Sunday, August 17, 2014

A Bucket For Every Boat

Homemade canvas bucket

"If it goes on the boat, it has to have more than one use." We have heard this saying more than once and took it to heart when trying to figure out what to take as a gift at the Carlyle Lake Rendezvous (CLR). A handy traditional item is a sluice bucket that is used to wash off the decks. We had heard people mention canvas buckets being used aboard sailboats for many other uses such as rigging bag, ditty bag and even as a beer bucket hung from the side of the boat. So we did a little research and figured they wouldn't be too hard to make. Perfect! Our friends at CLR would love one of these.

The fact is it turned out to be a fun project. We found a pattern in "The Big Book Of Boat Canvas" by Karen Lipe that we used for a rough idea of how to get started. Then it was off to JoAnn Fabrics with our 40% off coupon. We found the canvas that we wanted on sale along with the strapping for the bottom loop and reinforcer for the grommets. We already had the rope, grommets and thread at home. All we needed was Brenda's trusty Janome sewing machine and some free time.

We went into production mode. Mike traced and cut out all the fabric and strapping while Brenda figured out how to assemble and sew our projects together.

The first hurdle was to find something to use as a template for the circular bottom. Out came plates and bowls. We finally settled on the lid from our soup pot (now it has more than one use too so it can go on the boat). "Good thing I can sew, so I have more than one use aboard too," said Brenda.

Tracing the bucket bottoms

A little math was needed to figure out the length of the side piece. Remember the terms "radius", "circumference", "diameter" and "pi"? They all come together in a formula to determine how long to make the side piece. With the measurements in hand, Mike went about cutting those pieces as well. (D x pi + 1 inch for seam allowance.)

We went into production mode. Mike traced and cut out all the fabric and strapping while Brenda figured out how to assemble and sew our projects together.

The remaining steps are as follows:

*Take the side piece, create a circle and sew a side seam. On my machine I could go back and zig-zag the edge to keep it from fraying.

*Take a 5-6 inch piece of strapping and center it over the side seam about 2 inches from the bottom. This will be the bottom catch or handle to use when dumping the water. Sew a box tack on each end.

*Sew the side to the bottom. The easiest way is to work with the bucket inside out. Mark the circle and the side into quarters and then match. This helps to eliminate puckering while stitching this seam. Again, finish the edge with a zig-zag stitch.

*Next you need to make a casing that encloses some rope that adds strength to the lip of the bucket. Turn the top edge of the bucket 1/4 inch toward the inside and then fold again about 2 inches and pin. This will form the casing for the rope. Stitch close to the turned edge to be sure and enclose the rough edge. Sew all the way around until you get about 2 inches from your starting point. This is where you will thread the rope through and finish off sewing by hand.

*The grommets will need a backing, so place a 6 inch piece of strapping (remember to singe the edges first) parallel with the casing. If your side seam is 6 o'clock, the strapping pieces should be placed at 3 and 6 o'clock. Sew around the entire piece about an 1/8" from the edge.

*The brass grommets get installed near the ends of the strapping and then rope hadles are tied in. Thread a rope through the top casing of the bucket and joint it's ends together with a hot knife or flame. Stuff it fully inside the casing and hand stitch the opening shut. Remember to spray the canvas inside and out with water repellant such as "Camp-Dry".

Here is a picture of all fourteen that we made. Thirteen were given away and one went directly aboard our sailboat.

This was a fun project for us. We knew the CLR attendees would love them and it was fun to see several in use right away. We have used ours to grab lake water to wash down the cockpit and to clean off the bird poop that keeps appearing on our gunwales. It takes up almost no room and has multiple uses. In just about one hour you can make one for your boat too.


No comments:

Post a Comment