The highest quality fabric that we, at Star Boat Covers, offer is Sunbrella Marine Fabric. The fabric is soft to the touch, and yet as durable as it gets, all for a reasonable price. Both of our manufacturers, Carver and Westland, offer Sunbrella covers as their highest quality product, and we’re proud to stand by it as the most popular choice for marine fabric in the United States.
- Material type: Solution-dyed acrylic. Solution-dyed means the coloring is applied during the creation process of the fabric itself, making the colors part of the fabric. This is much better for color retention and fade-resistance in comparison to applying the color later with roller or sprays.
- Description: Woven fabric, made of 100% acrylic fibers. Fabric is solution-dyed with a fluorocarbon finish. The fabric is strong, breathable, and yet has a soft finish to it, which is rare in marine fabrics.
- Ounce Weight: Approximately 9.25 oz. per square yard. This means the fabric is hefty enough to be strong and durable, and yet light enough to not be clunky and difficult to even lift.
- Colors: Very resistant to ultraviolet rays and color degradation. Most colors tested up to 1500 hours in fadeometer with minimal or no color change.
- Abrasion Resistance: Good
- Dimensional Stability: Good. Some shrinkage in hot weather, some stretch in cold or damp weather.
- Mildew Resistance: Excellent. Fabric will not support growth of mildew. Mildew growing on foreign matter attached to fabric is easily removed.
- Average Life Span: 5-10 years. (Depending on climate and proper care of fabric.)
- Fire Resistance: Not flame-retardant.
- Chemical Resistance: Strong resistance to acids, alkalis and solvents.
- Water Repellence: Excellent.
- Cleanability: Excellent. Read below for further detail.
One of the best things about Sunbrella is how easy it is to clean. In order to ensure that your cover remains in top quality condition for many years, we highly recommend keeping it clean. Allowing dirt and leaves to sit on the fabric may seem harmless, but over time the dirt can become deeply embedded in the fabric, making it more difficult to clean. To prevent this, we suggest to hose down the cover on a monthly basis.
If a more in-depth cleaning is required, Sunbrella provides a chart that details for any type of stain can be removed from a Sunbrella cover. The chart can be found here.
The finish used on Sunbrella covers is a fluorocarbon finish. This finish helps improve the fabric’s water repellency, and is designed to last roughly five years, but can be altered, or even removed, during a deep cleaning. This is why Sunbrella (and Starboatcovers.com) recommends applying 303 Fabric Guard to the boat cover after each deep clean (or every 5 years of normal wear and tear). The application process is simple. As 303 instructs on their website, “Use only on newly cleaned, dry fabrics. For best results, treat fabrics in warm weather, of at least 70 degrees or warmer. In a well-ventilated area, apply 303® Fabric Guard on fabric until damp, overlapping in a crisscross pattern. Do not saturate. Let dry for 6-12 hours in a clean, dry environment before using or storing.”
If you follow these steps, your Sunbrella cover is destined to last for years.