When we talked about buying a sailboat, I thought of warm, clear, blue water and swimming after sailing easily to our next anchorage. Who knew that a boat had so much canvas on board or that the constant motion of the ocean (or Bay) would create chafe or that the sun is fabric’s worst enemy. I had no idea I’d be sewing again. Some of you know that I was a Virginia Tech home economics major who ended up in business operations for a telecom carrier. The five-hour garment construction course in college will now be put back to use (who sews their clothes anymore?) creating and re-creating boat canvas items. Enter my Sailrite sewing machine in August 2010. I think we have now paid for it in saved labor costs which of course translates to me at the sewing machine and Anthony engineering “critical design elements”.
So far my projects have ranged from a 10 ft dinghy cover, winch covers (that’s why I learned pi = 3.14 in high school), repairs to the binnacle cover, redesign of the swim platform cover, fender covers, chafe guards out of Shelter Rite for lines, wind scoop, LifeSling cover, life ring cover, a cockpit organizer, “A2” burgee, Galaxy tablet cover (it has boat apps on it so it counts), and pillow covers.
This winter’s boat projects have been prioritized by the Captain to include: outboard engine cover, second wind scoop of a newly engineered design (read: Anthony didn’t like the wind cooling power of the first design), beginning the 15 port light curtain replacements, and the swim platform cover needs an adjustment. The future also holds for me dinghy chaps, handhold covers, hatch covers, duvets…the list goes on…
In between priority boat projects, I’ve taken up a fun sewing project. I’m making tote bags out of recycled sails. These are very functional, lightweight, fold-able, and water-resistant. The handles are made of soft line and are attached using a sailor’s bowline knot through a grommet — hence their name — Bowline Bags.
I’ve added some pictures of my projects. I’d love to hear from other sewing sailors.