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Above is a photo of the boat as it set yesterday.  Easy to see where the new hatch covers are.  Note the huge blue power boat directly behind us.  As of late Seabrook Shipyard as all but tied us to the dock by parking these large boats directly behind us on their work pier.  The solution is that we procured another slip in the marina away from the shipyard.  Our boat goes in the yard next Monday…when it comes out we will move the boat to the new berth.

Those who sail might wonder if we have sail covers for the genoa and staysail shown in the above photo…for customarily, the UV protection strips that are sewn to the outside edge of the sail as it rolls onto the autofurler is the same color as the rest of the boat’s canvas.  Well, the answer is that the previous owners indeed had a UV protection strip sewn to the sails but chose to make the color of it white.  So, though you can’t see the UV protection, our sails are indeed protected.  Though we didn’t get to it this weekend, we planned to take the staysail down and to a sail loft where they will replace the UV strip protection with black instead of white…we’ll also replace the sheets and the halyard at that time.  The same will happen to both our genoa and main.

Most boats of any size whatsoever generally require canvas, i.e., covers to protect certain items on deck. Though it varies from boat to boat and from owner to owner, the amount of canvas any given boat might have, particularly a sailboat, could vary from as little as a simple bimini…to having every single piece of bright work and deck hardware custom fitted with the very best marine grade Sailrite canvas. We fall somewhere in the middle of that extreme. Some of the sailboats one sees are covered head to toe with canvas covers; we think that is tacky looking. But, there is no doubt that some custom canvas outfitting the deck of one’s yacht can absolutely spiff it up.

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The fairly complex pattern for our life raft.  Our life raft sits in a cradle attached to the back of the aft cabin.  Sewing is about grasping the geometry…and then taking the time to layout a pattern.  The better the pattern, the better the finished canvas.

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This is the piece after the initial hems are sewn and the 1/4″ bungee cord is threaded.  At this point, on this piece, I took the canvas as you see it above back down to the boat, fitted it to the life raft, and pinned the darts for the corners.  Then back home to sew the darts before going back to the boat for a final fitting and to further refine the darts at the corners.

Many people pay professionals to do their canvas. The truth is that on our Hunter 31 (which is still for sale) we paid a pro to do some of our canvas. And, just a few months ago we paid a pro to replace all of our cushion zippers. But, I was just being lazy by doing that…I could have done all of that upholstery work. So, when it recently came time to do our deck canvas I couldn’t pawn it off on a pro any longer. I have the sewing machines and the time to do what needed to be done.

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The two shots above are of the finished liferaft cover and two of the hatch covers.  The cover for the liferaft is secure as you see it above but very, very easy to remove in case – horror of horrors – we ever have to deploy it.

I’m not the best seamstress in the world but I get by. I sewed the bimini on our Hunter 31 and it came out first class…saved us a lot of money too. So, I can sew a little bit.   The task at hand was to sew eight hatch covers (in three different sizes) and a cover for our life raft canister that sits in a cradle.

The key to sewing is two fold in my opinion. First, make a pattern before sewing, and, two…take your time.

The hatch covers were quite easy to make, however, the cover for the life raft that sits in a cradle was way more complicated.   Anyway, it took me a few days but I knocked it out…and things came out great.

I even made a Tayana pennant for fun, but forgot to take a photo.

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