Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Boat Project: Upgrading Dinghy "Underseat Bag"

Highfield Underseat Bag that came with our dinghy

Our Highfield dinghy came with a very nice padded seat cover with built-in organizer.  It was basically a duffle bag suspended under the seat.  There's enough things floating around in the bottom of a cruiser's dinghy, and ours doesn't have a locker.  It is a nice way to hide our PFD's, pump, nav light, dry box with boat cards, dry bag & a spare bottle of oil (and on a good day, the smaller pockets act as a cup holder for the First Mate).  We have received lots of compliments.

PFD's, pumps & various accoutrement

Looking a little raggedy

The seat cushion had a zippered compartment hanging off the front with straps on the rear of the cushion that go under the seat to hold it all together.  However, the non-UV, vinyl, seat fabric wore through & with everything in the front zipper compartment, it was always sliding forward.  There was was a drain hole in the bottom but when we pulled everything out, it was still damp from the last rain.

The Captain was considering part canvas, part pfifertex.  I voted all pfifertex.  Better uv & quick dry.

He only scribbles down notes when he's serious!

Using the previous underseat bag as a template, the redesign included:
  • To keep the seat more secure, instead of buckles holding it on, the seat is raised up & the bag is slide on

Lift seat & slide on

  • Replaced seat cushion with a scrap of leftover camping pad.
  • Eliminated front zipper.  Salvaged buckles from the back & used on the front 
  • Salvaged zipper pockets & "Highfield" logo (the two outside pockets were already part black pfifertex, so they look like they perfect!)
  • Reinforced with webbing

The front

The back.  Instead of straps under the seat, it hangs straight down.

Completion time: Months of redesign in his head.  Actual sewing?  Half a day--done by lunch!