Dave and Karen Proctor make a boat mosquito net for their companionway
Boat mosquito net to keep the insects at bay
Following a life-altering illness, Karen, my long-suffering wife, and I decided to move to eastern Spain where we could actually afford to retire, writes Dave Proctor.
After a few years we were attracted to buying a boat and got hold of a 50-year-old Albin Vega 27, which we have been renovating ever since.
Now all this seemed pretty idyllic.
Perfect sailing days on a coast known for its afternoon breezes, gorgeous coves to explore, some wonderful marinas, fantastic gastronomy and a lovely little boat to explore it all in.
All was well until we first stayed on board, back in May 2022.
The weather, as you can imagine, was warm (read that as hot for someone who was brought up in England) and the local mosquitoes came to visit us every night for a feast on whatever exposed skin they could find.
It was way too hot to shut up the companionway, we needed to have a flow of air through the boat, but yikes, those mosquito bites did itch.
Now one thing I soon learnt on buying a boat is that if anything has the word ‘marine’ as a prefix, then you can immediately treble the price and so it was with the ‘marine companionway mosquito nets’, for which the vendors selling them wanted at least €80.
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And rather than have little sticky pieces of Velcro or elastic to hold the net in place, ours was designed with wooden dowels, top and bottom.
The top one merely slots into the wooden companionway frame and the bottom one is weighted to keep the net in place.
The design is such that it is sturdy, rolls away neatly when not in use and best of all it works effectively.
We spent a week on our boat in October when the critters were still in abundance, and neither of us got bitten overnight once.
This system also enables easy access from the boat, rather than having to fight a net which engulfs you like a fishing net.
As a couple of further notes on this we keep the hatch over at night with the net in place and there are properly installed fanned air vents in the forecabin and heads.
As a further precaution we’re lucky enough to have some old gimballed paraffin lamps on board and we added a couple of drops of citronella to the fluid, just in case!
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