The art of project management on contour cushions

July 1st, 2016

Marine fabricators are a unique group of craftspeople and business owners. Many of us are familiar with the notion that creative pursuits are right-brain activities, while math and logic are left-brain activities. As marine fabricators, we utilize the right sides of our brains for design solutions that meet customers’ aesthetic and practical expectations. At the […]

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What is trending on the water

January 1st, 2015

New acrylic-fabric options, customer color preferences and quilted cushion covers may not be trending heavily on Twitter this week, but in shops around the country, marine fabricators are noticing a changing tide in customers’ custom preferences. Game-changing new products don’t come along every year, but the custom boat-upholstery industry is steadily affected by gradual changes […]

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Learn to talk the talk, then walk the walk

January 1st, 2015

Whether these are your early years as a fabricator or you are a seasoned “salty dog,” we all are walking a road with a unique language and set of skills. It’s fun to say “boating has been in my family for close to 100 years,” yet other than always having a passion for the water, […]

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Center console covers

September 2nd, 2014

As many of our students and readers know, we use Tyvek as our patterning medium here at Hood Canvas. We think of it as a reinforced brown paper. Plastic will expand, contract and stretch; Tyvek or brown paper will not. This effectively eliminates a variable in the build process. On non-tensioned loose-fitting covers such as […]

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Standardizing dodger design and fabrication

July 1st, 2014

Jason Iverson is passionate about his business. It is obvious when he talks about the details of his designs and how he works with his customers. He has been able to combine two of his passions—product design and sailing—to launch Iverson’s Design Inc., a successful business designing dodgers and accessories for sailboats. “When you are […]

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Sitting pretty

July 1st, 2014

With access to better fabrics and accessories, fabricators are crafting boat cushions that look great and perform well. Boat cushion design is leaving the Dark Ages, where basic vinyls, color and patterns have reigned supreme. “Over the past 10 years, fashion and design have become more prevalent in the marine industry,” says Patty Mastrandrea, a […]

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Cushions for a lean mean fishing machine

May 1st, 2014

The end use of a boat really dictates how Trevor makes his cushions at Kennedy Custom Upholstery. So last summer when we were asked to make all new cushions for a charter fishing boat, we knew we had to make them as tough as possible while still looking like a high-end custom product. The boat […]

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Diversify your portfolio and capture new markets

January 1st, 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, […]

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Cushion reupholstery: Making the old new again

May 1st, 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 […]

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Patterning a cushion for the perfect fit

January 1st, 2013

At Kennedy Custom Upholstery, we make cushions in every size and shape and for every use. And they all start with a good pattern. Some customers want to just drop off their old cushions for the fabricator to use as the template for the new ones, but for the most control over the result it […]

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