Sun cover replacement.

Captain Crunch

Member II
I'm planing on replacing the suncover on my genoa and am looking for a resource for material and maybe some advise on what used heavy duty sewing machines people have bought (ebay, Craigslist)to do this kind of job. My goal is to do this repair myself while gaining the tools and the knowledge at about the same cost as paying someone else to do it. I live in Victoria, BC. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. Cheers. CC.


There is a recent thread on this topic about sewing machines, I would suggest that you go to You will want a zig zag sewing machine for the cover. Almost every sailmaker I have seen have used a sunbrella like material. I think sailrite even has kits for this along with detailed instructions.

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
"A stitch in time..."

Some years ago I knew a sailmaker that always hand stitched those covers. Something about being able to better allow for the different stretch rate, in use, of the two materials. He's retired nowadays and moved away.
On our present boat the sacrificial UV leach cover is white dacron. After about a decade, the stitches started breaking when tested and I had it replaced with another cover by a sailmaker.

*An aside: the way you check for wear/weathering is simple..... you use a #2 pencil. Yup, that's what the sailmaker told me. Just sharpen it and run the point under some the normally-exposed stitching that holds that protector strip on. If the lead breaks you're ok, and if the thread breaks, time to restitch or replace.



Innocent Bystander
Sailrite's equipment is great, but you might not need a particularly specialized machine for that job. The sun cover is along the edge of the sail so you don't need a giant arm to accommodate tons of rolled-up material the way you might if you were stitching up the belly of the sail. You do need the proper thread though -- V92, which is sun-resistant, and a 20-gauge needle.

After reading Don Casey's section on sewing in This Old Boat several years ago, I bought a simple White machine with metal gears and zero electronics that was designed for home use. It's served me pretty well for basic Sunbrella canvaswork, though I haven't had to put it to work on an actual sail. From what I understand there is a Singer model from the '60s that might be even better-suited.

Captain Crunch

Member II
Sun Cover Replacement

Thanks everyone. I understand the Singer 237 is the old school machine to use. Anyone have any experience with one or can suggest a similar machine that would do the same job? Has anyone bought UV Dacron bulk? Is this a job worth doing yourself? Last time I got it done it ran $380.00. Thanks for you insight! CC.