Zipper Repair

My experience with the zippers on my boat was that the zipper being plastic, was in good shape... the slider being metal, was just a clump of corrosion and beyond repair.

The zipper slider can be replaced by prying apart what's left of the old slider. Insert a screw driver blade in the slot on the side of the slider and gently twist the screwdriver blade to force apart the upper and lower sections enough to pull the slider off the zipper material. It will probably just break apart if it Is corroded as much as mine were.

The slider replacement on my Islander 36 was a "YKK # 5 coil type slider". I've learned that zippers come in all shapes and sizes, but this is THE one for the Islander 36.1 would expect that Islander probably used the same zipper in most of it's boats.

With your new slider in hand, go to the "open" end of the zipper (the end where the slider would be if it was zipped open). Open about 2" of the zipper from the end so you can cut through the zipper teeth with scissors and almost to the stitching that attaches the zipper to the headliner. (The zipper teeth can be opened by forcing a sharp object between the two sides.)

Make the cut as close to the end as you can and still have room to insert the zipper slider over the separated sides of the zipper. Have the wide end of the slider toward the "closed" end of the zipper. Work the slider onto the two sides of the zipper. may take a few tries...and then gently work/slide it away from the cut section.

Once each side of the zipper is properly inserted in the slider, the slider will close the zipper sides behind it and you are back in business!

To preclude running the slider off the zipper where you cut it, you can sew the two sides together with a couple hand sewn stitches.

I found my sliders at an automobile/furniture upholstery supply company. Don't know if they do mail order business or not, but they are:

A1 Foam & Fabrics, 1812 South Main Street, Santa Ana CA 92707 (714) 835-1181. A package of 3 sliders was $3.20.\par

Jim Joubert, Huntington Beach, CA

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