Constructing snow flies for the Alaskan climate

January 1, 2017

Our winters in Fairbanks, Alaska, can be cold or very cold with lots of snow or little snow; it all depends. One condition we don’t see often is wind. In my 26 years of living here, I can remember only one time when the wind blew and the snow flew. Most of our snow falls …

Meticulous prototyping leads to attractive cylinder cushions

September 1, 2016

Over the years I have been asked to fabricate several unusual items. I never know if that item will be a one-hit wonder or will become a customer favorite. In most cases, I create prototypes that help me creatively solve design challenges. I charge a prototype fee of a few hundred dollars to develop and …

Marine fabricators meet customers’ window wish lists

August 1, 2016

When making boat windows for customers, marine fabricators often have a specific set of requirements of their materials. “Our fabricators require a sheet that is easy to handle, durable and can be cut and sewn easily without fear of damaging the product,” says Lyle Shipley, product manager at O’Sullivan Films, Winchester, Va., for O’Sea and …

Complex and compound frame bending

July 1, 2016

Incorporating unconventional design into dodgers and biminis. I often suggest that my customers try to think out of the box when envisioning what their boats can look like. I tell them, “If I have done my job properly, the cover will become part of the boat.” Take a spray dodger, for example. I generally recommend …

Lazy Jack – stack pack sail covers

March 1, 2016

These names are some of the descriptions for a process of suspending sail covers. I started making these Lazy Jack covers 20 years ago, as a progress/advance of the Lazy Jack rope system, designed to help flake a main sail as it is put away. The idea was to connect the rope to a sail …

Working with pattern angles

September 1, 2015

This article is a preview of our hands-on presentation at the Marine Fabricators Conference this coming Jan. 14-16 in Clearwater, Fla. I want to talk about manipulation of pattern angles for both better quality and less time spent patterning. I will attempt to simplify and not talk about one-step patterns here. Most really large jobs …

Covering canvas repairs

May 1, 2015

Editor’s note: Don Racine, a longtime Marine Fabricators Association member and supporter, died on April 18 as the result of a heart attack. He was 61. View Don Racine’s full obituary. This article is about canvas repairs: We will discuss bimini tops, cockpit covers and full-boat travel covers. When we look at some of the …

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The science of vinyl discoloration

May 1, 2014

How it happens & how to prevent it Look around a typical marina during the summer months and you will see dozens of vessels—some new, some old, some big, some small, and perhaps a few that show signs of transient color changes in the PVC fabrics being used. For more than 50 years, PVC discoloration, …

Retro sport top fabrication

March 1, 2014

Years ago, sport tops with tails were considered the norm. In those days, we fabricated them with vinyl that had a denim backing. Most of the frames were vinyl-covered galvanized pipe, not stainless as is standard today. Navy tops made with acrylics are now the accepted standard. When we were asked to make a sport …

Enclosure fabrication details

September 1, 2013

At Hood Canvas, we have a unique method of fabrication that we teach to our students. Many shops around the world are now using our specialized large binder in their shops on a daily basis. This article will provide additional details into the way we reduce the time necessary to produce quality enclosures using our …