seam
Photo: Tony Gibson

Another advantage of this system was how compact it was when it came to storage space and how simple it was to set-up. All that was required to store the net was to wrap it around the encased rods and pop it into a sleeve. Assembly was a matter of flicking it out, inserting it into the tracks and snapping the finishing shock cord over the hatch. With the aid of a sewing machine, it is simple to make and cost very little. General purpose nets can be purchased but they never get as tight a seal as a tailored unit.

With thanks to:
Michael Harpur, Yacht Obsession.

Readymade mosquito neting for the companionway

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