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Old 09-07-2017, 09:34   #1
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Dinghy cover from old sail

I'm finishing the build on a nesting pram for my boat. I just found a large jib in the trash that looks in pretty good shape. Could I use this to make a cover for my dinghy or would it rot out too quick to make it worth the effort
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Old 09-07-2017, 20:27   #2
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Re: Dinghy cover from old sail

It's a nesting pram, and you're building it out of what? plywood and glass? It will be painted. Why would you need to cover it at all? Sorry if I'm being dense. Everyone we know with nesting dinghies just paints them. Usually, the designs nest upside down, on deck.

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Old 09-07-2017, 20:52   #3
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Re: Dinghy cover from old sail

Well, assuming that you go on and make a cover (for whatever reason) the old sail could indeed be used. Depending on how much UV damage has already occurred, the cloth could last a couple of years or with luck, quite a long time.

In my view, sailcloth is not a great material for such projects no matter what its age. First, it is designed to minimize bias stretch so that sails maintain shape well. This means that it is pretty unforgiving when you are trying to fit an oddly shaped object with it... a little stretch is the amateur canvas workers friend! Secondly, the individual panels are pretty narrow, and this means piecing together bits to get wide enough material for your project... not insuperable, but adds time and chances for errors to the build. Third, if the aim of the cover is UV protection, old sailcloth isn't particularly good at this. If the aim is keeping rain out, you will have lots of old stitching holes here and there, and they leak!

So, unless you are pretty competent in canvas work (and I suspect not or you wouldn't be asking this question!) I'd advise starting out with some new cloth. Depending on budget , this could be Weather Max or for more $ Sunbrella, or whatever cheap "canvas" you can find in local shops. Sometimes roll ends can be had inexpensively... try E-bay!

Good luck with it!

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II lying Bruny Is/Kettering, waiting for the damn Northerlies to abate!
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