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Boating Fabrics "101"

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Fabric Descriptions Breathability - A Must!
A Key - Support! How Fabrics are Weight Rated
Trailering Cover
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  Fabric Descriptions:  
7.6 oz. 100%

Great for TOWING, STORAGE, & MOORING. This state of the art 100% polyester is much more breathable than the fabrics available just a few years ago. Sun-DURA™ Polyester Marine fabric is manufactured by Glen Raven Inc., the same company that manufactures Sunbrella®, the #1 trusted name in marine fabrics. It's light weight makes it easy to handle and the tight weave of the fabric really keeps out the fine dust. If you have a large boat, you will appreciate the lighter weight of this fabric. This fabric has a full 7 year warranty. Also great for areas with high UV problems.

9.25 oz. 100% Acrylic Sunbrella®

If you've ever seen a real nice looking awning, boat cover, or piece of patio furniture with exceptionally vibrant color, chances are it's made with the Sunbrella® fabric. These guys simply put out a great fabric and have done so for many, many years. Their outdoor fabrics are by far the most requested in the world. Made totally from woven acrylic fibers, the strength is far above average and using a special weave allows the fabric to not only be water-resistant, it is also extremely breathable. All Sunbrella® fabrics are warranted for a full 10 years.

14 oz. Vinyl
w/ denim backing


A nice low cost fabric designed to be used in open air applications such as some bimini tops and also on OEM convertible tops. The denim backing is used to prevent the fabric from excessive stretching. Not for use on boat covers. This is a water-proof fabric. **Prop 65 Warning**

  Breathability - A Must!  

To avoid mold/mildew or possible dry-rot problems, your new boat cover must "breathe" adequately. One of the worst things you can do to your boat is to "lock-in" the moisture in your boat by enclosing it too tightly with a plastic or a vinyl type of covering.

The new Sun-DURA™ 100% marine polyester allows adeqaute circulation under the cover to help evacuate the moisture vapor that is present in most boat carpets, upholstery, and many bilges and hulls. The use of Vented Support Poles increases the air circulation under a cover greatly. Their use is highly recommended for boats with carpeting and upholstery as they help to continually remove moistureand support the cover to keep the rain draining off the cover.

Ideally the 100% Cotton fabric is the best for breathability, but it lacks sufficient strength for towing purposs and does not last long when exposed to excessive UV rays. If you plan on storing your boat on the water for the season and then storing it under a carport or in a building during the winter, 100% Cotton is a good fabric choice.

If you're considering a Custom fit cover, the Sunbrella® fabric may be for you if your budget allows. Unlike other man-made fabrics, the unique weave allows for proper ventilation and water resistance. If you're looking for a semi-custom fit cover, we suggest that you avoid the use of the Sunbrella® fabric due to the expense. The reasoning here is that on a custom fit cover we are confident that it will be a near perfect, if not perfect fit. On a semi-custom cover, your fit will be very good, but if it's not "perfect" you may feel that you have wasted a lot of money on a very nice fabric when it was not necessary.

One of the general duty fabrics used on boat covers is the 11 oz. 50/50 poly/cotton blend. Once again, it's very strong and can be used for trailering. Also, the 50% cotton in this fabric gives more than adequate ventilation underneath the cover to avoid the common problems of mold/mildew or dry-rot caused by lack of circulation.

  A Key to Your New Boat Covers Life - Support!  

If at all possible, properly support your boat cover to prevent water or snow accumulation on the cover. It's not the water that destroys most covers. The organisims that grow in the standing water on your cover will eat any natural cotton fibers in the fabric of your cover and cause it to fail prematurely! Also heavy water or snow accumulation can cause a cover to be pulled into your boat and place excessive strain on places in your cover that are not designed to take the pressure.

When using a cover support, be sure that the object supporting the cover is designed to spread out the strain on the fabric. A pole can poke through the best boat cover fabrics when the cover is tensioned downward with straps. Probably the best support system for the money is 1 or more Vented Support Poles. Some boats may need 2 (or more) of them to properly support the cover.

  How Fabrics are Weight Rated:  

After speaking with thousands of internet customers, a fairly common question was in regards to the weight of boating fabrics. The question being this: How do they come up with 7 oz., 10 oz., 11 oz., etc. ratings?

Most fabrics are weighed on a scale in a 1 square yard piece. The weight of the fabric is the weight per square yard. As you can see, a 6.5 oz. fabric is a very thin and lightweight fabric in comparison to an 11 oz. fabric which is much thicker and heavier per yard.

  Trailering Cover Recommendations:  

For trailering a boat with the cover on, the cover needs to have some sort of man-made fabric fiber in the cover. Normally, boat cover manufacturers use polyester or other fabric to achieve a high degree of rip and tear resistance.

Our 50/50 poly/cotton blend is a very good, high quality "utility" fabric in that the 50% polyester content provides exceptional strength and the 50% cotton allows your boat to breathe properly while the cover is in place.

The 100% Acrylic Sunbrella® is also an exceptional trailering fabric.

The 100% marine polyester is even stronger than the 50/50 poly/cotton blend (although they both carry a 3 year warranty) but its use should be avoided in areas where humidity is a concern.

When trailering, always secure your cover onto the trailer itself. The use of some sort of tie down strap is preferred to bungee type cords as the straps allow you to more thoroughly "cinch" the cover down to help prevent air from entering the cover from the bow of the boat and "parachuting." This can destroy any cover and can be a hazard to following traffic as well. If you need to use both straps and bungees, use the straps up front and the bungees on the stern portion of the cover.

Pads should be used on trailering covers to protect both the boat and the cover in high wear areas of the cover. Our custom covers come with all the padding in just the right spots. Providing adequate padding on a Semi-Custom cover in just the right spot to fit any boat is a near impossible feat to achieve. Semi-Custom covers will fit many makes of boats in specific styles such as V-hull runabouts, Tri-hulls, Bass boats, etc. If padding were provided to allow for every manufacturers designs, the entire cover would need padding! We have a solution!! To allow our customers to easily cusomize their new cover, we now offer "Peel-n-Stick" Ameri-Pads. These units are 10 inches wide and come in 6, 12, & 24 inch lengths. Ameri-Pads are a full 1/4" thick and made from a specially manufactured Non-abrasive Felt pad with a peel-n-stick adhesive backing to help you align them in the proper area of your new cover. To permanently apply an Ameri-Pad, a hand-held hair dryer is used to activate the bond. The adhesive is designed to withstand heat and moisture and adheres well to any new cover. If you should have any questions about this brand new product, please give us a call on our toll free number: 800-982-6966. You'll see our new Ameri-Pads in boat shops nationally soon! We're pretty proud of that.

  Mooring/Storage Recommendations:  

100% Cotton is the best fabric for storing a boat on or near the water. The 50/50 11 oz. Poly/Cotton blend is a great alternative to to 100% cotton if you desire to trailer your boat with the cover on or if your boat is moored or stored in a high wind area and it comes with a 3 year warranty verses a 1 year warranty on the 100% cotton.

When selecting a cover for mooring, try to get a cover with the elastic or bungee cord sewn into the perimeter rather than the draw-rope. It can be a real "pain" to properly place a boat cover when a draw-rope is working against you, especially if your access to the other side of the boat is limited. With a self-adjusting shock-cord (elastic or bungee) the cover will more readily take the shape of the hull.

If you will be leaving the boat unattended for extended periods, supporting your cover becomes more important as excessive water or snow accumulation on a boat that's stored on the water could be a disaster!

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