Archive

Sailing

2015_April_Sailing-1

In many states in the US and in every province in Canada, boaters are required to take safety classes and be certified before heading out onto the water. Boater education has been proven to save lives and reduce accidents on the water. If you are new to boating or have a friend who is, we’ve found a great, easy way to take a boater safety course to be certified.

Boat-ed.com provides online boater safety and licensing courses for more than 40 states and Canada. All of their classes and educational materials are approved by the state, the US Coast Guard and Transport Canada. You can take your course completely online and you have unlimited attempts to pass the exams. To learn more about Boat-ed courses and the safety requirements in your state, visit http://www.boat-ed.com

Interested in safety projects for your sailboat? You can learn more about Series Drogues, a storm anchor, in our post Series Drogues: The Sailor’s Airbag. Learn how to make a Sunbrella Cover for your Lifesling, another important piece of safety equipment, in our How to Make a Lifesling Cover post.

What steps do you take to be safe on the water? Share your experiences with us in the comments!

Linda Newland has devoted most of her life to expanding the presence of women in the sailing world. She earned her reputation by pushing limits and working her way into and up in a sport that had previously been something of a boys’ club. Now, as the President of the National Women’s Sailing Association and the Women’s Sailing Foundation she’s empowering new generations of women to feel confident taking the helm.

2015_March-NWSA-3

Linda Newland

Linda started sailing in the 1970’s when her then-boyfriend bought a 22-foot sailboat on San Francisco Bay, despite the fact that neither he or Linda actually knew how to sail. The pair just motored around the bay until they had an accident. They struck their mast on a bridge because they didn’t know to radio to ask for the bridge to rise. After that Linda decided she needed to learn how to sail. She enrolled in lessons and discovered that she really liked it.

She quickly started sailing a Santana 22 at a local yacht club with an all-women crew.

“We were the first all-women crew to race with the guys,” she said. “And we just didn’t want to be last. The guys weren’t very welcoming.”

But the crew gained their credibility at the yacht club one day during a casual beer can race when the women beat their male competitors.

Linda and one of her crewmates then started a women’s sailing club at the crewmate’s yacht club.

“I’m proud of that, and getting more women into the sport,” Linda said.

Not long after that Linda became “entranced” with single-handed sailing and in 1981 she single-handed in a race from San Francisco to Hawaii. A year later she competed in a single-handed race from San Francisco to Japan.

In the early 1990’s Linda met Doris Colgate, President of the Offshore Sailing School, at a sailing seminar for women at a boat show in California. Doris had recently founded the National Women’s Sailing Association. While being a big proponent of teaching women to sail, Linda didn’t get involved with the organization right away, but in 2005 joined the board for the National Women’s Sailing Association and has held several positions before being elected President in 2014.

The National Women’s Sailing Association is a program of the Women’s Sailing Foundation. The group’s mission is “to enrich the lives of women and girls through education and access to the sport of sailing.” To accomplish their mission the group sponsors an annual Women’s Sailing Conference as well as hands-on weekend seminars. Seminars include a diesel engine workshop, a sail repair workshop hosted by Doyle sails, and a 2-day seminar on boat electrical systems.

2015_March-NWSA-1

Attendees from the Electrical & Marine Systems Workshop presented by NWSA Board Member & ABYC Master Marine Tech Beth Burlingame (far right).

The Women’s Sailing Foundation also sponsors a program called AdventureSail® that introduces at-risk girls, ages 9-14 years old, to sailing and their local waters. The girls meet mentors and learn leadership, responsibility, teamwork, and environmental stewardship.

“We partner with local yacht clubs and people take girls out on boats for the day,” Linda said. “Many girls have never been on boats before.”

As a follow-up to the program, girls can apply for scholarships to attend sail training programs. This year the Association is giving a scholarship for an AdventureSail graduate to sail aboard the tallship Adventuress, a 100-year old schooner. The trip, called Girls at the Helm, will be a 4-day cruise in the San Juan Islands of Washington State that focuses on tall ship sailing, marine biology, and leadership training. Linda herself has sailed on the Adveturess and is a big supporter of the AdventureSail program.

“I haven’t been to an AdventureSail day yet, but those who do [volunteer] are hooked,” Linda said.

