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goodmatt78

Let's talk Canopies and material...

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goodmatt78

I am in the process of ordering a new canopy cover for my shorestation lift.  I have come across all the different materials and the pros and cons of each.   Here are the 4 options readily available under 1K price tag ($700-900)

Shelter-Rite 18oz - This is OEM and PVC coated Poly - $$

      Pros - durable, waterproof

     Cons - Not breathable, fades, heavy

Shelter-Rite 13oz - This is new and lighter than the OEM 18oz version with similar characteristics - $

Harbor Time - ~11oz polyester acrylic option

     Pros -  Lighter than Shelter-rite, more fade resistant, breathable

     Cons - Not waterproof, unsupported (my case) valances may blow up if not weighted or supported due to light weight. $$$

Weathermax - 8oz solution dyed poly yarn $$$

     Pros - Similar to Harbor Time, but lighter

     Cons - Similar to Habor Time

 

I am not really considering Seamark or Sunbrella due to cost.  Anyone have experience or comments to share?  

 

 

Edited by goodmatt78

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minnmarker

Depends on climate, location, sun exposure, what's above the lift (sap and branches from trees), how long you want to keep it, and whether you put a cover on the boat.

Fading of the OEM PVC is dependent on color and sun exposure.  My cover is green and in shade most of the time.  Going on 10 years and no fading.  Of course, red in the sun will fade.

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goodmatt78

I am in Ohio.  My lift will see NO shade or sap from trees.  I plan to still cover the boat when I leave for the week.  I do like the bright blue (not navy) color, but do not know how fade prone that will be.

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minnmarker

It rains dirty water around here once in a while and imagine it does in Ohio too.  I would stay away from colors that don't do well dirty as well as porous material that is hard to wash.  There are many reasons the OEM covers are made like they are - mostly practicality and durability.  IMHO heavy is a good thing.  And why do you want breathable fabric?  It's open on the sides.

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Woodski

@goodmatt78:  I use a OEM style vinyl cover which works well & have always had white (for heat reflection) on a Shorestation lift.  Under the cover does not get too hot, moderate water temps (peak at mid 80's in MI) compared to temps on pavement are most likely the reason.  Keeps the vertical rain & sun off the boat which helps keep the boat in good shape, I keep a boat cover on also.  With good care and attempting to keep the cover clean provides a typical 7-10 year lifespan with the deterioration being threads going bad and/or the vinyl becoming brittle over time from sun exposure.  One thing you will want to make sure, the canopy is well secured as it is basically a very large parachute and keeping it secured is key to reduce flutter wear or damage.  If you are worried about under canopy temperatures, you could consider vents at the top.

Biggest issues are not really canopy material related, they are swallows building nests at the corners in spring, seagulls deciding the top is a great place to drop and peck at the recent fish catch, herons trying to get a better view which leads to the proverbial bird poop and fish skeletons on the top and gnats and spiders deciding it is a good landing or homebuilding location.  The white / grey canopy's IMO don't show the dirt / debris as much as the darker colored ones and don't fade.

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CedarLakeSkier

I have the original OEM cover on my Shore Station in Tan.   Last year the stitching gave out on some of the seams.  I found someone that would re-sew the seams but it was hard to find and even this person said they weren't going to do them any more.  They can make a lot more money sewing lighter pontoon covers with a smaller machine.

In short, you may want to look around and see if there is a material that someone nearby will repair.  This might be a case where a lighter material may actually last longer if you can find someone that will maintain it.

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goodmatt78

The lift is new to me this year.  I just re-strung the winch cable and set it up for my boat over the weekend.  The canopy cover is still in the garage, but looks pretty rough as it is probably 7+ years old.  It is grey.  I plan to install and see how it looks....then decide if I want to replace.

I like the price point of the OEM material in the lighter 13oz options (OEM being 18oz).  However, the harbortime and weather max are supposed to be less prone to fading.  That is really the only option I care about if I get the bright blue.  If I choose grey or tan....I will care less.

