Pillow Comfort Aboard

I love lots of cozy pillows on board a boat.


Adding pillows, lap blankets, rugs and artwork is the easiest way to add distinct design, colour, and create a cozy feeling aboard.

This journal will focus on pillows

Even if you don’t have seat cushions, a pillow will make any space feel very inviting.


I like to have pillows in the cockpit, salon and births. 



I also love that pillows can be made to very easily change the cover. 

This makes it quite tempting to create covers for special annual events.


We have a tradition of always attend the RVIC Easter cruise to Roche Harbor. The boats are moored together on the lovely promenade outer dock.

Perfect for socializing and dropping into each other’s cockpits, perfect for fun pillows.


Throw pillow and cockpit decorations specific to Easter, get lovingly re used year after year. 

Throw pillows are one of the easiest things to customize for your boat. I really like custom anything, from a simple boat name text embroidered, to a special photograph or digital design, special fabric that coordinates with other design elements on board your boat.  

Throw pillows aboard the race boat for happy hour 

Throw pillows don’t last forever especially in a marine environment, and all the fun of boating and sunscreen kissed friends over for happy hour. You must accept that they may only last a season, so choose the appropriate pillow to the situation.  I have found that having a selection of sizes and types of pillow works for how we boat.   

This is how I set up our cockpit with throw pillows when out cruising.  I have always thought of our cockpit as two equal sides, we have two helm stations and matching cockpit seats. Our boat name is almost a code for this set up. Port Out is my side, and Starboard home is Jeremys. Never is there a disagreement between two skippers.  And I think it is a very fun theme to use for my customized cockpit pillows among other things aboard. 

In the cockpit each seat ends at a helm station, beside the winch, and having a large pillow there is a great end to lean against. This pillow is nice and large dark blue, it is covered in outdoor fabric, and filled with batting. It can get rained on and lay in the sun and it takes it. I have found a great selection of this type of pillow at Canadian Tire or anyplace with patio furniture, Target is a good bet in the USA. Look for good solid stuffing, and unfortunately it’s best to have it made exclusively of plastic. Often the batting is inside the outdoor fabric cover without a separate cover.  As support for the large corner pillow I also have two square smaller pillows of the same material, and two fun rectangular striped pillows that sit perfectly at the far end of the bench, atop the separate raised seats.  

Feature cockpit pair of pillows, this pair of pillows is the most fun in design. The pillows should be a good size and very comfortable inner filling, this is possible with outdoor fill, or if your environment is ok for down fill, then go for it because it will feel fabulous.   For these pillows I have found the perfect thing at a few different places. Years ago I had a great pair of lighthouses that looked like Trial Island, that I found as a feature from Hudson’s Bay. They looked fantastic on the back bench of our lobster boat.   And recently, just after we bought our sailboat we were headed off on the ICOYC cruise, and I really wanted fun pillows now!  I visualized something great and took off on a Mobi bike to Homesense in Vancouver the day before the cruise. You never know what you will find, but it will be a good price and it could be very fun. Well I lucked out, and found the perfect thing. 

I have had a bit of time with the new sailboat now and I have a pillow project I am working on that uses code flags. I really like to fly code flags at events, and I have a lovely vintage set that I adore. I also have a favourite charm bracelet with mini code flag charms that I regularly wear aboard.  I will share the link to the great shop in Newport that sells the charms.


The new cockpit cushions will feature the code flag P that is a lovely blue with white square, and S that is the inverse. The colours will look great, it symbolizes Port and Starboard, and rather fun that P is used in racing as the prep flag at 4 minutes.  I will share my progress and materials for the project, hopefully I will have them finished for this boating summer. 

Since some sailing/boating days are just fine to have your pillows out, it can still be a good idea to tie them down. Sewing a small loop or piece of line is a simple way to continue the comfort with grace, even as a puff of wind or wave rolls past.   If thinks get exciting, pillows are the easiest thing to toss down the hatch, and can work well to secure other items for windy crossings. 

Throw pillows down below should be cozy, squishy and soft fabric. I really like using the IKEA down pillow inserts, and I have found an online source for other sizes.  These are not great in humid environments, so if you boat in the winter in the PNW for example you will either need to remove them between cruises or have a dehumidifier run occasionally.