Waterproof vs Water Repellent Canvas

Seems like these two words would mean the same but nothing could be further than the truth.   So Waterproof vs Water Repellent Canvas, what’s the difference when it comes to boat canvas?

Water Repellent

Let’s start here since water repellent canvas is a favorite when it comes to marine canvas.  Water repellent marine canvas is an acrylic or polyester blend material that is very tightly woven by the manufacturer.    This naturally prevents water seepage but most canvases are coated with a DWR ( durable water repellent) which makes then more water-resistant.   The DWR coating will wear off over time and does require re-application, this is the type of “waterproofing” sprays you find at your local boat store.   This type of fabric is loved by many in boating due to it’s soft touch flexibility of use.

Waterproof vs Water Repellent CanvasWaterproof

Waterproof is a little easier to understand, no water gets in!   Waterproof marine canvas is typically the same acrylic or polyester blend you find with water repellent fabric but one or two side is vinyl coated.   There is no ongoing maintenance required of this type of canvas unlike water repellent fabric which requires re-coating a DWR.

So What’s Right For My Boat?

There are two primary factors when deciding which canvas is best for you, what type of weather do you encounter and how do you plan on using it?

As mentioned before, water repellent canvas is a favorite amongst boats and the most popular solution in the marketplace today.   People love the variety of colors that are available, it’s soft touch and is fade resistant.  It does a great job of keeping the recreational boater dry and is cost effective.   It’s commonly used throughout all climates and is most popular on boat enclosures, bimini tops, aft covers and convertible tops.   Sunbrella offers a great line of water repellent acrylic marine canvas that comes with a 10-year warranty in over 75 colors.

Waterproof vs Water Repellent CanvasWaterproof marine canvas is more popular in the northeast and northwest where mother nature whips up some more her more nasty storms.   It’s also very popular for boat covers, especially “road” and storage covers.   Some boaters do prefer this type of material for all types of enclosures though but is not as popular or as common since it is more expensive than water repellent canvas.   Stamoid has an excellent line of waterproof canvases that comes in four different grades, light, heavy, open and top.

If your still undecided on what type of boat canvas is best for you take a trip down to your local harbor.   Walk around and see the different types of canvases used in your area and in different ways.  You can also work with your local canvas shop which will have a variety of samples of the various marine canvases available today.

Waterproof vs Water Repellent Canvas

We hope this article helped you in deciding on Waterproof vs Water Repellent Canvas for your boat. Please send any comments or ideas on Waterproof vs Water Repellent Canvas, we would love to hear your feedback.

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