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Sunfish Boat Cover

Smithnmin

New Member
Hey Everyone,

I'm looking for a quality brand boat cover for a Sunfish. Probably buying new, I need something that can withstand some highway miles, sunny storage days in summer and snowy days in winter. I've seen covers that fit tight and covers that allow room for storage of mast and boom underneath- I'm thinking I will find a different way to store mast and booms but any knowledge on the subject is appreciated.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Chat with SLO Sail and Canvas, tell them you plan to trailer so you get an appropriate material. Storing mast and booms is okay long term but I'd take the sail off to avoid potential mildew stain. We're repeat customers, tell em Kent recommended them.

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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
You're welcome, and we applaud you for wanting to protect the gelcoat on the boat, which in turn protects the fiberglass. You'll definitely want straps. Then you have to decide what your balance point is between "waterproof" which can trap moisture as well as it keeps it out and "water resistant" that keeps the big stuff off. We go with basic Sunbrella but we don't trailer with it for long distances because we haven't reinforced the hard points. It's okay for short trips. SLO has some tips on different materials and backings that can be used for that.

FYI some of the covers in that photo are over 6 years old, we got what we paid for and more with the Sunbrella. We rinse the covers off about twice a year and are very happy to have clean boats free of pine tree bits and animal poo when we want to go sailing. Sunbrella holds up great, even in our Florida sun, vs the $30 tarp from Lowes that disintegrates in less than a season and causes mildew issues. If we weren't lazy and forgetful we'd retreat the Sunbrella about every 3 years with 3M 303 Fabric Guard, Water Repellent spray.

Our Day Sailer II CYANE's sailcover is 6 years old as well, our local sailmaker made that. The runabout cover is the same age, made by our local cover guy. Those are other resources you might check. By the time we cost out marine grade material, UV resistant thread, straps, buckles and elastic cord the dollar amount for materials will be approaching the list price for a cover, most cover makers see their profit from buying the materials wholesale. Skipper has a nice Sailrite LSZ-1 Walking Foot Sewing Machine but it is more economical for us time and money wise to buy from SLO.

PS what is your boat's name?

Cyane on the beach.JPG
 
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Smithnmin

New Member
Thanks for the info. I have some experience with Sunbrella and honestly have never seen it wear out. I haven't named it yet, haven't even technically bought it but I'm planning a long road trip to the East Coast, picking it up and bringing it back to Colorado. The climate is pretty dry here so Sunbrella may be fine, things tend to dry out given the chance- trapped water is probably the only way mold and mildew would grow. How do you think the cross country trip would go uncovered? Sounds like Sunbrella does not like flapping in the wind. I could get it back here and then cover it for the winter and when not in use. I sent SLO and email with questions.
Boat name suggestions?
 

Smithnmin

New Member
The road will be fine uncovered.

For boat names think family adventures.
Do you have covers that allow storage of mast and boom on the deck? How do you secure them to the deck since the deck isn't flat? Would this be okay for travel or should I get a separate cover and strap them underneath directly to the trailer? Just afraid there might be some bouncing/banging on the deck. I assume I could wrap them in something squishy, like pool noodle type materials.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Do you have covers that allow storage of mast and boom on the deck?
-We have both, and for our setup I like the Spars On Deck Cover. I leave the mast on the boat to create a ridgepole for the cover, so we don't get a swimming pool formed over the cockpit. We store the sail on the booms in the garage, and do not leave sails on the boat under cover for more than a few days at a time, because in Florida that is inviting mildew and critters.

How do you secure them to the deck since the deck isn't flat?
-For trailering we usually go without cover, we pad the boom and mast with a couple of old towels and place the towels where the protect the deck also. We use the halyard and sheet to tie the booms, sail and spar to themselves and also tie them to the bow handle, deck block/fairlead and the bridle. Then we use 2-3 ratchet straps to secure the hull to the trailer, the bow line ties off the bow, one strap runs right in front of the coaming and another strap secures the stern. Not too tight on the straps, they can crack the hull.

