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Best fabric for life ring cover

Printed From: Sailrite Enterprises, Inc.
Category: Canvas Work
Forum Name: Fabric Questions
Forum Discription: Questions about the use and types of fabrics
Printed Date: 05 December 2022 at 12:05pm

Topic: Best fabric for life ring cover
Posted By: CarolynC
Subject: Best fabric for life ring cover
Date Posted: 21 January 2013 at 10:27am
I need to replace our old life ring cover, which is badly faded and has rotten thread.  Current cover is some sort of coated canvas which is supposed to be "impervious to UV rays", according to the manufacturer.  The canvas is quite heavy and stiff with a vinyl-type coating on both sides.  I am unsure of the age of this cover, but it is likely close to 10 years old.  The orange life ring on the inside is still a very bright orange, despite living outdoors for a number of years.

My question is which fabric would you recommend using to make a replacement?  My most important criteria is UV protection, followed by mildew resistance.  I will be using my LSZ-1 to make a new cover.  I would like to match or come close to Sunbrella oyster for the cover color.  Thanks!

Posted By: Matt B
Date Posted: 21 January 2013 at 12:12pm
Hello Carolyn,

Marine Grade Sunbrella is breathable, UV resistant, has a 5 year warranty, easily cleaned and available in the color you desire.  Here is a link to this material : (copy and paste)
Best regards,
Matt Borden

Matt Borden


Posted By: marinette
Date Posted: 22 January 2013 at 11:15am
For some time I have been looking for pattern or best way to make a life ring cover. Would someone share ideas on how to best make one?

Posted By: CarolynC
Date Posted: 22 January 2013 at 1:36pm
Here's a link to a simple pattern based on my old cover." rel="nofollow -

The side pieces are cut curved, just as drawn, to fit snugly over the life ring.  The front curved pieces are narrower than the back curved pieces so the ring can be easily removed.  The center circular cover is closed with Velcro, as shown, for quick opening. 

On the inside I plan to add a strap, closed with Velcro, in the center to secure the coiled rope.  The rope should be threaded through a grommet on the back and tied to the railing.  I will add velcro tabs to secure the cover to the rail.

Hope this helps.

Posted By: CarolynC
Date Posted: 22 January 2013 at 1:45pm
Matt, any idea if the coated Sunbrella fabrics such as Seamark or Sunbrella Plus would offer more UV blockage than marine Sunbrella?  I am trying to minimize fading of the orange life ring inside the cover and need to minimize the amount of UV passing through the cover fabric.  I ask this because we have seen some fading of teak covered by marine Sunbrella.

Posted By: MattGrant
Date Posted: 22 January 2013 at 1:51pm
Seamark would be the best as it is really two layers of material (the Sunbrella with a vinyl inner layer). It is also very abrasion resistant.

Best Regards,
Matt Grant

Posted By: marinette
Date Posted: 22 January 2013 at 3:29pm
Carolyn, Thank you.

Posted By:
Date Posted: 22 January 2013 at 3:36pm
The fabric that was on the life ring sounds like a vinyl fabric like Weblon Regatta or Shelter-Rite. Weblon Regatta color Ivory may be the closest to the Sunbrella Oyster color. Shelter-Rite Beige may be the best to come close to Oyster (both are not exact color matches). Order a sample for best color matching and fabric feel.
The above fabrics are good for UV resistance, but no fabric is impervious to the UV rays. If you got 10 years out of the old stuff you did well.
Let me know if you have more questions.


Posted By: CarolynC
Date Posted: 22 January 2013 at 4:30pm
Thanks Matt and Eric for your feedback.  I will add some samples to my next order.

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