In the US there are three big zipper manufacturers that are used on boat cover applications
In order of popularity:
YKK- UV resistant zippers (most common) but has no warranty
Lenzip- UV resistant zippers are the only zippers available that offer a lifetime warranty. They also YKK compatible.
RiRi- UV resistant zippers with a five-year warranty. RiRi zipper is not YKK compatible. RiRi marine zippers are almost not available in the US and I suspect will be gone before long.
Marine zippers have been a source of frustration for boat owners for a long time. After time exposed to the sun's UV rays, they begin to breakdown. They get chalky and become brittle. They eventually lose their teeth, or the teeth begin pulling apart. Another big complaint is the zipper slider.
Are there different sizes? Yes, there are, and it's important to know which size you have and which size you need to request if you are having custom boat covers built for you.
The most common sizes of marine zippers used in the industry are #5, #8, and #10.
In my shop we use YKK #10, and Lenzip #10.
I keep #8 YKK Marine zippers for replacements on factory manufactured boat canvas. This is because many boat canvas manufacturers use them. If I had a choice, I would never use a #8 marine zipper. My thinking is why go smaller when bigger is available.
How do you know if you have #8 or a #10 zipper?
Follow the method above to figure out what size zipper you have
IMPORTANT: Please measure accurately before ordering!
Please don't guess, #8 and #10 look very similar.
Counting your teeth per inch will give you the right information when ordering.
Here is a picture of a separating marine zipper and the proper terminology starting with #2.
Separating means that the zipper unzips and the two sides completely separate from one another.
2. The #10 Separating Marine zipper
3. Insert pin
4. Retaining box
5. Box pin
6. Teeth Elements
7. Zipper tape
8. Zipper slider unit
Below is a list of the things that are most likely to fail on a marine zipper, and what to do about them
Tip: Determine your zipper size (see what size zipper do I have)shown above, and keep a dozen extra metal zipper slider and stainless steel crimp-on zipper stops on your boat for repairs. In salt water boaters, replace the pulls once a year. Stainless steel zipper pulls are on the market for salt water boaters along, and they are worth the price since you can keep them for life and can put them on all future boat zippers you may have. Another nice add-on marine zipper option is a lanyard zipper pull. This cord attachment adds additional length and gives more to grab and pull the zipper up and down with.
If the retaining box breaks off.
Teeth on each half of the zipper separate and will no longer hold together. Check your zipper teeth for extreme degradation.
Stuck zipper slider
Marine zipper strain caused by material shrinkage
Zipper stop fails and slider falls off the bottom of the zipper.
Please Read Before ordering zippers
The marine zippers we sell are the same zippers we use in our shop, and are shown on this page. They are made for an outdoor environment.
Order your zipper sliders here!
Please Read Before ordering sliders
Buy your stainless steel crimp on zipper stops here!
We'd like to help you find a solution! You just might be able to help someone else trying to solve the same problem. If your question just requires a yes or no answer, please ask it from our contact us page.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
Marine grade zipper
Hello, My name is Debora and I am making a sail cover and need to order a #10 seperating zipper but, I need the pull to be stainless steal and I need it …
Zipper for my Stack Pack
I am looking for 195 inch very strong zipper for the stack Pack on my sailboat and that protects the main sail once doused. I have replaced it twice already …
I have a Sun Tracker bimini boot and the damaged zipper is 48" long. Can I cut a 60" size #8 zipper down to 48" or do you sell 48" zippers ?
I have a Sun Tracker bimini boot and the damaged zipper is 48" long. Can I cut a 60" size #8 zipper down to 48" or do you sell 48" zippers ? Hi Ron, …
How can I sew a zipper?
Do I need a special sewing machine and a special sewing thread? Hi Rudy, Let's first talk about the sewing machine. If you already have a sewing machine, …
Bimini Zipper Problems
The zippers on my bimini top (2000 Regal Commodore 2460)are shot - corroded. The slides are jammed and now broken. I tried to free-up using white vinegar …
Zipper Stop Removal
I want to replace my YKK #10 aluminum sliders with stainless steel sliders. Is there a tool or a trick that will remove the stop from the zipper without …
I have a 2004 jeep wrangler and need a replacement retainer box for a #10 zipper. Any idea on where to purchase the retainer box? Justin, Retainer …
Zipper for a Bimini top, black, 24 inches
I need a zipper that has two sliders that will separate to allow a cable through then close around the cable and not slip, # 10 marine grade. Thanks …
zipper is in perfect condition the retainer box came off can this be replaced
retainer box came off the zipper is in perfect shape except the retainer box can this be replaced. How do this stay on in the first place. thanks Hi …
What is best way to lubricate a plastic zipper?