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The Hulk

Shelter-Rite 18oz -#1 black, then grey or beige-tan

i always always go black, holds up great, mine never faded in several years no shade. i like the black because you dont see as much bugs or any aluminum scuffing from the canopy ribs. grey and tan and other lighter colors you will be able to see some canopy rub marks, but you may prefer those colors to match your boat/house etc. but i always recommend black then gray or tan. For some reason blue is one of those canopy colors you always see that fades quickly regardless of material or brand. 

some of the other colors purple/yellow/green etc.. in my experience for ALL brands fade MUCH faster than the proven Black/Gray/beige-tan in that order. 

i LOVE sunbrella but its nearly 2X the cost with half the warranty, i had one on my old lift and i LOVED it due to the light weight and fabric look/feel, however i hated that it needs treated regardless of what they say and when it starts breaking down the bad thing is you will get "canopy" dust all over your boat, anytime there is wind or you put it up for the season your boat is covered in it unlike the vinyl materials.. again thats a few years down the road but for nearly 2x the price and 1/2 the life its simply not worth it to me anymore...but man does it look and feel sharp. 

Not sure on who you would order from or how they make the new ones but the sunbrella actually needs vinyl attached on the inside areas that rub or it will be a gonner quickly. i have seen some with and without so be cautious to those mfgs that go this route. there should be some along horizontal canopy beam area and corners etc.. otherwise sharp corners will rip through sunbrealla easily. 

i would shy away from the 13oz option and ONLY do 18oz. the lighter stuff will flap around in the wind more and is much easier to tear on corners/heavy winds etc. it will surely NOT last as long and why most mfgs wont even offer it for a new lift. I think they came out with this stuff to offer a cheap option for older/smaller lifts/cheaper boat lifts/boats when people got sticker shock or what covers cost. whatever you do make sure its TIGHT and that will prolong the life. 

i know the 18oz is much heavier but its always at least a 2-man or 3 man job depending on your canopy size. you wont regret it, you may also want to consider extending your side drop further for more coverage. you can always have some eye loops added every 4ft along the bottom drop then use bungee cords to pull them down tight to dock or auger in bottom of lake if you make them long and are worried about wind. i prefer the 18oz + doubled-tripple thick layers/ padding in the corners/rub areas etc. 

another + or the shelterite is that you can easily wash and mop them up at the end of the year and they clean very easily. some o the fabric materials are much more difficult to clean and rid of bugs. aluminum canopy rub marks are nearly impossible to get off sunbrealla light colors after a few years. 

on a side note those darn Cranes & seagulls will stain any canopy so be sure to keep them off.. 

good luck. 

 

Edited by The Hulk

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goodmatt78

Thanks Hulk...great info.

What Lake you on in Angola?  I grew up on lakes there.  I had grandparents on both Crooked Lake and Lake George.

 

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minnmarker
19 hours ago, minnmarker said:

It rains dirty water around here once in a while and imagine it does in Ohio too.  I would stay away from colors that don't do well dirty as well as porous material that is hard to wash.  There are many reasons the OEM covers are made like they are - mostly practicality and durability.  IMHO heavy is a good thing.  And why do you want breathable fabric?  It's open on the sides.

 

4 hours ago, The Hulk said:

Shelter-Rite 18oz -#1 black, then grey or beige-tan

i always always go black, holds up great, mine never faded in several years no shade. i like the black because you dont see as much bugs or any aluminum scuffing from the canopy ribs. grey and tan and other lighter colors you will be able to see some canopy rub marks, but you may prefer those colors to match your boat/house etc. but i always recommend black then gray or tan. For some reason blue is one of those canopy colors you always see that fades quickly regardless of material or brand. 

some of the other colors purple/yellow/green etc.. in my experience for ALL brands fade MUCH faster than the proven Black/Gray/beige-tan in that order. 

i LOVE sunbrella but its nearly 2X the cost with half the warranty, i had one on my old lift and i LOVED it due to the light weight and fabric look/feel, however i hated that it needs treated regardless of what they say and when it starts breaking down the bad thing is you will get "canopy" dust all over your boat, anytime there is wind or you put it up for the season your boat is covered in it unlike the vinyl materials.. again thats a few years down the road but for nearly 2x the price and 1/2 the life its simply not worth it to me anymore...but man does it look and feel sharp. 

