Winter care of Sunbrella - SailNet Community

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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 11-09-2004
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Winter care of Sunbrella

We have (alas, alack) taken our boat up the KK river (thats one of the three that makes the beer that makes Milwaukee Famous - but I digress) for the winter. I have brought home the dodger, sail covers, etc. I will do some stitching but it struck me that I don''t know how most people clean the fabric. So, suggestions on how I might prepare the "canvas" for next spring?
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Old 11-10-2004
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Winter care of Sunbrella

Zeph, Sunbrella starts out with a tight enough weave and a thread treatment that together make it watertight...but this wanes over time and will eventually start to become permeable after 1-2 years of full-time use. This process is accelerated if you clean the fabric (e.g. with a very mild, diluted soap/water solution and a brush), which of course the fabric eventually needs. Even with lighter colors, folks try to defer washing with any kind of soap for as long as possible. (When we feel we ''must'', we use a heavily diluted Woolite).

The question then becomes what do you use - and how do you apply - a fabric treatment to reestablish repellency. 303 is one common choice, and it usually is sprayed. However, applying your product of choice with a foam brush (on a warm, dry day) will insure the treatment lasts longer. Doing this with the fabric laid out somewhere will help you keep it off the vinyl windows.

Jack
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Old 11-10-2004
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Winter care of Sunbrella

Mine is about 7 years old and so I need to tend to it regualrly. If you wash it with a mild soap and light brush you''ll want to retreat it. Don''t put it in a machine. You don''t need to use that much effort. Actually a light brush and water may do most of the job.

Scotch Gaurd is about the best. The old stuff was better than the new stuff but my canvas guy could not say why. I also sggest the 303 protectant as it acts like a sunscreen against the UV. It''s the UV that eventually destroys the sunbrella. The 303 is not a water replant though. Both are good to use. Use the 303 a couple times a year. You just apply it and let it dry.

If it was stictched with Sunbrella thread expect the thread to not last as long as the canvas. Expect to pay a 10% of full replacement cost charge to restitch the canvas. For me it adds about 3 years of extra life. a canvas place should be able to do it and you won''t really be able to tell (other than the seams will be strong).

When geting new canvas done always spend the little extra money and use technora thread. It is made of GoreTex and will outlast the canvas. Sunbrtella thread is only "treated" against UV and won''t last as long as the canvas will. Technora is warranted to outlast the fabric. It takes a slightly larger needle to sew with so ask your canvas person.

You know the threads are going when you can run your finger along the seam and the stitches break. You''ll see it give out in hightstress areas too. You know you need a full restitch at that point. You won''t win that battle with mending. It means the thread is failing from UV. A well sewn fabric won''t need to be mended. The thread should be stronger than the fabric.
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Old 11-14-2004
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Winter care of Sunbrella

hi PaulBl, I''m having canvas put on our new Hunter 38, and it will be Sunbrella canvas(Dodger, bimini, connector,etc.) Are you saying that the Technora stitching is an option to me on new canvas? Or is it only an after market restitching option? If this is an option on new canvas, should the company I''m using to make my canvas be able to use the technora? And lastly, how expensive is the Technora? Any info on the subject will be greatly appreciated...Thanks
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Old 11-14-2004
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Winter care of Sunbrella

John, you''ll find that virtually every canvas shop can work with Technora. Paul''s estimate of it raising the price by perhaps 10% could be a good thumb-rule - but it depends on how much and what quality vinyl is used, how vast the coverage (and therefore the Sunbrella cost), and of course the labor rate used in the shop.

Technora may not earn its cost up on the Great Lakes or Pac NW but for the Gulf Coast, Chesapeake and areas inbetween its a wise investment, IME.

Jack
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