How to Make a Sail Cover

Item # X-HT-300180

Protect your flaked mainsail from the harsh rays of the sun, inclement weather and more with a durable mainsail cover. Building your own sail cover lets you choose the materials and get the perfect, custom fit for your boat. Choose the right style for you, whether it’s a traditional throated sail cover (as detailed here), a sail pack (#200598XHT) or a rectangular sail cover. Sailrite® has kits and instructions for whatever style you choose. The throated sail cover is a popular design option because it snugly follows the shape of your flaked mainsail so the cover won’t catch wind, and rainwater can easily wick away from the cover without pooling. Our step-by-step video will show you how to sew your own mainsail cover.

Completed mainsail cover on an Islander 37 sailboat

Our throated sail cover design features a tie attachment at the mast and on the aft end of the boom. It also fits securely around the mast with a sturdy, VISLON® zipper, which makes the cover very easy to install. Twist-Lock® fasteners connect the cover to itself underneath the boom.

Zipper closure on mainsail cover

We used a Sailrite Sail Cover Kit to build this mainsail cover. All Sailrite sail kits are available in our full complement of Sunbrella® Marine Grade fabric colors. Sunbrella is a UV-resistant and weatherproof fabric that protects your mainsail for years. Our kits come with the pattern pre-plotted, so you just need to cut out the pieces and assemble them. If you want to make your own cover from scratch, we also include a full materials list so you can piece it together yourself. Each Sail Cover Kit also comes with step-by-step written instructions that are a great companion piece to this video.

Video Chapters:

  • Ordering a Sail Cover Kit – 0:38 min.
  • Cutting Patterns – 1:50 min.
  • Applying Sailrite Logo – 5:04 min.
  • Sewing Bottom Hem – 6:56 min.
  • Installing Zippers – 10:50 min.
  • Joining Panels Together – 17:39 min.
  • Creating a Boot Top – 22:13 min.
  • Attaching Dacron Line to Boot Top – 28:13 min.
  • Finishing the Aft End – 29:21 min.
  • Installing Twist Lock Fasteners – 33:41 min.
  • Materials List – 40:07 min.

Materials List:

  • Sunbrella® Marine Grade Fabric*
  • Seamstick 3/8" Basting Tape for Canvas #129*
  • V-92 Polyester* or PTFE Lifetime Thread
  • YKK® Finished Zipper #10 Single Pull (VISLON)*
  • Leech Line Dacron 5/32" White #21210*
  • DOT® Twist Lock Fastener Cloth‑to‑Cloth Button Back Set (Nickel Plated) #777800*

Tools List:

  • Soapstone Fabric Marking Pencil White #102766
  • Sailrite® Edge Hotknife Package (110 Volt) #103800
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler #107040
  • Deluxe 5 1/2" Magnetic Sewing Guide #103597
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed® LSZ‑1 PLUS (110V) Walking Foot Sewing Machine #300602
  • Sailrite® Ultrafeed Collapsible Sewing Table #104821
  • Gingher® Scissors #19104 (right-handed)
  • Common Sense® Eyelet Hole Cutter #108001
  • Rubber Cutting Block 10" x 10" #378100
  • Barry King Mallet #68563
  • Hole Cutter 1/8" (4mm) #102235
  • Prong Bending Tool for Common Sense and Lift‑The‑Dot® Fasteners #120445
  • Snap Fastener Installation Tool #25204*
  • Tape Measure
  • Yardstick
  • L-Square
  • Knife
  • Channel Lock Pliers

*Denotes items included in Sailrite's Sail Cover Kits