With the warm weather here, it’s officially happy hour in the cockpit season! As I look at my cockpit I realize it is definitely time for new canvas on the surrounding life line and railings.
You can make all the effort in the world for a cozy cockpit for drinks, but if your surrounding canvas has seen better days it’s time for a sewing project. I maybe should have done this a year earlier, but not realizing it was going to be as simple as it was to sew, I put my head in the sand and deferred it as long as possible.
Sewing new lifeline and railing padding turned out to be a super simple boat sewing project. Pulling off the old padding with what ended up being decomposing foam with zip straps was a little messy, but once the old padding was off it wasn’t bad.
I will admit I did have the old padding to examine for the previous pattern, but I ended up changing them slightly making them a little longer and simplifying the curve. With a trip to the plumbing store for pipe foam and to the fabric store for the sunbrella and velcro, I had all the supplies and was ready to go.
I sewed a pocket area for a string at each end to tighten them, and sewed velcro along the entire length of the covers. I selected a fabric that I thought was a little more fun than our standard green canvas, and it ended up being nice as it was also easy to tell if I had the fabric lined up properly.
I picked up a hot knife for my previous winch cover project, a great purchase and really needed when cutting canvas for your nice clean edge. For both a safe cutting surface and resting board I’ve just used a rectangle tile that I picked up at Home Depot, it works great and is relatively easy to store. For boat sewing you really need a hot knife to cut your fabric and protect the ends.
With boats everything always seems to be a little customized, each of the three pads I had to sew were all different sizes. One to cover the bulk of the rail, one to make room for the outboard, and one long one on the back.
Even with three separate sizes to sew, these cushions were super simple to sew and the crips strips look great in the cockpit!
Happy boat sewing!