How to Make a Winter Sailboat Cover
Protect your boat during the off-season with a well-made and durable boat cover that you can use year after year. This thorough how-to video offers detailed, step-by-step instructions for patterning, sewing and installing a custom winter sailboat cover. This is a time-consuming and labor-intensive project, but making your own boat cover will save you a lot of money. So if you have the aptitude and determination, this DIY is well worth the time and effort.
First, let's talk about cover fabrics. For our winter boat cover DIY, we chose Top Notch® 9 canvas fabric. Top Notch 9 is a solution-dyed polyester with a fluorocarbon finish. It's breathable, reversible and highly water resistant — a very important feature when leaving your boat on the hard all winter. Both sides of the fabric are the same, meaning that either side can be exposed to the outside. This makes it ideal for such a large project so you can nest panels to get the most use out of your fabric. It also makes assembly and sewing much easier not having to worry about right side/wrong side.
Another reason we chose Top Notch 9 is for its superior abrasion resistance. This is an important feature in a winter boat cover. In addition to Top Notch 9, we'd also recommend Top Notch® 11.5 (heavier weight than Top Notch 9), Top Notch® 1S (lighter weight fabric for smaller boats) and Top Gun®. If you're wondering whether Sunbrella® Marine Grade Fabric can be used for a winter boat cover, yes it can. However, where Top Notch and Top Gun excel over Sunbrella is in their abrasion resistance. Both brands are 100% polyester, and polyester fabrics are inherently more abrasion resistant than acrylic fabrics (Sunbrella). So keep that in mind when selecting your cover fabric.
A great resource when shopping for cover fabrics is our Sailrite® Sample Book for Cover & Top Fabrics (#122118). This reference book contains one sample of each fabric line of our marine and outdoor fabrics that we recommend for boat covers, biminis, dodgers, protective covers and more. It's a great way to inspect a fabric in person before purchasing yardage. When you've chosen your fabric, the Sailrite Fabric Calculator will help you determine how much yardage you need to order.
Watch the video tutorial below for our complete step-by-step instructions for sewing your own winter boat cover. If you have any questions along the way, don't hesitate to reach out to us. Our friendly customer service representatives are available via email, phone and the chat function on our website and are happy to assist with all of your product and project needs.