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Best fabric for boat cover?

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  • Best fabric for boat cover?

    Wondering what marine fabric is generally considered to be the best for making boat covers? Want something water proof, and will hold up to UV all year.

    Any recommendations?
    sigpic 1985 Bayliner 1600 Capri Cuddy, 1965 MFG Niagara Custom. >> MFG Video<<. >> MFG Project<< >>Bayliner Hard Top Project<< >>Bayliner Repower Project<<



  • #2
    Re: Best fabric for boat cover?

    Sunbrella's hard to beat.
    Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
    21' Suntracker(for my girls), 16' Polarkraft MV w/ 25 HP Merc(for me), 14' Odyssey bucket raft, Square stern Ouachita canoe (finally confessed to the admiral) Cute little 2.5 Merc, 16' Purple Mad River Explorer; vice-admiral's boat, but she lets me use it as long as I don't forget it's hers. Blue Hole Sunburst; a piece of history (or a piece of something else if you ask the admiral)

    Comment



    • #3
      Re: Best fabric for boat cover?

      Yeah, I`d look at the Sunbrella materials. If you maintain it, it`ll stay in great shape and last a long time (both from fading and waterproof)
      2010 Hurricane SS 188 OB
      2010 Mercury Optimax 200HP / Mercury SS High Five 19P
      2010 Trailmaster SC trailer

      Comment



      • #4
        Re: Best fabric for boat cover?

        I talked to 2 canvas makers today, and I approved a new top finally, for my boat.... a complete convertible cover, with bow cover, and the bimini top as well...

        I was told by BOTH these places, as well as the place I spoke to last week, not to use Sunbrella. All 3 have told me they would use it if I wanted, but said, "if it tears, it is toast" and all 3 recommended Top Gun. There was another thread a couple of days ago which I replied in about this, and Top Gun is what seems to be "the most popular among canvas makers and buyers alike" maybe because of it's price?? But all 3 swore Top Gun is a heavier guage and more likely to last and be mroe durable than Sunbrella...

        I do not dispute sunbrella is quality cover, but just sayign what I was told. Sunbrella has darker colors, and Top Gun is offered in lighter covers.... lemme do a quick search here....

        ah yes, here is the thread:
        http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=407426

        to each their own. I am satisfied with what I was told about Top Gun, and I'm gonna go with it....
        sigpic
        1999 Princecraft 166 Pro
        1998 Evinrude 70hp
        2003 GMC Envoy 4.2L 4x4

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        • #5
          Re: Best fabric for boat cover?

          I made my cover out of a material called WeatherMax 80:
          http://leesailcovers.com/_wsn/page8.html

          It's only a couple of months old at this point so I cannot attest to UV stability, but I can say that it is remarkably waterproof, breathable, and does not stretch and sag like Sunbrella does.

          Comment



          • #6
            Re: Best fabric for boat cover?

            My Sunbrella cover is ten years old. It has a couple of very small tears that have not expanded at all, so I'm not sure exactly what they mean by "toast". I've been extremely happy with it, but that doesn't mean there's not something better. Let us know your thoughts when it's done. Having a cover custom made is money well spent.
            Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
            21' Suntracker(for my girls), 16' Polarkraft MV w/ 25 HP Merc(for me), 14' Odyssey bucket raft, Square stern Ouachita canoe (finally confessed to the admiral) Cute little 2.5 Merc, 16' Purple Mad River Explorer; vice-admiral's boat, but she lets me use it as long as I don't forget it's hers. Blue Hole Sunburst; a piece of history (or a piece of something else if you ask the admiral)

            Comment



            • #7
              Re: Best fabric for boat cover?

              Originally posted by lncoop View Post
              My Sunbrella cover is ten years old. It has a couple of very small tears that have not expanded at all, so I'm not sure exactly what they mean by "toast". I've been extremely happy with it, but that doesn't mean there's not something better. Let us know your thoughts when it's done. Having a cover custom made is money well spent.
              Does you cover sit in the full sun all day? Mine will. Its a trailer queen and all but 6 or 8 weeks of the year, its parked in the back yard in the sun, summer heat and winter cold (NJ).

              Thanks!

              BTW, I know Topgun is a very good product, and its on my list.
              sigpic 1985 Bayliner 1600 Capri Cuddy, 1965 MFG Niagara Custom. >> MFG Video<<. >> MFG Project<< >>Bayliner Hard Top Project<< >>Bayliner Repower Project<<

              Comment



              • #8
                Re: Best fabric for boat cover?

                Originally posted by Mark42 View Post
                Does you cover sit in the full sun all day? Mine will. Its a trailer queen and all but 6 or 8 weeks of the year, its parked in the back yard in the sun, summer heat and winter cold (NJ).

                Thanks!

                BTW, I know Topgun is a very good product, and its on my list.
                Yes sir. Mine lives on a trailer as well and spends her off water time in the back yard or driveway. Our winters can't compare to yours, but I suspect the inverse is true for our summers. We're going into our ninth or tenth straight day of 95+ with a couple of triple digit days thrown in there for fun. Sort of makes you want to have a boat so you can go to the lake.
                Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
                21' Suntracker(for my girls), 16' Polarkraft MV w/ 25 HP Merc(for me), 14' Odyssey bucket raft, Square stern Ouachita canoe (finally confessed to the admiral) Cute little 2.5 Merc, 16' Purple Mad River Explorer; vice-admiral's boat, but she lets me use it as long as I don't forget it's hers. Blue Hole Sunburst; a piece of history (or a piece of something else if you ask the admiral)

                Comment



                • #9
                  Re: Best fabric for boat cover?

