Protect the instruments on your boat’s helm with a Sunbrella cover. We made this cover for the helm panel on our Project Powerboat to go with the wheel cover we shared a couple of weeks ago. This cover is a little more involved, but since it’s small in scale, it would be a great practice project as you work up to a larger sewing project or just a quick sew for a weekend.
The helm panel on our Project Powerboat has a curved top. To better accommodate that curve, we decided to make our cover from three panels of Sunbrella Marine Grade fabric that we seamed together. Our cover is on the small side, but the principles used in the video can be scaled up to work on larger helms, too.
The helm cover is attached to the boat by snap fasteners. To reinforce the canvas where fasteners will be installed we added a strip of Shelter-Rite vinyl behind the Sunbrella. To easily install the snaps on the cover to match up with the existing snap studs on the boat, we used the Quick Fit Kit. This kit contains snap sockets that have a pin on them so you can temporarily fasten the fabric to the studs for placement. It’s a great method for getting your sockets and buttons placed just right!
In the video, you’ll see how to pattern the cover on your boat, pattern the fabric, sew the panels together, add reinforcements and binding, and install the cover on the boat.
- Sunbrella Marine Grade Fabric (we used Tresco Birch)
- Dura Skrim Patterning Material
- 3M Filament Strapping Tape
- Seamstick 3/8” Basting Tape for Canvas
- V-92 Polyester Thread
- Shelter-Rite 18 oz. (we used Black)
- 1” Sunbrella Acrylic Bias Binding
- DOT ® Snap Fastener Cloth-to-Surface with 3/8” Screw Stud
You can find all the tools you need to make your own helm cover at Sailrite.com.
Do you have a cover for your helm panel or other instruments on your boat? Share how you made yours in the comments!