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Forum LockedSharing my Stupid Mistake

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Sue2 View Drop Down
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    Posted: 16 November 2015 at 4:05pm
It's kind of embarrassing, but if I can prevent anyone else from making the same mistake, it will make mine a little less painful.

Two years ago, I found a "great deal" on a fabric called "Pro-Tuf Marine Vinyl."  It looked like a decent fabric, so I bought some and made a simple tent-style winter cover for friends.  Well, the fabric is JUNK.  After only two seasons - less than 12 months of exposure to the elements - the fabric is rotten.  The coating is crumbling off, and the fabric tears when you pull on it moderately.  It is prone to abrasion, and anywhere a hole pokes through it, is the starting point for a tear.  

I tried to patch the cover to get one more year out of it, and after 2 windy days, it had torn in three more places.  Besides the cost of the material and my time, I have to deal with the embarrassment of having something I made disintegrate.  I have seen 30-year old Sunbrella sail covers that look better than this.

So there it is - let my lesson be your own.  Do not use cheap fabric, especially on a project that requires many hours of work.  If you find "Pro-Tuf vinyl, RUN AWAY and don't look back.  Your projects are only as good as the materials you use.

-Sue  (smarter now!)
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PeteinMich View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PeteinMich Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2015 at 2:09pm
Good to know Sue thanks for the info! 
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MattGrant View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MattGrant Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 November 2015 at 2:59pm
Thanks Sue. We agree that the selection of materials is of upmost importance. Sailrite actually has a product testing board so we can test the long-term life of everything from fabric to plastic parts and webbing. Our process is not scientific but it is certainly helpful in selecting and offering new products that will last.
Best Regards,
Matt Grant
Sailrite
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wingless View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wingless Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 November 2015 at 7:52am
The thread is also very important.

The thread on the new enclosure installed by the factory on my new Searay started disintegrating after a couple of years. It then accelerated quickly to the cover falling apart waaay prior to the fabric failing.

Before I taught myself to sew, I would spend hours w/ a needle and thread attempting to restore the enclosure to usable while at anchor. It was a losing proposition.

They also used Nylon instead of polyester Velcro, which also disintegrated.

All the materials selected for the project need to be appropriately selected.
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Sue2 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sue2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 November 2015 at 10:07am
Going off on the "velcro" tangent - I, personally, have never been a fan of velcro, but sometimes it is the best option.  I like to back it up with mechanical fasteners:  Like a velcro cover flap for a zipper.  I have seen too many velcro-front sail covers flapping in the breeze.

Nylon velcro is cheapest, and does not hold up well to UV, but it can open and close somewhere on the order of 10,000 times before it wears out - "high cycle life."   Polyester is more UV resistant, but has a significantly lower cycle life.  Velcro calls it "medium cycle life," but I've run across numbers less than 1000 openings/closings.  This is something to consider - is it a winter cover or a daily-use sail cover?

-Sue


Edited by Sue2 - 18 November 2015 at 10:07am
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