Tag Archives: cockpit cushions


The cushions in your boat’s cockpit see a lot of wear and tear. They are frequently sat on and exposed to wind, rain, and sea spray. So it’s no surprise that after years of use or when you purchase a pre-owned boat, you almost always need to replace the cockpit cushions. Making your own cushions not only will save you money, but will also allow you to choose all the materials to create the most durable, longest-lasting cushions possible. Our latest how-to video will walk you step-by-step through the process of making your own custom cockpit cushions.

Cockpit cushions have to be more durable than your typical box cushions, so the performance qualities of each of the materials you select for your cushion should be carefully considered. For the cushions on our Islander 37 sailboat, we chose Sunbrella Marine Grade Fabric in Jockey Red to match the rest of the canvas on the boat. Sunbrella Marine Grade is the perfect choice for cockpit cushions because it is water resistant, durable and breathable.

Since the cushions will see a lot of moisture, we used Dry Fast foam, which is an open cell foam that won’t trap water and moisture. We also used a cushion underlining material as the bottom plate of the cushion. Cushion underlining is an open weave polyester with a vinyl coating that keeps the cushions from sliding around and also allows for water to drain out of the bottom of the cushion. It’s also a great way to save a little money, because the cushion underlining fabric is very affordable.

In this video, you’ll learn how to pattern your own cushions from scratch, sew piping, create a zipper plaque, and assemble your own cushions.


Materials List:

All of the materials needed to make cockpit cushions, including Sunbrella Marine Grade Fabric by the yard, are available at

Want written instructions to read along with the video? Full written instructions for this project are included in the 2014 Sailrite Marine Catalog! Request your copy today!

Have you ever made your own cockpit cushions? How did they turn out? What weather proofing techniques did you use? Share your experiences and ideas in the comments!


Everyone wants to be comfortable while cruising and sometimes small improvements can make a big difference. Adding cushions around pushpit rails and lifelines can provide a comfortable backrest as well as a nice place to cross the lifelines. Watch this new video to learn how to make your own!

Rail and lifeline cushions are simple, affordable, and an excellent project for even a new or beginner sewer. This video will show you step-by-step how to assemble rail and lifeline cushions with slit foam pipe insulation and Sunbrella Marine Grade fabric. The cushions are simple to install, slipping right over the rail or line and securing with Velcro and ties.

For added durability on lifelines, we recommend reinforcing the foam with a plastic hose (same diameter as the foam’s inner diameter) between the foam and the lifeline. This allows the foam to slide and rotate without being cut by the lifeline.


Materials List

How do you make your boat feel a little more comfortable? Leave a comment and tell us about it!

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