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Old 21-09-2009, 11:58   #1
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Upholstering - DIY, or Save the Aggravation and Pay Someone?

If the answer is #2, any suggestions on a place in NJ to do it, preferably in the Sayerville - Highlands area?

Lastly, any suggestions on materials/colors for saloon cushions?

Currently they're a medium tan/brown pattern, but I was thinking going with just solid blue, to match the sail pack, giant bucket o' Sunbrella covers, and the big turtle on the side of the boat. I was thinking it might contrast nicely with the tan and wood of everything else inside the boat too. And I was actually thinking of even going with Sunbrella, but the lighter furniture grade.
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Old 21-09-2009, 13:01   #2
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In my case I did it myself, I bought a Sailrite sewing machine and for a first project made a staysail cover. I then bought the video on making cushion covers and proceeded to recover all the saloon cushions and the cockpit cushions. Since this was my first attempt at sewing I probably wasn't as fast as someone experienced. It took roughly 4 hours per cushion. The results turned out just fine.

I would recommend that you contact Sailrite for a catalog. Whether you use their machine or another they have an extensive inventory of materials and accessories such as zippers and such. We ended up choosing white naugasoft to brighten up the interior. By the way, the folks there are very friendly and willing to answer whatever questions you might have.

Having said that, if you buy a new sewing machine, the material and so on it might well turn out that a commercial upholsterer would cost about the same. In our case we use the machine for sailcovers, outboard covers, and of course, the next time we decide to change covers we'll already have the machine. To save money you could consider buying a used machine or borrowing one from someone at your marina. In other words, if this is a one shot deal you might be just as well off hiring it done. If you have other projects in mind...... well that's another matter.

Rich
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Old 21-09-2009, 13:31   #3
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Really just a one time deal. I knew it had to be done when I bought the boat. They're finally getting bad enough to move it up on my list.
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Old 21-09-2009, 13:49   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grunzster View Post
Lastly, any suggestions on materials/colors for saloon cushions?

And I was actually thinking of even going with Sunbrella, but the lighter furniture grade.
Do you feel compelled to do it yourself and how handy are you? Most people can eventually figure things out but the time and extra materials alone are pretty significant. With a pro you're paying for their gear, quality of work and experience. If they screw up, that's their problem.

I had some acquaintances that did their own bimini recently. It turned out ... suitably. That is, the sun is off their heads but the top is saggy in areas. I asked in an offhand manner who did the work thinking I would find an upholstery shop to avoid. They said they did it. Then I was trapped so I said it was nice. They offered to do one for me. I’m thinking to myself “not on your life” so I told them I had a fellow I’ve known for years who would be very hurt if I didn’t use him.

I guess everyone makes their own choices.

As for interior upholstery materials. Sunbrella's outdoor stuff is nice but do make sure the print sizes are fairly large. There are some others out there (Robert Allen, Mill Creek, etc) that are also nice.
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Old 22-09-2009, 13:04   #5
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Thanks! I have plenty of other projects on my list, so I think I'll pass on this one.

Here's one more idiot newbie question for you.
Do I need to find a place the specializes in marine, or will any upholsterer do?
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Old 22-09-2009, 13:43   #6
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Any competent upholsterer should be able to do it. Try looking up home upholsterers - anything with 'marine' in the name will cost more.
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