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Old 05-05-2020, 18:08   #1
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Fender Covers advice experiences etc

I'm guessing if this is the correct place to post this question. We are looking for
advice, experience, concerning what's the best fabric to look for when purchasing fender covers. Lots of choices but when you can't touch and feel the fabric along with seeing the construction,(stitching, rope ) it's a crap shoot for me knowing nothing fabrics and brands available. We like rugged. Patty
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Old 05-05-2020, 18:13   #2
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Re: Fender Covers advice experiences etc

I've had ones made of sunbrella for years. They do eventually wear out, but they're pretty durable. And they match my canvas.
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Old 05-05-2020, 18:19   #3
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Re: Fender Covers advice experiences etc

I made my own a couple of years ago. I picked up a chocolate brown fleece blanket at Goodwill for $4. They’ve faded into a cinnamon brown but holding up very well.
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Old 05-05-2020, 19:35   #4
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Re: Fender Covers advice experiences etc

Or some legs off a pair of pants?
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Old 05-05-2020, 20:37   #5
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Re: Fender Covers advice experiences etc

I have bought fleece covers from Maine Point in Southwest Harbor Maine for 20 years, and always been very happy.
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Old 05-05-2020, 22:08   #6
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Re: Fender Covers advice experiences etc

Hello, pattyann,

Probably the most durable are made from kevlar. Kevlar fabric, ptfe (one brand name is Tenara) thread, polyester double braid for the lines.

Many people make their own. It is easy, even if sewing by hand, if it's the kind of project you like. Whether or not you need a pattern depends on the shape of the fenders. If you have the ones like big pink balls, they benefit from having shape built in to them; but the long cylinder type fenders do fine with a recatangle of cloth.

I have used sweat pant legs (cool because one end is already closed, sunbrella, heavy canvas polyester, and old T-shirts. Old T-shirts don't last very long, they make better rags. Sweat pants are nice, soft on the gelcoat, but also UV damage fairly quickly. The Sunbrella is woven from short thread acrylic fiber, and has excellent sun resistance, so it keeps its color very well, but poor chafe resistance. It is not hard to patch, but the patch will be noticeable if you're particular about that sort of thing. Ultimately, the heavy polyester canvas faded, but has not yet torn. For the next ones, I haven't decided what to make them from. If only you could be sure you didn't really need them to be chafe resistant, my choice would be sunbrella. Although sweat pants fabric is easy to locate, and you can make them up just as fast as any other fabric. If I can ever go browse a fabric store again, I might find something new to try. I would go to the outdoor fabrics section, and look at canvases, see if anything looks like a suitable color for my boat.

If you don't want to try making them yourself, try the defender catalog for some ready made.

If you do want to make them yourself, please feel free to send me a PM or an e-mail (click on my avatar, and a menu will drop down and choose one or the other) I'd be happy to talk you through the processes, and they are all easy.

Good luck with it.

Ann
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Old 06-05-2020, 03:35   #7
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Re: Fender Covers advice experiences etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by pattyann View Post
I'm guessing if this is the correct place to post this question. We are looking for
advice, experience, concerning what's the best fabric to look for when purchasing fender covers. Lots of choices but when you can't touch and feel the fabric along with seeing the construction,(stitching, rope ) it's a crap shoot for me knowing nothing fabrics and brands available. We like rugged. Patty
Fenders covers protect the fender from UV burn

The best , longest lasting , covers are made by polyform

https://www.polyformus.com/boat-fender-covers

Avoid soft terry cloth type covers . They hold water and wonít last s season
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Old 06-05-2020, 04:10   #8
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Re: Fender Covers advice experiences etc

Quote:
Originally Posted by pattyann View Post
I'm guessing if this is the correct place to post this question. We are looking for
advice, experience, concerning what's the best fabric to look for when purchasing fender covers. Lots of choices but when you can't touch and feel the fabric along with seeing the construction,(stitching, rope ) it's a crap shoot for me knowing nothing fabrics and brands available. We like rugged. Patty

We've had fender covers from TaylorMade, some kind of polyester, didn't last terrifically long.... the threads just turned into dust. A current fender cover we have from Polyform looks to be the same material, but we've only had it for a half-year or so...

The better ones we have are made of Sunbrella, by Harken. Haven't had those for more than a coupe years, but they seem to not be wearing at all yet.

-Chris
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Old 06-05-2020, 04:44   #9
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Re: Fender Covers advice experiences etc

My wife made ours from material from Sailrite. These have had five years of hard use, protect our topsides well, and still look great. This fabric is a perfect choice for us for the covers.

She bought the material and sewed velcro along one side, and then tapered the top to fit. The bottom is open. Sailrite has videos to show how to make them.


https://www.sailrite.com/Sail-and-Ca.../Fender-Covers

Cheers!

Steve
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Old 06-05-2020, 05:00   #10
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Re: Fender Covers advice experiences etc

Sunbrella is s poor choice

The fabric will have a long vertical seam
The seam stitching chafes and the cover fails

Additionally sunbrella doesnít stretch

You install a cover with the fender deflated, then inflate the fender into the cover

Over pressure when inflating or overpressure when the fender heats up in the sun will burst the seam
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Old 06-05-2020, 05:18   #11
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Re: Fender Covers advice experiences etc

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Sunbrella is s poor choice

The fabric will have a long vertical seam
The seam stitching chafes and the cover fails

Additionally sunbrella doesn’t stretch

You install a cover with the fender deflated, then inflate the fender into the cover

Over pressure when inflating or overpressure when the fender heats up in the sun will burst the seam

My sunbrella covers were made slightly loose fitting with a stretchy drawstring closure at the ends, which I think is why I haven't had chafe problems or pressure related problems. The covers slide against the fender itself a little instead of being forced to rub against the dock. Eventually a spot will wear through, but I've only got 1 spot on my current set of covers and I'm pretty sure they're pushing 10 years old.

I do also carry a set of ball fenders to use for locks, or docking against any particularly rough concrete bulkheads. They stay deflated until I need them, so they can be shoved out of the way easily enough. And it keeps my regular tube fenders and their covers from getting chewed up and gross.
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Old 06-05-2020, 11:09   #12
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Re: Fender Covers advice experiences etc

Why not use a simple to make fender skirt to protect topsides, rather than fiddly individual fender covers (which the fenders will long outlast)? Plus carry a fender board (/gangplank) for when you are going up against a rough lock or harbour wall?
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Old 06-05-2020, 11:12   #13
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Re: Fender Covers advice experiences etc

+1 on the Sailrite material, called Boat Blanket material. Great stuff, but not cheap.

More recently, however, we've tried "Rollo Bayeta Punto Gris," which was recommended by a chandlery in Gibraltar when we passed through there. It's very reasonably priced when purchased in a 3kg roll (instead of store cut and sold by the meter), and when unrolled, it is like a really long leg of a sweat pant, except it seems to hold up better vs. UV and chafe. It's also great for absorbing oil spills.
https://www.suministrosjlrodriguez.e...e-3-kilos.html
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Old 06-05-2020, 11:18   #14
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Re: Fender Covers advice experiences etc

Ours were made by Cape Hatteras Marine in Costa Mesa, CA. They are a fleece 100% recycled material. They have lasted us well for 7 years so far and look almost new. They have been fairly abrasion resistant and show no UV degrading. Not cheap but over 7 years with no added cost for repair or replacement they have been well worth it.
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Old 06-05-2020, 12:43   #15
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Re: Fender Covers advice experiences etc

Sometimes we have to dock alongside concrete piers and the expensive fender covers wear badly. We found a really cheap solution:

Go to WalMart, and get stoutly female exercise pants; we get navy blue ones that match our sunbrella (actually, who cares?)

Each leg is good for a fender cover and my wife will whip out a whole bunch of covers with tie string draws on her sewing machine in no time. At 6 bucks for a pair of pants this can't be beat and they last about 3 summers before they start abrading through - at this price who cares if they wear out? Look every bit as good as the expensive ones at the chandler's, of which I've worn out many over the years.

The latter wears out with great regret, the former wear out with no regret (actually a bit of surprise they even lasted that long.)
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