Tag: wheel covers

Covering the wheel with leather

Covering the wheel with leather

There is nothing wrong with the stainless steel wheel.  But there is nothing exceptional about it either.  At first I wanted to replace the metal wheel with a teak one, but the cost was ridiculous.  And, I would have to do the varnishing.

Next option was to cover the wheel with leather, an attractive and very comfortable alternative.  My research took me to Boatleather, a company in Seattle with a good selection and reasonable prices.  This happened when there was a boat show in Oakland and Boatleather had a booth there so I could see the product, the colors, and feel the difference it makes.

I chose a dark teak color and opted for the foam padding to get an extra comfortable grip.  They sent everything I needed to install the cover and their website, http://www.boatleather.com, has a link to very helpful video instructions. Here’s the progression of the project:

 

It took one full day to complete.  My right hand was cramped for a few days after completion, but it was worth it.  The only problem was a section where the pre-punched eyes in the leather ripped when I pulled the thread tight.

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I called Tom at Boatleather and his explanation was that real leather can have weak spots and unfortunately I got one.  He didn’t recall this happening before.  I wasn’t about to ask for a new cover and start over so I went back and “overstitched” the torn punch holes.

Not perfect, but if I don’t point it out, no one notices (except me).

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I’ve had the leather on for a few months now and  can say that from an appearance and handling perspective I am very happy with the results.  Here’s Rhonda with a “good grip” on the wheel:

 

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