Our biggest project for hurricane season was sewing canvas chaps to protect the hypalon tubes of our inflatable dinghy.
Back in July, we used an importer to bring in materials straight from Sailrite to Grenada. We let those materials sit in the V-berth for two months as we procrastinated, because making dinghy chaps is a huge, and somewhat frustrating ordeal.
As our time in Grenada stretched into October, we saw the end of hurricane season and knew it was now or never.
Using the video from Sailrite for guidance, Brian finally found the stamina for this project, which turned out to be a four day exercise in patience and lots of trial and error. It’s a complicated project for many reasons: there’s no pattern, it’s hard to fit canvas perfectly over rounded edges, the dinghy has lots of little do-dads that stick out through the canvas – handles, valves, etc. – and each needed to be reinforced by a custom-cut vinyl edge.
Luckily, Brian has an easy temperament for this kind of thing and has become quite the seamster. Day after day at the sewing machine, he knocked it out of the park. He even invented a new way to secure the chaps to the dinghy without having to use velcro or snaps. Had it been my project, I would have thrown a tantrum within the first hour.
Our new chaps are fabulous, don’t you think? We hope they will protect the dinghy from abrasion and UV for years to come!