itted covers versus mass-produced. What’s the advantage?
no doubt that mass-market covers for dinghies and RIBs keep the rain off, but usually these
covers are obviously a “one-size-fits-all” product which “fits where it
touches”. Fitted covers, as they tend to flap and chafe less, and collect no standing water, will last longer, look better
and protect what they are covering better. They
also add resale value to your boat.
Can you make items to
measurements I supply?
Certainly, but always with the proviso that
your measurements are correct. Please see the Measurements page for the guide
on how to measure for your item.
What materials should I
For heavy use and to cope with heavy seabird soiling, a
smooth finish PVC is best for Tonneau cockpit covers. This will be hard
wearing and easy to clean, and may also be used all year round.
Sprayhoods, Acrylic is more usual for yachts, being easier to fold and lighter, though a soft matt finish PVC can
also work well. Both acrylic and PVC sprayhoods are reinforced where
necessary with PVC panels.
Do you still use
If you have a wooden boat, there are some advantages to
having a cover made from actual Canvas, as this is more breathable than
Acrylic or PVC. However, the cloth can change colour with age and look very worn quicker than Acrylic or PVC.
Canvas works well for large winter lay-up covers, partially as the material is
quite inexpensive. Canvas will put up with a lot more wear than Acrylic, but
will not look as good for as long.
How can I keep my
canvas-work looking good?
The big killers of fabric outdoors is
prolonged exposure to sunlight and mould/lichen growth. If you have invested a
lot of money in a sprayhood or canopy, you can extend the life of the item by
folding it down and keeping the stowed hood covered with a far
cheaper UV proof cover. Even a square of old tarp will do. If you have to
leave the boat for long periods, fold the canopy down if you can, and just cover it. The same goes for “best”
covers and cushion covers. Cockpit cushions can be
made with a working inner and Best outer covers.
For the same reason,
never leave a sprayhood, canopy or even dodgers on the boat over winter.
Remove all fabric items when laying up and store in a dry place. That way, they’ll
last at least twice as long.