How to Make a Boat Wheel Cover

Item # X-HT-200670

It’s in every boater's best interests to cover and protect anything vital on board that could be damaged by the sun, and that includes the steering wheel. Protect your boat’s steering wheel with an easy-to-sew wheel cover. We made this cover for the wheel on our Project Powerboat. This small cover adds extra sun protection for your wheel and doesn’t use much fabric, so it’s a great way to use up leftover marine fabric.

Finished wheel cover on our project powerboat.

We chose Sunbrella® Marine Grade fabric for our wheel cover. Sunbrella is a great choice for a boat cover fabric due to its outstanding UV and water resistance. It is also solution-dyed, meaning the color will never fade in the sun. We carry a wide selection of cover fabrics at Sailrite® from all the top brands, including Sunbrella, Top Notch®, Top Gun® and more. Explore our inventory and chose the fabric that best suits your needs.

Our wheel cover is tensioned with a sewn-in shock cord. When not on the wheel, it resembles a canvas shower cap. It is easily stretched over the wheel and stays securely in place.

This simple project is a great way to test out some trickier sewing skills like sewing boxing on a circular shape and working with shock cord. In the video you will learn how to measure your wheel for the cover, pattern the fabric, tension the shock cord, and install the cover on your boat.

Be sure to watch our companion video on how to make a boat helm cover (#200672XHT). And if you are interested in other boat DIY tutorials, you can view our entire selection of marine DIYs. Go to our "How-To" section and click on "Marine Projects" to explore our collection of boat projects.

Video Chapters:

  • Measuring & Patterning – 0:25 min.
  • Sewing Elastic Boxing – 2:22 min.
  • Sewing Boxing to Round Cover – 4:15 min.
  • Tensioning Shock Cord – 6:27 min.
  • Materials List – 8:04 min.

Materials List:

  • Sunbrella® Marine Grade Fabric (we used 46” Tresco Birch #4696-0000)
  • 3/8" Seamstick Basting Tape #129
  • 3/16" Shock Cord #29303
  • Tex 90 Polyester or Lifetime (PTFE) Thread

Tools List:

  • Soapstone Fabric Marking Pencil White #102766
  • Sailrite® Edge Hotknife Package (110 Volt) #103800
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LS Sewing Machine #300500
  • String, ruler, tape measure, scissors and screwdriver