Sailmaker's Supply


You know how there are over 150 satellite radio stations, but you can only stand to listen to about 10? Color for your boat canvas is not much different. Sunbrella has 82 colors on their 2015-2016 Marine Fabrics sample cards. While they are all beautiful colors, for your boat, you would probably choose from, oh, less than 10. Maybe in the blue family, or beige, or green..

Here's a "before" picture of the trawler my husband and I own:

and here's an "after":

When choosing a color for the canvas on your boat, here are a few things to think about:

The canvas on the outside of your boat does not have to be all one color.

Consider this: The couple in the next slip has a pretty white sailboat with beautiful lines. Then, they stick a big ole bimini and dodger on it covered with the old standby Pacific Blue Sunbrella. Now all you see is the canvas, the boat looks top heavy and the dodger looks boxy.

I suggest using a color similar to the color of the boat for the bimini, dodger and trim on the enclosure. Some possibilities are Sunbrella colors Natural, Oyster, or Silver. Use the Pacific Blue or other bold color for all the other covers. You'll see the bimini and dodger tend to disappear, and those beautiful lines of the boat stand out. You still get the pop of color on your sailcover, hatch covers, console cover, motor cover, grill cover, windlass cover, etc., etc.

Jet Black is Sunbrella's most popular color. I can tell you from experience that you do not want to sit under a black bimini on a hot summer day with little breeze. Yes, it provides shade, but the heat radiates through, and you'll be cooked. Same goes for all dark colors. They may be cool looking, but that's all that's cool about them. Save the dark colors for areas that don't cover you.

On our trawler, we have Sunbrella Silver #4651 for the bimini, bimini extension and trim on the enclosure. Everything else is Mediterranean Blue #4652. I think that trawlers especially look top-heavy with dark colors on the fly bridge bimini and enclosure.

Do you have a sailboat with a roller furling mainsail or headsail?

When I talk to people about new canvas for their boat, I always ask if they want to change the color. Sailboat owners often tell me that they are stuck with the current color. They don't want the expense of changing the perfectly good sun cover on their roller furling sails. I understand, but here's a thought: When it's time to replace that sun cover or make a new sail, use white. Try Sunbrella Natural #4604 or UV coated Insignia Cloth.

Guys: Ask your wife to pick the new color, or at least ask her opinion!

If you want to get your significant other more involved with the boat, ask her (or him!) to please choose the new canvas color for your boat. She (or he) will be more willing to go boating with you, I promise!

I hope this helps making your color choices a little easier.

Until next time, happy sewing!

Jean Carroll

P. S. Unfortunately, our free shipping on orders over $100 to US addresses will end this Sunday, November 1. Better order today!