Geoff Daw's Winter Projects



This is Geoff Daw's response to my request for information about some of the projects that people have been working on over the winter.

"Right now I am working on a number of projects. I purchased several books by Don Casey and I would highly recommend them to all sailors who like to do their own work or who are on a budget (who isn't!!). His books are inspirational and have many great projects that any adventurous boat owner can tackle. I have his book on canvas work and sail repair which has inspired me to become a sewer (a person who sews not a pipe for carrying sewage). Who knew that sewing could be so much fun. I am driving my family nuts with all my sewing projects but that is their problem.

I purchased some Sunbrella acrylic canvas fabric from e-bay. North American Waterways sells remnants on E-Bay for about $10 a yard which are great for small projects and working on your sewing skills. I also purchased some supplies from Sailrite (see Great place, but for Canadians they need to watch the shipping and brokerage charges, they can really increase the cost of your items. Try to get your supplies locally first. I bought some V42 and V69 polyester thread from them as recommended by Don Case.

I started off on an old White 289 sewing machine which is a nice solid machine but I was having trouble with heavier thread. I borrowed a Kenmore sewing machine (made by Singer I think) from a friend. It is a more modern machine and has worked great.

So far I have made several ditty bags, a tote bag, a tool roll, covers for my grab rails (protect that nice varnish finish from the weather), various pockets for in and out of the cabin for storing items, a motor cover (even embroidered our boats name on it) and sheet bags for storing lines in both the cockpit and the lockers. I am working on a bimini and also plan to make some weather cloths for the lifelines along the cockpit. I might tackle a dodger next year. All these are detailed in the Don Casey's book.

I also did some repairs to my main sail. It is on its last legs so my next project may be either making a main sail or recutting a used main sail. Sailrite has kits for making sails. I would love to hear from anyone who has tried either making their own or recutting a used sail. From a cost perspective adjusting a used sail that is close to the required measurements is the best option. It may be the easiest too.

Another great Don Casey book is 100 Fast and Easy Boat Improvements. From that book I am working on a man overboard pole and I would like to make the cockpit tray that fits in the companionway. It has lots of great projects, big and small.

I have attached some pictures of my handiwork. My sewing jobs are not always perfect but I am getting better and what have I produced so far will do the job. Also, I find it very satisfying doing things myself.

Well, that is all for now. I would love to hear what other people are doing to their boats to get ideas and share stories. In the future I am planning on repainting my deck, maybe repainting my hull, possibly redoing the non-slip and add a solar panel.

Geoff Daw "Sundance" Grampian 26