Super Easy Boat Cushions click here to read or make an observation about this  article
By Bill Paxton - Apple Valley, Minnesota - USA

Let’s face it: wooden boat seats are hard! Over the last five sailing seasons we’ve found ourselves sitting on life jackets and throwable boat cushions – both of which left us feeling like we were sitting up too high. I didn’t even want to know what custom cushions cost. Finally we’re enjoying a solution that is working well for us, and may just do the trick for you, too.

The idea is very simple: make a sleeve of terry cloth, and insert a piece of dense foam through the sleeve’s opening.

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A terry cloth sleeve after stitching three sides.

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The building process was pretty straightforward. I measured the size of the cushions I wanted, then headed to a nearby big-box retail store and bought some bathroom towels and two camping sleeping pads.

Leave enough space to get the pad in and out easily.

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The towels can be bath towels or beach towels. What’s important is that they look good on your boat. The terry cloth is comfortable to sit on, and can be tossed in the washer when dirty.

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Slip the foam pad into the sleeve.

The sleeping pad is closed-cell foam, and pretty inexpensive.

A finished seat cushion.

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The steps to make the cushions are simple.

  • Toss the towels in the washer so they shrink BEFORE you stitch them.
  • Cut the sleeping pads into the shape of your boat seats.
  • Keeping in mind that you’re making is a terry cloth sleeve for the pad, spread out the towel on a table, and lay the cut-out pad on the towel. Fold the towel over the pad to create the sleeve. Use straight pins to hold towel in place, and cut off the excess length. Remove the pad.
  • Using a sewing machine (C’mon, guys – it’s a power tool!) stitch the sides and ONE end to enclose the sleeve. Remove the pins.
  • Turn the bag inside out, slip in the pad, and your cushion is done.

I left one end open so I can take the pads out and wash the sleeves easily. My cushions are not held down to the seats with ties or Velcro – they just sit there. Do whatever seems best to you in this regard.

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Three cushions on each side to match the hatches.

I made the sleeve roomy enough to slip in a second pad if we wanted more cushioning. So far the single pad is working just fine.