Would this be okay for travel or should I get a separate cover and strap them underneath directly to the trailer? Just afraid there might be some bouncing/banging on the deck. I assume I could wrap them in something squishy, like pool noodle type materials.
-If you pad the mast and booms then I think you could put the Spars On deck Cover over that. Make sure there is extra padding at the ends of the booms where the cover would rub on them, and look for any other "Hot Spots" where boom or deck hardware, like a gooseneck, bridle, could rub a hole through the cover. Use the cover straps and bungee to secure the cover to the hull.

Don't forget the duct tape!

Double trailer loaded.jpg
 

Helme1el

New Member
I just bough this sunfish boat cover (linked below), it fits amazing and the water beads up on top of it really nicely, I like that it covers the side so you don't have to worry about sun fade on the side. It feels really nice, and i really like the bungy that runs around the bottom so you would not have to strap if if just putting it on and off all the time. 10/10 would buy again.

 

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pehare

Member
Hi Helme1el fellow former Marylander here (grew up there)....I must have one of those covers in the maroon color. It came with the fish I bought in August and is a really nice heavy duty Cordura-like material. I would recommend it. Seems waterproof for the most part - water always pools in the cockpit area when it rains which is about every afternoon here in FL.
 

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signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
You could buy an 10 foot closet rod from Lowes and lay it on top of the boat from coaming to stern, make a ridgepole. We have also taken shoter pieces of old spar and taped a small piece of 2x4 to each end and propped that over the cockpit. And you could use your mast.
 

Nephroid

Member
I wonder if you could also put a dollar store beach ball in the cockpit to keep the cover from pooling down.

@signal charlie - really admiring your shelter (and dolly budget!). Did you build it from scratch? Curious to hear more about the build as I’m thinking of doing similar at my next house.
 

signal charlie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Beach ball should work.

Nephroid the Sunfish Shack has been through several capital improvements, we built it and rebuilt it several times. First shingle roof was a big fail but the powder coated aluminum is great. We kept interior height low and roof pitch low to now block view line from house and to not block neighbor's view above fence. We just found out that a key feature is the posts, those are concreted in the ground like fence posts and they went through Sea Trials yesterday with 8 foot storm surge from Hurricane Sally. The Shack is still standing while fences and other decks around the yard are MIA.

Here's an earlier version of the Shack, before we expanded it.

Shack 1.jpg

And we blogged about the Sunfish Shack on our blog: http://smallboatrestoration.blogspot.com/p/sunfish-shack.html
 

Helme1el

New Member
Wow great job building the shack to with stand the storm surge! Hope you are all OK and not too much damage was done. Hopfully the only thing missing is the fences and a boat did not float away! Looks amazing though! the walk around the side on the expanded vs. is really a nice touch! Love it, wish i lived on the water!! lol however not having to deal with storm surge is nice, with the amount of hurricanes that have come though this year.
 

Nephroid

Member
Beach ball should work.

Nephroid the Sunfish Shack has been through several capital improvements, we built it and rebuilt it several times. First shingle roof was a big fail but the powder coated aluminum is great. We kept interior height low and roof pitch low to now block view line from house and to not block neighbor's view above fence. We just found out that a key feature is the posts, those are concreted in the ground like fence posts and they went through Sea Trials yesterday with 8 foot storm surge from Hurricane Sally. The Shack is still standing while fences and other decks around the yard are MIA.

Here's an earlier version of the Shack, before we expanded it.

View attachment 41379

And we blogged about the Sunfish Shack on our blog: http://smallboatrestoration.blogspot.com/p/sunfish-shack.html
Thanks, Kent! This is really awesome and something to aspire too. Same as others, I hope to retire on the water one day and look forward to building a similar setup. In fact I may actually consider a mini-version after I move next year.
 
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