2015_March-NWSA-2

Attendees from 2014 AdventureSail in Racine, WI

Linda loves teaching sailing, and finds it especially rewarding to teach other women.

“I’ve found that women have a different learning style from men. Women want to talk things out,” she explained. “We like the idea of women teaching women until they get the confidence to go co-ed.”

She said that the most rewarding is teaching women who have been on boats but whose husbands do most of the sailing.

“When you ask them how much they know about boats they always say they don’t know much. But then they have an aha moment when they realize [that they know much more than they thought]. The knowledge is there, and I love that moment.”

Linda encourages any woman interested in sailing to jump in and try it.

“If you’re motivated, don’t let anything hold you back,” she said. “Get professional training and crew on as many boats as possible for experience.”

She also really encourages women to look for conferences and other opportunities to meet fellow women sailors.

“The energy level is amazing,” she said.

Linda lives and sails in Washington State with her husband. The couple stays very involved in sailing and races in a boat that her husband designed. She teaches sailing in the summers.


For the second year in a row, Sailrite has donated products for auction/raffle at the 14th Annual Women’s Sailing Conference, which will be held at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA on Saturday, June 6, 2015. Proceeds raised help fund AdventureSail programs.

For more information on the conference and the National Women’s Sailing Association visit their website www.womensailing.org.

At the end of your sailing season or before a new season starts it’s a good idea to carefully inspect your sails. Today we’re going to focus on one aspect of your sail that you should pay close attention to during inspection: the battens and batten pockets. A broken or a missing batten can cause a lot of damage to your sail, creating costly or time-consuming repairs. Taking care of your battens each season will reduce your risk of damage.

Check Batten Pockets

First, you’ll want to take a close look at your batten pockets. Check the elastic in each pocket by inserting a batten and applying a little tension. You want the elastic to be strong enough to keep the batten right up against the leech edge of the sail. If the elastic is too stretched out or broken, you’ll need to replace it.

Carefully inspect the pocket itself, making sure there are no rips, tears or broken stitching. Repair any failing stitching. If the pocket is badly damaged, you’ll want to replace it with a new pocket. Here’s a video to show you how to replace a batten pocket.

 

Check Battens

After making sure that the pockets are sound, you’ll want to remove the battens and take a close look at them. First, make sure that all the battens are accounted for. Using a sail with missing battens can prematurely damage the sail due to excessive flutter. Next check all the battens to make sure that none of them are warped, split, broken or cracked. Flex the batten slightly to look for cracks that might not be able to be seen when relaxed. You’ll need to order replacements for any missing or broken battens.

If there are any sharp edges on your fiberglass battens, be sure to sand them down before returning it to the pocket. Make sure all your battens have end caps to prevent chafing. You’ll also want to make sure that your battens are secure in their pockets. Check the leech edge of the sail and any batten end protectors.

Remember, doing thorough checks now can save you a lot of work later! You can find replacement battens and end caps as well as Dacron sailcloth at www.sailrite.com.

Have you ever repaired batten pockets yourself? Share your tips and techniques in the comments!

The do-it-yourself spirit is alive and well in Sailrite customer Jack Rosen. Jack will try his hand at making just about anything. He’s successfully built airplanes, cars, and even a business! With all of those skills it’s no wonder that Jack would be a do-it-yourselfer for his sailboat too.

2014_December-Jack-Rosen-2

Jack teaching his CANE Seminar

Jack first became smitten with sailing while living in Toronto. He was spending his free time racing cars when a friend convinced him to try racing sailboats instead. So Jack went out on Lake Ontario with his friend on a 35-foot R-boat.

“I became fascinated with it,” Jack said. “I am allergic to grass, and when I was out on the water, away from everything, I felt like a weight was lifted off my chest.”

It wasn’t long before Jack bought his own sailboat and began competing in regattas. On his Lightning 19-foot daysailer, Jack raced against the New England and World Lightning Champions.

“I learned more about sailing from that Lightning,” Jack reminisced. “You could see the changes instantly.”

It was also during this time that Jack was first introduced to sewing for his boat. He met a sailmaker, and together they sewed sails for the Lightning on Jack’s living room floor.

Eventually, Jack moved to New England, where he wasn’t close to the water and so he sold his boat to one of his crewmembers. When another move found him near Cape Cod, he quickly purchased another Lightning and later a Catalina 380.

