You just bought yourself the perfect boat and you’re eager to get out on the open water for a day of fishing, sunbathing, and relaxation.


If you’re a new boat owner, you may have more questions than answers -we’re happy to help!  Congrats!  That’s going to be so awesome, that first time out on your new vessel.

Before you go, you want to find that perfect cockpit enclosure to protect you from the sea spray and the untamed elements of the open water.


Hopefully by now you’ve had a chance to check out our article on how to find a top notch fabricator for your new boat enclosure. If not, we invite you to start here:   What should I ask a Marine Fabricator? and learn more about the important questions you should be asking prospective fabricators.

You may be asking yourself: what are the first steps are to ensuring you get your boat a quality enclosure that fits well and accents the look of your vessel?



Understanding Measurement

Once you’ve selected a company, the first step to creating your new enclosure is to have the fabricator properly measure the area to be enclosed. The width, length, and height of the area should be measured in order to determine the square inches of space that must be covered. In order to determine the appropriate square feet of material needed, your fabricator will need to divide the square inch measurements by 144 to obtain the square foot measurement.

To determine the amount of clear material needed for the windows, your fabricator will need to measure the circumference of the entire enclosure and divide this amount by the length of the clear sheets available. This will give the number of sheets you’ll need for your enclosure. Press polished sheets typically come in 54” x 110”, while continuous rolls are typically 54” in width. To help keep the materials purchase economical, many fabricators are able to sew in the “view line” (where the clear material is reinforced) as little as one inch from the edge.

For the fabric, the measuring must start from where the clear material will stop. For boat tops, your fabricator will want to determine the number of seamed panels required as well as add approximately thirty percent to the amount needed to account for pockets.

Once your fabricator has the correct measurements, it’s important to add on some extra materials in the event of a mistake in measurement or fabrication. In general, they’ll want to order approximately twenty percent more fabric and at least a partial sheet of clear window material. This way there won’t be an issue down the road in the event your fabricator miscalculated or more material than anticipated is needed.

When measuring for materials, your fabricator should always make sure to double and triple check measurements and ensure that the units were properly converted from inches to feet, etc. To keep your costs as low as possible, you want to make sure that your fabricator has the correct measurements so that adjustments and alterations can be avoided down the road.