                  Hey Mark,

                  Both my covers have been Top-Gun... My full waterline cover sits in the sun all day... I've seen no signs of degradation at all... I highly recommend this product... My canvas shop likes it better than Sunbrella...


                  Bear

                  " Jackson Lee II " 2003 Key West 1720 CC, 2003 Yamaha 115 TRLB

                  Mods to my Key West http://www.keywestboatsforum.com/topic716.html

                  Additions to my former Cobalt: http://www.boatingabc.com/forums/ubb.../514856/1.html

                  "SS Hurry Up" 1999 Bayliner Resto-mod: http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=292511

                  Comment



                  • #10
                    Re: Best fabric for boat cover?

                    Just curious. How does the cost compare between the two?
                    Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
                    21' Suntracker(for my girls), 16' Polarkraft MV w/ 25 HP Merc(for me), 14' Odyssey bucket raft, Square stern Ouachita canoe (finally confessed to the admiral) Cute little 2.5 Merc, 16' Purple Mad River Explorer; vice-admiral's boat, but she lets me use it as long as I don't forget it's hers. Blue Hole Sunburst; a piece of history (or a piece of something else if you ask the admiral)

                    Comment



                    • #11
                      Re: Best fabric for boat cover?

                      My canvas maker has over 32 years in the business...

                      Here are some facts about Sunbrella and Top-Gun

                      Sunbrella data-

                      More colors (every color in the book)
                      The company is owned by one of the larges fabric company's in the world. (huge marketing budget)
                      It is an acrylic fabric, (is similar to cotton under a microscope)
                      It does not have very good abrasion or tear characteristics (Massive re-enforcement required for trailering on the road)
                      After 3-5 years most customers re-treat/waterproof
                      $14-19 a yard.
                      Tends to stretch after being wet.
                      Howard Lohause has ~ 2 doz customers aver a month in regards, to re-treating covers less than 3 years old.
                      lasts 5-7 years
                      very breathable
                      good UV characteristics
                      poor water and leak resistance


                      Top-Gun data

                      Great abrasion and tear characteristics
                      good UV characteristics
                      Does not stretch very strong
                      superior water repelling and resistance
                      lasts 12 years+
                      $11-13 a yard
                      Made of polyester (looks like wire under microscope)
                      good breathing characteristics
                      Only 20 colors

                      a pic of my cover



                      Bear

                      " Jackson Lee II " 2003 Key West 1720 CC, 2003 Yamaha 115 TRLB

                      Mods to my Key West http://www.keywestboatsforum.com/topic716.html

                      Additions to my former Cobalt: http://www.boatingabc.com/forums/ubb.../514856/1.html

                      "SS Hurry Up" 1999 Bayliner Resto-mod: http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=292511

                      Comment



                      • #12
                        Re: Best fabric for boat cover?

                        Also FYI.

                        Sunbrella started out in the awning business.

                        Top Gun started out in the marine covering business..


                        Bear

                        " Jackson Lee II " 2003 Key West 1720 CC, 2003 Yamaha 115 TRLB

                        Mods to my Key West http://www.keywestboatsforum.com/topic716.html

                        Additions to my former Cobalt: http://www.boatingabc.com/forums/ubb.../514856/1.html

                        "SS Hurry Up" 1999 Bayliner Resto-mod: http://forums.iboats.com/showthread.php?t=292511

                        Comment



                        • #13
                          Re: Best fabric for boat cover?

                          Bear,

                          Thanks for the info. Sounds like Top Gun is the way to go.
                          sigpic 1985 Bayliner 1600 Capri Cuddy, 1965 MFG Niagara Custom. >> MFG Video<<. >> MFG Project<< >>Bayliner Hard Top Project<< >>Bayliner Repower Project<<

                          Comment



                          • #14
                            Re: Best fabric for boat cover?

                            Interesting. Certainly worth considering come new cover time. Thanks.
                            Better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
                            21' Suntracker(for my girls), 16' Polarkraft MV w/ 25 HP Merc(for me), 14' Odyssey bucket raft, Square stern Ouachita canoe (finally confessed to the admiral) Cute little 2.5 Merc, 16' Purple Mad River Explorer; vice-admiral's boat, but she lets me use it as long as I don't forget it's hers. Blue Hole Sunburst; a piece of history (or a piece of something else if you ask the admiral)

                            Comment



                            • #15
                              Re: Best fabric for boat cover?

                              Interesting comments. I make boat covers and I only use Sunbrella. My Sunbrella covers easily last 10 years. Its not the fabric that wears out on these covers...its the thread that sews them together that wears out. Most important thing to do to make a cover last is to keep it clean.

                              I have never heard the comment that Top Gun lasts longer than Sunbrella. Usually the other way around if not equal. As far as price goes, the prices listed by bear_69cuda are totally inaccurate as the wholesale price that the canvas maker pays is way lower. In all reality, the difference in price of the fabric is pretty insignificant because the labor is most of the cost of the cover. Top Gun is more difficult to sew in my opinion which is one of the reasons I don't use it.

                              Personally,the Top Gun doesn't breathe well enough. Even in California where I am that can be a problem. Its also not as color fast as Sunbrella.

                              If you really want to learn about the differences in the fabrics, go to this forum where people in the business hang out.

                              http://www.get-up-and-go.com/upholst...ex.php?board=1
                              1998 Wellcraft Eclipse 24 Cuddy
                              Volvo Penta Duo-Prop 7.4L "LK"

                              2006 Sun Tracker Party Barge 21
                              Mercury 90 4-Stroke FI
                              "Common sense is not very common"
                              "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail." -- John Wooden

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