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: Aqualon Fabric  ( 2434 )

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« : November 14, 2014, 11:33:53 PM »

Hello everyone.  I am wondering if anyone knows who makes Aqualon fabric for marine or where in the USA it is made?  Also does anyone have any feedback on the product?  Likes or dislikes?
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« #1 : November 15, 2014, 10:12:45 AM »

Part 1 of reply -

Hello, I have had two experiences using Aqualon material. First project was building a “playpen” cover for a pontoon boat and the second one was building protective covers for the furniture on a pontoon boat. Each one of the projects was done in close proximity time wise. About 3yrs ago.

First project: This was kind of a unique situation. It was for a neighbor and was a barter job. I very, very rarely do barter projects. Our barter was a labor for labor agreement with each of us buying our materials. He had an existing cover (in black). I looked at the cover and it looked exactly like Aqualon. I showed him my chart (Aqualon being – if not OEM – as close as I could get to OEM) and suggested a gray color thinking it would do better here in Florida as far as heat absorption.

Second project: Shortly afterwards, a previous customer gave me a project to build protective covers for the furniture on his new[er] pontoon boat. This customer was very anal when it came to the pontoon boat and he had developed a small mildew problem on the furniture. Now, he had a full cover he used on dockside, but was still getting some mildew. He had bought a cheap cover for the Captain’s chair and it did not show mildew. So, he went with the concept of protective covers (again gray) over the furniture with the full cover over everything.

Follow ups….

First project:  Recently, my neighbor told me that the gray cover I built was “disintegrating”. Now, in the industry, for me at least, “disintegrating” is a very harsh word. And this word is all in the eyes of the beholder (customers using extreme words). He said the outside (facing) was flaking off or “powdering”. It was also leaking. I told him the material does carry a 5yr warranty so I would investigate what all was involved in the warranty procedures. He also said his original cover has some tears in it and would I fix them. I said sure thing (being jumpy now with the material I suggested and supplied on the gray cover going bad, apparently). I got his original cover and started to sew some patches in the center of it. I was sewing one patch and then the material tore off of a patch seam when trying to the cover at the machine (mind you now, this is the same material as Aqualon and is about 5yrs old in usage). I got after the second tear with another patch, and another tear developed. I said it like Patton said it in the movie when the German plane was strafing him, “I have had just about enough of this”! I am usually pretty good on initial material examination, but this one snuck up me. I took the material and pulled it slightly in the area of repair, and sure enough, it was truly “disintegrated”. Every time I would turn the material, another tear would develop, so I had to quit “chasing” it. I glued the last patch on the third tear. I did not charge him (still the warranty situation in mind).

Second project: With the playpen cover problems coming to light, I contacted the second customer to ask about a follow up (before I pursed further warranty info). He said the covers was doing good, but leaked on the top flat areas where water was pooling. This must be happening if he is not using the full cover at the time. And this leaking issue is curious to me. Aqualon is a solid polyester, so there should be no water seepage. I did use SolarFix, so it might be leaking on the seams – as SolarFix does not swell in the stitch holes like poly thread to help seal up the needle holes. As far as facing disintegration, I cannot give an accurate account on this from this project if he is using the main cover over the protective covers most of the time – thus no solar exposure.  


« : November 15, 2014, 10:13:36 AM RiCat »
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« #2 : November 15, 2014, 10:17:14 AM »

Part 2....

Warranty follow up info:

After attaining the customers information, I contacted my jobber where I purchased the Aqualon, Tri Vantage. They informed me that the cover would have to be shipped to them (freight paid by customer). Upon receiving the cover, Tri Vantage would ship the cover to Aqualon for examination to ascertain warranty justification. If the warranty is okeyed, warranty will only cover the cost of materials - no labor. I think my cost on the Aqualon was approximately $100. I informed him of this (only going to receive a credit of $100) and he decided not to pursue the matter any further - Thank you, Lord! I must say this also, Tri Vantage was very helpful in enlightening me on the warranty procedures involved.

My conclusion:

As far as this brand and similar type / weight of material, I personally will not be promoting this type of product in the future for major marine projects; I do not need the grief! If a future customer specifically asks for this type of material, I will share my past experiences with the customer. The only advantage I can come up with on Auqualon (or similar type) is with a light weight it can make for easier storage. Let me take a step back and give further clarification - I do promote this type of material for cover and some Bimini's - it is called Harbor Time. It is also a solid  polyester, but a much heavier weight. The only reason I can say I have had good success with Harbor Time is, so far - with over 4 yrs of product in the field - I have not had any negative customer feed back. I have used it a lot - and like it better for a more flat cover - as in a pontoon - as opposed to Sunbrella - it does not relax in more flatter areas (as in aft corners) that brings water pooling.

I hope this helps...
« : November 15, 2014, 10:45:14 AM RiCat »
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« #3 : November 16, 2014, 06:13:26 PM »

I have made at least a hundred boat covers from the stuff and have had no complaints. When I first used Aqualon (around 2001) it was 9.25oz and I really liked the stuff. About five years ago they changed the fabric to 9.0oz and in my opinion it did not seem to last as long or have the same quality. Today Aqualon is 9.5oz and while I'm not sure it is as good as the original 9.25, it holds up well, is easy to work with and I still have not had any complaints from customers.


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