If you have a headsail furler on your sailboat, this project will probably be of little interest to you. But if you have hank-on headsails and want convenient protection for them like the sacrificial covers on furled headsails, read on.
A foredeck sail bag is something of a luxury for the trailer sailor. It’s not necessary to sail and unless you spend considerable time with the headsail doused, it’s not of much use to a trailer sailor. But if you like to cover your sails overnight or if you keep your sailboat in a slip and you don’t want to remove and stow the headsail during that time, a foredeck sail bag can come in handy.
Summer Dance didn’t have much in the way of canvaswork when we bought her: the original mainsail cover and an old outboard engine cover that also looked pretty ghetto. Besides being brown, the canvas of the mainsail cover was faded and shredded in places, much of the stitching had disintegrated, and the zipper had come almost completely loose. It was unsalvageable. But it did work as a pattern to sew a new cover out of Sunbrella, the gold standard of marine canvas.
When I built my first canvas project, a mainsail cover, I cut out the pieces using scissors as usual. Later, when I made the cabin cushion covers, I discovered how much better a hotknife works for cutting synthetic marine canvas like Sunbrella. Instead of the edges unravelling, they fuse solid. That not only makes them easier to work with and prevents getting pieces of thread all over the house, but it also ensures that they won’t come loose after years of use and abuse. Continue reading