The Catalina needed a new sailcover and Jack knew that he could do the project himself. He borrowed a Sailrite Yachtsman sewing machine from a friend and created a custom sailcover that comes apart at the Dutchman lines and splits into three pieces.

2014_December-Jack-Rosen-7

Jack’s custom-designed sailcover

After that project Jack and his wife had the hull of the boat repainted, which left their hand-me-down canvas clashing with the boat. Not wanting to borrow a sewing machine for all the projects now on his list, Jack called us up, talked to Eric for advice about which machine to get, and ended up with a Sailrite Ultrafeed LSZ-1 Sewing Machine.

With his new machine at the ready, Jack set up a sewing station in his garage workshop. He created a cut-out for his machine in his work table, dropped the machine in and created a sewing table.

One of the first projects he tackled with his Ultrafeed was a new bimini. He took the entire bimini frame off his boat and rigged it up in his workshop. Then he built a new bimini patterned directly off his frame.

“I’ll just go around our boat and make things,” Jack said. “It’s just so handy to create something you want.”

2014_December-Jack-Rosen-6

The finished bimini rigged up in the garage

Jack’s Catalina lead him to join a local sailing club, The Catalina Association of New England or CANE. The club provides monthly seminars on various aspects of sailing for its members, and Jack was asked to give a seminar on sewing for your boat. When it was listed, forty people signed up and Jack had to split the class into two sessions to accommodate everyone in his garage workshop.

Sailrite helped sponsor the event, providing catalogs for all attendees and copies of our Make Your Own Cushions DVD and Make Your Own Full Boat Enclosure DVD to raffle off as door prizes.

“The main theme of the seminar was to tell people that doing canvaswork is not a black art. It’s far easier than you think it is. You just need to know a few things, and Sailrite can help teach you those things,” Jack said.

2014_December-Jack-Rosen-3

Jack teaching his seminar

Jack was nervous about how the day would go, but the informal seminar was a big hit among the CANE members.

“I was very concerned,” he said. “I had planned to just show pictures and talk about needles and the machine, but [the conversation] went on and on.”

Jack answered participants’ questions for two and half hours. Beyond sewing, they also talked about needles, thread, fasteners and how to punch holes. “All the little things that scare people,” Jack said.

“I brought the little grill from our boat and we grilled out afterwards. Everyone had a really good time,” he added. “Several of [the attendees] are sewing away right now.”

Jack hopes to offer the seminar again next year if there is enough interest.

2014_December-Jack-Rosen-4

With his Ultrafeed LSZ-1

He enjoys sharing the projects he has worked on in hopes of inspiring others to make things for themselves, too.

“You get a sense of accomplishment. It helps you appreciate your boat a little more,” Jack said about doing his own canvaswork.

His advice to aspiring DIYers is to “just do it.”

“Practice on scrap material and learn as you go along.”

He also recommends watching Sailrite videos to help with projects.

“Watch the videos, first of all,” he said. “If you need to, start with a simple machine and then make the investment for the Ultrafeed and put it in your will—it’s going to outlast you.”

2014_December-Jack-Rosen-1

Jack’s Catalina 380 s/v JaxSan under sail

Jack sails his Catalina frequently in the summers with his wife, 10 year-old grandson and their Russian Wolfhound, Darby, out of New Bedford Harbor in Massachusetts.

2014_October_Boat_Show_3

Brian gives a tool demonstration

Another great year at the Annapolis Boat Show has drawn to a close, the booth has been packed away and the Sailrite crew is back in Indiana. It was a banner year for us at the boat show, and the guys had a great time meeting and chatting with all of you! Not even rain on Saturday could keep you away. I asked the boat show team to share their impressions of this years show.

Every year we are surprised and overwhelmed by the creativity and passion that you, our customers, have for DIY. This year we were especially touched at how many customers went out of their way to come and thank us for the machines, customer service and especially the how-to videos.

“I was overwhelmed by the number of visitors who said they loved and used the videos that Sailrite provided to make things for the boat and even their homes using our products,” Eric said. “We also took many requests for future video projects.”

Brian agreed, “It was great how many customers went out of their way just to stop in to thank and compliment the Sailrite team. Everything from the videos to the customer service to how the orders are packed.”

