material choice for new cabin cushion covers.. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 40 Old 08-28-2012 Thread Starter
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material choice for new cabin cushion covers..

My cushion covers are getting old and a bit moldy on the underside. I am thinking about making new covers for them. My current cushions covers are suede. I am planning on using PVC vinyl because they can be easily wiped down and cleaned. Mold also doesn't grow as easily? Any opinions? Good and bad of vinyl?
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post #2 of 40 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: material choice for new cabin cushion covers..

I think Vinyl is uncomfortable and sticky in hot weather. I had cushions made of Sunbrella - no mold and very easy to clean. It is not 100% comfortable due to its texture, but a good compromise.
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post #3 of 40 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: material choice for new cabin cushion covers..

The above is dead-on. My first sailboat I redid the cushions in vinyl and was very disappointed when it came to comfort, especially for sleeping. They're definitely easier to maintain, but not at all pleasant when it's just a tad hot OR cold.
In boat 2, I went with a softer "outdoor" material that I found at JoAnns Fabrics. I wish I could remember the name of it, but at least I got the store. It wasn't sunbrella, but along that type.
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post #4 of 40 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: material choice for new cabin cushion covers..

I second the recommendation of Sunbrella...
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post #5 of 40 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: material choice for new cabin cushion covers..

We went with vinyl, and you do stick to it, but if we sleep on them, then we use sheets or a blanket so it isn't a big deal. I like that we don't have to worry about spills or wet bathing suits or whatever, and we just wipe them down instead of having to vacuum. I think they may outlast me.

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post #6 of 40 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: material choice for new cabin cushion covers..

We chose a nice commercial grade upholstry fabric for the top and sides, and put vinyl on the bottoms. Since we invested a lot of money into the new cushions we take them off the boat through the winter and store them in the garage. If you have a mold problem it might be a good idea to address the moisture and humidity problem that is causing the mold. I don't know where you live, but I understand it is a difficult problem in some climates.

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post #7 of 40 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: material choice for new cabin cushion covers..

sunbrella or the next one to it ...it also has ....rella name .....
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post #8 of 40 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: material choice for new cabin cushion covers..

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Originally Posted by SchockT View Post
We chose a nice commercial grade upholstry fabric for the top and sides, and put vinyl on the bottoms. Since we invested a lot of money into the new cushions we take them off the boat through the winter and store them in the garage. If you have a mold problem it might be a good idea to address the moisture and humidity problem that is causing the mold. I don't know where you live, but I understand it is a difficult problem in some climates.
Same combination here, except the sides. I think it's really the best way to go. The vinyl sides and bottoms are easy to clean and the cloth tops are much more comfortable than any plastic. If you're going to spend any amount of time on the boat, why have to sit on sticky plastic? Cloth also allows them to breathe. The only drawback is that the cloth will not last as long as the heavy vinyl. Mine have a couple of small worn spots but whatever fabric is on there is pretty durable stuff. When I recover them, will just do the tops with a comfortable fabric and save the white vinyl part which is pretty much indestructible and is the most complicated to reproduce with the long zippers. What fabric did you decide on?

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Last edited by smurphny; 08-28-2012 at 03:50 PM.
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post #9 of 40 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: material choice for new cabin cushion covers..

Cotton Duck...Way "softer" than Sunbrella...

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post #10 of 40 Old 08-28-2012
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Re: material choice for new cabin cushion covers..

I use Sampson, 3 oz dacron, saturated with PVC. It's much tougher than naugahyde which is only reinforced with cheese cloth.It also comes in 60 inch width and is cheap. It's the same stuff Baja bags, Kayakers waterproof bags, are made out of.
I tried cloth covers , for half a winter, then went for waterproof material, for the next 40 years.. I'd never go back to fabric.

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