Sun Protection

I've already covered homemade sunblock for people - this time I'm tackling sun block for boats.  I posted a pic or two on Instagram or Facebook and realized that some people had no idea what the picture was of. I figured it was about time to break it down - who knew boat stuff needed it's own sun protection?

This is the picture that started it all - the new cover for the outboard engine (the small motor that we use to drive our dinghy around):

Sail boats live in very harsh environments - salt water, sun, freezing temps (well, for some crazy people)... It can all be hard on boats and their gear.  So what do we sailors do?  We cover everything in Sunbrella.  And I mean EVERYTHING.

Let's say you have an opening hatch - riiiight there over your newly installed 12v television/dvd player.  It's in the sun AND has the potential to get wet if you have the window open and an unexpected shower sneaks up.  So whatta ya do?

 You make a coordinating Sunbrella cover, of course!

You can also line random wicker baskets in the same coordinating fabric (great use for scraps!) to add some color to your cream and wood interior:

Here's what I refer to as the Charter Blue fabric that is original to Luna Sea (because it seems like every charter boat has that color fabric).  It's also the fabric that we'll be slowly replacing with the above, bright Aruba Sunbrella.  (Less risk of "losing" our boat in a mooring down the road.) This bag is where the main sail hangs out when it's not up the mast moving us through the water.  Or flailing around in a lack of breeze.  Whatever.  

Here's another angle - so you can now see the matching Charter Blue bimini. Lots of boats have biminies for shade - especially places like Savannah where we would all melt without them.  There's a lovely tan "dodger" just below the sail bag - it keeps the water/wind from blinding us when we're under way.  It also has fancy clear soft plastic that rolls up so we can get a breeze.  Both of these will one day be replaced with the bright Aruba blue Sunbrella.  But they're all in decent shape, so no rush to spend all that money and time when I could be making basket liners instead . _ .  For real, I do have actual projects going on and will get around to remaking ALL of the Sunbrella fabric covers.  At some point.

 Oh yeah, that other tan fabric up there with the strings hanging down?  Those are add on pieces that roll down to block sun/rain/wind when we're stationary.  They are pretty awesome.  And will one day be replaced with - what?  Yes. Aruba Sunbrella.

Below is a pic of someone else's boat.  I just randomly roamed through the marina early this morning and snapped pics of other things that typically get covered.  Yes.  One day, Luna Sea will also have her very own hatch covers.

This crazy contraption is covering the wheel.  I am still mulling it over in my brain how to do this.  Sailrite makes a kit for it, but I'll figure it out eventually on my own.  With Mark...  ;)  Oh, there's a seat cover there, too.

Here's my naked winch:

And here's my latest project - Aruba winch covers.  Sometimes your winches need a little coverage.

So that's it.  We cover stuff up in the hopes that the plastic doesn't rot, the metal doesn't corrode, etc etc etc.  It's a small price to pay to extend the life of all the stuff we've invested in.

Do you have questions for us about how we do things on a boat?  Or what something is, etc?  Always looking for blog topics!


  1. Nice color! Do you label them so you easily know where each goes? Or is it super easy to tell? It seems like there are a lot of covers! Good idea to cover stuff to protect it all though! You'll have some flash color going on instead of just the plain whiiiite, taaaan, charrrrterrr bluuuuue...so that will be nice. I wish you had a sail to match. Or at least your spinnaker(?) matched. You gotsta match. (haha) ;)

  2. Totally agree with you. The sun rips the life out of everything here in the med. One thing you did forget to mention was the dinghy or family car. It is the one thing more than anything else that gets effected by the sun. The rubber rots in it as often it is exposed all the time. A lot of people make permanent covers for the dinghy and it doubles its life expectancy. I wonder if a cover for me would do the same.
    Good sailing..

    1. Thanks Mark - You are absolutely correct. We are currently using a hard sailing dinghy and we don't cover it, but will likely switch to an inflatable when we leave - and you can bet it will be covered!
      They do make SPF clothing that does that same thing for people - but mine seems to be faulty, as I'm certainly deflating and wrinkling regardless...


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