How to Make Coaming Bolster Pads for Your Boat

Item # X-HT-300491

Coaming pads or coaming bolsters are long, cushioned pads that are found around the perimeter of the boat and offer a soft, cushioned surface to lean against or use as a backrest. Coaming bolsters can be found on any type of boat — fishing boat, sailboat, speedboat, you name it! These pads are not only functional in providing a cushioned surface, but they also add a nice-looking feature around the perimeter of the boat and dress up the boat's appearance. We'll be showing you how to make your own coaming pads using supplies from Sailrite®. Let's get started!

DIY coaming bolster for your boat.

Essentially, you can add coaming bolster pads anywhere you don't want a hard rail. They are typically found around the inside perimeter of fishing boats to lean against while you reel in a catch. They are also found on sailboats at the inside top edge of the hull before the gunwale.

We're using High Density Polyurethane Antimicrobial Foam for our coaming pad. The foam will be wrapped in Silk Film and covered in a waterproof vinyl, so there is little chance of water reaching the foam. You can also choose Dry Fast Foam for your coaming pad. If you go with Dry Fast, we recommend installing vent grommets under the coaming pad to allow breathability so that the Dry Fast Foam can dry out if water reaches the foam.

Your coaming pad will need a backer board. We used PVC trim board that we purchased at a local hardware store. Once you have your trim board cut to the size you need, next comes cutting the foam. Then we'll show you how to cut and sew your fabric panels together. We chose EverSoft™ Vinyl Channeling Fabric for our coaming pad. You can use regular vinyl upholstery fabric as well, but we like the look of the pleated channels of the EverSoft Channeling Fabric.

Watch the video below to learn how to make DIY coaming bolster pads. At Sailrite, we provide you with all the fabric, tools, hardware and how-to instructions you need to start your sewing journey. Explore our inventory of products and free how-to content and get inspired to DIY for your boat, home, auto and more.

Video Chapters:

  • Cutting Foam — 0:30 min.
  • Cutting Fabric Panels — 4:01 min.
  • Sewing Panels Together — 10:21 min.
  • Adding Silk Film — 18:40 min.
  • Stapling Vinyl to Backer Board — 20:15 min.
  • Attaching Coaming Pad Hook & Eye — 24:01 min.
  • Installing Ventilation Grommets — 26:01 min.
  • Materials List — 28:15 min.

Materials List:

  • High Density Polyurethane Antimicrobial Foam (Firm) 3" x 24" x 80"(#283F2480)
  • EverSoft™ Off White 54" Vinyl Channeling Fabric (#122404)
  • EverSoft™ Indoor/Outdoor Off White 54" Vinyl Fabric (#122211)
  • Thread V‑92 Natural Polyester UV 4oz (1,350Yds) (#106386)
  • Cushion Wrap Silk Film 54" (10Yds) (#103933)
  • 21 Gauge 3/8" (10mm) Staples 10,000/Box (Stainless Steel) (#8010SS)
  • Coaming Pad Hook & Eye Set (Stainless Steel) (#122556)
  • Grommet Brass Plain #1 (5/16") (#26304)

Tools List:

  • Sailrite® Blade Foam Saw V2 with Carrying Case (110V) (#121244)
  • Tape Measure 120 Inch (#102986)
  • Clear Acrylic Ruler 6" x 24" (#102400)
  • Gingher® Scissors Right Handed Lightweight 8" (#101017)
  • Sailrite® Deluxe Fabricator® Sewing Machine Package (110V) (#400600)
  • Sailrite® Long Nose Upholstery Staple Gun (#121411)
  • Pres‑N‑Snap Installation Tool (#109011)
  • Sailrite® Drill Hole Cutter 5/16" (#121819)
  • Sailrite® Cutting Block & Die Holder (#121597)