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Old 13-09-2019, 03:55   #1
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Cushion Hacks

Of course, my refit is way over budget, so I need to hack some cushions for the entire boat: salon sofa, cabins, center cockpit, etc. The boat is an Irwin '52.

I have a quote for $11K to make all of the cushions in Sunbrella, but I feel like I can buy some foam mattresses at Ikea and then cut the mattress, covers, and sheets to fit.

For the salon tables and sofas, are there some stores that would carry some outdoor cushions or similar already to go?


Any ideas are appreciated, thanks.
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Old 13-09-2019, 04:09   #2
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Re: Cushion Hacks

This is not too difficult of a sewing job. You would need a decent machine, but really you would probably wreck only the first cover, and then after that any reasonably competent person could turn out a complete set of cushions. Figure a month of weekends and late nights. As a plus, you will know how to repair them or change the covers when you decide you just don't like the color. Save lots of benjamens.
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Old 13-09-2019, 05:01   #3
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Re: Cushion Hacks

For my old RV I did something similar. Some of the cloth covers were torn and most of the foam was there and OK except where the previous owner's lap dog chewed a hole. I used a sewing machine and a serger (for finishing the seam allowance). I got the machines on sale and the fabric at a fabric remanat store. Instead of new foam I patched the missing foam using pieces of other foam and spray adhesive. I trimmed the damaged areas to allow a shaped insert to fit, glued in the patch, and then glued a small piece of fabric over the repair to keep everything intergrated.

Seems to me the only pitfalls were remembering to pre-wash natural fabrics and learning how to do zippers. I also want to say that for cushions one does not oversize but tries to make everything 'snug'.

My current boat had zero cushions, once the re-framing is done I will be 'hacking' too.
Sailrite has a bunch of videos on sewing projects. I agree with MB that the first one might be more of a learning experience if this stuff is new to you. You could cut and sew some smaller cushions or throw pillows or sail bags or what not if you need some practice before going after yards of Sunbrella.
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Old 13-09-2019, 06:32   #4
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Re: Cushion Hacks

How to make Boat Cushions, from Sailrite:
Salon ➥ https://www.sailrite.com/How-to-Make...Cushions-Video
V-Berth ➥ https://www.sailrite.com/How-to-Make...Cushions-Video
Cockpithttps://www.sailrite.com/How-to-Make...Cushions-Video
Learn how to make a cushion cover. Including types of cushion foam, patterning, sewing and piping or welting.
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Old 13-09-2019, 08:15   #5
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Re: Cushion Hacks

You all are great, thank you.
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Old 13-09-2019, 19:15   #6
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Re: Cushion Hacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by keaislandsailor View Post
You all are great, thank you.
Hi, keaislandsailor,

Do not use regular sheets for cushion covers. As it turns out, i tried this in place of mattress ticking. The sheet fabric is just not thick enough. You can use almost anything else with good results. I made one mattress cover out of the cheapest cotton Polynesian Print I could find in Noumea, about $2.50/yd. and ~ 45 inches wide. Real Sunbrella (last I looked) was about $25.00/meter, 60 inches wide, but you could get acrylic canvas from other sources quite a bit less. Check on ebay. If you go the cheap cotton route, wash and machine dry the fabric first, then iron it. You don't want it shrinking when you take it off to launder.

Fwiw, I personally like to use zippers so that my cover will open its mouth, and I can put the foam on it, and then zip around all three sides. I like it because it is a big pita to struggle mattresses into covers , and the method makes it entirely easy. With cushions, they're smaller, and easier, and you can use a sheet of plastic (cut a cheap giant trash bag) to help you get it in. I still prefer zippers to velcro, though, but you can make nice looking cushions with velcro closure.

Finally, old mattress foam will absorb moisture from the salt air, and from rain or sea spray. If you feel concerned about this, use closed cell foam for the exterior, and plan to close ports and hatches while under way . Usually that's enough, but some rowdy countrymen of yours once came through an anchorage we were anchored in, coming close and throwing buckets of salt water on other rally members' boats. Some friends of ours had the hatch over their HF radio open, and the salt water killed their comms for the voyage. So, maybe make sure your comms area is always closed, or you have a waterproof sheet--even clear pvc would do it--between it and possible water ingress.

Ann

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Old 13-09-2019, 20:26   #7
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Re: Cushion Hacks

Get a decent walking foot sewing machine (well under $1000), buy the right materials ($1-2k) and make them yourself. You'll make a pig's ear of the first one, as Mainebristol says above. After that, work on the less visible ones first and work up to the complex ones.
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Old 13-09-2019, 22:36   #8
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Re: Cushion Hacks

I'd suggest using non-cotton fabrics. Cotton can retain boat smells. Polyester and the like won't. You may be able to find remnants of commercial fabric that is used for office and hotel chairs, and the like. If you can't tell whether a material is cotton or man-made, just take a swatch and burn it. Cotton will catch fire and much like paper. Man-made materials will melt.
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Old 13-09-2019, 23:33   #9
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Re: Cushion Hacks

If you can get hold of it, Alcantara is my favourite for boats inside and out. Soft and warm, completely scrubbable. My previous boat had it from new, this one is being slowly converted as we speak... Not easy to get hold of though.
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Old 14-09-2019, 07:43   #10
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Re: Cushion Hacks

https://www.foamorder.com/

Iíve been looking at this website for a few weeks. I havenít tried them yet. Iím going to order one Sunbrella covered latex cushion from them next week for a test ride...
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Old 16-09-2019, 11:35   #11
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Re: Cushion Hacks

Ordered a 21Ē x 29Ē 4Ē thick firm latex cushion wrapped in Dacron with a Sunbrella cover from them today...
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Old 16-09-2019, 11:53   #12
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Re: Cushion Hacks

Look into "crypton Fabric".... I've gotten samples, and the fabric is AMAZING!!! and, surprisingly not that expensive. We are planning on using Crypton for our interior cushions, but I wouldn't use anything other than Sunbrella for outdoors. And make sure you get UV thread.... otherwise you will be wasting your money.


btw... also sent you a private message
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