Offering an exceptional end product is essential to marine product manufacturers, and zippers play a critical role in the long-term functionality of almost anything from cushions to covers. But zippers can get a bit tricky.

Choosing the right one can be somewhat confusing and dealing with zippers in difficult situations requires expertise and patience. If you are shopping for zipper rolls by the yard, there are a few factors you need to consider.

Zipper Features that Matter

Zipper selection all boils down to the specific type of project you are working on. The coil zippers are ideal for roll-up windows since these are more flexible compared to plastic molded zippers, letting them lie flatter on the major curves.

Coil chain zippers that are highly water-resistant are also great to use. The outer part of the zipper that is exposed to the elements has been coated in polyurethane. It serves as a water barrier that helps prevent water leakage when it rains or when you are spending time out on the water during a rough day.

Plastic molded zippers are also used on projects that have slightly curved or mostly straight lines, such as on full enclosure panels and biminis. Plastic molded zippers tend to be stronger compared to coil zippers since they lock in place, which is exactly what you want when you have your full enclosure or bimini up on your boat.

Of course, any choice of the zipper has its own set of pros and cons. Plastic molded zippers can no longer be repaired if a tooth breaks off. Metal zippers, on the other hand, are repairable. But plastic zippers are in demand among marine fabricators since they are easier to work with, don’t rust after getting exposed to the different elements over time, and last longer.

Plastic zippers are the most ideal choice for saltwater exposure. Metal zippers, despite being made from brass, tend to oxidize over time and may become hard to operate.

plastic zippers with larger teeth have had exceptional results in the marine industry. The larger toothed option is resistant to collecting grime and dirt compared to smaller toothed zippers made either from plastic or coil.

Other zipper brands also offer a water-resistant finish on their zippers to help prevent mold and dirt buildup on the zipper tape. In the case of plastic tooth zippers, some also provide powder-coated sliders and UV-resistant materials for a more saltwater-resistant and highly durable slider, making it the ideal option for outdoor applications. Powder-coated sliders provide a wider selection of colors compared to the plastic slider that is exclusively available in black.

The Key is Longevity for Zippers in Marine Industry

Experts agree that the most popular zipper in the marine industry is the #10 Vislon®. This zipper is made out of the UV-resistant acetal tooth that has a water-repellent polyester tape with an extremely long field life and the tendency to close and open easily throughout the canvas products’ life into which it is sewn. There are also zippers especially made to protect from the damaging UV rays of the sun with the ability to resist corrosion, making them last for a long time.