Don Wedge, former owner of the Marine Canvas Training Institute in Palmetto, Fla, passed away peacefully on April 3. Wedge was born on December 27, 1929, in Chardon, Ohio. He helped launch the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) and IFAI’s Master Fabric Craftsman (MFC) certification program. Wedge was well known for his training school, instructional videos and patterning techniques. Moreover, in 2013 he was the first inductee into the MFA Hall of Fame.
Wedge began the Marine Canvas Training Institute in 1982. The Institute was the first of its kind to teach quality marine canvas and upholstery fabrication. He developed many techniques for the marine fabrication trade including the “dot system” of patterning, which minimizes trips to the boat and makes the fabrication process more efficient.
After 34 years in business, the Marine Canvas Training Institute (MCTI) closed its doors in July 2016. Wedge’s daughter, Dawn Taylor, MFC, who managed the Institute in its later years, says passing on fabrication skills to others came naturally to her father. “He always seemed to be an innovator in the business. I guess he would be considered my mentor.”
Wedge served in the United States Army and he was a long-time member of the Elks and Moose lodges. He is survived by his daughters Rebecca Abruzzino, Sally Nichols, Dawn and her husband Bruce Taylor, along with five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.