Pros and cons of mobile marine shops

January 1st, 2023

Photo: Dreamstime. When you’re a marine fabricator with a mobile unit, you’re often at a competitive advantage. Not only can you offer customers fast, convenient repairs and service, but you’re often able to recruit business from other boat owners who notice you at their marinas. Vendors who are fully mobile can save money on brick-and-mortar […]

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Space management 101

July 1st, 2022

Keri Ames of Yachtsman’s Canvas operates in a 1,200-square-foot shop. Her creative space solutions include a small, wheeled tool cart that can be rolled between stations, shelving and file cabinets built above and beneath tables, and she has equipped two of her four sewing machines with wheels so she can move them out of the […]

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Diving In

May 1st, 2022

Greg Keeler, Oyster Creek Canvas Co., was working for a dive company 21 years ago when he was offered a $300 a month rental space. He says he had no idea what to do with the space, “but then I acquired an antique sewing machine and started learning to use it.” Photo: Steve Johnston-ExposureLeak If […]

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Women fabricators discuss working in a male-dominated industry

March 1st, 2022

Business hasn’t always been smooth sailing for Katie Bradford of Custom Marine Canvas in Noank, Conn. Back in 1990, five years after starting her business, she lost out on a substantial sail-building order because the customer believed she’d be giving up her business to focus on her new marriage.  In another instance, a male customer […]

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Showroom showdown

January 1st, 2022

When Oyster Creek Canvas owner Greg Keeler renovated the building, he replaced the windows with replicas of the originals to maintain the vintage character of the showroom. Photo: Oyster Creek Canvas Co. Whether it’s online or brick and mortar, a well-conceived product showroom can make a substantial difference in how customers perceive your company and […]

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Taking the next step: Jeff Newkirk grows his business

September 1st, 2021

The client requested skylights for the replacement retractable roof of this Sunseeker Predator 58. In place of the stiffeners that were in each hinge section pocket, Newkirk stitched TUFFAK Marine 5 (Makrolon) between Stamoid™ hinges. The TUFFAK was sealed on both the inside and outside of the hinge pockets. All stitching is with Tenara® thread. […]

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Managing difficult clients

May 1st, 2021

Marine fabricators discuss their best forms of defense By Michelle Miron Most businesses have encountered these people at least once: impossible-to-please customers who make life miserable for everyone who has to work with them. Maybe they are disrespectful to you and your employees. Maybe they demand price breaks where none are due. Or perhaps they […]

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Husband and wife teams

March 1st, 2021

Charlene Clark says she “took a leap of faith” and left her job in the hospitality industry to help Chandler Clark run Signature CanvasMakers. “We didn’t realize back then that working together and having a common focus to build a successful business would ultimately bring us closer as a couple,” says Chandler. A Juggling Act […]

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