New Dinghy Cushions

With the tubes repaired, and the outboard repairs well undweray, the next major upgrade for the fishing dinghy was to replace the worn-out cushions. We’ve reupholstered most of our boats, so we had little concern that we could perform this job ourselves. So, with a rainy weekend forecast, we ordered zippers, naugahyde, and phifertex from sailrite, and also rented a couple movies from Redbox.

This was the dinghy condition before we started any of these ugpgrades. This photo gives a good idea of where the cushions will be installed, as well as the design.

After taking the cushions home, the complete extent of damage to the cushions became apparent:

After determining that nothing from the original cushions would be salvageable, we began the project by doing some test seams to figure out the best way to join the two colors of vinyl. We decided to go with a french seam with white top-stitching, and using the phifertex as the reinforcement fabric on the underside:

Three of the four cushions were simply oblong squares, a fairly easy cushion to build. After making the top panel out of two-colors of vinyl, the bottom panel was cut out of phifertex mesh to allow drainage, a zipper panel was built for one side, and finally the remaining three sides are also cut out. Then it’s just a matter of sewing all the parts together.

The 4th cushion, the seat back for the main seat, was much more complicated, with armrests and a boltrope. So it required deconstructing the existing cover to use each panel as a pattern on the new material.

Some of the details of the cushions include the phifertex mesh bottom for drainage, and the zipper panel:

The front-side panel stitched to the top panel:

And a closeup of the french seam:

At the end of the first day, the living room was a cushion construction disaster:

But at the end of the weekend, three of the four cushions were completely finished. The 4th and last cushion yet to be made is the smallest and easiest: