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Old 31-08-2014, 20:53   #1
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Replacement Cockpit Cushions

Does anyone have a source for inexpensive cockpit cushions? I am looking for 2 Bench seat cushions to fit the cockpit benches on my O'day 22' sailboat. I want a decent quality but it doesn't need to be top of the line. .. but I don't want to spend a ton of money on them. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 31-08-2014, 21:35   #2
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Yoga or workout mats. Waterproof, can be stacked and joined with Velcro for more padding.
Wal-Mart also has gardener's kneeling pads for smaller areas.
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Old 31-08-2014, 23:15   #3
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Re: Replacement Cockpit Cushions

Make sunbrella envelopes for them, colors of your choice, closure of velcro.

Ann
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Old 01-09-2014, 12:02   #4
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Re: Replacement Cockpit Cushions

Ann, I did that for my interior cushions. Worked out incredibly well. MUCH cheaper than having an upholsterer custom fit them. Easy to remove and wash when necessary.
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Old 01-09-2014, 13:24   #5
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Re: Replacement Cockpit Cushions

Ann, how do you make the envelopes? Sew a seam on one end then velcro on the other end? Or do you need to make it boxy if your existing foam is 2" thick? Thanks.
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Old 01-09-2014, 13:45   #6
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Re: Replacement Cockpit Cushions

I could definitely do that.. where do you get your fabric, and what kind of cushion do you use? I sort of wanted a marine quality cushion so they would resist water, and dry quickly.... Can you pass along where you get your supplies?
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Old 01-09-2014, 14:18   #7
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Re: Replacement Cockpit Cushions

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I could definitely do that.. where do you get your fabric, and what kind of cushion do you use? I sort of wanted a marine quality cushion so they would resist water, and dry quickly.... Can you pass along where you get your supplies?
You need closed cell foam, which does not absorb water. You are now about to find out why marine cushions are so damnably expensive.
Also suggest you google Sailrite, which is a great source for all sorts of supplies/info in addition to their excellent sewing machines.
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Old 01-09-2014, 15:07   #8
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Re: Replacement Cockpit Cushions

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I could definitely do that.. where do you get your fabric, and what kind of cushion do you use? I sort of wanted a marine quality cushion so they would resist water, and dry quickly.... Can you pass along where you get your supplies?
Scarlet,

Any foam store should have closed cell foam. It is expensive. You'll want the softest one they have. If you want more thickness, you can bond them together or simply use two layers. Non closed cell foam absorbs water just like a sponge. I have used it in the past for comfort's sake, but it is a PITA.

ebay is a good source for sunbrella or similar acrylic canvas. Any large fabric store should be able to order you some, but I got my last acrylic canvas off ebay. I use a #18 needle and UV resistant Dacron #92 to sew such things. I get the thread from the sail makers, or marine products (dodgers, weather cloths, etc.). FSMike mentioned Sailrite, they would be a source of the thread as well.

A simple envelope does just fine for our 1/2" closed cell foam cockpit cushions, but they are very firm. For thicker cushions, I like to cut the top and bottom piece, and have the side piece one long strip, using 1/2" seam allowances. I do not use cord to decorate the seams, cause it wears out fast. The last seam is sewn with heavy waxed twine, but you can have the cover loose enough to fuss with it and topstitch the last seam.

Hope this helps,

Ann
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Old 01-09-2014, 15:23   #9
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Re: Replacement Cockpit Cushions

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Ann, how do you make the envelopes? Sew a seam on one end then velcro on the other end? Or do you need to make it boxy if your existing foam is 2" thick? Thanks.
Hi, Annie,

Imagine a piece of cloth long enough to cover top and bottom of the cushion. Instead of folding it exactly equal, make an overlap. On the flap, turn under 1/8", then 1/4", and topstitch the edges. Sew the side seams, zig-zag to prevent the canvas raveling. Sew one side of the velcro to the "flap" you created, then fold over to see where the corresponding bit of velcro should be sewn. Mark it. Sew it, et voila! These are extremely simple covers, made loose enough for easy removal. (These guys go to the laundromat to be washed, use waterless hand cleaner on grease stains before washing.)
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Old 01-09-2014, 17:18   #10
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Re: Replacement Cockpit Cushions

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You need closed cell foam, which does not absorb water. You are now about to find out why marine cushions are so damnably expensive.
.
Closed cell foam is the conventional wisdom. We had our cushions made for about $300 and went with dense closed cell about 2".

