How to Re-Cover a Horseshoe Buoy

Item # X-HT-200569

An important piece of boat safety equipment is an easily tossed floatation device like a throw ring or horseshoe buoy in case of a man overboard situation. To keep these safety devices ready-to-go all the time, they often are sitting out exposed to the sun. If your horseshoe rescue buoy’s vinyl covering is starting to look worn out, you can reuse the foam inside and sew up a new cover for it.

Re-covered horseshoe buoy ready if needed.

Most safety buoys like this are covered in vinyl. We decided to also use a vinyl fabric for our horseshoe buoy cover, choosing a Naugahyde® Universal fabric in yellow. You'll want to use a bright color, like yellow, orange or red, so your buoy will be easy to see in the water. You could also use another type of vinyl or even other water-repellent fabric like Sunbrella® Marine Grade if you wanted.

Sewing this horseshoe buoy is very similar to sewing a box cushion, just with a few more curves. If you can sew a box cushion, you can sew a new cover for your horseshoe rescue buoy.

In this video you’ll learn how to pattern the fabric, create the zipper plaque, add the webbing and D-rings, and assemble the cushion cover.

How did your DIY turn out? We'd love to see your completed horseshoe buoys. Post a photo of your finished project on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter using #Sailrite so we can see it! If you have any questions while you are sewing your buoy, don't hesitate to call, email or online chat with us. We're always happy to help our customers tackle their DIYs!

Video Chapters:

  • Patterning Fabric - 0:09 min.
  • Creating Zipper Plaque – 1:51 min.
  • Sewing Boxing – 5:10 min.
  • Installing Webbing & D-Ring – 08:52 min.
  • Sewing Zipper Plaque – 10:55 min.
  • Attaching Webbing Strap – 15:59 min.
  • Sewing Final Side of Cover – 16:46 min.
  • Fitting Foam in Cover – 19:20 min.
  • Materials List – 20:17 min.

Materials List:

  • Marine Fabric (we used Naugahyde® Universal Yellow #100622)
  • YKK® #10 Continuous Coil Zipper #102214
  • YKK® #10 Coil Zipper Slider #102217
  • 1/4” Seamstick Basting Tape for Canvas #104167
  • Black 1” Polyester Webbing #103416
  • #0 D-Ring without Bar #485
  • 1” Stainless Steel Fast Eye Snap Hook #100532
  • Outdoor Thread