A Guide To Learn How To Sew Boat Cover?

How to Sew Boat Cover

Nothing feels better than navigating through deep waters in a boat. And boats are not as expensive as most people think. What makes boats quite pricey are the boat covers, which tend to go for costly prices. So, if you are planning to purchase a boat or already own one, it is high time you learn to sew a boat cover yourself.

Furthermore, if you have some sewing skills, then a perfect way to make more profit would be to start sewing and selling boat covers. This article discusses why boat covers are crucial.

Read on, also, to find out how you can go about sewing a boat cover.

Benefits of Sewing Boat Cover

Consider the following benefits that you stand to gain by sewing a boat cover yourself:

  • You can make custom-made boat covers that fit your tastes and preferences.
  • Boat covers help to protect the boat such that it remains durable and long-lasting.
  • These covers protect the boat from debris, dust, and dirt.
  • Good quality boat covers keep moisture and water away from the boat. In turn, this helps to prevent the development of harmful mold on the boat.
  • They protect the boat from the harsh and damaging sun rays.
  • The covers protect the boat from developing scrapes and dings.

What’s even better; if you own a boat, you can learn to sew your boat covers. Indeed, you could walk into a store and buy a ready-made boat cover. However, these ready-made boat covers go for very high prices and are therefore not worth investing in. For instance, custom-made canvas boat covers go for over five hundred dollars, while the regular covers go for not less than two hundred dollars.

On the other hand, sewing your boat cover can help you save a lot of money. All you need to sew a boat cover is a maximum of one hundred and fifty dollars for buying all the needed materials. Indeed, the amount of money that you can save by sewing your boat cover is worth it.

You should know How to Cover a Boat with a Tarp.

process of boat cover sewing

The Process of Sewing Boat Covers

Now that you know just how important and profitable boat covers are, the next step is to learn how to sew them yourself. The following are eight simple steps that will help you sew the best boat covers:

1.) Measure the Boat

Measuring the exact size of the boat is the very first step to sewing a boat cover. It is recommended that you start measuring the boat from its stern, at the very highest point. In some type of boat, the stern itself is the highest point, while in others; the area along the boat rails is the highest point. After taking these measurements, write them down somewhere for reference purposes.

Then, move to the boat’s windshield. Take the dimensions of the windshield’s width, as well as the height of the highest point of the rub rail. Proceed to the bow of the boat, and take the measurements of the widest part. If the boat features any rub rail at the bow, remember to measure the height of this rail as well.

After noting down these measurements, measure the distance between the stern rail and the bow rail. Ensure that all highest points within this distance, such as the railings and windshield, are covered. Only by covering these high points can you achieve precise measurements. Also, remember to double-check all these measurements. Double-checking helps to ensure that you sew the perfectly-fitting boat cover, not too tight and not too loose.

2.) Buy the Necessary Materials

The following are the primary materials that you will require when sewing a boat cover:

  • Thick and robust material – For instance, you can sew your boat covers using thick canvas, specifically the Sunbrella Fabric Alternatively, you can use acrylic vinyl fabric material. The good thing about Sunbrella canvas and acrylic vinyl materials is that they are highly resistant to water, mold, and harmful UV rays.
  • A good quality sewing machine for boat cover sewing The best sewing machines for boat covers are the heavy-duty machines, as they can handle the thick canvas materials correctly.
  • A pair of scissors and ruler – The scissors should not only be sharp but also have a good grip for handling the heavy-duty canvas material.
  • A felt pin – The pen is for making location marks for the darts, grommets, snaps, etc. Alternatively, you can use white chalk if you do not want to risk making any permanent markings.
  • A basting tape – This is a tape that has markings on both sides. While you can still use a regular measuring tape, a basting tape ensures that more precise lineups are achieved for a more accurate affixing.
  • Long, straight pins – The most recommended pins are the quilting pins and T-pins.
  • A polyester thread – Alternatively, you can go for an upholstery thread.

3.) Cut the Fabric

After gathering all the necessary materials and equipment you can now start cutting your fabric. Note that, when cutting the fabric, you should cut it with some extra material. The extra material is essential since the fabric has to stretch and cover all the boat sides. More so, the boat cover must be large enough, such that it allows enough room for tying and tightening it. Therefore, ensure that you cut your fabric such that the panels fit across all the vast portions of the boat.

4.) Stitch the Panels

Once you’ve cut the panels, overlap them such that they make a 5/8-inch seam. Then, try to see if they fit on the boat by laying them on it. If these panels fit nicely on the boat, hold the seams down using your basting tape or measuring tape. After doing that, you can start stitching the panels together using your sewing machine for boat cover sewing.

When you finish stitching the basic shape, lay the cover on the boat. Using your felt pen or white chalk, mark the edges which need to be trimmed down. Then, using your pair of scissors, cut these down to achieve a more reasonable size.

5.) Set Up the Drawstring

Run a drawstring, or a draw cord rope, around your boat cover. Remember to cut some holes in the fabric where the rope/drawstring will come out. To secure the rope, fold the edges, then sew them, or use large grommets.

6.) Insert the Ropes

Run your rope through the holes. Ensure that the rope you use is water-resistant. Also, remember to leave a considerable length at the end for setting up the drawstring.

7.) Cover the Boat

Since your boat cover is of the perfect shape and size, you can now fit it over the boat. If you realize that something needs to be adjusted, you should make all the adjustments at this stage.

8.) Try Out the Ropes

Test the ropes, ensuring that they are enough and can be passed under the boat. Also, tie these securely and confirm that everything is just the way it is supposed to be. When you double-check everything and confirm that it is okay, you will have completed sewing your boat cover!

Check this video for boat cover sewing details


Indeed, anybody can sew boat covers. All you need is a heavy duty sewing machine for custom boat cover sewing, all the necessary materials, and enough free time. Not only can you use your sewing skills to start a highly profitable business, but you can also sew a beautifully finished cover for your boats and save yourself a lot of money!