A Quality Approach to Customer Service
On Site Boat Care partners with the company that helped plant the flag on the moon. Now that statement seems a little bit out of this world but the reality is that every boat cover and bimini top that is made by On Site Boat Care starts with a known brand called Sunbrella. Sunbrella is a product line for a parent company, Glen Raven, which was founded in 1880 as a cotton mill. During the race to the moon in the 1960’s, Glen Raven wove the Nylon fibers that make up the flag that was planted by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. During the same time period, Glen Raven produced a revolutionary new product that was 100% Solution Dyed Acrylic (a material we will explain below), which they called Sunbrella. This new product has led Sunbrella to expand in to and dominate the marine canvas market, but it has remained on top due to the company’s high degree of focus on the customer experience. Early on in our business, we saw that many of the Glen Raven company values resonated with our company values including a high degree of focus on quality and the customer experience. For this reason and the reasons outline below, we proudly use Sunbrella fabrics for all of our canvas needs.
The Revolutionary Fiber
A quick search will reveal that the Sunbrella fabric is fade, mold, and mildew resistant, while still breathable and UV protectant from the sun. We accept these qualities to be true based on past performance, however, a lot of these qualities are exhibited due to the fore mentioned 100% Solution Dyed Acrylic fiber process. In lay mans terms for a complicated process, 100% Solution Dyed means that the fibers are one solid color all the way through like a copper penny pre 1982, or for a more visual example, like a carrot. In order to make a consistent color fiber, the coloring solution is added to a fluid acrylic mixture before it is formed in to a fiber using a spinneret. On the contrary, other fibers may be formed and then coloring is coated on the outside.
The coloring process plays a very important role specifically in being fade resistant. The acrylic fibers that are formed without any added color have the appearance of a clear/greyish color. As the normal wear and tear of the sun happens with a material that is not 100% solution dyed, the canvas will begin to fade, exposing that underlying fiber. However, the 100% solution dyed Sunbrella material will not fade nearly as quickly due to the fibers being one solid color. Some reports show that a Sunbrella fabric can be exposed to up 2,000 hours of direct sunlight before fading. Additionally, while it might not be a scientific finding from a lab, we have found from our experience over the years that the darker colors seem to hold their color better and longer before fading. A classic Black, Marine Blue, or Heather Beige always looks nice and truly holds up to the tests of natural elements.
If you’ve ever been out in the sun on a cloudy day and still got burned, then you can understand that it’s not the direct sun light that can burn your skin but rather the UV rays that cause skin damage. On Site Boat Care’s client base spans all ends of the spectrum from new families with small children to even retired folks wanting to just relax.
We choose to use Sunbrella fabric for our bimini tops and covers due to the fact that they have the Traditional Seal of Recommendation from the Skin Cancer Foundation which protects our clients and allows them to enjoy their time on the water.
In order to get the Traditional Seal of Recommendation, the Sunbrella material is tested to ensure that it has a UPF factor of at least 30. Sunbrella fabrics have a score over 50, far exceeding the necessary standards.
Integrity and Sustainability
In addition to providing quality materials, Sunbrella’s parent company Glen Raven, is focused on a sustainable approach to manufacturing. With the Sunbrella product line specifically, they have offered a recycling program to reuse excess and old fabric with newer fabric to create an incredible Renaissance Line that expands beyond the marine market. Additionally, their process for dying their fibers has been revamped to reduce the annual water consumption in their headquarter facility by nearing 10 million gallons. While most companies strive for a single goal of growth, Glen Raven has proven time and time again to have a focus on the triple bottom line.
On Site Boat Care’s focus as a company remains to provide quality canvas, upholstery, and flooring work for our customers which we achieve by sourcing materials from quality companies, such as Glen Raven. As we approach July 4th, where we celebrate our freedom and a time to come together, what better way to celebrate than by getting the boat ready and repairing the canvas from seasoned On Site Boat Care professionals and material from a company that helped plant the flag on our moon, a moment we can all look back on and smile in unity.