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Set Sail in the Shade: Crafting Your Own Sprayhood

Sprayhood DWG design
Custom sprayhood frame design for Baltic 43 by Freyaframes.

Do you dream of cruising comfortably, shielding yourself from sun, spray, and unexpected downpours? A well-made sprayhood can transform your boat into a haven, extending your season and adding a touch of style. But before you set sail on this DIY project, careful planning and accurate measurements are essential. Here’s your guide to taking the measures for a custom sprayhood that fits like a glove.

Gather Your Tools:
  • Tape measure: A flexible fabric tape is ideal for curved surfaces.
  • Pen and paper: Sketching your measurements and noting details is crucial.
  • Masking tape: Mark key points on your boat.
  • Helper (optional): An extra pair of hands can be invaluable for holding tape and taking measurements.
Step 1: Frame it Up:
  1. Identify the frame structure: 2 or 3 arches?
  2. Measure the frame perimeter: Identify the points on the deck, where you attach the feet of the frame and take the measures of the covered area.
  3. Measure frame height: Take measurements from the highest point of the frame. Measure from cockpit floor. Then take another measure from cokcpit floor to the frame attachment point.

See our measuring guide for exact measures to mark down.

Step 2: Get Down to Details:
  1. Boom clearance: Make sure you put the boom to the lowest position and make sure your sprayhood stays clear from the boom.
  2. Main sheet and traveller clearance: if your main sheet is running to the cockpit and has a traveller, you must be extra careful to have enough room for main sheet to move from side to side.
  3. Running gear compability: if all the lines are running back to the cockpit, think how you trim the boat under the sprayhood. Can you access all the lines and stoppers and possibly winches under the sprayhood.
  4. Attachments: Decide on attachment points (straps, snaps, etc.) and mark their placement on the boat with masking tape.
Step 3: Sketch it Out:

Create a rough sketch of your boat, marking down all the measurements you’ve taken. This visual reference will be invaluable when designing and constructing your sprayhood.

Bonus Tips:
  • Take multiple measurements for accuracy. Don’t rely on single readings.
  • Account for any curves or angles in the frame when measuring. If possible, you can template the main bow using the clear vinyl and marker.
  • Think about window layout of your sprayhood to calculate exact need of window vinyl material.
  • If you’re unsure about any aspect, consult a professional canvas worker for guidance.

Remember, careful measurement is the foundation for a perfectly fitting sprayhood. With patience, attention to detail, and this guide, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a custom shade solution that adds comfort and style to your boating adventures.

Ready to set sail? Now that you have your measurements, explore resources for sprayhood design software, patterns, and materials to bring your vision to life. Happy crafting!

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