Simplify employee training and patterning

September 1, 2019

Simplifying employee training and complicated patterning By Broc Wodzien Grand Traverse Canvas Works, in Traverse City, Mich., has had many wonderful employees over the past 30-plus years. Our shop has grown from just my mother, Mary Wodzien, using the skills she learned at her stepfather’s canvas shop, to a staff of 16 employees. Growing and …

Quality details make a brand, not just a business

July 1, 2019

Details and quality make the difference.  By Dave Elliott, MFC As a founding member of the Australian Marine Fabricators Association (MFA), I’ve spent many years talking to and mentoring other fabricators, as well as doing presentations in the U.S. and Australia for our industry. My general observation is that trimmers and upholsterers lack business knowledge …

PVC Tracks: bending and installation

May 1, 2019

by Kyle Van Damme, MFC Using a track and keder welt combo to fasten an enclosure to a boat gives your project a sleek and seamless look. It sets your job apart from competitors, is an excellent upsell, and creates a professional and modern appearance. It’s one thing to create a new enclosure on a …

Upholstery: draping vs. digital

March 1, 2019

At Chicago Marine Canvas, our MFA- and IFAI-award-winning canvas and upholstery shop, we have fully integrated digital methods into our canvas work. There are many benefits to implementing a digital measurement and design process, including speed and accuracy. During the past four years that we’ve been measuring and designing in 3-D, we’ve found it works …

Outside patterning techniques

January 1, 2019

When you’re re-covering built-in boat furniture, you can never have too many techniques tucked into your upholstery toolbox. Many fabricators use the same techniques every time, while others enjoy adapting and changing things up a bit. During the first half of my career, I patterned built-in boat upholstery either by creating new patterns from steamed …

Tips for taking better photos of your projects

September 1, 2018

Only have a smartphone? That’ll work fine. An estimated 1.2 trillion pictures were taken across the globe in 2017. The smartphone, of course, is what’s behind the huge number. According to InfoTrends, a market research firm, 85 percent of all photos are shot with a phone. A good smartphone gives you, as a fabricator, a …

Top tips for better upholstery and fewer headaches

July 1, 2018

Beach Upholstery was started several years ago by Linda Beach, who has 30-plus years of experience in the marine upholstery business. Most Beach Upholstery employees have between 10 and 20 years of general sewing experience. With our collective experience exceeding 50 years, we at Beach Upholstery have discovered many terrific tricks and techniques that have …

Designing the Proper Enclosure

May 1, 2018

At Lake Shore Boat Top Co. Inc., in St. Clair Shores, Mich., we fabricate custom marine canvas year-round. Our customers come to us for high-quality marine fabrication and we depend on our staff to help provide new ideas to make every boat truly a work of art. When designing a new enclosure, here are some …

New marine flooring products

March 1, 2018

When we think about trends in marine flooring, traditional glue-down carpet was initially replaced by snap-in carpet, and now, carpet is being used less and less overall. On the interior, the products replacing carpet are heavy vinyl linoleum, hardwood and even tile. As for the exterior, people are using woven vinyl, synthetic teak and ethylene-vinyl …

Bimini backstay cutouts fabrication

January 1, 2018

At Hood Canvas, we fabricate sailing biminis on a regular basis. By extending the bimini aft of the standing rigging, our customers get better sun and weather coverage at the helm. This means the backstay or backstays pass between bimini frame components. Folding the bimini is restricted to folding upward against the backstay. We recommend …