How to Repair Boat Canvas Inexpensively
Boat Canvas Repair

Boat canvas - whether used in sails or for protection from the elements - needs regular maintenance. You can hire canvas repair shops to do the work for you at $100 hourly, or you can do it yourself (DIY) at a fraction of the cost. Here is what you need to know.

Canvas maintenance comes under two basic categories:

Dirt and mildew. Since boats are docked in or near bodies of water, the effects of moisture are easily noticed. Windblown dirt will accumulate on the sails and boat covers, and mildew and mold gradually spread over the canvas. Deal with it as follows:

1. First, remove as much dirt, mold and mildew by brushing.
2. Next, clean the canvas with a solution of 1/2 cup Lysol to one gallon of water.
3. Rinse the area thoroughly and allow it to dry in the sun.
4. Persistent mildew and mold stains can be removed with a non-chlorine stain remover such as OxiClean or Clorox OxiMagic (both are color safe).
5. Mildew stains can also be treated with a solution of 1 cup of lemon juice and 1/2 cup of
salt per gallon of water. Rinse thoroughly.
6. To prevent later mildew, spray all canvas areas with a solution of 50% white vinegar and 50% water.
7. Finally, again let the canvas dry in the sun.

Holes, tears and worn-through areas. In my home town of Woodbridge, Virginia, boat shops want $100 hourly to make minor repairs to boat canvas and to sails. Most sailboat and powerboat owners, however, now use patented canvas repair patches that are easily applied through a heat process. Each repair kit typically covers 70 sq. in., and comes in a variety of colors to match the existing canvas. Most kits are ten dollars or less.




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