When travelling the world, yacht owners, charter guests, and crew members spend plenty of time on the exterior decks of the Superyachts, often making it a necessity to have either a yacht awning, canopy, or cover fitted. Besides the importance of protecting guests and crew from the Med season’s UV-rays, yacht awnings provide shade to the vessel’s fixtures, furnishings and fittings. Without the correct fitted shading, a yacht’s finishings can be bleached or warped under too much sun exposure.
Elite Yacht Covers has over 50 years of combined design experience and have worked on over 20 yachts, including one of the largest Sailing yachts to date. The company specialises in designing bespoke yacht awnings, covers, and canopies, but also sprayhoods using the top materials. Co-founders, Joe and Paul pride themselves in considering not only what the cover has to do, but also how it will be used and by how many crew.
About Elite Yacht Covers
EYC is a UK-based business, supplying architectural yacht awnings, covers, and canopies to Superyachts and Sailing yachts all over the Med region. Originally, the company started with a team of two, but has recently grown to a team of 10+ and continues to expand. Both Joe and Paul set the company up with the ultimate goal of pioneering with CAD-designed cover solutions, to help bring yacht cover design and the highest quality yacht awnings into the 21st century. At present, they work in collaboration with Loft Customs in Palma, allowing Elite Yacht Covers and Loft to offer a first-class service to their joint customers in Palma.
What have you found to be the most common issues that yachts come across with awnings and covers? For example, bad fits and how does your company ensure they resolve these?
When yacht awnings are fitted poorly, it can damage the yacht and reduce the life expectancy of the awning. Because of this, the team at Elite Yacht Covers focuses on providing the maximum coverage, without the requirements of battens, poles and other cumbersome items. “It’s at the heart of what we do” – co-founder, Paul Gray.
“We consider the size and weight, to make sure that the stowage size is compatible with the yachts stowage capacity, but we also liaise with the Captains and crew to get an understanding of how many crew will be tasked with the setting up. We use CAD and digital measuring, which is in its complete own league! This enables EYC to run wind loads through the design and correctly spec the dyneema cables. It’s been a game-changer, not only for us, but yachts have had badly fitted yacht awning and cover, time and time again.” – Co-founder, Joe Peat
Image by Raphael Belly
Yacht Awnings and Cover Materials:
When it comes to sourcing a Superyacht Cover, one thing that needs to be considered is the material. This is to determine whether or not it can withstand the conditions a Superyacht experiences. Elite Yacht Covers are made in-house by experienced machinists to ensure they know that their clients are getting high-quality products. As well as allowing them to customise each yacht awning/cover to suit the individual needs of the customer.
When manufacturing the yacht awnings, covers, and canopies, the process is done using the best-suited fabric for the project. Paul elaborates: “We use a range of materials from lightweight breathable Polyesters such as WeatherMax 80 and more recently WeatherMax3D. We also use most of the Serge Ferarri range. Stamoid is the ‘go to’ because of its wipe-clean surface and great UV properties, however, as in all fabrics, they have their limitations, in terms of breathability.”
See below a previous example:
1. The problem:
Paul: “We were working on a Yacht in 40+ degrees heat in Corfu and the brief was to replace the furniture covers ‘like for like’. Upon inspection, the teak has been ‘sweating’ inside the cover and the oils were seen to be weeping out.”
2. The solution:
Paul: “We resolved this by using Stamoid ‘Smart 1’ which is both breathable and impermeable at the same time, using a ‘Goretex’ type technology. The use of the Soltis range of mesh shading is invaluable and as such the range of weights, strengths and shading grow year on year. Using these mesh’s adds a well-needed shaded and privacy option, whilst allowing for cooling airflow.”
Image by EYC
How has Elite Yacht Covers CAD Technology changed the game for the yachting industry?
Since EYC entered the yachting industry, gone are the days of bad-fitted yacht awnings and covers. Captain Harry Blazeby once gave Elite Yacht Covers the challenge of creating a deck awning for S/Y Aurelius for the upcoming Med season, with just a month’s notice before their first owners’ trip. EYC successfully completed the bespoke yacht awning, resulting in all-around smiles for the crew and guests.
“The brief was for a simple awning design that could be set up and broken down by a small crew with minimal fuss, and which also took up minimal storage space. Having worked with Paul a few years ago, I knew his background and had confidence in his experience with tensile awnings. By the time I signed off the computer renderings we had less than 3 weeks before the owner arrived. The awning was delivered to us in Palma with a couple of days to spare, which was an awesome turnaround. Once set up and tweaked by their Palma partners (Loft Customs)it was clear that EYC had nailed it first time and there was no need for any modification.The owner and his children absolutely love the new awning, which he described as a ‘total game changer’. Primarily because it opens up a huge area of cushioned deck space for guest usage that would otherwise be out of bounds in the midday Mediterranean sun.” – Captain Harry Blazeby
EYC use a unique blend of traditional ‘Black Art’ hand templating methods for some styles of covers, and the latest cutting-edge tech for others. By using a 3D scanner and CAD software, mixed with their expertise in hand templating, it gives the yacht awnings, cover and canopy specialists a unique advantage in taking on all bespoke canvas designs.
Paul: “The clear advantage in using the 3D measuring, with CNC cutter is the accuracy, and the next is the repeatability. The tensile Awnings also benefit from the next generation ‘form finding’ software. Which is critical for the added stability and set of an Awning… We use a Dyneema skeleton framework to take the big loads required for a perfectly set Awning. The stand-out factor about our products is the detail! We look much deeper into how we are asking the fabric to perform and to set the level of build to a safe working load.”
So, how would a Captain or chief stew get in contact with Elite Yacht Covers with a bespoke yacht awning/cover inquiry?
Paul: We tend to have a large number of enquiries through our social media channels. But, our most common form of connection is through recommendations from within the industry. Our close partnership with Loft Customs in Palma, allows us to offer a first-class service to our joint customers in Palma. And at present, we currently have work in several Mediterranean destinations and a current contract to travel to a yacht in Seychelles. With regards to our order process and after the initial contact, we would look to find out more details on usage/expectations. As well as any issues with current covers, such that improvements can be implemented into our product.
EYC would then provide an estimate based on the discussions and sizes and travel costs if required. Once we are onboard, we again run through the specification and sometimes fine-tune the design, with the crew that are tasked to use the covers – These are the
guys that we gain the most input from and some small changes in detail can facilitate a quicker deployment of the cover.
We have a large number of enquiries through our social media channels:
However, our most common form of connection is through recommendations from within the industry. Elite Yacht Covers are online almost 24/7 to the Captains and crew in case any issues occur, or advice is needed. It’s super important to all of us that we can offer the highest level of support for our products!
For any inquiries about Elite Yacht Covers bespoke yacht awnings, covers and canopies, contact us here
Additional Elite Yacht Covers Services include:
- Elite Architectural Awnings
*Elite Architectural Awnings have become the preferred supplier for a Leading restaurant and hotelier. They’ve helped them increase capacity for outdoor dining, which has become so popular since the pandemic. – https://www.milsomhotels.com
For more information on Elite Yacht Covers, Click here.