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Old 03-29-2012   #1
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David Miller's Avatar
 
Gypsum, Colorado
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Good Better Best River Sombrero

How good is the basic Sombrero? Do they hold up reasonably well or do I need to spend the extra bucks to upgrade. The shark skin comes with a 5 yr warranty that seems reasonable. Does the nylon hardware hold up well or is the stainless hardware a must. Look forward to hearing from Sombrero owners.

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Old 03-30-2012   #2
 
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durango, Colorado
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David,
I'll let others chime in with their experiences, but from a service standpoint I've had only 2 issues over 3 years with the nylon hardware, both were the mounting point, and one involved alcohol. An easy solution to that is to pick up a couple spares (they're cheap compared to SS). No issues thusfar with Sharkskin. The 5 year warranty is full for 1 year and pro-rated for fade after that. The differences between Sharkskin and Sunbrella are 1) thickness - Sunbrella being a heavier weave and therefore more resistant to tearing; 2) Sunbrella is solution-dyed, meaning the fibers are dyed before weaving which makes it extremely fade-resistant; and 3) Sunbrella is a name brand with 50+ years on the market as the #1 marine fabric used worldwide. So it's very proven, but you're also paying for that brand reputation. Hope this helps.
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Old 03-30-2012   #3
 
Evergreen, Co.
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I own a first generation 6ft River Sombrero.
I opted to upgrade to the Sunbrella fabric due to durability and fade resistance. So far it's performed well, and I have no complaints. I do store it in the protective cover when I'm off the river. I am wondering if I should upgrade to stainless hardware for long term wearability?
I have my Sombrero mounted on the optional 24" sliding bracket mounted on my side frame decks, which works for my 16' raft perfectly. Without the sliding bracket, my Sombrero would rest on my rear gear pile when stowed. Now it slides back and rest on rear tube where I keep it strapped to rear d-ring through whitewater.
Another nice thing about the sliding bracket is that you can move the Sombrero forward to offer more protection for front passengers when needed.
I recommend spending the xtra cash on the upgrades if you can, and if you decide to go w Sharkskin, at least get the 24" sliding bracket. Good luck!
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Old 03-30-2012   #4
 
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vancouver, Washington
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router table jig extrusion for use on the sliding bimini mount ...

anybody try this woodworking track on their bimini?

I would think if you have a deck you could bolt this down and come up with some sort of jig mount for your hardware.

a four foot section is $15 on sale --- that would make 2x24" sections ...

Universal T-Track - Rockler Woodworking Tools

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Old 03-30-2012   #5
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It would seem that for the extra 160 bucks the deluxe model makes sense both for the fabric and the Stainless. Is there any way to use the sliding bracket connected to the frame as I have no interest in adding decking to my frame? I like the idea of moving the shade fore and aft.
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Old 03-30-2012   #6
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Sorry for dominating the discussion but I had this thought. I have a double rail frame. The oar towers are mounted on the outside rails. If I could mount the sliding brackets to the inner rail I could slide back and forth past the oars for max flexibility.
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Old 03-30-2012   #7
 
Evergreen, Co.
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You could mount track directly to rail.
If you reverse the sombrero, it gives more room for oats when slid forward.
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