Using A Canvas Cover to Protect Sailboat Inflatables

Every sailing enthusiast knows that the inflatable onboard their boat is probably one of the essential equipment they can have on board. It is their lifeline that can get through parts that they know they can anticipate. While it can be a life-saving option, it is also a floatable adventure tool that is invaluable. Most often than not, people take for granted that the inflatable wouldn’t need real protection as it is sparingly used and built to withstand wind and water. However, there are so many instances when the inflatable becomes unusable because of improper maintenance, and this is when emergencies become a real nightmare. Protecting it from UV and any chaffing is essential. Any material that the inflatable is made off cannot beat the effects of external sources. Putting together a canvas cover by yourself or purchasing one to protect it is crucial. While buying a cover is an expensive option, the same can be built by yourself with several pieces of fabric cut to measurement.

Selecting The Fabric

The fabric that is used to make a canvas cover has to be one that can be used in exterior settings. You are going to need a heavy-duty material like the Sunbrella, which is designed for the marine environment. They are abrasion-resistant and are stable enough to handle any UV damage. The material is also solution dyed and will not shrink over time. Colors don’t run neither does it fade. This is the grade of material you should use for a cover. There are several options with the same benefits available at lower prices, so watch for all the features. The most important part is to look out for the blocking of UV rays. Good ones usually block 98% of the UV, which is what you should aim for. You won’t need to worry about replacing a cover of this fabric for another ten years, so remember not to be pennywise-pound foolish.

DIY Cuts, Patterns, and Sizes

If you are choosing to DIY your canvas cover for a cheaper option, make sure you have your measurements spot on. Correctly outline the cuts that you need to make. Always use a plastic sheet like a stencil and cut the sizes and fit on the medium-grade plastic sheet. This can be joined to check the sizing correctly before stenciling on the main canvas. The patterns for your cut will be visible on the construction of your inflatable. Use it as a guide to see how much you need to cut and measure with a tape. Be patient with your patterning and remember that the bow will take a longer time to get right.

Use the right fabric thread that is best suited for your grade of canvas as this is the important part of keeping it all together. You will also need a needle that is at least no.18 when you sew. Use a contrasting color of thread so the seams of your stitching will look like a design too. Since you are using at least a 92 weight thread, you are bound to see it on the seam. Work in sections when joining the fabric. Remember that the plastic you used as a stencil might have fit differently from the canvas. Take into consideration and keep checking along the way when you mount your canvas.


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