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  #11  
Old 02-28-2013
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Re: Good prices on Sunbrella?

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Originally Posted by T37Chef View Post
I was going to ask if there were any other manufactures of sunbrella like fabrics. Seems Sunbrella is the only name in marine/outdoor fabrics?
Maybe Weathermax 80? Weathermax fabric
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  #12  
Old 02-28-2013
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Re: Good prices on Sunbrella?

I got 15 yards of Sunbrella on ebay for $6 / yard. It was 1 piece, 6" wide and in perfect condition. Pacific Blue I think. So, cruise Ebay and you might get lucky.
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Old 03-01-2013
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Re: Good prices on Sunbrella?

Best prices I've found on Sunbrella was at CanvasTraining.com (AKA Marine Snap and Tool Distributors).

Great customer service too.
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2013
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Re: Good prices on Sunbrella?

Shawn,
There are several other companies that make outdoor materials, and some even make them for the marine environment. But Sunbrella is the market leader and has established a reputation for quality. Plus, most boat manufaturers, and most sail lofts/canvas makers, use Sunbrella and not other brands. I may need a dodger and bimini for the new (to us) boat - the frames were there, but I didn't see any of the fabric pieces when I was aboard last time. So, I'm trying to see if there is a good source for Sunbrella or Sunbrella-like fabric that I could use to make the Bimini and dodger. The mainsail cover is coming apart and will need to be replaced or repaired. If it weren't for the fact that the jib has a Sunbrella cover (roller furling), I'd probably try a different brand of fabric. But I'm 80-90% sure that the jib cover is Sunbrella, and the main's cover is likely to be Sunbrella too, so I'd like the bimini and dodger to match as close as I can.

As an aside, I bought some "Pacific Blue" marine fabric on eBay for my old boat. It wasn't Sunbrella, and when it arrived, it didn't match the existing, Sunbrella Pacific Blue dodger or the mainsail cover, but I decided I was OK with it being mismatched because the price was right, and the colors were complimentary. Over last winter, I made lifeline pads and covers, storage bags that hung over the stern rail, sheet bags, a tiller cover, a hatchboard bag, and a bunch of other stuff with the fabric. When spring came and I put them on the boat, she looked sharp (I was proud of my very amateurish work). By the time September came, the fabric that was left outside had faded a LOT, and was dry and brittle. Snaps pulled through 2 and 3 layers of the material, and it just wasn't living up to my expectations. Now, I may have been able to make the material last longer by treating it with 303 or something like that, but I THOUGHT I was buying outdoor fabric that was comparable to Sunbrella (which doesn't need that kind of treatment the first year). So, I'm a little gun-shy at this point. Given the labor that will go into making the bimini and dodger (and a binnacle cover, and winch covers, and a companionway cover, and...), I think I'd rather spend a few dollars more and get a known quantity. Weathermax might work, but I'd need to know more about it.

I know Practical Sailor did a review of two different outdoor fabrics (one of which was Sunbrella) and they thought both were decent, though Sunbrella was a better choice for biminis because it blocked more sunlight than the other brand.
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Old 03-01-2013
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Re: Good prices on Sunbrella?

Never used anything other than Sunbrella. We have a Sailite LZ-1 machine and my wife has made bimini, dodger, sail cover, dinghy cover, outboard cover and sacrifical cfor the jib out of it. We bought 40 yards of it from Sailrite when they had a 20% off coupon ( you can call them and ask them the next time they are running and they will tell you). You can also negotiate the price per yard when you by over 20 yards too. It may be worth it. Going into year 5 on the bimini and dodger and dinghy cover, the sunbrella is holding up well. Just make sure you rinse it a fair amnount in season and wash it in woolite and protect it with special spray every winter. Also use strataglass when making windows. Dont cheapen out with others as they will wave and also the clarity wont be there. You must also polish the strataglass with the special IMAR wax 2 times a year.

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Old 03-01-2013
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Re: Good prices on Sunbrella?

Shawn,
The stuff I found was called ProTuf Marine Fabric. I got it on eBay, and wouldn't buy it again.

JoAnn's is currently having a sale, 30-40% off outdoor fabrics. The salesperson there said that they haven't had any complaints about the Solarium brand that they had in their store. Sunbrella is available online - but it's $50/yard.
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Old 03-01-2013
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Re: Good prices on Sunbrella?

If you're going to invest your time and effort into doing your own canvas work, why take a chance on some unknown product. The savings are mostly in your sweat equity. Products like Sunbrella have been proven over time and are worth a few bucks more than brand X although some of their prices are out of line with reality. Same with sailcloth. Why skimp on something on which you're going to depend?
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Old 03-01-2013
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Re: Good prices on Sunbrella?

Look on eBay, there are often sunbrella in the color of your choice. I bought some @ $3/ft to make wheel covers, a real bargain.
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Old 03-01-2013
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Re: Good prices on Sunbrella?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
Thanks. For some reason, I thought Sunbrella was excluded from the Joann's sales.
At all the Joanns I've been to Sunbrella is on special order, and special orders are excluded. I'm in Florida.

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Old 03-01-2013
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Re: Good prices on Sunbrella?

We bought "Sunbrella-like" material on Ebay and have been happy with the quality so far. Search "Marine One Outdoor Fabric" and you'll see it comes in a bunch of colors. The seller I bought it from was Textile Specialists and they sell sunbrella as well, just not in a ton of colors. We ended up paying $7.50 a yard I believe. Much more manageable as we're on a serious budget.

So far I've made a dodger and sail cover from it. You can see how it looks here

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