Al’s Auto Trim & Upholstery, Erie, Pa.
This project, which won an Award of Excellence in the miscellaneous marine canvas category of the 2008 MFA Awards, included the fabrication of a winter cover that would properly protect this new sailboat and its beautiful teak deck from the elements. The client requested easy access into the boat with as much open space and height as possible under the cover. He wanted to be able to work on his boat during the winter. The overall size of the frame and cover was a challenge. The center ridge pole from the mast to the stern of the boat was 7 feet above the deck. The leg braces from this angle down toward the lifelines, then curving down to the deck, were a little over 12 feet. Building and installing this frame took two people two days and a lot of trips up and down the ladder. The deck is 14 feet above the ground when the boat is in its cradle. Getting up high enough on a ladder to mark darts and reinforcements was a chore. We made the cover in five 11-foot-wide sections zippered together with a 1-1/2-inch overlapping Velcro flap. These sections were heavy at 30 to 37 feet long. Cutouts with zippers and flaps were required for six stay cables and one power cord. A zippered doorway was installed for entry.