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Old 02-02-2012, 01:30 PM   #1
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Bimini top protectant or sealer

What are you all using as a canvas Bimini treatment?

*I have used the 303 spray stuff* a few times but it is hard to get good even coverage. Has anybody tried applying*a product,*in place, with a roller?

My sunbrella is getting a bit threadbare and dripping through in*the rain.

I believe I have read of boaters using Thompson's wood sealer. My top is probably**8 years old but still looks good, no*holes or tears so I'd like to get a few years more out of it.

Steve W.

*

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Old 02-02-2012, 01:42 PM   #2
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

My wife uses a method taught to her by a local canvas shop that uses Sunbrella for a lot of projects, including marine. It involves washing the Sunbrella (in a machine) using a product she gets from the canvas shop. Then the canvas is spread out and sprayed with 303 when it's wet and again when it's dry (I think). She takes care of all the canvas on our boat and frankly, I don't pay much attention to what she does. I do see the results, however. The first time she used this method was on our flying bridge side panels. These have always built up "green" stains along the bottoms during the winter. She treated the two panels the last time we had them off the boat, which I think was some four years ago or so. They have not developed any "green" since.

I'll ask her what the process is and what the product is that she gets from the canvas shop.
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:28 PM   #3
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

303 protectant is what Sunbrella recommends. There are other brands on the market. I used one made by Starbrite and I used a paint roller. I ended up using more product than I planned and had to purchase extra, probably because of using the paint roller.

Thompson's Wood Sealer is OK for wooden decks (home decks, not boat decks). Sunbrella doesn't recommend it for boat canvas and I don't believe Thompson's does either.
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:19 PM   #4
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

I used the waterproofing product made by Starbrite on 1/2 our cockpit cover; sort of a test. Worked well for about 2 1/2 years. I applied it using a 1 gal pump up sprayer. Worked well. I believe I'll use it again on the bimini top & redo the other canvas as well.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:07 PM   #5
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Bimini top protectant or sealer

A lot of boaters do use Thompsons or 3m Scotchguard*products...not sure which is best...but if your canvas is on it's last legs what do you have to lose?* I have used Thompsons and while I can't say it's the best...it didn't hurt and the price is a fraction of most other stuff.


-- Edited by psneeld on Friday 3rd of February 2012 08:08:10 PM
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:28 PM   #6
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

I'll try a patch of each Thompsons and 3M product on the top to see how they compare. I'll probably be changing the bimini out anyway in a couple of years
thanks to all for the suggestions.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:28 PM   #7
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

I used Thompsons on my old bimini.* It waterproffed the sunbrella but all the stiching fell out.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:17 AM   #8
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

Quote:
meridian wrote:
I used Thompsons on my old bimini.* It waterproffed the sunbrella but all the stiching fell out.

I had two pieces of canvas that were otherwise servicable restitched by a canvas shop at $90.00 per hour.* After that, I bought an old heavy duty Singer sewing machine and the "good" thread from Sailrite and I've restitched the rest of it as well as made my own helm and seat covers.

Thompsons Water Seal and similar products are fine for wood.* Canvas is very different from wood and needs a different type of protectant.
*
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:27 AM   #9
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

Meridian, do you feel the stitching was damaged by the waterseal, or was it failing anyway?
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Old 02-06-2012, 08:37 AM   #10
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

Steve:

I had an old Tonneau cover (up top) that leaked horribly. I used Thompsons on one half of it and nothing on the other half. The Thompsons worked well for a couple of years. Then I had the whole thing replaced. The stitching was gone in both sides, you could spit through the fabric in places, on both sides. So NO I don't believe the Thompson's damaged the stitching, I think it was already gone.
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:07 AM   #11
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

Steve,
The stiching was old but I think the Thompsons pushed it along. The seams would just pull apart.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:41 PM   #12
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

I use the 303. However, the standard trigger sprayer is a pain and it is difficult to do a good job.

I then tried an old garden type pump up weed sprayer with a hose and wand. It works well, holds about 1/2 = 3/4gallon instead of a few ounces. I did find though that if the pressure isn't kept up then the tip will dribble. Keep up the pressure and the spray pattern is good.
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:11 PM   #13
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Bimini top protectant or sealer

My wife has done an amazing job of keeping our canvas going, most of which was on the boat when we bought it. So we've had it 13 years plus however long it had been on the boat before us. So far, thanks to her efforts, we have not had to replace a single piece. The two-piece, full flying bridge cover in particular, was very old when we bought the boat. I'm amazed it's lasted this long, and it would have failed years ago for sure were it not for my wife's diligent replacement of seams as soon as they begin to fail. We've found that the canvas itself will last a very long time. What doesn't is the thread in the seams. And when it goes, the canvas panels start coming apart and flapping and the fabric itself begins to tear.

Our boat sits in the open year round and in the winter is subjected to storms with wind gusts as high as 80mph although that's very rare. Usually it's more like 50 or 60.

So we're convinced the secret to long canvas life is to maintain the integrity of the seams. She uses what is reputed to be the best thread on the market for this and so far so good.

For some jobs she uses an industrial Brother sewing machine she bought at a marine consignment store in Seattle.* While I now know this is common in industrial sewing machines, it's the first one I'd ever seen with its own lube oil sump.* The under-table motor that runs it weighs over 100 pounds.* The thing will probably sew plywood together.

However, this kind of machine is not necessary for many of the canvas jobs she does.* She will often take her heavy duty but home-type Phaff machine*up to the boat and sew up seams there.


-- Edited by Marin on Tuesday 7th of February 2012 12:15:28 AM
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:54 PM   #14
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

Quote:
Marin wrote:
My wife uses a method taught to her by a local canvas shop that uses Sunbrella for a lot of projects, including marine. It involves washing the Sunbrella (in a machine) using a product she gets from the canvas shop. Then the canvas is spread out and sprayed with 303 when it's wet and again when it's dry (I think). She takes care of all the canvas on our boat and frankly, I don't pay much attention to what she does. I do see the results, however. The first time she used this method was on our flying bridge side panels. These have always built up "green" stains along the bottoms during the winter. She treated the two panels the last time we had them off the boat, which I think was some four years ago or so. They have not developed any "green" since.

I'll ask her what the process is and what the product is that she gets from the canvas shop.
Marin, I would really be interested in finding out the name of the product your wife gets from the canvas shop and any other details of her process. Her results are worth duplicating.
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:59 AM   #15
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

For anyone who wants to clean and protect it the way the manufacturer recommends, here is a link:

http://www.sunbrella.com/cleaning/ma...ops-covers.php

*
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Old 02-07-2012, 10:36 AM   #16
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

Quote:
CPseudonym wrote:
Marin, I would really be interested in finding out the name of the product your wife gets from the canvas shop....
*It's called IOSSO Mold and Mildew Stain Remover or Protector or something like that.* Soak first, then wash, then let air dry, then treat twice with light coats of 303 letting the canvas dry completely between treatments.
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Old 02-07-2012, 04:39 PM   #17
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

Thank you Marin and Ron.
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Old 02-08-2012, 06:23 AM   #18
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RE: Bimini top protectant or sealer

Quote:
CPseudonym wrote:
Thank you Marin and Ron.

*

You're welcome.
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