Tuesday, 20 June 2017

New Cockpit Shades - Looking Swish Again

Beautiful New Cockpit Shade Covers
After 6 months on the hard stand in Trinidad, our cockpit covers were looking kind of shabby and unloved. Almost 8 years old, they had seen a lot of use in hot and steamy Asia, plus windy South Africa.

Ley purchased 40 meters of Ferrari Stamoid Top fabric in Singapore back in 2011, and over recent years she has sewn new shade covers for the fore deck and the midship area. The balance of that fabric roll was intended for new cockpit covers - a project Ley has just completed.

Why Stamoid Top? On the web, we found the following statement, by W Marine canvas:

"Stamoid Top is a vinyl-laminated (both sides) high-tenacity polyester.  Although Ferrari Stamoid makes a wide variety of yachting textiles I chose Stamoid Top due to its prevalence compared to the other Ferrari Stamoid products. This fabric is very durable and tolerates extreme long-term exposure quite well considering that many of the applications for which it is favored tend to remain installed year-round.  Stamoid should only be used for applications which do not require the fabric to breath since as a vinyl-coated fabric Stamoid will not breathe." Read more about the differences between Stamoid, Sunbrella and other similar materials here.

We whole heartedly agree with that review of the qualities of Stamoid Top. Longevity of the covers against UV damage and abrasion is excellent, specially when sewn with Tenara thread. Our covers were all sewn on Ley's Sailrite sewing machine with a walking foot.  Sewing with Tenara can be a bit of a challenge at first, as the thread needs quite tight tension to make a well balanced stitch, but it can be mastered with a little practice.

Cover Rolled Up, Inside View
We love the Stamoid white also for the diffused light it bathes the cockpit in on a sunny day, while reflecting most of the heat. Further, the fabric is not bulky to roll up and store.

 Both our boom shade tent and the new cockpit shades are attached with bolt rope tape sewn to the covers. This slides into a PVC bolt rope track that is screwed or pop riveted to the boat. This makes for a very secure installation, and also allows very easy installation and removal.
Cover Rolled Up, Outside View

Our covers are stowed in position, rolled up and secured with straps. It's simple to undo the drop-nose hooks and unroll the shades.

We use bungee cord and nylon hooks to clip quickly onto the life lines.  This combination allows us to have excellent shade, cool breezes and shelter from the rain when we need it.

Best of all, our outlook is not blocked and the cockpit remains dry in all but very heavy rain.