Book Review: 100 Fast & Easy Boat Improvements

Don Casey is the dean of DIY sailboat restoration and improvement in my opinion. He’s a contributing editor of Sail magazine and author of several other books that I’ve reviewed in the past. The sheer expanse of his knowledge and experience comes through in every book. Every subject that he writes about is not only…

The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Winch Maintenance

  The winches on your sailboat are the workhorses of your rig. They do the heavy lifting and make your job as skipper easier so you can enjoy the ride. They’re also the most expensive hardware aboard so it only makes sense to take good care of them. In this post, I describe how they…

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…