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Yes, that’s “sewing the bucket” folks, not “kicking the bucket!” Encouraged by Drew’s comment on my sail repair post, I have decided to tackle the creation of a canvas bucket for Katana. The plans for the project, which can be found in the Pardey’s book The Cost Conscious Cruiser, will test both my splicing and sewing abilities. 🙂

I went shopping for a bit of line for the handles on Sunday, and dropped by Braithwaite Upholstery yesterday to pick up the required Sunbrella fabric. When I told Barry (Braithwaite) what I intended to do he offered to sew it for me. After I told him the whole idea was for me to practice my sewing he chuckled and sent me on my way with the fabric, free of charge!

Step 1: making a rope grommet which will be the “mouth” of the bucket. Ignore the helmet in the background… I have a habit of hitting my head on occasion. 🙂

More to come!


  1. I sewed a beautiful bucket years ago. My daughter, then 4, having seen me toss it off the back earlier to gather water, desided to toss it off the back to fish… without tying it on. It was weighted on the bottom and sank quickly. I was… stressed… but I contained it well.

    I am ashamed to admit my current bucket is store-bought, perhaps even from the evil West Marine.

    But I had learned everything I needed to make functional and workman-like, if not pretty, repairs. Like you, I made it from the bits and pieces I had, and instructions in some book.

    If you through it off the back to gather water, remember it tuggs hard when it catches! (not too bad, actually; the canvass collapses and minimizes the strain – that is why it works)

    Now when you swab the deck, you’ll have the old salt look.

    • We’ll see just how good it turns out. I may look like an “old salt” or incompetent. 🙂

    • Throwing the bucket out to fish?
      Reminds me of a Mike Douglas show I saw eons ago. The singer Mac Davis was a guest and was telling sport fishing stories of how they would wait for someone in the fishing party to drift off to sleep. They would then reel in the sleeping person’s line, attach a bucket, throw it back in and wake up the unsuspecting sleeper yelling “fish on”. He said the only thing that worked even better was to run the line thru the hole in the center of a 33 lp, which would fight even more like a game fish. While the fisherman fought his catch, he would stand behind the chair and yell, “I think you caught the record!” 🙂


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