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We talk to Philip Bull about the Rain & Sun's undercover material: Duralite

by Mark Jardine on 12 May 12 May 2017
OK undercover in Duralite © Philip Bull

We recently spoke to Philip Bull of Rain & Sun who make dinghy and small keelboat covers in trailing, flat, overboom and undercover configurations, often innovating with different materials and deep skirts on classes such as the Enterprise, RS400, GP14 and 2000. Most recently they have brought out a new range of undercovers using a material called Duralite.

Mark Jardine: Why does Duralite offer better properties for a dinghy undercover?

Philip Bull: Duralite is UV stable, it doesn't shrink, and it's about three times stronger than the conventional nylon undercovers that people are used to.

Mark: Does this lead to a longer lifespan for their undercover or does it just offer more protection?

Philip: More protection and also a longer lifespan. They're particularly useful to those people who are trailing their boat often and wear undercovers out regularly, or find they are getting old, are shrinking and are an effort to fit.

Mark: This has been a problem with undercovers and I've noticed that after a couple of years use, to get an undercover onto a boat is often a struggle to get it over the edges. Does Duralite just have better stretch characteristics, or does it just not stretch at all?

Philip: It's a completely stable material. If it's made to the right shape in the first place it remains the right shape and will continue to fit a boat in the same way.

Mark: Can you make Duralite undercovers for all the classes you make conventional nylon undercovers for?

Philip: Yes, but we cut them slightly differently. Because the cloth is so stable, they have to fit the boat very well. The old stretchy covers could be pulled around to make up for a deficiency in the cut. They have to be properly tailored and we've sharpened up our undercover patterns for this material.

Mark: One of the problems I've always found towing a boat to an event is: if it's been raining the undercover is soaked by the time you get to the venue. You then need to store this sodden mass during the event, ready for towing back home. How does the Duralite cover react on a rainy day?

Philip: It doesn't absorb water at all. A nylon cover will grow when it's wet and shrink when it dries, whereas Duralite stays the same size.

Mark: This sounds like a real innovation in cover technology that should make towing and getting the cover on and off at event a far easier experience.

Philip: We're looking forward to making many covers in this material!

Find out more at www.rainandsun.co.uk

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