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Old 28-10-2015, 13:59   #1
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Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

Hi,

I am considering of getting a stackpack (=the permanent fixed combination of lazyjack & sailcover).

As I am on a budget and this cover stays fixed on the boom, I am wondering if it could not be made of the same material trucks use to cover the loading bay.
Usually it is a PVC covered cloth.

It is surely heavier than Sunbrella but material costs will be a fraction.

Just not sure how well it lasts in tropical sunlight.
Anyone has experience/tried this?

Along the lower edge I will have a mesh strip for aeration.

The PVC material is fully waterproof.
By the way, any recommendations on weather Velcro or a heavy duty zipper is better (longevity)for closing the stackpack?

Thanks for your thoughts!

Franziska
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Old 28-10-2015, 14:04   #2
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Re: Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

You can get Sunbrella exterior fabric for $20 per yard, with a 60" width. So you should be able to do your main cover for what, $100?

Not worth the savings to go for inferior fabric.
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Old 28-10-2015, 14:08   #3
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Re: Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

A cheap(er) option that would be miles better than tarp material is Marine One fabric on Ebay. About 1/2 the price of Sunbrella!

I built everything on my boat out of it. Haven't had it long enough to know if my gamble paid off though.
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Old 28-10-2015, 14:12   #4
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Re: Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

Not a good idea. I had a lunch bag made from tarp pvc. I washed it and hung it in the sun to dry. This was August in Colorado. The bag disintegrated to dust in one week. My bag might have been of an inferior product but UV will kill anything!
We also cover our 26 foot boat wirh pvc tarp each fall. Its in shade at least 8 hours of the day but by march its powdery, thinned in places and holey.
Its cheao enough for the boat....but....
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Old 28-10-2015, 15:19   #5
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Re: Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

I have 2 of them. They are what we put over our boat in the tropics. They are about 8 years old now. The grommets are long gone and leave rust stains. Other than that they are still in very good shape.
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Old 28-10-2015, 15:29   #6
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Re: Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

Guy, you mean you have 2 PVC type stackpack's and they last well?
Very interesting, seems to collide with Sea Dreaming's experience.

To all of you thanks for the input so far!

Generally I would expect the PVC to last quite well if it is the same as used on trucks.
Transport companies surely do not want to replace often.
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Old 28-10-2015, 15:30   #7
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Re: Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

Of course not all coated fabrics are the same, even different brands of "PVC coated" fabrics. Really need specific brand/fabric to get valid feedback.

I have sun/srorage awnings made out of a PVC coated material I got in Guatemala (dont recall brand etc, but can find out if wanted). Great stuff. Seams were bonded with a solvent, so water proof. Fabric itelf has held up great, over about 4 years, zero sign of UV damage, despite many continuous months per year in the sun. The solvent bonds have started to let go, but easily repaired with stitching.
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Old 28-10-2015, 15:56   #8
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Re: Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

[QUOTE=Franziska;1948530]Guy, you mean you have 2 PVC type stackpack's and they last well?


No I have 2 12x12 PVC truck tarps we bought in Golfito CR. Welded seams but no sign of coming un welded yet. The grommets were steel and rusted.
We put them up when we leave the boat for 6 months every year, 8 years now. There is some uv damage of course but overhaul pretty good shape. It's much heavier than Sunbrella.
Big difference between a good PVC tarp and the rather cheap PVC coated tarps you get at any hardware store
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Old 28-10-2015, 16:07   #9
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Re: Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

i was giifted a truck tarp . i used it for summer cover for one season and it was done.
consider this--if pvc dinks dont make 5 yrs in tropical sun, why would a pvc tarp last longer in sun??? does that make sense?? try another fabric.
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Old 28-10-2015, 16:16   #10
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Re: Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

saw the results of stackpack damages in ocean and storms.. not pretty. i will keep traditional cover with traditional lazy jax, thankyou. goodluck with your venture. i hope it turns out well for you/.
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Old 28-10-2015, 16:27   #11
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Re: Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

Zeehag, apart from the valid comment on dinghy PVC, you refer to damage by added windage due to the stackpack, do you?

Not sure if my fullbatten main has less windage without cover.

Materialwise I consider something Sunbrella like now.
Cheap material seams cheap to rebuy.Still the expensive labour needs to be paid twice then too.
Looks like PVC is not a good idea.
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Old 28-10-2015, 16:39   #12
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Re: Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

You might check out this link: Vinyl Tarps Super Duty 18oz

Home page: Tarps | Discount Tarps | Custom Tarps for Sale by Tarp Supply

We use these after getting tired of the ubiquitous "hardware store" blue ones that kept falling apart. White ones reflect sunlight & sort of blend in with the boat's colour. Special function/size tarps we make by hand from Sunbrella.

Just a thought....

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Old 28-10-2015, 17:13   #13
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Re: Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
Zeehag, apart from the valid comment on dinghy PVC, you refer to damage by added windage due to the stackpack, do you?

Not sure if my fullbatten main has less windage without cover.

Materialwise I consider something Sunbrella like now.
Cheap material seams cheap to rebuy.Still the expensive labour needs to be paid twice then too.
Looks like PVC is not a good idea.
my fully battened main ties small onto my boom. lots smaller than stackpack. much less windage.
watched a 72 ft cat with stackpak n allbells and whistlez in a barely tropical marina as crew removed the VERY pricy VERY shredded stackpak.
was quite enough for my curiosity.
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Old 29-10-2015, 12:27   #14
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Re: Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

The United States Navy extensively used a fabric from the Herculite Company for temporary covers and more permanent panels. It is by far the best outdoor material I have ever been exposed to. It was probably at least 20 OZ nylon mesh cored PVC in very large widths and various military colors. Since it came from the Navy Supply System, I never considered what is cost.
Only thing that damaged it was Munitions and Fire.
Compared to Herculite, Sunberra is a baby diaper.
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Old 29-10-2015, 13:08   #15
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Re: Longevity of truck PVC tarp in the tropics?

We buy "heavy duty white tarp"s from Home Depot. From a long/medium distance they look like sailcloth we have been told. People do not realize its PVC until they are literally pulling up to the boat.

We have had them out almost full time in Florida/Keys/Bahamas for the last year and a half and we think we could get another 6 months out of them. Two of them cost about $35 total.

However, if we were going to use it for a stackpack, we would go with something that breathes. Otherwise you will get mold on your sails.
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