Features December 2011 Issue

Functional Fabrics

Sunbrella and Weathermax face off in long-term field tests.

In some ways, the good old days just weren’t that good. Just ask any old salt who has watched an expensive canvas dodger mildew, rot, and fall to pieces. When Sunbrella entered the market four decades ago, the strides forward were significant. When it comes to fabricating a long-term, waterproof fabric cover, it’s hard to beat the combination of vinyl and acrylic or vinyl and polyester. Practical Sailor compared Sunbrella, Sunbrella Plus, and WeatherMax in a long-term field test and some creative bench tests. Testers compared weight, sewability, breaking strength, water shedding, permeability, and price.

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