How to Make a Winter Sailboat Cover

Item # X-HT-300229

This thorough how-to video offers detailed, step-by-step instructions for patterning, sewing and installing a custom winter sailboat cover. Learn how to create a frame structure, pattern and sew bow and stern panels, and create slits for stanchions, rigging and stays with collar or boot closures. We show you different closure assemblies so you can pick the one that best suits your vessel. We also include instructions for making sandbag covers and webbing belly straps, plus a bonus section on how to make larger collar and boot openings.

Make a winter sailboat cover with help from Sailrite.

For our cover, we chose Sunbrella® Marine Grade Fabric and trimmed it with Shelter-Rite® as a reinforcement material. With its high UV and fade resistance, along with protection against mold, mildew and moisture, Sunbrella Marine Grade is a top choice for boat covers; paired with Shelter-Rite’s high tensile strength and durability, this fabric duo creates an incredibly strong boat cover that will protect your craft while in storage for many years to come.

Video Chapters:

    Designing Your Winter Boat Cover

  • Overview — 00:10 min.
  • Fabric Choices — 4:11 min.
  • Seam & Thread Selections — 7:07 min.
  • Closure & Fastener Selections — 10:10 min.
  • Benefits to DIY — 18:50 min.
  • Support Frame — 19:31 min.
  • Materials list — 26:17 min.
  • How Much Cover Fabric Do I Need?

  • Determining Number of Fabric Panels — 27:06 min.
  • Calculating Panel Length — 30:26 min.
  • Calculating Aft End Panel — 32:56 min.
  • Bow & Stern Fabric Panels

  • Cutting Cover Fabric — 35:07 min.
  • Seaming & Sewing Panels — 36:32 min.
  • Bow Cover Patterning

  • Cutting Forestay & Mast Slit — 42:43 min.
  • Applying Tape — 45:37 min.
  • Draping Cover Over Frame — 47:37 min.
  • Cutting Slits for Deck Poles — 48:30 min.
  • Fitting Cover on Boat — 55:25 min.
  • Marking Aft Zippered Edge — 59:15 min.
  • Marking Skirt — 1:02:08 min.
  • Patterning Bowsprit — 1:04:21 min.
  • Measuring Slit Gap or Overlap — 1:08:04 min.
  • Marking Chafe Areas — 1:09:24 min.
  • Trimming — 1:11:42 min.
  • Stern Cover Patterning

  • Cutting Topping Lift & Mast Slit — 1:14:03 min.
  • Draping Cover Over Boom — 1:15:16 min.
  • Marking Forward Zippered Edge — 1:16:26 min.
  • Cutting Slits for Deck Poles — 1:21:04 min.
  • Marking Aft End at Boom & Transom — 1:24:20 min.
  • Marking Skirt — 1:25:27 min.
  • Measuring Slit Gap or Overlap — 1:26:08 min.
  • Marking Chafe Areas — 1:26:51 min.
  • Trimming — 1:28:41 min.
  • Stanchion, Shroud & Stay Closures

  • Creating Collar Panel — 1:29:10 min.
  • Creating Boot — 1:33:37 min.
  • Sewing Boot Collar Panel — 1:36:13 min.
  • Installing Slit Closure Method — 1:42:55 min.
  • Fitting & Sewing Panel Over Slit — 2:02:34 min.
  • Installing Buckles — 2:08:27 min.
  • Forestay Slit on Bow Cover

  • Edging Slit — 2:10:51 min.
  • Creating Forestay Boot — 2:15:36 min.
  • Sewing Edging — 2:18:02 min.
  • Sewing Forestay Boot — 2:21:07 min.
  • Sewing Zipper — 2:24:35 min.
  • Finishing Bow Cover

  • Finishing Zippered Edge — 2:29:05 min.
  • Installing Edging — 2:29:08 min.
  • Creating Mast Boot — 2:29:59 min.
  • Creating Side Stay Boot — 2:34:58 min.
  • Installing Zipper (Mast to Sidestay) — 2:41:24 min.
  • Installing Zipper (Sidestay Skirt) — 2:44:57 min.
  • Edging & Binding Sides — 2:47:29 min.
  • Adding E-Z Lace Supreme — 2:51:56 min.
  • Finishing Bowsprit Cover — 2:54:37 min.
  • Finishing Stern Cover

  • Finishing Zippered Edge — 3:00:11 min.
  • Installing Edging — 3:00:14 min.
  • Finishing Mast Boot — 3:02:00 min.
  • Finishing Side Stay Boot — 3:05:18 min.
  • Installing Zipper (Sidestay to Skirt) — 3:06:22 min.
  • Installing Zipper (Mast to Sidestay) — 3:08:53 min.
  • Edging & Binding Sides — 3:10:24 min.
  • Adding E-Z Lace Supreme — 3:13:03 min.
  • Adding Transom Panel to Stern Cover

  • Taking Measurements — 3:15:17 min.
  • Edging Topping Lift Slit — 3:16:09 min.
  • Lofting — 3:18:18 min.
  • Sewing Center Seam — 3:21:53 min.
  • Sewing transom To Stern Cover — 3:23:55 min.
  • Cutting Pushpit Slits — 3:31:11 min.
  • Finishing Touches — 3:34:05 min.
  • Adding Chafe Patches — 3:36:58 min.

    Securing Boat Cover

  • Sandbags — 3:39:57 min.
  • Webbing Belly Straps — 3:46:51 min.
  • Bonus

  • Making Larger Collar Boot Openings — 3:51:35 min.

Materials List:

  • Desired boat cover fabric (#4672-0000)
  • Shelter-Rite® 3" Tape 18 oz (#104222)
  • Desired Shelter-Rite® fabric
  • E-Z Lace Supreme Black (#103696)
  • Hook & Loop tape
  • Desired binding
  • #10 YKK® Coil or Vislon® Finished Zippers
  • Desired fasteners (depending on application)
  • Dura-Skirm® Patterning Material (#103134)
  • Seamstick 1/2" Basting Tape for Canvas (#104984)
  • V-92 Thread (color of choice)
  • YKK® Double Side Release Buckle Black 1" (#102485)
  • Desired webbing
  • Leech Line Dacron® 1/8" White (#21209)

Tools List:

  • Sewing Machine (#400500)
  • Gingher® 8" Scissors Right Handed (#19104)
  • Sailrite® Edge Hotknife (#103800)
  • Sailrite® 1" Swing-Away Straight Binder (#100103)
  • Sailrite® Canvas Patterning Ruler (#107040)
  • Tape Measure 120 Inch (#102986)
  • Soapstone Fabric Marking Pencil White (#102766)
  • Grease Marking Pencil Yellow (#111002)
  • Spring Clamp (#50211)
  • Hole Cutter (depending on fasteners used)