Well finally bit the bullet and decided on a custom mesh safety cover for our inground figure 8 vinyl lined pool. Anyone contemplating this as a DIY project just needs to know that the most complex part of the whole project is the measuring phase prior to ordering. Bid the measurements out to 3 different on-line pool supply vendors and decided on the one with what appeared to be the best warranty for the price. Note- the prices for the custom cover ranged from ~$1150 to $1950 for the most expensive. We chose one at the mid-point range with a warranty of 15 years. The manufacturer of the cover we went with is Hinsperger Poly Industries with a product trade name of "Deck Lock". The cover arrived in just 10 days after I placed the order which really impressed me. The construction of the cover was 1st rate. The fitment was perfect. Hardware supplied for the install was top shelf and exactly what was required to install, with the exception of a rotary hammer drill and 3/4" bit for concrete. There was a total of 37 anchors that had to be installed in the pool deck that secured the cover and was probably the most time consuming part of the project. A tip here is to either rent or borrow a heavy duty rotary hammer drill and buy a new drill bit, you will be glad. The only assistance that I had was my wife assisting me with positioning the cover over the pool. THe manufacture provided a set of instructions that was clearly written and easy to follow. Total install time was approximately 5-6 hours, but I typically take quite a few breaks and mull the process over. I must confess that I'm pretty anal when it comes to this type of project around the house.
Looking forward to fall and winter free of water bags and dipping leaves and debris off the winter cover! 8)
Here's a picture of the finished product.