Diversify your portfolio and capture new markets

January 1, 2014

As a general upholstery shop that also does marine work rather than a marine canvas specialist, Trevor and I are constantly asked to do all types of jobs, which can be nice for handling the off-season or weathering recessions. One week we can be working on custom helm seats and an antique sofa the next, …

Custom Marine Canvas wins 2013 IAA Award of Excellence

November 22, 2013

This project won an Award of Excellence in the Sailboat Exterior category of the Industrial Fabrics Association International’s International Achievement Awards (IAA). The USCGC Eagle is a very active vessel. She needed protection at the Mid Deck from rain and sun while underway and while entertaining guests worldwide. The purpose is to provide rain and …

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Shop tips to increase efficiency and reduce stress

September 1, 2013

I would like to share some tips Trevor and I have found useful in our shop in order to work more efficiently and reduce unnecessary stress. All of our systems have evolved from one principle: Don’t reinvent the wheel! Enough thought and planning goes into each custom job that you need to keep the number …

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Off-season options to keep up on downtime

Turn on the radio, read the newspaper, or watch the evening news and you’d be hard-pressed not to find articles and news segments discussing the ongoing financial woes our nation is facing. Many financial aficionados will agree the past two years will go into the economic history books as unforgettable, as progress toward a renewed …

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On-site repair work on the rise

When John Kissel of Kissel Boat Cover, North Olmsted, Ohio, steps onto a marina to do on-site boat cover work, he does so quietly. “I keep a low profile,” Kissel says. “When boat owners see me there, I’m inundated with work.” An improving economy and a taste for convenience are driving on-site and mobile boat …

Enclosure fabrication details

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 …

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Sewing machine technology and tips

July 1, 2013

At Hood Canvas, as with all fabrication shops, the single-needle walking-foot sewing machine is the backbone of our business. Every shop has its favorite brand of machine and has achieved a level of comfort in everyday use. We have had many different brands of machines over the years and they all had one thing in …

Selling the vision with rendering techniques

We will never know the true total, but sometimes I wonder how many jobs are lost just because a customer couldn’t envision a project? I think fabricators and designers take their own visualization skills for granted and assume the general public has the same visual library on which to draw. To bridge that gap, we …

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Luxury ships offer design challenges and opportunities

When you think about ocean, lake or river cruise lines, what comes to mind? Luxury travel, certainly. Beautiful, natural surroundings, definitely. And the ships themselves: large, luxurious liners, with dining, entertainment and staff that attend to your every need, allowing you to enjoy your experience to the fullest. Marine fabricators who orchestrate the exterior and …

Cushion reupholstery: Making the old new again

May 1, 2013

In our first how-to article, we demonstrated Trevor’s method for fabricating cushions from scratch by making new patterns. We discussed how this strategy gives the fabricator total control over the quality of the finished product; however, it is labor intensive and also requires all new materials, which can make it cost-prohibitive in certain instances. On …