Stop Rattling Doors

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2015 • all rights reserved

Stop Rattling Doors on Your Boat: A quick and each way to stop latched doors from making noise when the boat is moving.

All the interior doors on Barefoot Gal have hooks to keep them “in place” — open or closed — when underway. They work great to keep the doors from slamming open and shut as we sail . . . but they still rattle.

The rattle wasn’t too bad in light air, but with any waves it was pretty annoying.

I started by stuffing rags between the doors and what they were hooked to. That worked well for the aft cabin doors.

But behind the bathroom and bedroom doors, the towels or rags would move just a little bit, and slowly slip out of position . . . and the noise would start again. I just couldn’t wedge them in tightly enough.

I remembered seeing a door stop wedge that the previous owner had left in the head. We had planned to put it out with the giveaway items, as we couldn’t figure out what it was doing on the boat. Somehow we had never had gotten rid of it.

A-ha! I stuck the door stop behind the door. The rattle stopped instantly and stayed stopped. I could shove the hard rubber wedge in tightly enough that it stayed in place. I put the flat side of the wedge against the door and the angle side against the counter.

Things that rattle are likely to wear out or break sooner than they would otherwise. But stopping all the “normal” vibration and rattle noises is important to Dave and I when underway for a couple of other reasons:

  • They’re just plain annoying and get on our nerves after a while.
  • If we’re doing an overnight passage, they interfere with the off-watch person getting some good sleep.
  • Most importantly, they can cover up noises that are a sign of trouble.

I only found one door stop on the boat, but we needed two. I tried a few stores here in Marathon (not exactly a practical home goods mecca) but didn’t find one. On to Amazon. They have lots of different options, in various sizes, colors, materials and with some even in multi-packs:

Note: if you’re looking for a door stop, be sure to measure the distance of the gap that it has to fill. Some of the less expensive door stops aren’t very tall. You need one that’s at least 1/4″ taller than the gap and a 1/2″ taller is even better.

The rubber ones seem best — they haven’t left any marks on the wood or fiberglass and are easy to clean.

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  1. We gad hooks for our doors when we bought our boat andbit was a pain to hook and hook every time we wanted to close a door. We installed magnetic door holders. They hold the door firmly do no rattling. And you just pull the door from the magnet to close. Available at Home Depot.

  2. Kathy of s.v. Inishnee says:

    Try this. A pool noodle. It can be easily cut into lots of sizes and shapes to fit all the nooks and crannies. It is easy to find and it is cheap!

  3. A 4 Penny Nail works too

  4. I am so annoyed by this my husband couldn’t care less. I have taken to slipping a tip in the howl next to where the hook goes in to latch the door open. Works like a charm LOL

  5. Q tip

  6. We also use door stops in pairs – the ‘rubber’ (plastic?) kind are not solid and mash/break in short order. Harder to find are solid silicone ones which work fine and come in pairs. I bought two pair figuring that the puppy might think of them as chew toys – but they were never chewed.

  7. First thing we did on our boat was replace the hooks with magnetic devices that hold the door open. Can be purchased at Home Depot.

  8. Barbara Lowell says:

    also those door stoppers you speak of are at Dollar Tree, I got 2 for $1. I use them to balance an uneven coffee table.

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