Not sure on who you would order from or how they make the new ones but the sunbrella actually needs vinyl attached on the inside areas that rub or it will be a gonner quickly. i have seen some with and without so be cautious to those mfgs that go this route. there should be some along horizontal canopy beam area and corners etc.. otherwise sharp corners will rip through sunbrealla easily. 

i would shy away from the 13oz option and ONLY do 18oz. the lighter stuff will flap around in the wind more and is much easier to tear on corners/heavy winds etc. it will surely NOT last as long and why most mfgs wont even offer it for a new lift. I think they came out with this stuff to offer a cheap option for older/smaller lifts/cheaper boat lifts/boats when people got sticker shock or what covers cost. whatever you do make sure its TIGHT and that will prolong the life. 

i know the 18oz is much heavier but its always at least a 2-man or 3 man job depending on your canopy size. you wont regret it, you may also want to consider extending your side drop further for more coverage. you can always have some eye loops added every 4ft along the bottom drop then use bungee cords to pull them down tight to dock or auger in bottom of lake if you make them long and are worried about wind. i prefer the 18oz + doubled-tripple thick layers/ padding in the corners/rub areas etc. 

another + or the shelterite is that you can easily wash and mop them up at the end of the year and they clean very easily. some o the fabric materials are much more difficult to clean and rid of bugs. aluminum canopy rub marks are nearly impossible to get off sunbrealla light colors after a few years. 

on a side note those darn Cranes & seagulls will stain any canopy so be sure to keep them off.. 

good luck. 

 

^^^^^^^^ Go heavy and go dark for many good reasons.  Only change I would make re Hulk's comments would be the color order: Gray, Green, Tan, then Black - just because bird poop shows up so well on black.

My wife and I have no problem putting our 25 foot 18 oz vinyl cover on the frame.

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The Hulk
8 hours ago, goodmatt78 said:

Thanks Hulk...great info.

What Lake you on in Angola?  I grew up on lakes there.  I had grandparents on both Crooked Lake and Lake George.

 

Im on SNOW lake AKA (the lake james chain of lakes), near Daves Lake Shack which just changed to the "The Hangout Bar & Grill" 

kind of half way between Daves & the Castle but closer to daves.

Edited by The Hulk

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The Hulk

if its of any help in the decision, several leading boat lift mfgs have recently switched to 18oz shelterite over the past few years....... :whistle:

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h2oratJR

Also have a Shorestation lift with  OEM replacment canopy feels like a PVC  material but not surw the exact model . Have gone with Tan the last 2 times seems to last much longer than the blue which i used to use. My lift stays in year round and my canopies last a long time considering the weather here in the North East. They need to make a hard top composite foe our lifts.  However nothing is built to last anymore .

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h2oratJR

Has anyone considered doing the Corregrated Suntuff roof panels from ? Those have got to work as a replacement 

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goodmatt78

Will shelterite make extended valances?

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Monkeybutt

Today when taking off my transhield cover I thought ... why would that white plastic wrap we put on a boat during winter not work?

can't believe that I'm the first one thinking of this ... anybody already having experience?

Edited by Monkeybutt
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Cole2001
1 hour ago, Monkeybutt said:

Today when raking off my trans Niels cover I thought ... why would that white plastic wrap we out on a boat during winter not work?

can't believe that I'm the first one thinking of this ... anybody already having experience!

Are you saying just shrink wrap the canopy? I feel like that wouldn't last more than a season and it would start getting expensive. 

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Monkeybutt
5 hours ago, Cole2001 said:

Are you saying just shrink wrap the canopy? I feel like that wouldn't last more than a season and it would start getting expensive. 

