Ok all you backrest setters: This is the last time I am going to
The small backrest cushion goes in first (transom end) with the
rising top towards the bow.
Next is the largest cushion (the one that goes over the table) with
the rising top towards the bow.
Finally the square (middle size) cushion which has no rising top and
therefore can go in either orientation except mostly goes only in one
orientation because most people want the pattern to be in a uniform
Would General Boats make cushions that did not fit perfectly?
04 Jun 1999
In 1998, I just simply purchased a replacement set of cabin cushions from GBI. Mine were the
original 1976 cushions. Actually, the fabric on the original cabin cushions was in remarkably
good shape, just a very dated pattern. Several factors drove the decision to replace vs.
recover. My two sons were getting too tall for the V-berth. I wanted to install the V-berth
extension, which of course, comes with a new cushion. The original foam was starting break
down inside the cushions. Finally, Stan's prices for a new cushion set were very competitive.
If you ask, Stan or Rose will send free samples of the currently available fabrics for the
cabin cushions. A new set of cabin cushions + the V-berth extension was MUCH cheaper than
a bigger boat!
Sunbrella acrylic fabric would not be a very good choice as it does not have a very good
"hand". "Hand" is the term fabric experts use to describe the feel of a textile on the
skin. Sunbrella is also not very abrasion or chafe resistant. I would suggest a dense
weave nylon, polyester, or nylon/polyester blend with a low nap pattern. Rose also let me
speak directly to their cushion subcontractor. The cushion subcontractor & I was able to
discuss which of the currently available fabric choices would be long wearing & color fast.
You might also consider supplying your own fabric if you intend doing something very special.
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium
02 Mar 2002
Oh, Bill.... I've had "experience" recovering all interior cushions. Our cushions are
affectionately called, the "cushions from hell"!!!! One thing I'll never do again!
(Unless I try the Doug & Robin Gardner method.)
I got some kind of velveteen material, solid color green. They didn't have any prints that I
liked that I thought would be, well, acceptable in a male perspective... So, that's why I went
solid. After I made them I sprayed the heck out of them with stain repellent so hopefully it
won't show should something get spilled on them. The reason I'll never do it again the way I
did - took the others apart and made a pattern from the pieces - when I sewed them up, it never
failed, each time the last side was done I wound up with about 2-3" extra. Nothing ever
matched. So, I just said the hell with it and snipped off the rest of the material and made
it work. Nice thing about the foam... it squishes. They look fine, not perfect, I'm just picky
Now, when we were KLake I got a look at Doug's cushions. I'm not sure who gets the credit for
this wonderful idea - Doug? Robin? - but they had a piece of plywood for the underside of the
cushion and stapled the material around the foam and onto the wood. Am not sure if they had
"sides" to the cushion or if they just wrapped it all around before stapling. I found the
problem I had was attaching the bottom/top piece of material to the main cover, so, if I were
to do it again I'd do everything (including the sides) except sew the bottom piece on and just
wrap it around the plywood. Does this make any sense or am I just rambling?
02 MAR 2002
The original cabin cushions on Dynamic Equilibrium had the plywood bottom as do my present set
of cockpit cushions. That's the way the factory cushions used to be made. About 10 years ago,
I had to replace the plywood bottoms on the cockpit cushions, they were starting to get mushy.
Fortunately, there was enough plywood left to get a good pattern & the job was pretty quick &
easy. I used 1/4" marine grade plywood & epoxy coated it, so hopefully the backings will last
much longer this time. At least on the cockpit cushions, the vinyl fabric just wraps around the
foam & staples to the plywood backing. So far, they're holding up well. Just remember to use
monel or stainless steel staples or they will quickly rust. I also used mastic construction
contact adhesive to glue the vinyl fabric to the plywood. I was worried about tearing out the
staples due to the point loading on the vinyl fabric. The construction adhesive gave a large
bonding surface area & I don't worry about the fabric tearing out anymore. The staples really
just held the fabric in place while the adhesive cured. I could probably remove the staples
now. You must also remember to drill several 1/4" diameter drain holes in the plywood or it
will be mildew city in a short period of time!
As I mentioned before, I purchased a new set of cabin cushions for my boat in 1998 from GBI.
I like the new all fabric interior cushions better. They're more flexible & don't slide around
Speaking as someone who has made other fabric things for my boat, I can tell you it's not an
exact science. The pieces/parts are usually so oddly shaped that you can only use a pattern
to get things reasonably close. In the end, you just have to cut & trim everything until it
"looks right" & call it good enough. Don't be so hard on yourself.
S/V Dynamic Equilibrium
02 Mar 2002
Had ours recovered as a Christmas present for Kathy. Used a Sunbrella product but not the
canvas type material. We saw the product at a boat show but then found it at a local canvas
shop in town. They did a nice job, it looks good, and the fabric is soft.
Too early to tell on wearability.
Bob and Kathy on the "NoKaOi"
03 Mar 2002
Along time ago, my wife and I recovered the cushions of a travel trailer
with denim. It wore well and looked nice. Perhaps a visit to Joanne
Fabrics is in order. Oh yes, we used Scotchguard on the completed
03 Mar 2002
Roger is correct... I just copied the way the original cusions were made. I cleaned the old
foam with a bleach and water solution to kill the mildew (rinsed and waited a few days for
them to dry), cut new backers from 1/4" luann plywood, and stapled new fabric over them.
No sides. The main settee cusion does slide around, but some of that rubber mesh shelf
liner helps keep that in check. Your cushions are MUCH nicer. If you like mine, I'll
trade you straight up! ;^) You'd be silly to accept that offer, though. Some day, I'll
do it the "right" way.
For the record, the cushions were a "Doug" project. Robin is the Admiral. She has people
to do that kind of work for her!
Roger, I've been looking for stainless staples for my staple gun, but can't find them
anywhere. Any ideas? I really need them for the tralier bunks. The cabin cusions aren't
as big a problem (yet).
04 Mar 2002