Dinghy chaps: a cruiser’s right of passage

What are they? A cover for the dinghy to protect it from the harsh UV sun here in the tropics.

All in all, we earned $5 an hour

It took a week to sew all told. We followed Sailrite’s video on how to make the dinghy chaps, and then took some liberties like we do with recipes. We learned a lot and found each of us had complementary strengths in the process.

We used 12 gauge Plastipane to create a pattern. Then, after researching the fabric used on the outdoor cushions of our boat, we ordered the same Sunbrella Marine Grade Heather Beige fabric for a pleasant match.

We also bought Shelter-rite Beige  waterproof vinyl-coated polyester fabric to reinforce all the cut outs, by making “stickers” for both on top and below the Sunbrella.

All told, the materials and tools cost $400. While that isn’t cheap, an investment of 10% of an asset’s value to protect it from the elements, is certainly worth the materials cost and a challenging COVID-19 sewing project. Will we do it again? Sure (in 5 years…)

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