If you are a boat owner, you know there's no better way to spend a warm day than out on the open water. You also know that boat maintenance is crucial to ensuring your vessel has a long, healthy life so you can share your aquatic adventures with friends and family for years to come.
Canvas boat covers
Most boat owners have a boat cover to help keep it protected. Sunny days can cause your boat's paint to fade or peel, while rainstorms can bring unwanted water and dirt inside your boat. Windy days can blow leaves, pollen or other debris inside, too.
"A soldering iron and sewing machine will help you make or repair boat covers."
A canvas or acrylic canvas boat cover is pretty common, made from a durable fabric that can withstand fading, stains or mildew – an essential feature since it'll be kept primarily in a wet environment. However, fabrics tough enough to handle marina weather come with one downside: They're difficult to cut and work with.
Boating Magazine pointed out that professionals have heated knives to cut through this strong canvas, but this isn't necessary for working with boat cover material. A soldering iron, such as the Ultratorch® UT-40Si Soldering Iron/Heat Tool, and sewing machine are two tools that'll help you make or repair boat covers.
Sewing a boat cover
For a boat cover to be effective, it needs to be able to stay attached to your boat or to other panels of the cover. One way to do this is to use twist-lock fasteners. Another is to install grommets on around the edges for rope to pass through. In either case, you'll need to create a hole, which can be tricky in such tough fabric.
Middle Bay Sailing noted that using a soldering iron makes creating the necessary holes very easy. The hot iron will melt the material to create the hole. At the same time, the threads of fabric will seal together so the hole won't fray or tear when you're done. Once the hole is the right size, you can install the fastener.
Fixing a hole
A hole in your boat cover diminishes its effectiveness. Rainwater can pour through it, as can dirt and leaves. It's best to repair holes as soon as you spot them.
The first thing to do when you see a hole in your boat cover is cut away any frayed material. Then, use your soldering iron to seal off the edges. Finally, use your sewing machine to sew on a patch. Ideally, you'll have some fabric left over from when you made it.