Wednesday, November 5, 2014


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The boat is getting closer to launch, I'm just waiting for a few parts and hopefully I'll be heading south soon.  In the meantime, I've been trying to get other work done on the boat while I wait.  One of those tasks was our trampoline.  The stitching on the fabric that covers the edges had disintegrated in the sun, leaving only the stitch holes behind and the fabric was starting to curl.  Now that we have the Sailrite sewing machine, I figured why not give stitching it a go.

Removal was the easy part...although you can't really call it easy.  You can't just untie and unlace the trampoline.  It is attached such that if a line breaks it won't all unravel and dump you into the water.  Add to that the sun baked nature of the existing laces, and I had to pretty much cut each loop off to remove the trampoline.  And once everything is cut off, the tedious task of removing all the knots on the slides and pegs consumed a fair amount of time.

Once the trampoline was free of the boat, it was time to get sewing.  I setup the sewing machine in the cockpit since we have a nice large table there and I figured all the seat backs would help support the trampoline.  Well, it was a good theory.  The plastic coated lines or whatever that material is that makes up the core of the trampoline is a real bear to work with.  Trying to roll it up to make it more manageable was only semi-successful.  I was able to sew most of the edge, only missing a small inside corner that was too stiff to be able to work through the machine.  Of course, between the thickness of the material and uneven nature of the stuff, I ended up breaking 3 needles.  Oh well, at least one of the things is now mostly stitched.

Re-installing the trampoline was an interesting mental exercise.  Fortunately I left one of the trampolines attached so I could use it as a blueprint for reassembly.  Having to lace the metal loops meant feeding the line through each loop, then tying a knot at each loop.  Sounds easy, right.  Well, when you are dealing with a few hundred feet of line, it can be difficult.  Once I got to the pegs, it took a little thinking to figure out an easier approach than feeding the line through each eye and then around the pegs.  If you push a loop of line through the eye and loop it around the peg you don't need to "thread" it through each eye and it goes much faster.  To make installation a bit easier, I also used four segments of line instead of one long line.

The end result wasn't perfect, but good enough. Wrestling the trampoline through the machine didn't leave the straightest of stitching.  And the tensioning of the trampoline left a small wrinkle, but overall I'm pleased...and I didn't have to pay someone a few hundred dollars to do it.  Hopefully the next projects for the Sailrite will go a bit better.  The machine is a real workhorse...the only problems I had with it I think can be safely identified as operator error.


  1. Mike, I just found your blog and you bet I will follow it with interest. I too am a pilot. I own a flight school and maintenance shop at the Perry-Houston Co. airport (PXE) in which I am planning on turning into a cruising life aboard a catamaran. Carry on as others like me can't wait on the next post.
    Tim Goddard (

    1. Hi Tim,

      Welcome to speak. So, you have an aviation business and can afford a catamaran? You must be an exception to the rule of "how do you make a million dollars in start with 10 million." ;-)

      Seriously though, I do miss flying but I think this is worth it. I'll keep carrying on even if the next several posts are all about maintenance and living in a boatyard. At least I don't need to file STC's every time I replace a screw.

      Take care,