Let’s take a moment to talk about boats covers. From yachts, sailboats, cruisers, houseboats, and more, boats come in various types, shapes, and sizes. Some are made for freshwater, and some for the sea. When it comes to textiles for boat covers, it’s important to find the one that suits your specific circumstances.
So how do you know what type of textile is best for you and your particular boat? Start by answering some important questions:
- Is your boat for sea or freshwater?
- Is your boat stored indoors or outdoors?
- Is your boat in an environment with changing weather patterns: rain, snow, wind, and sunshine?
- Do you live in an area with high humidity?
- Does your boat have custom components that need to be protected from sunlight when not in use?
The above list of questions should get you started, but there are also associations and organizations that you can contact or consult to get more information about marine fabrics, including the Marine Fabricators Association and the American Boating Association.
Talking to professionals will help you determine what boat cover material is best for you. There are several types of materials commonly used to create boat covers that include:
- Vinyl: A simple, effective, and cost-efficient solution that is used in boat covers. Its simplicity makes it easy to use, and there are two types typically found in boat covers:
- Laminated Marine Vinyl: A specialized variation of Vinyl which is laminated instead of just brushed or coated. Laminated marine vinyl provides a sealed layer of protection from UV rays, mold and mildew, rips and tears, and is water resistant. Laminated marine vinyl is excellent for boat covers and other marine applications.
- Coated Marine Vinyl: Designed to be UV ray resistant, mold and mildew resistant, and water resistant. However because it is coated instead of laminated, the layer of protection may not last as long.
- Polyvinyl Composite: A composite of vinyl and polyester, this material is another great choice for boat covers because of its strength and resistance to UV rays, mold, mildew, and water.
- Acrylic: This specialty textile is a smart choice for boat covers because it is durable, moisture wicking, resistant to mold and mildew, and soft. However, this material creates static and can burn easily, and is not very abrasion resistant unless it is treated. Also, lower end acrylic fabrics are subject to unsightly pilling over time.
- Canvas: A natural textile that is made from a cotton base. Its tight weave makes it waterproof. Often, you see this material in sails, because it’s a strong fabric that doesn’t easily tear or rip. But remember, this is a heavier fabric and you may not like it’s weight and feel for a boat cover.
As you can see, there are a variety of marine fabric materials to choose from when it comes to boat covers; it’s up to your style, taste, and needs. Different situations will call for different types of materials, so while the Riviera Marine Fabric might be right for one boat, a different material might better suit someone else.
Remember, weather, salt or fresh water, and storage indoors or outdoors are major factors to consider when purchasing a boat cover. If you store your boat indoors, your boat cover doesn’t need to be as durable as one that’s designed for the outdoors. Boats stored outside require covers that are UV ray resistant, fit tight to your boat, waterproof, and more.
Boat covers are also designed to cover your boat from top to bottom, bow to stern, and the fabric should be easy to clean, lightweight, and colorfast so that it stays looking good and strong even after extended use. So before you purchase your boat cover, consult your supplier, manufacturer, or a professional so you can be sure you’re making the right choice for your needs.
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