2014_October_Boat_Show_2

Matt & customers sport Sailrite hats

Jim, Sailrite’s founder, was pleasantly surprised to see many familiar faces at the boat show, even after having been in retirement for several years.

“It has been four or five years since I last attended the Annapolis Show. […] I was amazed how many customers from 25 years ago or more still come to the show. I really appreciate their stopping by to say hello,” he said.

Everyone has his or her own favorite part of the boat show experience. Eric loves demonstrating the Ultrafeed Sewing Machines, Jim loved working with his sons (Matt and Eric) and the exhilarating, fast pace of the show, and Brian loves sharing the DIY lifestyle with new customers.

“It is also always fun to meet new customers who have never heard of us, and who have never even considered the DIY lifestyle. It is fun to see their eyes light up when we show them how easy a sewing machine is to operate and they realized that they, too can do their own work,” Brian said.

As always, many customers walked away with new Ultrafeed Sewing Machines eager to start sewing their own projects.

“A big welcome to the new Ultrafeed owners who joined the Sailrite family during the show specials,” Matt said.

2014_October_Boat_Show_1

Eric & Jim in the Sailrite booth

Matt summed up the weekend best saying, “Great show, great customers, and good times!” We’ll be back at the show next year and it’s never too early to start planning your trip! In the meantime, we’ll keep offering our great products, advice and videos, right here on the blog and at www.sailrite.com.

What is your favorite part of the Annapolis Boat Show? Do you have a great idea for a Sailrite video? Share your ideas with us in the comments!

2014_October-annapolis

When it starts to feel like fall, you know it’s boat show season! Every October we pack up our van and head out to Annapolis, Maryland to attend the United States Sailboat Show. We always look forward to meeting you, our customers, at the show and demonstrating our favorite tools.

We have a great crew that will be at the show this year, demonstrating the Ultrafeed Sewing Machines and accessories as well as answering your questions. We’ll also have demonstrations of our favorite tools like the Sailrite Edge Hotknife, the SnapRite System, and the Pres-N-Snap tool, and a wide variety of notions, how-to DVDs and more.

Before you come to the show, take a minute to meet our talented team! I asked the boat show guys some questions about boat shows, their favorites products, projects and more.

2014 Annapolis Boat Show Crew

Matt G., Sailrite Vice-President

2014_October-matt

What’s your favorite part of the boat show each year? Meeting existing and new customers. I also love demonstrating our sewing machines and tools, which are great fun!

How long have you been a sailor? I started racing scows in 1989 with my wife and business partner, Hallie. This year I took a break to spend more time with my family. Prior to racing I sailed everything from Sabots to small sloops for fun.

What sewing project have you completed that you are the most proud of? I have sewn tons of items over the years. I think my favorite was sewing a sail from one of our kits. To me sailmaking is true craftsmanship. I am a perfectionist and I labored at the corners to hand stitch leather chafe patches around rings and at attachment hardware. The sense of accomplishment from sewing and then using a sail is hard to express in words.

What’s one fun fact about you? I love to invent and always have at least three new ideas in some stage of completion. Most of my ideas never go anywhere but I can count at least a dozen that have become valuable assets to the Sailrite Brand.

Eric, Videographer

2014_October-eric

What’s your favorite part of the boat show each year?  I like talking to our many customers and showing off the power and performance of our Ultrafeed sewing machines. However, my favorite part of the show is enjoying the fine food in the evenings in the beautiful city of Annapolis.

How long have you been a sailor? Since my parents lived on a sailboat shortly after I was born I would have to say since 1968.

What’s your favorite product from Sailrite? Why? The Sailrite Ultrafeed Sewing Machine (I have the LS-1 Plus). I use mine at home regularly to make new cushions, curtains, awnings, chairs, sun shades, and even fix clothing, I love it!

What’s one fun fact about you? I have 6 kids. Three of them were born in the Dominican Republic and one was adopted from Ethiopia, so my time at home is full of excitement and I am never bored!

Brian, Customer Service Manager

2014_October-brian

What’s your favorite part of the boat show each year? Getting to see all of the newest trends, specifically in the use of hardware and fabrics for canvas and cushions.

What kind of boat(s) do you sail? I sail a 1987 Seaward 22, which acts as my family’s weekend cottage. We also spend quite a bit of time on the water in our 1977 Marquis runabout.

