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PaulfromNWOnt 02-26-2011 08:17 AM

sail cover
I recently say a set of rainwear at a sporting goods store that appeared to be made of Tyvek, and it occurred to me: Could I possibly make a sail cover from this material?

I understand that the material degrades under UV, but if I can get 2 seasons out of it, it would be cheap enough to replace.

Please understand, I'm not poor, just chintzy.

Sabreman 02-26-2011 09:02 AM

I understand frugal, but look at it from a practical view... every couple of years you'd have to rebuild the ugliest mainsail cover in the world. Why not do it right and then forget about the job for 6-10 years? In the end, doing the job right is usually the cheapest (in price and effort) to doing it cheaply.

Just my $0.02

sailingdog 02-26-2011 09:40 AM

Well, you might also consider that the real purpose of a sail cover is to protect the sail from UV. Tyvek may not block all the uv that a heavier sail cover made of traditional materials would. This means your sails, which are a bit of an expense to replace, may be getting more UV damage than they should. Also, you have to consider the time and effort that goes into making the cheap tyvek sailcover could easily go into making a much more durable, more protective sunbrella sailcover just as easily.

BTW, Tyvek, at least heavy duty Tyvek that would be suitable for your sailcover isn't that cheap. Going the cheap route usually ends up being far more expensive than doing it properly.

baboon 02-26-2011 11:58 AM

I recently went cheep by getting an ebay sorced sailcover. It is sunbrella, but certainly not as well made as a local loft. At 1/3 the price it looks pretty good.

PaulfromNWOnt 02-26-2011 03:27 PM

Thanks SD, I hadn't considered UV penetration. Good call.

Sabreman, if you knew me, you'd understand that there is a certain appeal to having the "ugliest sailcover" in all of creation. lol

Baboon, I think you might be onto something there, I can always work with something a little less to make it a little more. :)

Sabreman 02-26-2011 04:24 PM

I make my own sailcovers. Buying the materials isn't that expensive and making a main sail cover is probably the easiest canvas job on the boat. I used my old ones as a template - no thinking involved. I've done it on a home machine and also on a Sailrite machine. Since the cover doesn't have a lot of thickness, a home machine can pull it off if the needle is big enough.

I've also made all the other decorative canvas, curtains, and cushions on the boat (including the blue bimini and cover in my avatar), a HUGE savings. Sewing is a very useful skill to develop.

PaulfromNWOnt 02-27-2011 03:52 AM

I haven't started pricing out materials yet, but unless the price is truly remarkable, I'll likely make the cover myself.

I've got at least another month before the snow is gone, and the ice won't be out for 2, so I'm still looking at options.

Thanks for the help folks.

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