Water proof seat covers

A conversation among Whalers
Oldslowandugly
Posts: 401
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:19 pm
Location: Queens NY

Water proof seat covers

Postby Oldslowandugly » Thu May 02, 2019 10:54 pm

I have a small console, a flip-back cooler-seat, as well as three Tempress fold-down swivel seats on my 15 footer. I first tried the Taylor-Made seat covers and they barely lasted a season before cracking and tearing. I tried some polyester covers that did not tear but they let too much water through. Then I swiped some of my wife's Mr. Bar-B-Que outdoor chair covers. They fit perfectly and they are actually water-proof. And they lasted two seasons before tearing. At $14 apiece I can live with that to cover the console and cooler-seat.

I have two swivel seats at the stern that I just cover with Army Surplus backpack camouflage covers. They have a neat bungee cord sewn in the hem and nothing blows them off the seats. But they let water in eventually. I'm thinking of using plastic garbage bags under the camo covers just as water proofing.

What kind of covers have any of you used with success?

OldKenT
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:18 pm

Re: Water proof seat covers

Postby OldKenT » Sat May 04, 2019 7:27 am

I have no personal experience with purchasing waterproof covers, but you can easily make your own with Sunbrella.

Occasional use of Fabric Guard 303 will retain or restore the waterproof quality.

There are several helpful how-to videos produced by Sailrite. Go to their website at sailrite.com, and select the menu pick for boat and canvaswork, and you will find all the instruction you need to [learn how you may be able to sew waterproof seat covers].
Ken

Oldslowandugly
Posts: 401
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:19 pm
Location: Queens NY

Re: Water proof seat covers

Postby Oldslowandugly » Sat May 04, 2019 12:38 pm

Thanks Ken. Is [Glen Raven Mills SUNBRELLA] the [fabric used] on Bimini tops?

I have 303. I never thought to use it on the seat covers.

OldKenT
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2016 1:18 pm

Re: Water proof seat covers

Postby OldKenT » Sat May 04, 2019 2:41 pm

[Glen Ravin Mills SUNBRELLA fabric] is used by [ Wm. J. Mills & Co.].

I have used [Glen Ravin Mills SUNBRELLA fabric] to repair holes and tears in a flying top and a forward shelter after removing them from the frame.

Then, after washing and drying per Sailrite's instructions, I have used the Fabric Guard 303 to waterproof.

Sewing [Glen Ravin Mills SUNBRELLA fabric] on a decent sewing machine is easy.

I bought the thread and tape from Sailrite and followed their video instructions. If what you are creating is complex, make a pattern from paper or cloth.

[To make you own boat weather canvas] is easy to do.

My wife did most of it, but did show me how.

Oldslowandugly
Posts: 401
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:19 pm
Location: Queens NY

Re: Water proof seat covers

Postby Oldslowandugly » Sun May 05, 2019 12:04 pm

SAILRITE has everything.

My wife has a Sears sewing machine and she can probably whip up some covers for me. My Bimini top is made of [Glen Raven Mills SUNBRELLA fabric]. It feels easy to work with. Thanks for the info.

rtk
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:06 am

Re: Water proof seat covers

Postby rtk » Tue May 07, 2019 10:12 am

SAILRITE and SUNBRELLA brand canvas are both excellent suggestions.

A common home sewing machine can be used to sew SUNBRELLA canvas for basic projects. The SUNBRELLA canvas is pretty heavy and stiff cloth when new so it will not be as soft and "workable" as your older used flying top.

Stick to two layers of sewn material when joining sections and you should be able to sew with the home machine. When you start getting into 3 plus layers of SUNBRELLA cloth the home machine may struggle. If your wife really likes her machine be careful with the amount of layers.

You will need either V-69 or V-92 thread. Choose the anti-wicking and UV resistant thread so the thread does not degrade in the sun. If going with the V-69 thread a 16 to 18 size needle should work. V-92 thread 18 -20 size needle should work. The V-69 thread and smaller needle size will be easier for the home machine to handle. The needles for a home machine may not be available through SAILRITE but any home sewing supply shop carries a variety of needles. The needles for a home machine vs. an industrial machine are very different.

This is a very easy project if you get the machine set up correctly. Enjoy- it is rewarding to make your own canvas products.

Rich

Oldslowandugly
Posts: 401
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:19 pm
Location: Queens NY

Re: Water proof seat covers

Postby Oldslowandugly » Wed May 08, 2019 7:43 am

A friend's Dad used to sew new vinyl covers for his seats and bolsters. I think he had a special sewing machine for that. I am going to see if he still has it and if he can help me with the covers.

rtk
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2015 7:06 am

Re: Water proof seat covers

Postby rtk » Wed May 08, 2019 9:14 am

Twenty years or so ago a friend started teaching himself to make sails. I joined him and we made sails and canvas products together and offered them for sale. It was a nights and evenings thing so the business didn't last long but it was very rewarding to learn the basics of sewing canvas and sail material.

We purchased a heavy duty industrial machine that would sew through anything we sent through it. The cost was about $4,000.

Moral of the story is he had his wife's old Sears/Kenmore home sewing machine he used when he first started playing around with sewing. It was amazing what that little machine could sew through when set up correctly.

So I would not be hesitant to try the machine you have access to if the friend's dad's machine/assistance does not work out. Some fabric stores do carry SUNBRELLA canvas cloth or something similar to it for exterior home projects. Stop in and buy a yard of cloth, needles and thread and play around with the setup to see how the machine and you do with sewing canvas. You may be pleasantly surprised at how well the home machine does.

Sewing is patience. Getting the darn machine to sew consistent for a length of time was the biggest challenge. If you take your time and play with it you may surprise yourself with a good quality cover.

Rich

Oldslowandugly
Posts: 401
Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 11:19 pm
Location: Queens NY

Re: Water proof seat covers

Postby Oldslowandugly » Mon May 13, 2019 9:25 am

Yes, my Wife does amazing things with her Kenmore machine. I am all thumbs with sewing. She said she will try and see how well that fabric works. It turns out my friend's dad sold his machine after they got rid of the boat.