Tag Archives: Sunbrella

A Junior Seamless Sailor Sews a BBQ Cover

During a recent wind storm, the Captain woke to say he left the canvas barbeque cover out on the aft deck after barbequing our favorite rosemary pork loin. Cover presumed gone. Oops.  New BBQ cover needed.  He suggested that it sounded like an opportunity for him to learn how to sew.  Since we were laid up for a day or so at anchor till the blustery 25 knot winds passed, it seemed like as good a time as any to have a teachable moment.  Fortunately we stock a few yards of Sunbrella on board and at the ready. The Captain came up with the measurements and plan. A round base with sides and a casing at the top.  Nothing fancy. The design was presented at Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and Critical Design Review (CDR) level reviews* and ultimately Read more [...]

Boat Enclosures–Extend the Life of Your Outdoor Room

The Seven Seas Cruising Association (SSCA) 2014 Gam has come and gone.  It marked the end of our first year of cruising on Magnolia full time.  This was our fourth SSCA gathering at Camp Letts on the Rhode River in Maryland.  We love the Rhode River so this gathering feels like home for us.  Good folks and good information sharing.  Some new info, some info that confirms my understanding of different things and some that I already knew (that experience itself is new as I used to feel that I knew zip!) This year there was a session on caring for boat enclosures.  Our enclosed cockpit is our outdoor “great room” where we spend a good bit of our time. I previously wrote about it here.  There were two speakers during this session.  Read more [...]

Flexible Solar Panels – You Light Up My Life – Part II

  Update October 2014:  We did find some rubbing on the Sunbrella canvas top at the bows of the enclosure.  That wasn't going to work for us.  The enclosure is relatively new so we didn't want to add any unnecessary wear.  The Captain came up with a new installation still using the canvas backings.  Aluminum poles with line and snap shackles at each end are inserted into the canvas side casings.  The panels are taken up to the bow of the boat and attached to the lifelines.  Now the panels have even better sun and we get the benefit of some shade for the v berth! While we have a solid  8.5 kw Westerbeke generator aboard Magnolia, after our first year of cruising we decided that it would be an improvement not to have to run Read more [...]

You Can Make an Easy Hatch Cover

Hatch covers add a nice protective layer to your expensive overhead hatches.  They keep out sun or star light and might even help a bit deterring a little leak.  Lexan polycarbonate windows are expensive and can be damaged if not cared for.  A cover is a good way to help preserve these windows.  Unfortunately,  we seem to lose one or two covers a season to a bad storm or rotting shock cord.  You can make an easy hatch cover in just a few hours.   I remade an old hatch cover previously and wrote about how I did it and resources I used here.  This blog is about making a hatch cover from scratch.  I've included the sizes I used  for our hatches.  You can adapt your hatch cover easily based on these sizes and proportions.  Read more [...]

Canvas Jerry Can Covers–Take II

Three more jerry cans arrived on deck when we were in George Town, Exuma which meant sewing more covers to add to our can cover collection.  We like the canvas covers to help reduce the UV deterioration of the jugs which store extra water and fuel on deck.   I decided to try an improved cover design over the initial ones I made which I posted about here.  I’m sorry Julie Gifford that I ever doubted you.  For the first covers I thought I could bypass one of the steps outlined in Julie's book, Canvas for Cruisers. This time I took her advice and  had a much better outcome.  One should listen to the professionals.  Lesson learned. The Captain says this is a fairly standard water jug with handles on the top and side Read more [...]

Solar Panels–You Light Up My Life

While in George Town, Exuma the Captain attended a beach seminar on batteries and energy power for the boat.  A lot of cruisers attended and the seminar created a lot of buzz.  By the time we arrived George Town we hadn’t been in a marina for several weeks.  Not a big deal,  saved us money and no docking “events.”  You get the drill, but not being in a marina also means our battery bank had not been “topped up” via shore power – ugh.  So the discussion at the seminar was all about how to “love” on your batteries.  Maintaining them is important.  Not that I can technically explain it, but over time you need to fully charge the batteries and the last percentage is the hardest to add.  The Captain came back from the beach Read more [...]