Blue Turtle Cruising

Sailboat sewing projects … so many things to sew

While moored here in the “Ancient City” of St. Augustine, I’ve been on a sewing frenzy. After cruising much of last year, I was nice to slow down and stay put long enough to order supplies and drag out “the Beast” (a.k.a Sailrite sewing machine) to work on some sailboat sewing projects. Below are the various things I’ve been working on since the beginning of the year and in St. Augustine.

Boat Fender Covers

My first sewing project of the year actually happened back in January in the Smoky Mountains. Randy was sent to Knoxville for work and while he went into the office, I decided to tackle sewing covers for our unsightly looking fenders. The fenders had covers on them when we bought the boat, but they were literally deteriorating and falling off. So, I ordered some boat blanket material from Sailrite, threw the sewing machine and bumps into the rental car and tackled the project in the mountains. Sailrite has an excellent video tutorial on how to make these covers which made it pretty easy for a beginner like me. The boat blanket material is excellent for this project because it’s soft, won’t damage gel coat and also UV resistant.

Sheet Bags for the Cockpit

Once settled into St. Augustine, I started working on the sheet bag kit that I also ordered from Sailrite. I wanted a better way to organize the lines in our cockpit. They were just laying around the wenches and would get caught on things and get in the way of closing hatches. Once again, Sailrite does an excellent job with providing everything you need in their kits along with printed instructions and a video tutorial. The kit provides you enough material to make 4 sheet bags. I only made 3 since that’s all we room for in the cockpit. One of bags is larger than the specs and I still have material leftover.

Interior Window Covers with Blackout Lining

Yet another tutorial from Sailrite that I followed, was for Portlight Window Covers. I used leftover Sunbrella upholstery fabric from when I covered the settee cushions so they would match. I also opted to add blackout drapery lining to the inside to keep light out. After a decade of summers living on a boat in southwest Florida, you learn that any sunlight in the boat creates heat. I sewed the 2 pieces of material together while I was sewing in the shock cord bungee. It took me quite a while to make these since I had 10 of them to do, but I really love how they came out. They’re very easy to put on the windows and remove.

Replacing Exterior Covers

Once the interior window covers were done, I decided to assess the exterior hatch and wood covers on the deck. It’s wonderful that our sailboat came with covers made for every hatch and piece of wood, but some of the them are starting the deteriorate. With some leftover white vinyl, I created 2 new hatch covers for the large hatches on the front deck. I had already used this material a while back to make hatch covers for both heads and the one in the aft cabin. I love this material for the hatches since it weathers well and is waterproof. I also sewed new rail covers using canvas given to me by the previous owners. We have 6 wooden rails on the forward deck that had covers using velcro to attach them but the velcro and covers were not staying on the rails very well anymore. I used the old covers as templates to sew new ones and opted to use snaps instead of velcro to fasten them to the rails.

I still have a couple other items I plan to work on like replacing some of the webbing straps for our isinglass in our cockpit and patching up our dinghy chaps and I’m sure I’ll find more covers to replace. I’m glad I had the chance to get this much sewing done and am pretty happy with the outcome.

BTW: I am not an affiliate for Sailrite (they don’t even have an affiliate program), I am, however, a Sailrite fan girl! I love their products and I love even more the helpful videos and tutorials that, without them, many of my projects would’ve been a disaster. All of the links above are just for those who might want to tackle some similar projects.

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