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 Marine Grade fabric 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.
In this video, you will learn how to pattern, sew hems, install snaps, accommodate for obstacles, and install weather cloths.
- Sunbrella Marine Grade Fabric (we used Jockey Red 46” Fabric)
- V-92 Polyester Thread
- 1/2” Seamstick Basting Tape
- Soapstone Marking Pencil
- 1” Polyester Webbing
- #1 Spur Grommets
- Dot Cloth-to-Cloth Snap Fasteners
- 1/8” Dacron Leechline
All the materials needed to make your own weather cloths are available at www.sailrite.com.
Do you have weather cloths on your boat? Did you make any special modifications to them? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!