Gone Outdoors

DIY Kayak Cockpit Cover

by Rona Aquino

Don't get caught with a water-filled cockpit after a thunderstorm before you realize you need a kayak cockpit cover. Covers are especially useful for boaters who store their kayak outside. They are also handy for transporting gear securely inside the boat while traveling. Additionally, they keep away dirt, insects, dust and other types of debris during off-season. By making your own cockpit cover, you can save money and customize the size to your boat. This project requires just a few materials, including nylon fabric. Make sure you choose a waterproof, urethane-coated nylon to protect your boat adequately.

1. Trace the shape of your kayak cockpit with paper and pencil. Cut the pattern using the heavy-duty scissors.

2. Tape the pattern to the fabric. Using the ruler and chalk, mark a point 3 inches extending from the pattern. From this mark, draw an outer line while following the same shape of your cockpit pattern.

3. Draw a second line around the pattern, this time 2 inches from the pattern. This line is inside the first line you drew in step 2. The space in between the two lines will be used to fold the fabric for the shock cord sleeve.

4. Cut the fabric by following the outermost chalk line, 3 inches from the pattern.

5. Saw a buttonhole on the back of the cockpit cover. This is the spot where the shock cord leaves the sleeve. To make a buttonhole, sew a rectangle with a height of 1/2 inch and a width of 1/4 inch. Cut a slit into the middle of the buttonhole.

6. Fold the seam and secure it by double stitching while following the chalk lines as your guide. This forms the shock cord sleeve.

7. Insert the shock cord through the button hole into the sleeve. Make a knot at the ends of the shock cord to prevent it from going inside the button hole. Test the fit of your cover on the kayak and make any fitting adjustments as necessary.

8. Remove the paper and put the cockpit cover on your kayak. Pull the cords to tighten and tie securely, especially when storing your boat outside.

Items you will need
  • 1/2-yard nylon pack cloth
  • 6-foot shock cord
  • Paper
  • Pencil
  • Tape
  • Heavy-duty scissors
  • White chalk
  • Measuring tape or ruler
  • Needle
  • Thread

About the Author

Rona Aquino began writing professionally in 2008. As an avid marathon runner and outdoor enthusiast, she writes on topics of running, fitness and outdoor recreation for various publications. Aquino holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and English from the University of Maryland College Park.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Creatas/Getty Images