• Marine fabric-fitting techniques

    Published On: May 1, 2024Categories: Exterior and Cover, Projects

    A perfect fit using the actual finish-fabric to produce the pattern produces a perfect fit when finished. Most everyone is familiar with the term patterning: as in to make a pattern of something. Basic patterning requires a material with which to create the pattern such as a clear plastic like Canvex®, Tyvek® or even cardboard. [...]

  • Tailor-fitting a wrinkle-free front panel

    Published On: March 1, 2024Categories: Exterior and Cover, Projects

    Fabric fitting gives marine professionals complete control over the outcome of their enclosure panels. When my father started our boat canvas business in the early 1970s, he had no one to ask how to do things or how to improve the fit of a front panel. So we developed a fabric-fitting technique that allows you [...]

  • Fabric-fitting perfect windshields

    Published On: January 1, 2024Categories: Exterior and Cover, Projects

    To detect wrinkles, look through the glass at objects in the background. Every fabricator seems to have issues fitting windshields, myself included. Over the past 20 years, I’ve developed some techniques to help make perfect windshields and I’d like to share them with you. Using one of our canvas training facility’s classroom models, we created [...]

  • Sailor-friendly sailboat dodger designs

    Published On: August 31, 2023Categories: Exterior and Cover, Projects

    This California-style dodger has five attachable panels that can be used in any configuration. California-style dodgers provide maximum flexibility for different sailing conditions. I have been a sailor longer than I have been a marine fabricator. In fact, being a sailor is how I got into this business. I often hear from fellow fabricators that the [...]

  • Bimini top fitting basics

    Published On: July 1, 2023Categories: Exterior and Cover, Projects

    When fabricating a bimini top, doing things in the right order is as important as the technique itself. When I was asked to write about making a bimini top in 1,000 words or less, I knew this would be a challenge, considering that I probably speak 1,000 words during each step of the process when [...]

  • Center Console Enclosures

    Published On: May 1, 2023Categories: Exterior and Cover, Projects

    Center console boats are a popular style of boat in Yorktown, Va. The author believes that center console enclosures are some of the most complicated enclosures to design, and also among the most rewarding. Center console boats are a popular style of boat in my area, Yorktown, Va., along with sportfish, cruisers, trawlers and sailboats. [...]

  • Elegant rigid solar panel installation made easy

    Published On: March 1, 2023Categories: Exterior and Cover, Projects

    Here’s an example of a rigid solar panel setup designed for DIY and professional marine solar installations. An increasing number of jobs at Gemini Marine Canvas & Marine Products (GMP) in Rockland, Maine, begin with clients bringing in rigid solar panels. Rigid panels remain a firm favorite among boaters looking to augment their onboard electricity [...]

  • Horizontal and cantilever frames

    Published On: January 1, 2023Categories: Exterior and Cover, Projects

    Photo 1. Clients were initially reluctant to accept the horizontal frame because it was a drastic change from the standard ‘K’ frame. However, the added square footage of usable deck area overcame these doubts, and the demand for horizontal frame systems and cantilever support systems is strong. Following the typical 10-to-20-year delay that “new ideas” [...]

  • Thinking outside the box

    Published On: September 1, 2022Categories: Exterior and Cover, Projects

    Designs don’t need to be radical to set you apart; just slightly different than all the others. Thinking outside the box by Russ Griffin Our company, Northcoast Marine Specialties LLC, has had two decades of great success due to our unfamiliarity with the outdated and unimaginative techniques many canvas shops fall into the habit of [...]

  • Award-winning travel covers

    Published On: July 1, 2022Categories: Exterior and Cover

    Award-winning travel covers, such as this handsome line of rachet strap covers, require an array of thoughtful decisions and careful techniques including the correct fabric choice, close tailoring and proper reinforcing. Fabricating travel covers presents a unique set of challenges for the marine fabricator. The cover needs to withstand highway traveling speeds, crosswinds and road [...]