Projects

Meticulous prototyping leads to attractive cylinder cushions

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

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

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 …

The art of project management on contour cushions

Marine fabricators are a unique group of craftspeople and business owners. Many of us are familiar with the notion that creative pursuits are right-brain activities, while math and logic are left-brain activities. As marine fabricators, we utilize the right sides of our brains for design solutions that meet customers’ aesthetic and practical expectations. At the …

Restyled sleeping cabins

Interior sleeping cabins on a vessel have always been my favorite projects. I enjoy researching options and ultimately providing customers with tidy solutions that offer easy accessibility. Cabin spaces and mattresses come in all shapes and sizes. One of my clients claims to sleep 14 people on his 54-foot Bertram with only three interior cabins, …

Lazy Jack – stack pack sail covers

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 …

Elegant performance in stripes

Stripes come in every color, shape and size. A two-color stripe can even be juxtaposed to form an eye-catching pattern. Striking stripe patterns can be matched or combined with solid colors to provide dramatic effects for your next project. Stripes are more popular than ever. Sunbrella likes them so much, subtle as well as dramatic …

Window treatments to WOW your customers

This article presents options for the perfect look and fit for those challenging yacht windows. A bit of experience will help, but don’t be daunted by the encounter; just reading this page likely means you have already overcome obstacles for other areas of vessels that were once demanding. Entire lines of blinds and shades are …

Ready to share 35 years of fabrication experience

In this series of articles, I will be introducing you to another talented fabricator, Aaron Stroud-Smith from Canvas Barn Marine Trimming, located across the country in Victoria. Aaron has taken on 95 percent of my strange methods, changing the way he fabricates and having excellent success with his end results. Back in 1978, at 16, I …

Child’s play

Kid-friendly boat interiors balance durability, safety and plenty of fun. Kids are fun and adorable. They’re also clumsy and messy. So when boat owners decide to spend time on the water with their children and grandchildren, they need interiors that can stand up to the task. “Designing with family or pets in mind takes extra …