Complex and compound frame bending

July 1st, 2016

Incorporating unconventional design into dodgers and biminis. I often suggest that my customers try to think out of the box when envisioning what their boats can look like. I tell them, “If I have done my job properly, the cover will become part of the boat.” Take a spray dodger, for example. I generally recommend […]

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Unique fasteners and fittings for tops

January 1st, 2015

During the past few years, there have been a large number of new fasteners and fittings made available in the industry. I have found a number of them very applicable to the marine fabrication industry. With the import items from New Zealand, Australia, Germany and Holland, to name just a few, the U.S. market has […]

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Exceptional boat exteriors

September 1st, 2012

The economic downturn left nearly every market in a state of unrest, and the boating industry is no exception. In the past several years, fewer boats have been built, but the news isn’t all bad, as fabricators and OEMs are turning a sluggish marketplace into opportunity. “The volume of units is not what it was, […]

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Fabricating a Navy top

September 1st, 2011

In the last article (July/Aug issue), we patterned a Navy top in one step at my brother Chris Hood’s boat building facility, CW Hood Yachts, in Marblehead, Mass. In this article, we head back to our shop in Merrimac, Mass., to develop our pattern and fabricate the top and side curtains together. We have received […]

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Fabricating a bimini

May 1st, 2011

Bimini top: Start to finish At Hood Canvas, we start the process of fabricating our “Flat Liner” biminis by setting up the frame with stanchion bars at each end. Then we run a strap from the aft bow to the forward bow, under all the mid bows. Now we pull the straps tight along the […]

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Fabricating a California dodger

March 1st, 2011

In the last article (Jan/Feb issue), we covered patterning a California dodger on the boat. Then we went back to the shop and developed the raw pattern into a workable version for cutting out the dodger pieces and parts. (Refer to our “Fabricating an enclosure” article from the Jan/Feb 2010 issue for instruction on how […]

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Patterning a California dodger

January 1st, 2011

At Hood Canvas, we use a 10-inch radius bender for our California dodgers. This produces a squarer frame than our more rounded 18-inch radius traditional dodgers. The style provides more room under the dodger, as well as superior ventilation and visibility for the helmsman. At the sailboat, set up your frame, install the deck fasteners […]

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Covered smile windows

September 1st, 2010

At Hood Canvas, we put a storm flap over all our “smile” windows. This is important because if you do not, they will leak, especially if they are on an angle. We use a #10 coil zipper on all our smile windows, as they are self repairing. We also use double sliders on each smile […]

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Patterning an enclosure

May 1st, 2010

At Hood Canvas, we always precut our pattern blanks to rough size, including any center lines. Most custom shops T-pin the enclosure pattern to the bottom half of the zipper on the bimini. We prefer to stay-stitch the bottom half of the zippers onto the top of the pattern blanks and make adjustments to the […]

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Fabricating an enclosure

January 1st, 2010

My wife Deb and I have run Hood Canvas for the better part of 30 years. I attribute most of my skills in the early years to the late Ralph Hulsman of the Oakum Bay Canvas Co. in Marblehead, Mass. We spent many hours together exchanging ideas on napkins in area restaurants. The way we […]

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