sv Elysium

Cruising thrugh Life

 

Hey,

that stuff is bulletproof, I've used Stamoid for my old dodger and a few covers, and it looks like it will last forever...very tough stuff, almost impossible to tear with your own hands, even after starting a cut in it...

IMHO, the only issue with Stamoid is it's appearance. It is a bit "shiny", certainly compared to sunbrella, but not cheap looking, to my eye... it has no stretch, however, so whoever is working with has to get the fit right from the start, it won't conform to the shape of a dodger over time like sunbrella will...

And, it's absolutely impervious to water, doesn't have to be treated with water repellent over time as sunbrella does... somewhat surprisingly, however, i have collected some mildew on the underside of some covers, so you do have to keep it ventilated and clean...also, if stowed away, it can be rolled up into a much more compact package than sunbrella...

IMHO, it's a no-brainer between stamoid and sunbrella for a dodger or similar covers... if sewing it yourself, it just takes a bit of getting used to, for it can be a fairly "slippery" material to work with... one more advantage, hemming the edges is not necessary, except for appearance, as the material will never unravel at the edges...as a result, there's never a need to be sewing through 8 layers of fabric, or whatever, at corners, and needles seem to go through stamoid much more easily than sunbrella, anyway...

I('m gonna make my next dodger from the heavier weight Stamoid, the stuff really does seem bulletproof...

Coosa manufactures five grades to allow the builder to trade off weight versus structural integrity. For example, I chose a low weight low stress grade to use as a backing for my saloon cushion backrests, but the heaviest and structurally superior grade for my hard dodger. In the descriptions below, I've applied a typical 50% off MSRP to prices, but, my distributor offers an additional 10% off these prices every spring. Considering what you can achieve with Coosa, it's a genuine bargain.

If a dodger were built using unsupported window vinyl, the owner could expect a degradation in quite a short time of heavy exposure. I have seen enclosures and dodgers made with this where not only was there clouding, cracking and fading, but also signifigant shrinkage.

We reccomend one of three better choices:

1. (most common) "Crystal Clear" Pressed polished vinyl sheet. available in 30 and 40 ga. Will not cloud yellow or crack and provides phenomenal light transmission. I use this on my boat and log about 1000 miles per year. It's been on there for 4 years now and all I've got is some scratches. No yellowing, no cracking, no fading.

2. "Strataglass" Premium flexible material. Resists scratching from handling, etching from industrial fallout and damaging effects from sun's rays. 40 Ga thickness blocks 70% of UV-A and 100% of UV-B rays.

3. Polycarbonate. Semi rigid. Cannot be rolled up or folded but gives the best look with no wrinkles. Almost zero shrinkage.

The best thing to do, if concerned about window degradation, is to order window covers with the dodger. Since much of the life of the boat is actually moored, there is no need to see out during those times and the windows can be preserved from sun exposure by simple covers. I'm sure there are some boats that would permit a windowless dodger but in most cases, the lack of visibility while underway is a serious issue and the only viable solution is to have windows. I know that quality window material lasts almost as long as the rest of the components because I have replaced 13 and 14 year old dodgers that could be used and the windows, while certainly compromised, still permitted visibility and provided shelter.

I have yet to buld a dodger without windows, but I'm sure there is a first time for everything. One thing I would add might be that if ultimate longevity is the goal, definitely use an upgraded thread. Since the sewing thread lies on the surface of the material, it takes more exposure than the actual threads of the material itself. Use "Tenara" or "Endura" thread. It's pricey but will more than double the life of the stitching.

Dodger Notes: http://www.svfreeradical.com/technical_talk_canvas.htm#Dodgers_and_Biminis

A local canvas genius Chris Ford Canvas will make the soft dodger and bimini.

Dodger: It was made by a guy in Ft. Lauderdale, Jim Marshall. Does a hell of a job

The other benefit of 303 is that it actually shrinks the fibers back to like new giving you a nice tight fitting dodger again with minimal "pores". Thompsons and Silicone just sit on the surface collecting crud that will eventually break down & ruin your canvas.

So 3-4.5k for a new dodger and people won't spend the $25.00 for the only approved product? Oh and 303 is not a subsidiary nor do they get kick backs from Glen Raven it's simply the best and only product to use on Sunbrella. Also there are NO accurate knock off's of 303 and the products from Mary Kate et al. are NOT 303 or even close to it! This information was given to us by the Glen Raven rep and he claims they have thoroughly tested no less than 40 different products on Sunbrella...

 

All images and content copyright of David A. Kall