They are still in "perfect" shape 7 years on. However in hindsight they are very uncomfortable.

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Scarlet,

Any foam store should have closed cell foam. It is expensive. You'll want the softest one they have. If you want more thickness, you can bond them together or simply use two layers. Non closed cell foam absorbs water just like a sponge. I have used it in the past for comfort's sake, but it is a PITA.
Next time I will go against conventional wisdom and if I can't find a very comfortable closed cell I will go with regular foam.

If I have to replace the foam at 5 years - the covers should be reusable - so be it. We don't have standing water in the cabin and yes it is a humid environment but to me on balance comfort is more important and yes you can also get very expensive closed cell foam. <sigh - decisions, decisions>

BTW - The original foam was like 25 years old and was conventional foam from the factory so I don't think conventional foam falls apart in a season or two. Closed cell is the "right" stuff. I'm just offering a counterpoint for comfort.

<edit> Ooops - I just reread the original post that these are for the cockpit. You definitely need closed cell foam outside - never mind - LOL...
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Old 02-09-2014, 17:05   #11
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Re: Replacement Cockpit Cushions

Wow....awesome answers and instructions. These will be one of my winter boat projects. Do you think I can sew them with a regular sewing machine? Or do I need a heavy duty one?
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:48   #12
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Re: Replacement Cockpit Cushions

scarlet,

I've been sewing these things on what used to be my mother's Pfaff 130, which she bought in 1950. So I am not the one who can offer you much advice about that. But what I would say, if you want to keep costs down, look for a heavy duty, reconditioned sewing machine that will do zig-zag and fore and reverse, and has a walking foot. Go by price, and go for it! You do NOT need a brand new ????? unless your budget comfortably extends to that. My machine is all metal inside. It has lasted VERY well.
If you're young in your sailing career, get something all metal. You oil them and they keep on sewing. If you get plastic, it wears out, no matter what. So has mine, but it's over 50 yrs. old!

A.
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:05   #13
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Re: Replacement Cockpit Cushions

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Next time I will go against conventional wisdom and if I can't find a very comfortable closed cell I will go with regular foam.
We went the cheap and cheerful route too. Soft foam 2" thick (lots of guess work here) and some waterproof nylon material off e bay. Took the lot into our local seem mistress and she made the covers up for the equivalent of about $50 with plastic zips (don't use metal).

the are really comfortable and if they fall apart in 5 years or we loose one over board just start again.

My mum sold her 1940s singer sewing machine before I could bag it

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Old 03-09-2014, 07:09   #14
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Re: Replacement Cockpit Cushions

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scarlet,

. But what I would say, if you want to keep costs down, look for a heavy duty, reconditioned sewing machine that will do zig-zag and fore and reverse, and has a walking foot. Go by price, and go for it! You do NOT need a brand new ?????
A.
I actually have, not one.. but TWO sewing machines. I have mine (which I got as a going away to college gift) it's plastic, and 25 years old. Then when my grandma passed away, I got hers.. which is all metal. I have NO idea how old it is. I don't know if either one is heavy duty.

I remember when I was growing up, my mom had an industrial sewing machine that she used to sew patches onto golf hats for a local company. but, I have no idea what happened to it.

I guess it can't hurt to just go ahead and give it a shot, and see.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:27   #15
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Re: Replacement Cockpit Cushions

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