Fabricate a Change

If you go to the trouble and expense of reupholstering, why play it safe? A Makeover from our October 2008 issue.

October 28, 2008

Rimmer Interior 368

The bright and cheery fabric on Sea Trek¿s settees is much more modern and welcoming than the old pattern. Courtesy Of Keith Rimmer

Whoever said that the fabric for a boat’s interior should be staid or even traditional? Keith and Penny Rimmer, living aboard and cruising their Etap 35i, Sea Trek, in the Aegean, decided to shake things up a bit when they reupholstered their settees. The result is a bright and fresh interior makeover done with a contemporary combination of fabrics.

The Rimmers bought Sea Trek new in 1997 directly from the factory in Belgium, and they spent two years fitting her out and getting to know her before selling their house and leaving their home port of Portsmouth, England, in July 1999. Since then, they’ve explored Spain, Portugal, the Balearic Islands, Elba, the mainland coast of Italy, the islands of Sardinia, Corsica, and Sicily, many Greek islands, and the Greek mainland. Sea Trek is now in Kos, Greece, and the Rimmers are enjoying island life.

But after the boat had seen 10 years of steady use, Keith says they noticed that the saloon cushions were getting faded and tired. A local Greek upholsterer measured the settees and left the couple with several books of material samples-and a decision to make. “At first we were drawn to fabric similar to our old material,” says Penny, “but a fellow boat friend who’s an interior designer suggested something radically lighter in color.” The Rimmers decided to go with the idea. Now they’re very pleased they didn’t play it safe. “We both think the modern fabric makes the interior very bright and welcoming,” Keith says. “Everyone who comes aboard makes positive comments.”


Bernadette Bernon, a CW editor at large, and her husband, Douglas, spent six years cruising aboard their Shearwater 39, Ithaka.


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