To lubricate a plastic zipper on a boat canvas. Hi Richard, That answer we have found to be a little tricky. I think it really depends on how old …
If the retaining box breaks can it be replaced?
The retaining box fell off the zipper and i was wondering if just the box could be replaced? Hi Don, No, the retaining box cannot be replaced and is …
Where are you located in South Florida?
Zipper replacement help. Hi Kevin, I am in Buford GA. There is a nifty fabricator locator online that can be found here. http://marinecanvas.com/ …
Can you supply zippers to an address in the United Kingdom?
Replacement zips on yacht awnings. Hi Steve, It shouldn't be a problem to send zippers to the UK. How many are you looking for? The easiest way would …
do you supply open ended zippers in excess of 12 mtr
i am making a roller genoa sock for which i need the zip.size 8 shold do Possibly, most genoa socks have ropes coming out of the sock at some point …
Do you have 36" white Riri #8 zippers ?
Building an enclosure for a boat using pieces build previously with Riri zippers. I thought this would be an easy request, but my normal supplier is …
Hi, Need 2 very long, havy duty zippers, 28 feet long,
Hi, Need 2 very long, havy duty zippers, 28 feet long, with stainless slider, for my jib sail and cover for it. Could you help me with that? Please …
Are these sliders compatable with riri? #10 marine
Replacement slider for riri. No, riri are different than any other slider. I do have a few of those in white. You can order the ykk sliders if you …
do i need to buy stop for zipper io orderd?
just want to know if zipper stop comes with zipper HI Jeff, No, but I can send one at your request! Only one is needed per zipper.
Hello I have a marine canvass that has lenzip zippers. I have tried YKK 10 from local supplier and they did not pull the zipper tight. Based …
problem ordering product
when i try to choose pay pal the web site says please enter country and valid zip code when i do this it will not accept email@example.com 313 491 …
looking for a one sided #10 marine zipper for a underwater utility bag
This is a bag, so one sided zipper is what is required. The existing zipper has lasted several years with occasional lubrication. Hi Jeff, I am not …
YKK is a trademark of YKK
Lenzip is a trademark of Lenzip Corp.
RiRi is a trademark of RiRi
EZ-Snap is a trademark of Isosso
"I wanted to thank you for the fantastic results I have with the EZ-Xtend zipper solution you provided for my Sea Ray.
The isinglass had shrunk to the point that installing it was an all-morning job, with some snaps totally unusable due to the material shrinkage. I really was preparing to purchase a complete new canvas set, but hated to spend the money-especially since the canvas is still in excellent shape.
The EZ-Xtend zippers have made the canvas/isinglass installation and removal about a 10 minute job! (and looks great too!) Thanks again for the quick solution and the reasonable cost, I really do appreciate it.
The extend zippers have been a resounding success. Zippers were needed for the starboard stern section of my bimini top, and for both side curtains of my camper canvas. It is a clever design you came up with to increase the width of connectivity between my bimini top and camper canvas sections. I do not know what I would have done otherwise as the camper canvas sections have shown shrinkage over time.
I got a chance to install these yesterday and just thought I'd get back to you to let you know that they worked perfectly for me. I couldn't be happier with that simple to install solution to my problem now allowing me to properly and fully enclose my cockpit again. Such a great idea.
The Ez-xtend zippers were very easy to install---especially with a little lubricant ( which I always apply periodically to zippers)
"True skill and craftsmanship are rare traits in today's society. When they're held by a person that truly cares about her customers, brings honesty, creativity and passion to her work, you have just described Tammy Hampton. Better known as "The Cover Girl," Tammy has been both a friend, mentor and business partner for nearly twenty years.
I found Tammy by her name tag.... sewn to a sailboat cover, in a nearby marina. The boat cover was fitted with such precision, it clearly stood out from the others. In the years since, Tammy has 'dressed out' at least twenty boats for me. She has yet to meet a challenge for which she could not find a creative and effective solution.
Tammy has become a valuable resource to my Boatbutler business, and she has actually created sort of a "cult" following among my customers. Once they see the quality of her work, the choice is an easy one.
I am still grateful for that little tag on that sailboat cover I found nearly twenty years ago."
Owner, Boatbutler Marine Services, Inc.
I love your website and wish we lived closer, so that I
could stop by your shop - sounds like a wonderful place!