First I meant to write transhield - hello autocorrect ... and yes that's what I meant.  I don't know how the regular shrink wrap holds up and when it starts to break down but I have used the transhiled for 6 years on my epic and it's still good. However I have to say it wasn't stored over winter outside so sunlight exposure wasn't a factor either.

but I just bought a 2015 Floe VSD-8000 - no canopy or frame. So adding the original 30ft canopy will set me back 2300 bucks.

so going back to transhield I know that you can "fit" their stuff by heating it ... so if a boat cover costs you 300 bucks with all the seams/stitching - I wonder how much that would cost and how it would hold up.  Has anybody been using the transhield cover to store their boat outside over winter and has experience with it?

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Monkeybutt

 

On ‎4‎/‎22‎/‎2017 at 0:43 AM, Cole2001 said:

Are you saying just shrink wrap the canopy? I feel like that wouldn't last more than a season and it would start getting expensive. 

still bugs me ... so still looking at transhield and options but browsing this website I found something else ...

https://www.bigshrink.com/dr-shrink-shrink-wrap-roll-16-200-7

Now considering that I'm paying for a 200ft roll 250 bucks - so theoretically I can do this process 6 times until the roll is used up ...

Not as elegant as a transhield solution as I would prefer their cover due to thickness, draw string on the bottom etc.

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semi

I had the vinyl option on my old Hewitt lift for my Ranger. It held up very well for 8 years straight. Never leaked, was heavy duty. The only problems were;

1. got dirty and was hard to clean. 

2. Heavy - i put on it and took it off myself every year

Other than that, it was a great option. It stood the test of time better than fabric. It doesn't dry out like fabric or fade really. Also alot more stable in the wind. 

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goodmatt78

OK....I think I am safe for this year.  I got my canopy installed last night.  The current one will get me through another year (SS Original).  It definitely is no longer subtle and I thought I would tear it multiple times while me and a friend were figuring out how to install it.  It was my first time, so I am sure I made it more difficult than required and I had to figure out how to use the batons and springs from the old design.  All in all I am pleased!

I also put a motor on the lift this week with fabs and LED canopy lights. :-)

https://www.dropbox.com/s/ugs5vvga2m3zmf3/20170503_203115.jpg?dl=0

 

You can also see I have added a water pump on the seawall and hose.  Plus, I have a fueling port I made on the back canopy post.

Edited by goodmatt78

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Levi900RR

Looks good man, I want to add some LED's under my canopy this year. 

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05hammerhead
30 minutes ago, Levi900RR said:

Looks good man, I want to add some LED's under my canopy this year. 

Did this last year on mine.  Superbrightleds.com and just bought the flex strips with a remote.  When I get close enough to the lift at night I flip it on so we can see what were doing.  I used red so it doesnt kill the night vision, but you should note that the bugs LOVE it.

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Levi900RR
1 hour ago, 05hammerhead said:

Did this last year on mine.  Superbrightleds.com and just bought the flex strips with a remote.  When I get close enough to the lift at night I flip it on so we can see what were doing.  I used red so it doesnt kill the night vision, but you should note that the bugs LOVE it.

Good deal. I really want to go blue cause everything else I have is blue... My lift motor / remote has a light circuit on it so I'm going to tie them to that. Should be pretty slick. 

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bretski75

I went through this last year when my 9 year old Shorestation (Shelter-right I believe) let go.  I went with weathermax in grey.  Mostly because of lighter weight and smaller storage footprint (its half the size rolled up).  It was and is a risk as its new material at least for canopies.  So far I couldn't be happier. 

 

That said I am only on year 2.  So longevity is still to be proven.

 

I bought it through lift tech.  They don't have many options on their web site but they do a lot with custom valences, extended sides, doors etc.  I went up there in person and they really had a lot of ideas.  For sure worth a call if you want a non standard canopy.  They don't make them themselves but they design them.

 

http://www.lifttechmarine.com/canopies-lift-tech-marine.html

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