Tag Archives: Islander37


A lee cloth is a great piece of equipment to keep on board your boat. During long passages or rough seas it’s often best to sleep in the center of your boat in the main cabin (or Salon). However, with the heeling of a monohull, you want to make sure that you’re snug and secure in your berth, even when you end up on the high side. This is where a lee cloth becomes your best friend. A lee cloth is a piece of fabric that acts like a safety net to keep a sailor in his or her bunk. We’re going to take a closer look at lee cloth designs and show you how to make one.

Making a lee cloth is a simple sew project, but it does require some critical thinking when it comes to attaching it to your boat. This is going to be slightly different for everyone depending on the set up of your boat and which berth your lee cloth is for. In the video, you will see that we created a webbing strap for each upper corner of our lee cloth and attached it to the woodwork in our Islander37 sailboat. Another common attachment method is to use line to secure the lee cloth to strap eyes or handrails above the berth.

For the fabric choice on this lee cloth, we chose to use a Phifertex® mesh to allow airflow. In a tight bunk, it can be nice to use a fabric that breathes well for more comfortable sleeping, but really you can use any strong fabric like cotton duck, Sunbrella®, trampoline mesh and more.


As an optional addition to your lee cloth you could add storage pockets to the outside to hold small electronics, glasses or other small necessities. We’ll outline a couple different pocket methods for you in the video.

For the full video tutorial and materials list, visit and search #200654XHT.

Have you made a lee cloth before? Do you have any tips on attachment methods or design? Share them in our comments!


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!


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.


Materials List:

You can find all the materials needed to make brand new salon cushions at

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!


Small portlight windows are great for letting a little extra light and air into your boat’s cabin, but they can be difficult to cover when you want a little extra privacy. For our third project in our Project Boat Cabin Series, we’re going to show you how to make simple-sew elastic covers for your portlights.

The benefits of using these elastic portlight covers are that they effectively provide privacy when they are in place, and that they are super easy to remove when you need a little more light or want to open the window. For our covers we used a Sunbrella® fabric, which has an open weave that allows a small amount of light to still come through. If you wanted a darker shade, try using a heavier fabric like a Sunbrella® Upholstery Fabric.

For the full video tutorial and materials, visit and search #200628XHT.

Do you cover the portlights on your boat? Leave us a comment and share how you did it!

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

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


Sometimes it’s the small details that help make a space feel like home. This is especially true if your home (full or part-time) is a boat. There generally isn’t a lot of room for personalization in a boat’s cabin where function comes first, but curtains are a great way to add a cozy feeling to your cabin while also being really practical. We’re going to show you how to sew and install beautiful, functional curtains for your boat’s cabin.

Adding curtains is a great way to enhance your privacy as well as to help keep out the heat. For these reasons, we recommend choosing a heavier fabric that has good UV resistance. We chose a Sunbrella® Upholstery Fabric for our curtains, but occasional outdoor use fabrics are also a good option. For those times you want extra light in the cabin, you can make Velcro tie-backs to keep the curtains open.

Cabin curtains are simple to install and sew. Many boats are already outfitted with some sort of curtain track system but if yours isn’t, hanging a curtain track is a quick process. In the video, we also demonstrate how to measure for the curtain track, install mounting clips, and add the track.

For the full video tutorial and materials list, visit and search #200619XHT.

How to you personalize your cabin? Have any of you made your own curtains? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments!

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