you recommend Top Notch but say that you like any type of Acrylic but the Top Notch listed is coated polyester. That seams to disagree with itself ?
by Chris Micha
(Farmington Hills, MI)
Find the strongest longest lasting dryest least fading material for a boat cover.
Top Notch is in the polyester family and sunbrella is in the acrylic family. Both are breathable, both are fade resistant, both are what is called water resistant and are not considered water proof and both are breathable. In appearance they are very similar. Top Notch is heavier than sunbella and substantially stronger. In fact, in my opinion it makes the very best towing cover, because of it is so tough. Also, what I like about it, is the fact that it has incredible strength, but as it lays against the hull it is breathable. I have seen 100% water proof fabric lay against the fiberglass and actually cause blisters in the fiberglass due to the sweating and heat.
Top Notch is a fairly new fabric and claims that in every area out performs acrylic. I think we will see a lot more from this fabric as time goes by. The same company that makes Top Notch makes a fabric called Top Notch Elite which is now going to be called Top Notch 9. This is also a great fabric and extremely tough, but is a little lighter. Nice for full covers. Top Notch 9 is similar to weathermax 80. Weathermax 80 is lighter than all of them, but is still stronger than sunbrella.
Acrylics have a weak point if you want to classify characteristics, and that is abrasion. Reinforcing well is important and if towing with an acrylic cover, it will find places to wear you never would have even thought of.
It's all a give and take! What is the right boat cover fabric? Depends on what you are using it for. All of the above are favorites and not only for me, but many fabricators.
Sunbrella is a standard favorite and billions of boat covers are made from it. You can't go wrong, but a great idea is to go to each website and look a little deeper, figure out what is important to you and go with it. All of them will serve you well.
Thanks for the question and I hope I did something to clarify or move you closer to your decision.
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