Re: Allmand sub-forum
Denise, I used Sunbrella Marine. I agree with you, the list price is insane! Sailrite has it at a much better price (typically $3-4/yard less), but you have to add it to your cart to see their discounted price.
My problem was that I needed a new sail cover, and that sail cover needed to (at least somewhat) match the sacrificial cover on the jib. And whatever cover material I picked, I also wanted to use for my bimini and dodger. Which meant it would also go on the lifeline pads, and the... well, you get the idea. I REALLY didn't want to order 20+ yards at over $20/yard. I think my wife would have killed me, and I really couldn't justify the expense to myself, either. So, I started looking for alternatives, and I found an article in Practical Sailor from a few months ago in which they tested a few different fabrics. Sunbrella is the "gold standard" in most of the industry, and the stuff has proven that it works very well, and the PS review essentially confirmed this. There were other materials that came close, but those were purported to be a little harder to work with for home/DIY purposes. I had also tried an off-brand of outdoor fabric on my last boat, and in a single season the material deteriorated horribly in the UV. I didn't coat it with 303 or anything, and maybe that was my mistake, but it was supposed to be outdoor, marine-grade fabric. I knew I wasn't going to go with that stuff again.
So, I decided I would go with Sunbrella, but that I would find an inexpensive source for it, then figure out what my cost would be. That's when I found the guy on eBay from whom I purchased this stuff. He says it's real sunbrella (only time will tell), and that it's cut-offs from awning manufacturers and others like that. His pieces are only in the 2-4 yard range, with most of it being on the shorter end, and you're stuck with whatever he has in stock at that time (unless you want to wait, but he doesn't know what's coming from week-to-week). He had one 4-yard piece, which was perfect for the top of my dodger, and several 3-yard pieces, so that's what I ordered. My sail cover has a seam about halfway down the boom because I a) didn't care that it was there, and b) didn't want to "waste" the long piece I had on the cover, I wanted that for the dodger. I forget exactly how many 3-yard sheets I ordered, I think it was 4 or 5, plus the 4 yard sheet for the dodger top. So far, I've made the sail cover, bimini, dodger, and lifeline covers, and I have a decent amount of material left. No whole sheets anymore, but I do have enough to make a "connector piece" between the bimini and dodger, plus I should have enough for a companionway cover, winch covers, and a few other things. I don't think I have enough for a wheel cover, but I'll have to see.
Anyway...probably TMI, but the point is, I was able to get all of that material for around $200, including shipping. It worked out to $8-9 a yard, if I recall correctly.
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1980 Allmand 31
1975 Albacore 15
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