Quinte Marine Canvas and Upholstery
How did you get started?
I bought a boat. Its upholstery, though, was not something I would want my cat to sit on. An old-school electrician and contractor, my dad always taught me to be handy, to fix things on my own. So, with a donated sewing machine, I started ripping stitches and tearing into the vinyl and foam that used to be my ugly boat seats. It turned out better than I expected and I saved a lot of money and learned a new skill. A few friends and family members needed work done and, after a few months of doing odd jobs, the trusty sewing machine and I thought we could move on to do this full-time. I had an eye and a knack for custom fabrication, so I left my full-time sales management career and started Quinte Marine Canvas and Upholstery.
What is your product focus?
Canvas products for the marine industry—custom tops, enclosures, covers and upholstery. Secondarily is our commitment to local industrial clients. I developed some special designs and concepts that uniquely suit industrial applications of conveyer chute sleeves, equipment collars, covers and other engineered products. We also work with a local engineering firm in designing products for large ocean-going vessels. One of our largest products was a tapered, collapsible column for the off-loading of a large ore ship. We had to build a custom hoist to lift it into position after construction and it barely fit in our shop.
What unique design elements go into your products?
Early on I looked at stock covers and enclosures and made a list of things I didn’t like. From fully enclosed seams for the poles on bimini tops to the thread I use, there are a lot of customs. I am constantly trying new threads, products and materials to make sure all my customers get the best product available.
Who are your main customers?
Our customer base is equally split between private customers, businesses and dealers. The Bay of Quinte area is rich with sport fishermen, pleasure craft and larger cruising vessels. We have an avid local network of marinas and boat equipment suppliers, and I try to work with as many as I can.
What is your
We start every project with a template or design. That’s transferred to material (canvas, tubing, glass), and the material is prepped and completed in one of the key areas of our shop. Designs can be hand-drawn, template material or digitized. Material is cut by hand on the sewing tables or on the digital cutter. Tubing is cut by stationary or portable band saw and the ends dressed.
How do you deal
I have a custom work-order project wall. It’s designed to hold work order dockets and it’s organized by date, usually accepted deposit date. No deposit, no work order date. This system has worked well for us and ensures we always work on solid jobs, not speculation.
What other products
do you produce?
We became very adept at sewing large PVC and vinyl covers. To that end, we’ve done off-loading chutes, shrouds for cargo ships, covers for various industrial applications, farm equipment covers and different items for homes, cottages and trailers.