Sunbrella is acrylic - which as others have told you, will not dye well... unless you have access to commercial dyeing facilities which can do it. You might be able to talk to a smaller fabric jobber to see if there is anyone in your area who will do it. The chemistry of the dye needs to be compatible with acrylics, and the heat required to set it is relatively high.
Don't have any knowledge of things across the pond, but here in Canada, the dyers are frequently referred to as "fabric converters" as well as dye houses.
It costs about $400.00 a vat to do here...and if you doing a small run, then you have to wait for a down time - the business tends to be very seasonal, so it's not unusual for the plants to slow down.
Otherwise - there is a paint made by Crylon that is designed to bond with plastic - they advertise it here as being ideal for cheap garden furniture - apparently very flexible. Buy a small can and try it on a scrap or hidden piece before you spray everything.
If you choose to use fabric paint, make sure that you get one made for acrylic fabrics, and plan on thinning it and applying many, many coats. Because your fabric has been worn and the finishing has worn off unevenly, the first few coats need to be applied as a primer/base coat. Otherwise you are going to end up with a tie-dyed look.
Something else to think about - if you or someone you know is handy with a sewing machine, buy some nylon and cover the covers. Take the Sunbrella items off of your boat and lay each section flat on top of a large piece of paper. Trace around it for a pattern, then add an allowance to turn under to get a neat edge. Sew the edges under first, then sew it onto the cover. If you get a little creatvie, you can probably get by with just recovering/reinforcing areas of the covers, and not having to do the whole things....
Also - Check out the "Sailrite" website - they sell kits that can save you a lot of money.
Me - I would sell one of the children or the barter a kidney or something and get new ones...
Last edited by Sailormann; 03-10-2007 at 11:07 AM.