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A Note to Fellow Fabricators

Important Notice About Your Choice of Colors/Patterns with Acrylic and Polyester Canvas Materials.

Our goal at Iverson's Design Inc. is to manufacture a high quality and aesthetically pleasing canvas system for your sailboat that will provide you many years of use. In our efforts to do this we believe it is important to share with you helpful information that will enable you to make a well informed decision on the colors/patterns and materials you choose for your canvas system. Please take the time to review the below information.

Color from a design perspective-

It isn't alway easy to decide what color or material to have your canvas system made from. Hopefully, the following information will be helpful in making your decision a little easier.

By default, when choosing a color or type of material for a dodger canvas system it seems that a lot of people go with whatever color/material the existing sail cover, winch covers, etc. are on their boat. This doesn't have to be the case and there are several ways to incorporate these existing colors into your new dodger canvas system without using the same material or the exact same colors.

Most sailboats have some shade of white as the gel-coat color. When thinking about integrating a dodger canvas system onto your sailboat it is important to consider the overall aesthetics. In other words, do you want your canvas system to be the focal point of your sailboat having a strong prominence or do you want your canvas system to blend in with your sailboat to have a more balanced look.

If the gel-coat color of your sailboat is white, choosing white as the material base color for your canvas system will undoubtable help to blend or integrate your dodger canvas system into your sailboats overall appearance. Alternatively, using a dark color will essentially be like stacking a block of color atop your boat making your canvas system more prominent. Visually speaking, adding a dark color above your deck creates a visual weight. Not to say that is a bad thing, it can actually be very appealing and add style to your sailboat depending on the situation.

Now, you might be saying to yourself WHITE! Yikes! Too hard to keep clean. That is true of acrylic canvas materials which have more of a fabric feel and are porous. However, with a acrylic coated polyester, cleaning is a lot easier as the material is not nearly as porous and has a sheen to its finish. So, don't be afraid of white as long as you use the right type of material cleaning won't be as difficult as you might think. Obviously, over time white material just like your gel-coat (depending on how well you maintain it) can show signs of dirt, mildew, etc. but regular cleaning/treatments will significantly help in preventing this.

If you choose white as the base color of your dodger canvas system you can integrate complimentary colors to accent it. For instance, if you have a shear strip or boot strip that is a darker color you can integrate this color into your white canvas system via the color of binding used on your canvas system or via the color used as reinforcing/chafe guards of your canvas system.

Click here for photos which demonstrate how using white as the base color for your dodger canvas system can help blend it into your sailboats overall appearance. Some of these examples demonstrate using complimentary colors to integrate existing canvas colors, shear stripe colors, boot stripe colors, or deck tread insert colors or hull colors.

Pro's and con's of acrylic canvas vs acrylic coated polyester-

  • Acrylic canvas is water resistant, acrylic coated polyester is waterproof.
  • Acrylic canvas is 9.25 oz and acrylic coated polyester is 11.5 oz.
  • Acrylic canvas is not chafe resistant, acrylic coated polyester has a high chafe resistance.
  • Certain acrylic canvas colors are fade resistant. Acrylic coated polyester will fade but the fading of the material does not affect the structural integrity. Obviously, acrylic coated polyester white will not fade.
  • Lighter colors of acrylic canvas are cleanable to a certain level. Acrylic coated polyester cleans much easier as it is not porous. For example, we have taken blackberries and smashed them into the acrylic coated polyester white material and the acrylic canvas white material. We left the smashed blackberries on the materials for a couple weeks before we tried cleaning them off using a spray bottle with water. Surprisingly, the blackberries cleaned of both materials very easily however, on the acrylic canvas material a mild stain was left behind. On the acrylic coated polyester material there were no noticeable spots left behind after cleaning with the water.
  • In most of the cases we have seen, acrylic coated polyester material will outlast the acrylic canvas material. This is particularly true when compared to lighter colors of acrylic canvas which seem to not have a great life expectancy.
  • Acrylic canvas material tends to stretch out and get loose over time whereas acrylic coated polyester tends to stay more dimensionally stable.

Facts about acrylic canvas colors and fading-

Generally speaking, the darker (more color pigment) the acrylic canvas color has the longer it will last by as much as double the life expectancy when compared to a lighter color of acrylic canvas. White acrylic canvas (with no pigment) is the least long lasting color there is and is the worst acrylic canvas color for providing you with UV protection. Most all colors in the lighter tones of acrylic canvas will provide roughly half the service life as compared to the darker acrylic canvas colors. Darker colors like Black, Navy, etc. will provide you with the longest life of the acrylic canvas material and most UV protection. As a basic rule of thumb the darker the color the longer it will last when it comes to acrylic canvas. Also, the darker colors (with the exception of the red colors) will show the least amount of fading.

Some of the newer patterns acrylic canvas companies have started offering do not weather well when exposed to UV. We have seen approximately 4-5 years of use before the material starts to degrade to the point it will easily tear. For this reason we highly suggest not choosing these patterns if you are wanting the longest life from your new canvas system. Please consult with one of our crew members to learn more.

Facts about acrylic coated polyester colors and fading-

When it comes to color and fading, acrylic coated polyester material is the exact opposite of acrylic canvas. The lighter colors of acrylic coated polyester are more fade resistant then the darker colors. Also the lighter colors of acrylic coated polyester are equally as long lasting if not better then the darker colors of acrylic coated polyester. As a rule of thumb, the darker the color of acrylic coated polyester the more fading you will experience. While fading is noticeable this does not affect the structural integrity of the material. Black will eventually turn to a washed out looking gray while the lighter colors will show considerably less fading. If you are concerned with fading we suggest choosing the lighter tones available with this material.

These samples are intended to help you choose a color that will match your boat. Please keep in mind that the actual canvas colors may differ slightly from what is displayed on your screen, due to your monitor's brightness and contrast settings. Physical samples of the canvas and chafe guard materials will be provided during your initial meeting with our crew.

Acrylic Canvas

Acrylic Coated Polyester


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