I have updated this blog entry to include a video of the final product.  It turned out great, and with the sun no longer wreaking havoc on our black gelcoat, I think it’s a great success!  I call it my “Sun Skirt”.

As most of you know, our SeaRay Sundancer 340 has a black hull.  While I love the look of the colored hull, keeping it black has always been a challenge.  The continued waxing, wet sanding, and compounding is a pain, and it is expensive.  I found a solution…

I am thankful every day that my mom taught me how to sew when I was very young,  I have made a “skirt” for our boat.  I purchased 12 yards of black sunbrella fabric, black snap fasteners and UV protected black thread and I went to work.  The first step was to measure the hull.  We took several measurements.  The first was to measure the distance from  the rub rail to the water at 4′ increments to tell us the width of the skirt.  Then we measured the distance between each stanchion to tell us where to attach the straps.  Finally we measured the distance from the rub rail to the base of each stanchion to tell us the length of each strap.  This gave me the dimensions for how to cut the pattern, where to attach the straps, and where to attach the snap fasteners.  Once I had the measurements, I went to work!

Here is the fabric as I measured it out:

It is cumbersome dealing with 36′ of fabric, so I measured half at a time.  Once I had the pattern drawn I cut it out, hemmed it and added the straps.  Here is my little Singer sewing machine trying its best!

Here is the preliminary fit.  You can see the straps wrap around each stanchion and snap onto themselves:


I was very happy that it fit so well the first time out.  I have since made a few minor adjustments and will post more once it is complete.  Here is a close up of the strap and the snap fastener:

If you zoom in you can see the black snap.  Once I have this all fit and completed I will post another blog and go into more detail. But for those of you who sew, this is a fairly easy way to make a protective skirt for your gelcoat.  I did this only on our starboard side, as that is the side that is exposed to the sun.  Of course this must be removed while underway, but I think this will save us a lot of time and money in trying to keep our beautiful black gelcoat black!  Happy boating!

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