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​Boat Canvas Repair Tips


The marine canvas you use on your boat can be invaluable. Not only will it protect you from the sun, but it can protect your boat when you’re not around. That is, of course, unless the canvas itself is damaged. But how do you repair something that’s supposed to protect the rest of your boat? Here are a few boat canvas repair tips to help ensure your boat remains protected from UV rays, precipitation, and debris.

Inspecting the Canvas for Problems

Step one: identification. You need to properly diagnose any potential problems before you move forward. If you can spot these problems before small holes become large tears, you’ll be able to clean up problematic areas with minimal damage to the look of your canvas. Here are a few tips for discovering problems with your boat canvas:

  • The “tug test.” Tug on the fabric of your canvas to check for holes and overall strength. Be hard on it! If you’re able to tear the canvas with the tug test, then it was already too weak for proper protection.
  • Use light. Sometimes it can be difficult to spot tears and holes, which is why you’ll want to work in a well-lit area. You can even check the shadow cast by your canvas to look for small holes you otherwise didn’t notice.
  • Look at both sides. While you can identify many problems by looking at just one side of the canvas, you’ll be far more comprehensive if you can look at both sides. With canvas, problems can often start with one side of the fabric before the fabric around it weakens.

To make your boat canvas repair inspection more convenient, include it in your regular boat maintenance checklist. It shouldn’t add much time to your routine. This small investment of time could yield significant results in preventing bigger problems, helping to avoid the need to replace the entire canvas.

Repairing Your Boat Canvas

Most boating experts will tell you to “patch” your damaged canvas. But how do you go about this? Here are a few boat canvas repair tips to help you make sense of the process:

  • Work with clean, dry canvas. This ensures proper adhesion. We have a variety of cleaners available to help, including our always-versatile Boat Cleaner. Rinse and allow some time to dry.
  • Measure twice! Measuring is vital to getting a proper patch and seal. Make sure you inspect the area to get a full sense of the damage and measure—then measure the size of the patch to suit it. Many experts recommend going well over this amount to ensure a proper patching, as high as four inches over the size of the area itself.
  • After stitching on the patch, inspect the area again. Feel free to give it a “tug test,” as it’s better to discover any weaknesses sooner rather than later.

A well-maintained canvas can help protect your boat. But don’t rely on canvas alone. Want to ensure your boat has the proper seals and caulks to keep it water-tight while you repair your canvas? Make sure to visit our Caulks & Sealants section today!

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Life Industries Corporation
4060 Bridge View Drive
N. Charleston, SC 29405
United States of America

toll free: (800) 382-9706
local: (843) 566-1225
fax: (843) 566-1275


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