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Old 07-05-2016, 03:16 PM   #1
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Stinkin' Cheap Snaps!

Okay, so I googled but I got multiple hits that all claimed to be "marine quality" which I don't necessarily trust, and I searched the forum itself and there are a number of threads on canvas construction and snap lubrication, but I haven't found a specific answer to this one: Does anybody have a recommendation for a good, heavy, real marine-quality snap? I'm tired of snaps failing on our boat. I lubricate with beeswax, snap lube, chapstick, and that helps, but still, I'm tired of replacing failed snaps every time we step on board. (By "fail" I mean I carefully pull the snap away and the bottom ring still comes off the cap and gets left behind on the snap base.) It's really annoying. I bought this snap kit from West Marine:

SEAFIT 72-Piece Canvas Snap Kit with Clinching Tool | West Marine

...but in my opinion the snaps are flimsy and the crimping tool failed almost immediately (maybe I squeezed too hard, although I'm no Incredible Hulk). I've tried the anvil method instead, tried different shank lengths, but I think my main problem is flimsy, cheap-quality snaps that come apart with the slightest pull. Anybody have a source for really good, heavy duty snaps? If I have to spend a few bucks I don't care, I'm just sick of replacing snaps that keep falling apart and plopping into the water if I sneeze at them. Thanks all.
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:38 PM   #2
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Have you tried good Stainless steel snaps? I picked up mine in Portland at a place called Vaughn Bros.
The are not cheap by any means, but they do seem to last longer. Bought the studs just before we left on this cruise, so no time to change the old ones out. But it is on the list of things to do over the winter.
Good luck.
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Old 07-05-2016, 03:44 PM   #3
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Send a pm to HopCar, not only will he get you precisely what you ask for he's a dang nice guy to deal with. Prices are right too. Win-win-win which is hard to find now days.
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:29 PM   #4
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We buy the snaps from Sailrite. The tool also. Never had a problem.
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:32 PM   #5
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We buy the snaps from Sailrite. The tool also. Never had a problem.
definitely a good source...never been disappointed with them


the quality of cheap ones sold at discount places such as Sea Dog brand are obvious...but harsh conditions pretty much do them all in faster than we like....unless well maintained and full of lube.
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:41 PM   #6
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Yes, Sailrite has the quality snaps and the Hoover Pres-N-Snap installation tool to assemble the snaps. You can find these on Amazon too.

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Old 07-05-2016, 04:44 PM   #7
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We buy the snaps from Sailrite. The tool also. Never had a problem.
We bought the tool 10 years ago and have used it hundreds of times. Money well spent considering some of the money not so well spent on other boat tools.
Sailrite - Fabric, Canvas, and Sewing Machines Since 1969
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Old 07-05-2016, 05:49 PM   #8
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Definitely a tool well worth the cost. The snap buttons also come with different length barrels. If the barrel is too short for the thickness of the material, they will come apart.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Yes, Sailrite has the quality snaps and the Hoover Pres-N-Snap installation tool to assemble the snaps. You can find these on Amazon too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobH View Post
Definitely a tool well worth the cost. The snap buttons also come with different length barrels. If the barrel is too short for the thickness of the material, they will come apart.
Absolutely agree - Press-N-Snap is the way to go - you can also get grommet dies if intrested
The attachments for a Vise-Grip are OK but nothing like the real thing...anvil & punch hardly worth the effort & hard to do a quality job

SailRite good for small qty - if you need more of anything worth elsewhere.

I buy most of my fabric & supplies from RochfordSupply.Com - good selection & prices

Also agree - most snap failures I've seen / repaired are due to poor crimp - frequently short barrel for the thickness of material
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:29 PM   #10
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I just made a window screen cover (one was missing when we bought the boat).
I used the Sailrite snaps that I had left over from another project. Didn't use the Press N Snap tool, just a hammer and the anvil that came with the kit of snaps. I have never had a snap fail using the anvil...if I was making more than just the occasional canvas cover I might invest in the tool.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:10 PM   #11
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I'll echo the recomendations for SailRite stainless snaps and for the tool. The tool is expensive, but quick, easy and will last forever. After breaking several of the anvils, we made the investment and never looked back. And if you lend it to others on the dock, you can probably make your investment back in free beverages.
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Old 07-06-2016, 07:34 PM   #12
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... And if you lend it to others on the dock, you can probably make your investment back in free beverages.
Amen to that... I do a lot of repair jobs for legal beverages and it makes for many good friendships around the marina.
Also uaeful to barter for other talents...
Fishing charters...diesel mechanic & hydraulic help, etc etc
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Old 07-09-2016, 06:33 AM   #13
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Thank you thank you everybody, exactly what I needed. Sailrite it is. The tool especially looks much beefier than the relatively flimsy tool that came with the West Marine kit. To me it's worth a few bucks to avoid those annoying snap heads coming off all the time.

(Somebody mentioned using the proper shank length for the thickness of the canvas. Yep, I tried playing with that too, they still come apart. When we first bought the boat the previous owner had a few replacement snaps on board. They felt heavier and the caps were a dark metal color, not shiny. I used them eventually and they've never come apart, so I don't think it's my technique (but who knows).)

Anyway, thanks so much, very helpful.
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