What sewing project have you completed that you are the most proud of? This changes every season.  Two years ago it was my complete bimini, dodger, and enclosure.  I would have to say this season it is my new interior cushions made with Covington Outdoor fabric.  The project of mine that seems to get the most attention is our pair of sandbar floats (A large one for the kids, and a small one for the dog).  Most people, especially those with dogs have these torn up, crummy looking foam floats that really belong in a dumpster.  Ours were rescued, one from the dumpster, and one from the lake and are covered in Phifertex Plus, constructed as a box cushion.  The kids and dog try their hardest to destroy them every chance they get, but they still look brand new.

What’s one fun fact about you? I rarely miss a single weekend at the lake.  If we are not there on schedule, my wife and I start getting several messages inquiring as to if everything is ok with my family. I also refuse to wear long pants during the boating season.  Given the fact that my season begins in April, I have had some chilly Indiana mornings to contend with.

Jim, Sailrite Founder

2014_October-jim

What’s your favorite part of the boat show each year? I wander the show looking for new products and ideas. […] Those of us at Sailrite feel that an important part of our business is learning about and making available to our customers all the latest and best ideas that make sailing more fun. Of course, boat shows are also a great way to renew old friendships with customers and exhibitors. Please stop by and say hello!

What kind of boat(s) do you sail? I look forward to next summer sailing the restored Islander 37 that has been the subject of many recent Sailrite videos. In the meantime, I have sailed an MC Scow on Lake Maxinkukee for the last five years or so. Prior to that there was a Highlander, a Flying Scot, a Rebel, a C Scow, an S2 7.9 and a Lindenberg 22. Of course there have always been Windward Sabots (I own 3), a Hobie 16 and a Laser that can be used by the grandkids as needed.

What sewing project have you completed that you are the most proud of? I am most proud of my sails. It is always nice to win, but when you do it with sails that you have made yourself it is even better.

What’s one fun fact about you? I love to sail. But, as I get older I find sitting in front of a computer programming is almost as satisfying. Much of my time this past summer has been devoted to a new version of the Box Cushion Fabrication App, which should be done within a month or so.

Visit Us at the Show

You can meet all of these great guys and see the tools and products Sailrite has to offer at the Annapolis Boat Show. We’ll be in our usual spot, Tent H: Booth 24-27. They can’t wait to see you!

The United States Sailboat Show starts today (Thursday) with a VIP Preview Day, and opens to everyone tomorrow, Friday, October 10, 2014 from 10 am- 6:30 pm. The show runs through Monday, October 13. To learn more about the show and purchase tickets at the Annapolis Boat Shows Website.

For those of your attending, what are you most excited for at the show this year? Can’t attend? Leave us a virtual message in the comments, we love hearing from you!

Teresa Carey is making quite a name for herself in the sailing world. She writes a sailing blog, made a documentary film about a sailing adventure, teaches on-board sail training, and speaks about sailing around the country (she even gave a TEDx talk). I recently had the pleasure of talking with her about her new film and the importance of self-reliance on a sailboat.

2014_September-Teresa-4

Teresa & Ben

Teresa started sailing when she was just eight-years-old, on her family’s Ranger23 on Lake Michigan. But before she even set out on the water, she was already enchanted with sailing from bedtime stories her dad would tell.

“My dad would tuck us into bed and tell us stories of sailing or teach us a new term. So I had sailing adventures in my bed,” she reminisced.

By the time she was 18, Teresa started sailing professionally, first as a camp counselor and later with Outward Bound and in the tourism industry. After sailing solo for a time and then in convoy with her now husband, Ben, Teresa was looking for a new adventure and new waters to sail.

“Ben and I had both sailed the entire eastern seaboard, and I’ve sailed the Pacific coast and the Caribbean, and we both agreed that the further north you go, the better it gets,” she said. “So we decided, let’s go north.”

So the pair pulled out a map and took a look at what was north of the Eastern United States and decided on Newfoundland, Canada as their destination. They asked a friend if they could borrow his charts for their planning and among them, they found a photo of his boat with an iceberg, Teresa said. She and Ben wondered if they too would see icebergs on their journey.

“Then it became a mission,” Teresa said.

