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.
All of the materials needed to make cockpit cushions, including Sunbrella Marine Grade Fabric by the yard, are available at www.sailrite.com.
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!
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 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!
If you spend a lot of time on your boat, either during the season or year round, you want your boat’s cabin to feel like home. A small way to soften the look of your cabin’s salon is to add a tablecloth to the main table. We designed a tablecloth that looks sleek and is functional even when underway. Today, we’re going to show you how to make your own tablecloth for your boat, with a bonus quick tutorial for making placemats that are perfect for use on your boat or even your patio.
This boat tablecloth is a little different from a traditional tablecloth that would be used inside a home. We wanted our tablecloth to not slide around as the boat moves, so we made it to fit snug to the table and wrapped its edges over the table’s sides. We chose to use a Naugahyde® Universal fabric so the tacky texture of the vinyl will help keep items on the tabletop in place better when underway.
Our table on the Islander37 is mounted to the bulkhead with hinges, so we accommodated for that in our design. If your table is free on all four sides, create the fourth side in the same manner as the 3 shown in the video.
For the placemats, we used a Sunbrella® Sling fabric but Phifertex® Plus Mesh would work just as well. These simple no-sew placemats can be made just by cutting out a shape from the mesh and running a hotknife along the edges to seal them.
To see the full video tutorial and materials list, visit Sailrite.com and search #200637XHT.
Would you use a tablecloth in your boat? Tell us what you think of this project in the comments!
When below decks, the salon (or saloon) is the hub of your boat’s cabin. It’s where you can sit and eat, work, and sometimes even where you sleep. So it’s important that the settee cushions are comfortable and that they suit your style. For our third and final project in our Project Boat Cabin Series, we’re going to show you how you can re-cover or re-create new cushions for your boat’s salon settees.
The existing foam on our Islander 37 was in pretty good condition, so we decided to re-use it with some fresh batting and new covers. If your foam needs replacing, we have full instructions for patterning new cushions in our How to Make Your Own Cockpit Cushions video.
For our settee cushions we used the same Sunbrella Upholstery fabric that we used for the v-berth cushions, to give our cabin continuity. In the video, we will show you how to line up stripes or a pattern so they flow from the seat backs to the seat bottoms of your settee.
You can find all the materials needed to make brand new salon cushions at www.sailrite.com.
It’s amazing how new cushions can really brighten up a space! Have you ever considered making new cushions for your salon settees? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments!
We still have many more projects to complete on the Islander 37. Be sure to enter your email in the right-hand column (or the bottom of the page on a mobile device) and subscribe to this blog to not miss a post!
Does your boat’s v-berth have cushions that are old, uncomfortable or unsightly? The v-berth cushions on our Islander 37 project boat were all three! So we set to work making new cushions that would be comfortable and stylish with a snug fit. Today, in the second video in our Project Boat Cabin Series, we’re going to break down all the steps for making brand new, irregular shaped cushions for your v-berth.
V-Berth cushions, with all their angles, can be an intimidating project to undertake, but once you start sewing, you’ll see that they assemble just like any other box cushion. The trick to getting irregular cushions just right is careful patterning and attention to detail. In the video, we break down the patterning steps slowly with calculations, so you’ll know just what to do for great fitting cushions.
We chose to make our v-berth cushions with a breathable Sunbrella Upholstery Fabric, which is great choice for boat interiors because it is water and mildew resistant. Since the cushions are not reversible, we used a cushion underlining fabric for the bottom sides of the cushions. This helps with breathability for a comfortable night’s sleep and is budget friendly.
In this video you will learn in detail how to pattern both the foam and the fabric for v-berth cushions and how to sew the cushions together. There’s also a bonus discussion on foam and which types best suited for sleeping berth cushions.
Find all of the materials to complete this project from fabric to foam at www.sailrite.com.
Our new cushions make a huge difference, don’t you think? Have you ever considered making new v-berth cushions? Share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments!
Does your boat need a little love? We’ve got a new project boat here at Sailrite® that needed quite a bit of love and we’ve been hard at work this winter getting her all spruced up and making lots of great how-to videos along the way. We’ve just finished working on a few of the projects in the cabin and the difference is striking!
Meet our 1976 Islander 37 project boat. She belongs to Jim Grant, Sailrite’s founder, and he’s letting us do a little work on her so we can share the projects with all of you! Over the course of the next month, here on the blog we’re going to be bringing you full tutorials on four great projects to transform the cabin of your boat into a comfortable, functional space.
See the full video tutorial and materials list at Sailrite.com.
What projects need to be done in the interior of your boat? What projects would you like to see us do a video on? Share your ideas with us in the comments!
Salon Port-side Settee Before
Salon Port-side Settee After