How to Make Weather Cloths


Do you want to stay a bit drier in your cockpit? Or maybe just have a little more privacy at the dock? Then you might want to install weather cloths. Weather cloths are fabric panels that attach to your lifelines and pushpit rails.  Although they don’t seem like much, weather cloths can significantly add to the comfort of your cockpit when underway or at anchor. These panels not only help to protect against rain, wind and sea spray they also help to block sunlight glare off the water’s surface. Today, we’re going to show you how to make your own weather cloths.

We made our weather cloths out of durable, UV resistant Sunbrella® in Jockey Red to match the rest of the canvas in the cockpit of our Islander 37 project boat. If you want more visibility, you can add clear vinyl windows to your fabric panels. We recommend using an affordable 30-gauge window material, like Plastipane.

Making weather cloths yourself is great because it allows you to customize the design to fit around stanchion poles, winches and other obstacles. You can also customize how you attach the cloth’s base to your boat. Depending on your set up, you can attach the weather cloth to your boat with leech line, shock cord or Velcro®. Basically anything that holds the cloth in place but that isn’t too strong to break away if necessary in a storm.

To see the full video and material list, visit

Do you have weather cloths on your boat? Did you make any special modifications to them? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!

1 comment
  1. Nikki said:

    Comment from Dick from s/v Remedy (received via email):

    Adding Phifertex pockets same color as Sunbrella is simple and makes them much more useful. We store diving gear, sheets, etc. in ours. We have lived aboard 11 years on Remedy, a 43 ft boat, and we can never have enough storage, and not having to search for swim gear, mast and fins and organized sheets is nice. We had our weather cloths made 8 years ago Pre-Sailrite in Trinidad. The pockets have shock cord sewed in the hem at the top, the sides and bottom are attached with webbing. As they are getting old I will need to replace them soon, I will incase the shock cord in Sunbrella as Phifertex does not provide enough UV protection, as the shock cord fails the pockets get droopy. Also I would not recommend Phifertex Plus as the gear does not dry as fast and hard to see what is in the bottom of the pockets, we have pockets of Phifertex and Phifertex Plus and with Phifertex Plus it is hard to see what is in pockets.



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