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HaleyF 08-15-2013 12:42 AM

Sail Cover Material
Potentially odd question. The guy who owned my boat before me kept everything in PRISTINE condition, except for the main sail cover. Only 1 on the snaps work, the zipper is half missing, etc. Im very proficient at pattern drafting and sewing so I'd like to replace it myself. What type of material should I look for to make a new one? Something that blocks UV and is water proofish?

blt2ski 08-15-2013 12:48 AM

Re: Sail Cover Material
Most will be a sunbrella canvas style cloth. To a degree, heavier cloth is better.

It will not be cheap, but that is the best cloth to use.


HaleyF 08-15-2013 12:51 AM

Re: Sail Cover Material
Thanks! They're like $250 and up to replace so as long as it's cheaper than that I'm set :) I can salvage parts of the old cover also.

CalebD 08-15-2013 12:56 AM

Re: Sail Cover Material
Not an odd question at all.
Marty is right: Sunbrella brand canvas fabric is best suited for this purpose, the heavier the better, up to a point.
This reputable vendor sells all different weights of Sunbrella fabric: | Home
There are also a few places you can buy a pre-made sail cover. I've never tried this though.
I guess you have a sewing machine and sewing experience?

Hand sewing Sunbrella should be easier than heavy dacron sail cloth.

HaleyF 08-15-2013 01:07 AM

Re: Sail Cover Material
Yeah I have an industrial sewing machine I've sewed leather and fake fur with so I think it should be able to handle some heavy canvas.

blt2ski 08-15-2013 01:42 AM

Re: Sail Cover Material
Now that I also see you have a C25, they are to a degree a dime a dozen. I can not remember who off the top of my head, but there was a sailmaker or two with off the shelf sails. I would not be surprised if some off the shelf sail covers are available.....

BUT, with that in mind also.....If you make your own, you can make the cover go all the way to the end of the boom, have snaps in places where the std will be trying to snap thru the boom vang or equal. I know UK Halsey has a measurement guide on there site. Using that along with your current one may get you close to how you really are setup. Also remember, your current sail may be a few/many years old. As they age, the can be more compact to the boom etc. so you may want to add an inch or two to the diam if you ever get a new sail, or one with full battens vs all partials etc.


Jeff_H 08-15-2013 01:39 PM

Re: Sail Cover Material
I concur with most of what has been said with a couple additional side notes.
-I typically have my sail covers cut with perhaps 3-4 extra inches on the skirt so that there is better ventilation for those days when you have not choice but to ride hard and put it away wet.
-I typically have a patch of the mesh used for trampolines on multihulls stitched into the inside of the sail cover at the top of the 'boot' so the headboard does not chafe through the sail cover cloth.
-I typically have a flap stitched between the zipper and the mast so the mast and zipper do not abrade against each other, and a second flap that velcro's over the zipper so that the zipper does not UV degrade. (I used to need to replace the zippers every 3 years or so.)
-The sail cover minimally needs to be 4-6 inches short of the length of your boom so you have room to stretch it tight so it sheds rain.
- I like to have a seam that runs the length of the top of the sail cover where the majority of stress occurs.


MarkSF 08-15-2013 05:38 PM

Re: Sail Cover Material
Normally the sail cover would be in the same sunbrella colour as the suncover on the jib, if yours is roller furling, that is.

If not, you are in the lucky position of choosing whatever colour you like.

My favourite is royal blue tweed.

Sailormon6 08-15-2013 06:07 PM

Re: Sail Cover Material
The Sunbrella color that you see most commonly is called Pacific Blue.

I used to have a C25, and made sail covers for it. I suggest you use the existing cover as a pattern for the new one, if you decide to make your own. It isn't difficult. Take the old cover apart by ripping out the stitches. From your description, it should come apart easily. Trace the outline of each piece on the new fabric. I used a piece of chalk. If you want to extend the length or modify it, it isn't difficult to freehand it a little. Instead of zippers, I used velcro to close the front edge, along the mast. I never had the velcro closure blow loose, although it did weaken it's grip when the fabric began to wear out. I also made grab rail covers for my present boat, held on with velcro, and they have been through a hurricane without coming loose.

One characteristic of Sunbrella is that it unravels along any cut edge. The pros cut it with a hot knife, to melt and seal the edge. I prevented the edges from unraveling by sewing along the edge with a zig-zag stitch. The better choice, though, would be to buy a good hot knife to do it properly.

Making a new mainsail cover is a good winter job. You can take off the mainsail for the winter and bag it, and then take the cover home to make the new one in your spare time, without having to bother with covering the mainsail while it's on the boom.

MarkSF 08-15-2013 06:12 PM

Re: Sail Cover Material

Originally Posted by Sailormon6 (Post 1074526)
The Sunbrella color that you see most commonly is called Pacific Blue.

Is is indeed, but Royal Blue Tweed has that hint of extra class ;) Guess which one my boat came with.

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