Marine Fabricator July/August 2020 - 31

COCKPIT COVER FABRICATION TIPS
Here are some techniques to give these cockpit covers
a modern look as well as a strong foundation.

Cockpit cover patterning
Begin by measuring and fitting the track
to be placed under the bridge deck of
the boat. Our preferred track is Costa
Track, which is made from a PVC material
that is flexible but also offers a strong
foundation. Costa Track is designed to
have a low profile that includes hidden
screws to make a clean finished product.
Once the track is in place, add stainless
steel end caps to each end of the track
(Photo 1). These end caps, which are
relatively new to the industry, help prevent
damage to the track and keder welt.
Next, turn your attention to the rear rub
rail. You will need to remove a number
of screws to provide a place for the
pins to be installed. As a general guide,
remove screws every 24-30 inches to
ensure that both the cockpit cover
and rear rub rail will be well secured.
Then use patterning paper running from
the track to the rear rub rail to measure
key points for the cover production.
Since patterning paper is typically only
72 inches wide, we use three panels
of paper to get all the measurements.
To align these panels, we use the dotto-dot measurement system, which is
derived from the Marine Canvas Training
Institute under Don Wedge. Using this
method, we include other notable
patterning marks such as the track
opening and the pin placement on
the rub rail. Once these measurements
are complete, head back to the shop
to start on the cover production.

Cockpit cover production
To begin the production process, lay out
the three separate pattern panels and
tape them together, matching the dots.
This will help you understand the amount
of material needed. We use Stamoid

Light from Serge Ferrari, which comes
in a variety of widths including 59, 80
and 102 inches. The variety of widths
is an important aspect of this material
because the fewer panels that are
needed to be sewn together, the
stronger the finished product will be.
Once you've determined the correct
size, make a blank so the pattern
can lay on top and be used for a
guide when cutting out the desired
material. We use Teflon™ thread to
sew everything because it resists
sun rot for the life of the cover. Once
the blank is properly sewn and cut
out, sew keder welt into the 2-inch
facing at the track end of the cover.
Next, add an 8-inch facing to the
bottom of the cover. This will provide
plenty of reinforcement for the
grommets that help secure the pins
in place. These stainless steel pins are
then incorporated into the cover and
attached through a bungee cord
system that maintains the modern look
of the cover (Photos 3 and 4). Finally,
install grommets in the 8-inch facing so
the pins can go through the cover and
into the rub rail. Now it's time to head
back out to the boat and begin the

1

2

3

installation process of the cockpit cover.
PHOTO 1: Adding stainless steel end
caps to the track helps prevent damage
to the track and keder welt.
PHOTO 2: Incorporating support poles
and zippers into the design allows for
more user flexibility.
PHOTOS 3 AND 4: An 8-inch facing
at the bottom of the cover provides
reinforcement for grommets that
secure stainless steel pins, which are
incorporated into the cover and
attached through a bungee cord system.

4

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Marine Fabricator July/August 2020

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