Sew This Jib Sock to Protect Your Furled Headsails

If you install a cruising furler like I describe in Headsail Furlers For the Trailer Sailor and you don’t also add sacrificial cover strips to the leech and foot of your headsails, those edges of your sails will be constantly exposed to UV sunlight and the weather and will deteriorate much faster than the rest of…

No Furler? Make a Foredeck Sail Bag

If you have a headsail furler on your sailboat, this project will probably be of little interest to you. But if you have hank-on headsails and want convenient protection for them like the sacrificial covers on furled headsails, read on. A foredeck sail bag is something of a luxury for the trailer sailor. It’s not necessary…

Make Your Own Lifeline Cushions

This is a quick, easy, cheap project if you have any scraps of canvas leftover from earlier canvaswork projects. Lifeline cushions are tubular foam with canvas covers that fit over the lifelines that run along the sides of the cockpit. They’re great as headrests when laying back in the cockpit seats while you check your…

How to Make a Mainsail Cover

Summer Dance didn’t have much in the way of canvaswork when we bought her: the original mainsail cover and an old outboard engine cover that also looked pretty ghetto. Besides being 1980’s brown in color, the canvas of the mainsail cover was faded and shredded in places, much of the stitching had disintegrated, and the…

A Hotknife for the Rest of Us

When I made my first canvas project, a mainsail cover, I cut out the pieces using scissors as usual. Later, when I made the cabin cushion covers, I discovered how much better a hotknife works for cutting synthetic marine canvas like Sunbrella. Instead of the edges unravelling, they fused solid. That not only makes them…

Make This Companionway Hatch Cover In Under a Day

If you leave your sailboat exposed to the elements for long periods of time or if you just want to keep your brightwork bright, it helps to cover the main hatch to reduce damage from UV rays, rain and snow, and bird droppings. Making one isn’t hard and you can do it in less than…

Do-It-Yourself Small Sailboat Canvaswork

Do you have an older sailboat with worn, faded, and stained seat cushions? Did you recently buy a used sailboat and it doesn’t have a mainsail cover or winch covers? Do you want more storage  options on your sailboat for maximum cruising enjoyment? Are you refitting a sailboat and you’d like to outfit it with functional canvas accessories for…

Sew Your Own Winch Covers From Scraps

Do you keep your lovingly maintained sailboat in a slip or on a mooring ball but want to protect your hard work from the elements as much as possible? Covers on your winches can protect the plated parts from corrosion, plastic parts from UV damage, bearings and pawls from rainwater and salt water spray, and keep…

How to Flatten the Luff of that Baggy Old Sail

Do you have one or more old sails that, after you hoist them fully, have scallops and wrinkles along the luff like in the picture above? Or do you have to winch them flat or overtighten your backstay? Instead of a flat, smooth leading edge, those wrinkles disrupt airflow and rob your sail’s performance. If the…

Keep Often Used Items Handy with Snap-on Gear Bags

Storage solutions are some of the most sought after and popular projects among trailer sailors. Space is at a premium and if you load your sailboat with all the supplies, foodstuffs, and conveniences you want for a weekend of cruising, there isn’t much spare space left.

Sew Your Own Cabin Curtains and Save

Are your salon and head privacy curtains old, faded, or tattered? Want to spruce up your cabin interior? Sewing your own curtains can add a designer touch without breaking the bank. If you’re replacing your cabin cushions entirely or just the covers, new curtains are a must-do companion project.

Improve Sail Shape and Performance with a Leech Line

Before I dive in to the main topic of this post, I want to wish all you stingy sailors out there a Happy Thanksgiving Day. Even if you don’t live in the US or don’t normally celebrate this holiday, I hope you can take some time today to express your gratitude for the blessings in…