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Old 02-11-2013, 16:13   #1
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Talking Tarps & Grommets

No, NOT those ubiquitous Blue Tarps that start leaking like a sieve should they get a sideways glance.

We make our own tarps out of misc. Sunbrella pieces BUT I can't seem to find decent grommets. What's sold seems to be cheap aluminum or brass covered something, and they rust away seemingly overnight! Yet we've aboard 20-something year old canvas tarps with intact grommets - it's just that the canvas is, well, old!

Anyone know a source for long-lived grommets? Sea-air usable?

Or even tough tarps that'll last for several seasons? Water proof required.

Usage: covering bicycles on deck, sun/rain cockpit covers, stuff like that.

Thanks!

James
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Old 02-11-2013, 16:22   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svmariane View Post
No, NOT those ubiquitous Blue Tarps that start leaking like a sieve should they get a sideways glance.

We make our own tarps out of misc. Sunbrella pieces BUT I can't seem to find decent grommets. What's sold seems to be cheap aluminum or brass covered something, and they rust away seemingly overnight! Yet we've aboard 20-something year old canvas tarps with intact grommets - it's just that the canvas is, well, old!

Anyone know a source for long-lived grommets? Sea-air usable?

Or even tough tarps that'll last for several seasons? Water proof required.

Usage: covering bicycles on deck, sun/rain cockpit covers, stuff like that.

Thanks!

James
I would recommend the ones that farmers use to cover their haystacks, the silver ones. You can get them at a farm supply store.
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Old 02-11-2013, 16:39   #3
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Re: Talking Tarps & Grommets

trucker tarps are excellent
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Old 02-11-2013, 16:41   #4
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Re: Talking Tarps & Grommets

McMaster-Carr sells Mil-Spec all brass grommets (and 305 SS that I've never tried).

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Old 02-11-2013, 17:44   #5
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Re: Talking Tarps & Grommets

Quote:
Originally Posted by svmariane View Post
No, NOT those ubiquitous Blue Tarps that start leaking like a sieve should they get a sideways glance.

We make our own tarps out of misc. Sunbrella pieces BUT I can't seem to find decent grommets. What's sold seems to be cheap aluminum or brass covered something, and they rust away seemingly overnight! Yet we've aboard 20-something year old canvas tarps with intact grommets - it's just that the canvas is, well, old!

Anyone know a source for long-lived grommets? Sea-air usable?

Or even tough tarps that'll last for several seasons? Water proof required.

Usage: covering bicycles on deck, sun/rain cockpit covers, stuff like that.

Thanks!

James
Not to put too fine a point on it, but cruising the South Pacific doesn't give too much hint where your next good supply point will be. If Papeete, try the sailmakers. Usually they have ss grommetts, but there, they will be very expensive. However, if you take your fabric, ready for the grommets, they will, for a fee, place the grommets where you have marked it. When you're looking at the bill, remember they pay 100% duty on everything.

If you are further west, oonce you get to Fiji, it is pretty easy to have "stuff" shipped in from NZ or Australia. Again, "cheap" isn't part of the picture, but good quality ss grommets will be available by the 100. One box lasts a long time. I've never been to American Samoa, but you can get West Marine (and probably other companies) from the US, to ship there, I'm quite sure.

If you are in New Caledonia, first make the trip to Customs and the Port Captain: they will help you with the paper work required before importing the grommets "for yacht in transit".

Incidentally, Vanuatu is not a good place right now to try to do this. Too bad.
Hope this helps.

Ann
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Old 02-11-2013, 19:37   #6
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Re: Talking Tarps & Grommets

Vanuatu became a lot easier to bring in duty and VAT free stuff for yachts this year. Customs give you a clearance form and voila 750 vatu paperwork fee for customs, whatever the courier company charges (DHL is andother 750 vatu) and you're good to go. We are also negotisating with rates and taxes to have in country marine services VAT free for cruising yachts. That said, we don't have decent grommets here.
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Old 02-11-2013, 19:45   #7
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Re: Talking Tarps & Grommets

Thanks, all, for the good ideas! Now to go on-line shopping....

Oh, and Ann? I'll update my profile to show I'm laying over in American Samoa.
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Old 03-11-2013, 08:19   #8
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Re: Talking Tarps & Grommets

Tarp Grabber plastic that pierce the tarp that you pinch the two halves together the grips the tarp. The can be installed anywhere on the tarp and the are reusable and relocated. Been using the 10+ years with no failures. Great for custom made tarps and they are cheap and easy to install
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Old 03-11-2013, 11:44   #9
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Re: Talking Tarps & Grommets

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Tarp Grabber plastic that pierce the tarp that you pinch the two halves together the grips the tarp. The can be installed anywhere on the tarp and the are reusable and relocated. Been using the 10+ years with no failures. Great for custom made tarps and they are cheap and easy to install
Huh. Learn something new every day. They look like a neat idea. And a quick Google search shows them at less than a buck each.

Question: Have you used them on sail cloth, or Sunbrella? All the images I saw from Google show them being used on plastic-type tarp material. Just wondering if they would handle thicker material, especially where the tarp edge is doubled over to prevent unraveling. Your thoughts?
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Old 03-11-2013, 12:04   #10
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Re: Talking Tarps & Grommets

Due to the short strands with which Sunbrella is woven, I would guess that the grabbers would cause a lot of broken or torn out threads. I do know from experience that s/s Grommets work just fine, as long as the cloth is at least double. I generally reinforce the edges of awnings with dacron tape, and so on mine, the grommet goes through that at well. These are sailmakers' grommets with little teeth. Very useful product.

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Old 03-11-2013, 12:35   #11
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Re: Talking Tarps & Grommets

Ann,

Are these similar to what you're talking about?
{Scroll WAY down the page for SS grommets.}Access Grommets All Sizes And Setting Tools Around The Corner & Around The World !
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Old 03-11-2013, 13:36   #12
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Re: Talking Tarps & Grommets

Yes, those look like the ones. You'll need the setting tools, too, either like the ones shown (including the hole puncher) or the big, long handled hand setting tool used by folks who make dodgers and awnings. Unfortunately, the grommets are the least of the costs.

Jim says they are sometimes referred to as "spur" grommets.

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Old 03-11-2013, 18:58   #13
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Re: Talking Tarps & Grommets

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Originally Posted by svmariane View Post
Huh. Learn something new every day. They look like a neat idea. And a quick Google search shows them at less than a buck each.

Question: Have you used them on sail cloth, or Sunbrella? All the images I saw from Google show them being used on plastic-type tarp material. Just wondering if they would handle thicker material, especially where the tarp edge is doubled over to prevent unraveling. Your thoughts?
I have not had a grabber come undone or been torn out if the two halves were tightly so the two halves are sqeezed tightly together. I have gone through several layers. the neet think is you can quickly and easily added or change. In winds up to 60+ mph they have held were cromets have failed.
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Old 04-11-2013, 16:50   #14
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Re: Talking Tarps & Grommets

I've had better luck with strength and durability by sewing an overlaying trident nylon straps to a "D"-ring just away from the edge of the tarp.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:20   #15
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Re: Talking Tarps & Grommets

This week end we had winds up to 60 MPH, all the tarp grabbers held. The tarp and PBC frame, shaked, rattled and rolled.

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