Questions? Call us at 801-262-4017

Cinch Cover Vs. Ratchet Cover

When buying a new boat, whether you are spending $35,000 on a fish n’ ski or $150,000+ on a tournament wake surf boat, this is a massive investment. You make sure to go over every detail of performance, comfort, and storage to ensure your investment. You research what other people are saying about the boat and read professional reviews, you study what each manufacturer is highlighting, and make sure it’s something you need and will value. Dealers will help go over every one of these same details and help pick the right boat for you. Then you remember, “Oh yeah, what about a boat cover?”

At SewLong – Custom Covers, our team is passionate about delivering products that are built with the same level of attention and craftsmanship as the best 25′ surf boat available. We feel covers often time don’t get the attention they deserve and important conversations about them are not occurring. We can’t say we blame the boat owner, dealers, or manufacturers, because the cover is not the coolest feature of a boat. However, it is protecting your investment, so it is something boat owners should talk about. Poorly built covers not only damage the boat, but they won’t last, costing you more time and money down the road.

We see the covers that are coming from other manufacturers and we take note of what they are doing right and see if we can apply it to our covers. We also notice many things done in a way to save time to lower the cost. We believe this is not the place to skimp on quality and that doing things right doesn’t increase the cost enough to justify it. The cost savings between other Ratchet Cover versus our Cinch Cover is about $350-450, the value you get from the extra money will far out weigh the extra expense.

Cost is a driving factor in any purchase but so is quality, service, and reputation. Over the next few weeks, we are going to compare our Cinch Cover to various Ratchet Covers. We will dive in and completely nerd out on the fabrication methods involved in manufacturing high-end marine canvas. We will share the evolution of our Cinch Cover and why we made changes. Most importantly, we will show you how our Cinch Cover, although is higher in cost, brings you more value.

Silver Gray Top Notch 9 is an excellent color choice to help keep the temperature down inside the boat.

Fabric Selection

For our first topic, we will discuss fabric selection. At a glance, you will not notice a whole lot, if anything, different about the fabrics used by most cover manufactures and our Cinch Cover but once you touch and feel the fabric, you will notice a huge difference. The most common fabric you will see being used in an OEM ratchet style cover is Sur Last, we have also noticed a few manufacturers have switched to Sunbrella. The product we like is WeatherMax 80.

Sur Last

Base Material: 100% Solution Dyed Polyester

Fabric Weight: 7 oz.

Water Repellent: Yes – 3/4 oz Urethane Back Coating

Warranty: 3 Years

Summary: This is a lighter weight fabric that is easier to handle for the boater and fabricator. Because it’s lightweight, it tends to stretch out and deform over time. I would also be concerned about the breath-ability of this product because of the Urethane Back Coating. The warranty is one of the shortest on the market at 3 years which explains why we see a lot of 5-7 year old covers needing repair.


Base Material: 100% Solution Dyed Acrylic

Fabric Weight: 9 oz.

Water Repellent: Yes

Warranty: 10 Years

Summary: Sunbrella is an excellent product. Its name recognition and life expectancy are second to none. Being acrylic, it has the highest UV resistance of the three products. But we feel that the acrylics are better suited for other applications. In this application, we find that it tends to stretch out and lose its shape leading to a poorly fitted cover. The upside though, is the life expectancy, warranty, and combination of water repellency and breath-ability.

Weather Max 80

Base Material: 100% Solution Dyed Polyester

Fabric Weight: 8 oz.

Water Repellent: Yes

Warranty: 8 Years

Summary: Being a polyester, it is stronger than acrylic, it also has a tight weave helping with water repellency. Its warranty is not as long as Sunbrella, but it is more than twice that of Sur Last. We pick this fabric because of the combination of strength (non-deforming), breath-ability and life expectancy. We have seen polyester products shrink over 6-8 years, but with a Cinch and ratchet cover only being held in place by the fit, we feel it is better to be tighter than looser.

Fabric selection is a major factor when picking a cover. We have spent the past 21 years testing different fabrics and learning from other fabricators around the world. We use a wide selection of fabrics in our shop, and we are very deliberate in picking the right fabric for the right application.

Featured Posts