They decided to film their trip to see an iceberg as a series of short web videos, but when word of their plan got around, they soon received an offer to work on an even bigger project. A film producer out of Florida, Derek Rowe, had heard about Teresa and Ben’s project and called them to ask if they would be willing to make a feature length film with him. Ben and Teresa agreed, leading them to create their documentary, One Simple Question, which will premiere at the BLUE Ocean Film Fest this November in St. Petersberg, Florida.

“In the end it was ten times more work than we expected and four times more money,” Teresa said.

2014_September-Teresa-3

s/v Elizabeth with an iceberg

But all their hard work paid off and the film was named a finalist in the emerging filmmaker category and received honorable mention in another category.

“It was an honor to even be selected for the festival, so then to be a finalist and even honorable mention is really quite an honor,” Teresa said.

Teresa and Ben are also currently in talks with a public television station to create a TV edit of their film.

One Simple Question is not only about seeing an iceberg, but it also deals with the trials of living aboard a sailboat and the importance of self-reliance. In a scene discussing self-reliance you’ll even see the Ultrafeed Sewing Machine make a cameo appearance.

“One of the characters says something like, ‘there’s no substitute for self-reliance,’ and it shows a series of scenes including the sewing machine,” Teresa explained. “It’s set up in the salon and the scene ends with the new dodger being installed.”

2014_September-Teresa-5

s/v Elizabeth with her heart-window dodger

The new dodger is actually a dodger that Teresa sewed herself for their Bristol Channel Cutter 28, Elizabeth. You might recognize it by the heart shaped windows that Teresa customized herself. Her photo of the project the grand prize in our photo contest this year.

Elizabeth is Ben’s sailboat and knowing that Teresa already knew how to sew, he did a little bribing to get her to sew him a new dodger.

“He told me, ‘I’ll buy you a Sailrite sewing machine if you sew me a dodger,’” She said. “So I said, ‘Okay!’ But, of course, we didn’t stop there and made new cushions too. Now he’s learning to sew as well.”

She wanted to put her own stamp on the dodger kit, so she added the heart shaped windows by cutting out a cardboard heart and tracing it on to the glass. This was her first dodger project and Teresa said that the Sailrite videos helped her a lot in construction.

Her next project is going to be another dodger for her new sailboat that she’s ready to start “just as soon as it’s too cold to sail anymore,” she said.

2014_September-Teresa-2

Teresa patterning her dodger

“The great thing about sewing—like carpentry—is if you want to redecorate or you need something, you can make it. Any time I need something I can stitch it together,” Teresa said. She even sewed herself shelves once.

Teresa does all her sewing on a Sailrite Ultrafeed LSZ-1 Sewing Machine, and she’s been impressed with how well it’s held up over time.

“Mine is a few years old now. I use it in spurts and I take care of it—I oil it and everything—and it still worlds like it’s brand new,” she said. “I really like it.”

Like Teresa, most sailors are DIYers and tackle projects on their own, she said. Her advice for DIY sailors is to make sure you find reliable advice for projects that you undertake so you keep everything up to safety standards on your boat.

“Your boat needs to be a safety vessel,” she said. “We looked at 50 different boats and we’d look in lockers and see things that are standard in home repair but not on a boat and that can be unsafe. You need to go to the experts and find out the highest level of safety.”

2014_September-Teresa-1

Sewing the dodger on her Ultrafeed LSZ-1

Teresa believes that self-reliance is key to all sailors.

“I think self-reliance doesn’t mean having all the skills, it’s about having the resourcefulness and the tools to learn how to do it,” she said.

In fact, her love of sailing is tied to the idea of self-reliance and pushing your own limits.

“I love discovering something new about my own abilities and potential,” Teresa said. “Sailing is always an adventure.”

______________________________________________________________________________

Teresa and Ben are wrapping up their season of on-board sail training in Maine and are planning to spend the winter on land working on their multimedia marketing business until the spring when they will head back to the water to deliver boats.

To learn more about One Simple Question, and to watch the trailer visit simplequestionmovie.com. Follow Teresa at her blog: Sailing Simplicity & The Pursuit of Happiness. If you’re interested in sail training with Teresa and Ben, visit morsealpha.com.

