Sunday, April 8, 2007

Cover Me

Canvas Repair, 1/6/2007

The Sailrite catalog arrived yesterday. I don't plan to do a lot of sail-making, but as I flipped through the catalog looking at all the interesting things in it, it occurred to me that what I like so much about doing our own maintenance is the freedom and independence it provides. We do whatever we want, with no worries about finding competent, affordable help.

Our aft canvas was in rough shape. First of all, it was filthy. But more importantly, it was leaking and the fasteners were no longer doing their job. The velcro was falling apart, and the "lift-the-dot" snaps were tearing through the canvas (these snaps take a tremendous amount of strain holding almost the entire weight of the canvas in the air). My plan had been to take the whole thing to a canvas repair shop and have them restore it, but as I considered it more, it seemed like a managable "DIY" project, especially now that Michele has her handed-down sewing machine.

I scrubbed the whole thing in the backyard and it cleaned up nicely. I found velcro and marine grade vinyl at Jo-Ann fabrics, and new lift-the-dot snaps at Sailrite. Michele had a little sewing tool that worked great for cutting the thread to remove the old velcro, and I just used a screwdriver and pliers to remove the old snaps. Michele did all the sewing work to attach the new velcro and little vinyl reinforcements for the snaps, and I put the new snaps on. We sprayed the whole thing with 303 Fabric Guard, and ta-da, the canvas is like new!

Emboldened by our success, we bought new canvas material and snaps so we can try to make a canvas cover for the windshield from scratch. Looking forward to that!

No comments: