New cockpit covers

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July 30, 2012 at 12:25 #6121
michael bennett
michael bennett
Participant

Hello all, I hope this section appropriate for covers.

I have decided to make my own new covers, having had quotes requiring a second mortgage!
i have purchsed a suitable machine very reasonably after being advised from an expert in that area,and will be purchasing the materials from a company in the USA http://www.sailrite.com who have been amazingly supportive and helpful.

My question is, just how often do you use, if you can that is, the windows in the covers both side and rear?
Personally I have found when raining it very difficult to see through and or mist up inside, with the result that the covers over them outside have rarely been removed, so I am considering not fitting any in my new ones.
I would appreciate others experiences and or ideas, points of view etc. on any aspect of cover making if they were doing so.

Many thanks
Mike

July 31, 2012 at 13:00 #12131
Ronar M
Ronar M
Participant

Hi Mike

I would not do without the windows. Ronar’s windows do not have any covers so they let in much appreciated light all the time. There are windows on each side and a large after one. I always sail with the side ones rolled up (ie ‘open’) though I have been know to roll down the weather one in very rough water. Unless the weather is very poor I usually sail with the after one open as well, which brings some much needed ventilation (preventing condensation / misting up) and also helps with one’s wind awareness. Cheers, Trevor

August 2, 2012 at 12:01 #12141
michael bennett
michael bennett
Participant

Hi Trevor,

Many thanks, thats makes a lot of sense, but as I spend all my time in the Med they are usually taken down, and only the aft cover is on if raining heavily, with little visibility due to the non wiped window. Perhaps I should also think of future owners and include windows with external covers as I have now.

August 7, 2012 at 17:54 #12191
Moderator
Moderator
Keymaster

We sail where is cold (water temp is about 10-14C so the wind is always cold), so we almost always have the canvas down except a few days in August. The windows are extremely important to us – we don’t have much problems with condensation – I just wipe them down in the AM, and keep them clean using Plexus a few times a season. The Plexus really helps with the clarity. Maybe this is all an attitude thing – I love being able to roll up the side canvas, but when its cold, I would rather be warm.

Also – I’m not sure I get the “extrnal covers” thing over the windows. We just have canvas with windows, no covers. Are you saying there can be shades pulled down? This might be nice to keep the glare off the instruments sometimes.

We’ve had good canvas since purchase, but I have made a few repairs. The canvas itself is some top quality material used to make flexible buildings – the PO was into that business and had some scraps left for making this canvas. It might last a lifetime. He had the windows replaced several times, a local shop just cuts out the old and welds in new, so the seam is getting thicker with time.

I used Tenera thread to stitch the canvas modifications – it outlasts everything in regards to UV degredation. We added some flaps to keep the rainwater from coming through the zips.

I also used Riri UV resistant zipper chain with plastic pulls. My supplier was Sailrite, but they stopped carrying it this year. Riri zips are far superior to the typical zips because they open/close much easier.

You might check out the fabric at Rochford Supply – their prices are cheap but their shipping is dear to make up for it. The have a variety of quality materials (but no Sunbrella), and supply the industry rather than the hobbiest.

Marilyn

August 9, 2012 at 10:30 #12201
michael bennett
michael bennett
Participant

Hello Marilyn,
Sailing with the cover on and having windows sounds vital in your climate! even in winter here in the Med it is still 18/20deg with rain the only problem, summer can be up to 35/40 whilst shade is important a bimini type shade more important.
It was because I rarely use the covers I asked the question about the windows, but is is obvious to me that different conditions will dictate the value of windows.
The ‘external’ covers over the windows on mine are the same size as the window held on with press studs on the outside, which of course require removal prior to sailing if covers are left on, whether they effect the temperature or not I could not say, I am usually please to get them off all together to let some cooling air flow through the cockpit. (I can send a pic of the external covers if you wish)
I have already ordered with Sailrite, I found them good on price, and the carriage charges (post office)still make good compared to most UK, and the support is invaluable, best company I have dealt with on that score.
The thread recommended by them for the Sunbrella is V92 used with a #20 needle so have ordered that as recommended by their technical cover making expert.
Same applies to zippers, they seem to have a wide range of quality. I always use a silicone spray on them before I leave so that they open so smoothly when I return, cannot say I have ever had a challenge with them, same applies to the cord fitting into the aluminium grooves, a little spay goes a long way.
Best wishes

Mike

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