2014_August-Lifesling-Cover

Finished Lifesling Cover on our Islander37

A Lifesling is a very valuable piece of safety equipment to keep on board your boat at all times. This man-overboard recovery system makes it easier than other recovery methods to hoist crew members back on board. However, the number one complaint of sailors is that the deployment bag that stores the Lifesling doesn’t hold up to UV rays and chafing. We’ve received many requests for instructions on how to make a sturdier Lifesling cover. We listened to those requests and today we’re sharing our latest how-to video that will detail how to sew your own Sunbrella Lifesling cover.

We modeled our cover off of the original pouch that comes with the Lifesling. To give our cover better UV protection, we used a Sunbrella® Marine Grade fabric. Many sailors like to use a Sunbrella that matches the rest of their boat canvas for a cohesive look. We also added a chafe protection patch of Phifertex® Plus mesh to the back of the cover where it will rest against the stanchion. We also added Phifertex Mesh to the bottom of the cover to help promote drainage and airflow.

To give the cover a sturdy shape, we created internal pockets to house plastic stiffeners. You can buy thin sheets of plastic at a hardware store to insert in your cover, or repurpose the sheets from your existing Lifesling cover. Although we do not show this in the video, it is also a good idea to cut out the instructions from the original Lifesling bag and sew them to your new bag so they can be easily seen.

To view the full video and materials list, visit Sailrite.com.

Have you ever made a Lifesling Cover? Share your experience, tips and advice in the comments!

2014_August-Life-Line-Netting

Lifeline netting can be a great way to keep children, pets, headsails and crew members on board a sailboat and often adds extra peace of mind for the boat owner. This diamond patterned netting can run on your lifelines around the cockpit, around the bow, or even around the entire perimeter of your boat. Today we’re going to show you how to install lifeline netting.

To add lifeline netting to your boat, you first need to determine how much netting you will need. Measure around the perimeter of your boat where you’d like the netting to be. If your lifeline has a gate, like ours does in the video, measure two sections; forward and aft from gate to gate. To determine the amount of netting required, multiply your measurement by 1.35.

We used a method of installing the lifeline netting by lashing the netting to the lifelines using leechline along the top and bottom of the netting. To determine the amount of leechline needed, take the perimeter measurement of the area where the line will be installed and multiply it by 2. Then, multiply the product by 1.6. This is the amount of leechline that will be required for this project.

Installing lifeline netting is a simple process, but it does take some time to securely install. You want to be sure everything is secure, so the netting can serve its function. In the video you will learn how to weave the leechline through the netting, how to secure it to stanchions, how to secure the netting between stanchions and how to create a gate opening.

If you need to cut a hole in your netting for your headsail or other obstacles, we’ll also show you how to secure the opening in your netting.

 

Materials List:

You can find all the materials and tools needed to install lifelines and lifeline netting at www.sailrite.com.

Do you have lifeline netting on your boat? Did you use this method or a different one for installation? Share your experiences, thoughts and opinions with us in the comments!

2014_July-Boat-Fender

Fenders are an important piece of equipment for your boat as they keep your boat’s hull from hitting the dock, or even other boats. Protect your fender from the elements and your boat’s hull from chafing with a soft cover for your fender. Fender covers are simple to DIY and a great project for beginning sewers.

There are many different styles of fenders and today we’re going to show you how to make a cover for a center rope style fender. If your fenders have a two-eyelet shape, you can see how to make a cover for those in our Making a Boat Fender Cover video.

To cover our fender, we selected Boat Blanket fabric in a soft gray color. This fabric is a plush, durable polyester spectropile fabric. It is UV and chemical resistant, colorfast and can easily withstand a marine environment while staying soft enough to not harm the side of your boat. Boat Blanket is safe to use against gel coat and other hard coated surfaces and will protect against marring or color transfer on your hull.

For the full tutorial video and the materials list, visit Sailrite.com and search #200644XHT.

This fender cover project was inspired by a customer, Sandra K., who sent us photos of her fender covers. We used a similar process to Sandra’s to create our cover. We love to see customer projects, thanks Sandra!

2014_July-Boat-Fender-2

Fender Cover by Sandra K.

All the materials needed to make your own fender covers are available at Sailrite.com.

What did you think of this project? Have you ever made fender covers before? Share your experiences, opinions and ideas with us in the comments!

%d bloggers like this: