I've collected my (first) new polycotton cover, custom made to dimensions I supplied, and was concerned to see that negligable allowance had been made for shrinkage - its a lovely fit but apparently no room for shrinkage. Some manufacturers I asked said they allowed as much as 4% shrink and others 2.5%. This would be around 105mm/170mm on length and 55mm/85mm on width. Having raised it with the supplier, I'm told that it shouldn't be an issue, that they know what they're doing, but it just doesn't ring true to me.
I bought a polycotton cover from Speed and basically they supplied it to completely the wrong dimensions, even though I had given them the correct ones at the start. Fair play to them, they took it back and supplied a brand new one within 3 weeks and without so much as a moan but, like yours, made the replacement precisely to the dimensions I gave them, even though I discussed a shrinkage allowance with them beforehand. My experience was that it shrunk within about 6-7 weeks and stabilised - hasn't changed much in over a year now (couldn't guess at the percentage of shrinkage though). For me its a bit annoying as I really have to stretch the cover over the bow now to get it fully secured, but nevertheless it does fully cover the boat so its not the end of the world and I decided to leave it at that. Perhaps your supplier will agree to let you monitor it for a few weeks and if its shrunk too much speak to them again. Reputation is eveything in the sailing world so if they're a decent supplier I'm sure they'd agree. Good luck, hope this helps!
Thanks Paul, sorry to hear about your similar experience, thought it was just me! The fit now is what I'd like it to be in 1 or 2 years time, and I can't see that happening if it shrinks at all, but if 6 or 7 weeks should see the worse of the shrink, I might reserve judgement.
I find is that its really important to fit the cover correctly every time its taken off with all straps tight. At least that way it shrinks in a controlled manner.
I had one a couple of years ago made to measure from P & B and have not experienced any shrinkage that I can notice.
One of our club memners had a realy nice cotton cover made, yet the same company has now had two goes at making an over cover for the same design for a nother club member and neither has fitted?!
Thanks for the feedback on covers
I used Rain and Sun for a bespoke Merlin cover and am more than happy. The Firefly one was good too and the one I saw on a Finn convinced me.
I supply the Rain and Sun covers but I'm fairly sure all the manufacturers are pretty much the same. The really really important thing is to make sure the cover is fitted on the boat with the straps done up really tightly. (It's important therefore that the cover is strong around where the straps are sewn on) That way shrinkage is minimised. As Ian says above the first time you don't fit it properly it will shrink. And the sun will shrink the cover during the summer as much as when it dries out from wet.
I ordered a new cover from DS back in March, it was probably about 6 inches too long at the bow but over the season has shrunk to a perfect fit. Certainly agree with the comments regarding keeping the thing tight, in fact I asked for extra straps on mine which helps prevent it flapping while towing. Whichever company you buy from make sure you go for polycotton; pvc covers are a waste of money in my opinion.
The B14s sware by Rain & Sun. Phil Bull very accommodating on spec and probably the best covers the class has ever had. We co-ordinated a winter bulk buy last year and will be doing the same this year. Faultless service, relaible and good value. What more can one ask for.
I have to agree with all the comments above. I have used Rain & Sun for many years now on various boats, with no problems. Phil is really helpfull. He is based in Southampton. If you take your boat down, he will make a templae and cut the cover specifically for your boat. If you go for polycotton you will not regret it. Contact Phil on Rain & Sun 023 8023 0444 or 07786 393539.
We have just taken delivery of a new custom made cover from Wave Loft, I’m told is made from a breathable Acrylic Canvas which does not shrink at all. Initial impressions are good, the fit was perfect with lots of tensioning points and a side split from mast to shroud. So far I would recommend.
Ask for "Top Gun" fabric for highest quality breathable covers.
Let me see if I can answer any fabric questions and reply to some miss informed facts. Poly cotton although a very old fashioned and potentially out of date fabric is still one of the better materials to use for covers. It is inherently waterproof and breathable at the same time, although its weakness as you are all aware is shrinkage.
"indecently founded" Gosh, i wonder what he did ;)
Could he mean incidentally?
This shrinkage of covers, could this also apply to clothes. Like trouser waist's, shirt sizes etc. I would rather believe this than anything to do with the beer and food.
Fabric Guru, can you send me you e-mail address I have a question I'd like to ask you?
Very informative post from Fabric Guru and interesting to learn that most of the polycotton for covers comes from the same place.
If Top Gun isn't breathable why do Kayospruce and many others advertise it as follows: