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Topics - timtheboatguy

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General Discussion / Half Patterning
« on: June 11, 2012, 06:32:48 PM »
I have read here that some of you folks only make a half pattern for boat tops, covers etc. How do you maintain a perfect center line so that when you flip the pattern to make the other side everthing is correct?

General Discussion / bimini top for sail boat
« on: June 03, 2012, 09:45:05 PM »
I have a sailboat dealer asking me to make a bimini for a 21' boat they just sold. I have not done much canvas work on sailboats. Is they any special concerns that I should be aware of? Here is a link to the specific craft-


General Discussion / Boat Show Ideas
« on: May 26, 2012, 12:34:26 PM »
I will be setting up a booth next weekend at an outdoor boat show to promote my marine canvas / upholstery biz and was looking for some ideas for what I should have on display. I plan to have pics of my work and some sample cards but what else should I have on display or on hand?



General Discussion / Mobile Boat Canvas Question
« on: May 12, 2012, 04:38:53 PM »
I was thinking about setting up a sewing machine in my van to make final alterations because often it takes me more thatn one trip to get things right. Then I started thinking about why not just do the whole job on site?? I know this will be a PIA as I have worked mobile most of my life. Are there any of you canvas guys doing this, and where do you find room for cutting and paterning etc? Do you charge extra for this service?

Trying to figure out how to be more efficient ;D


General Discussion / Sewing Machine Upgrade
« on: May 10, 2012, 07:23:49 PM »
I am currently using a Yamata 5618 that I bought about 18 months ago. I have had zero problems with the machine but I want to purchase a second machine and use the Yamata as a back-up etc. Looking at the Consew 206RB5 and the Juki 1541 and trying to decide between the two. I understand the Juki is made in Japan and the Consew in China. It seems that the Japaneese machine would be better quality based on my experience with other products, however it also cost more $$$$.

Anyone having thoughts on this matter I would appreciate your contribution.


The Business Of Upholstery / Too Many Hats!
« on: May 07, 2012, 04:35:08 PM »
I have got myself doing too many things. My business started out as mechanical repairs on boats and then I got into boat covers to fill in the slow times and then that branched into upholstery as well. Last season I had two employees, one  mechanic with thirty years experience and my son who is a good wrench and all around guy. This allowed my to focuss on the canvas work and upholstery as well as running the business.

Well I had to let my mechanic go last fall and then after keeping my son on all winter at great expense, he took another job at an auto shop and has moved on to bigger and better things than working with the old man. I called my mechanic back and he now has major health issues and will not be working any more.

After the IRS got through with me back in April I have decided that having employees is no longer an option for me anyway, so now I am faced with what to do. I am swamped with work right now to the point that I cannot seem to finish anything. I am thinking that I will shut down the mechanical repair part of my business and just do Canvas work, possibly even stop doing the vinyl work as well at least until I can get more training and experience at it.

Do any of you Marine guys / gals just do canvas only or do most canvas folks do the vinyl work to? I am at the point where I want to concentrate on doing one thing and striving to be the best at it or else I may loose what little bit of sanity that I have left.

Any input appreciated,


General Discussion / How to make patterns for boat seats?
« on: April 08, 2012, 01:08:11 PM »
Looking for some ideas on how to make patterns for boat seats. I have been using the old vinyl for patterns but sometimes if the seats are in really poor shape my new vinyl covers come out a bit crappy!

Do you pin the new material to the seat, make marks and then cut, or do you use a patterning material such as clear shrink wrap or paper? Any tips here very much appreciated.


General Discussion / Wrinkles and Puckers -Help Please
« on: October 07, 2011, 05:05:32 PM »
Every boat cover that I make is full of wrinkles and puckers when finished. I have tried being more careful when fitting the blank to the boat with little success. I look at other covers that seam to be almost perfectly smooth. Any suggestions?

Here is a link to my website with several pics:


General Discussion / how to staple hidem?
« on: April 01, 2011, 05:18:38 PM »
Are there any tricks or a special tool to hold the hidem open so you can staple it down? My hands feel like they have been ran over by truck from fighting with this stuff!

General Discussion / Help! Marine carpet won't budge
« on: March 23, 2011, 05:39:50 PM »
I am recarpeting a 24' Playcraft pontoon boat and I can not get the carpet up. I have done numerous re-carpets in my lifetime and never have had so much trouble getting the old carpet liberated from the plywood deck. Any thoughts on what to use- solvent, heat ???


General Discussion / Mooring cover- Patern vs Blank
« on: March 03, 2011, 05:26:59 PM »
Sorry if I'm digging up a dead horse here but I am at witts end. The last few covers that I have done by making plastic paterns first have turned out pretty decent so for some reason I decided to use the old blank method on a morring cover this week. I new the owner was picky so I worked extra hard to get all the wrinkles out by making apparently too many darts and have wound up with a cover thats too narrow and too short!

I now have a couple of days pluss $$ invested in a piece of crap that I will use to cover my wood pile >:( I am ordering more materials to fabricate another cover and I will patern in plastic first. Has anyone else done such a boneheaded thing?

General Discussion / Aluminum Square Bimini Frame
« on: September 03, 2010, 11:43:11 PM »
Does anyone know of a good source for square aluminum bimini frames as used on pontoon boats?


General Discussion / French seam or welt seam for boat seats?
« on: June 15, 2010, 12:24:49 PM »
I am recovering some pontoon boat seats that have a lot of welt cord around the seams abd edges. I was thinking of using french seams instead because they may look better and  feel better against one's skin.

Would it typically take longer to do french seams over welted seams?

Wouldn't french seams be stronger?

General Discussion / Replacing part of an enclosure
« on: June 13, 2010, 10:04:19 PM »
I have a customer that wants me to replace about half of his eisenglass. How can I do this and get the zippers to match up? Should I also replace the zipper half in the window pieces that I am not replacing? I am also concerned about getting the new pieces to fit good without wrikels etc. so what is the best way to pattern the replacement windows?

Please excuse my extreme lack of intelligence ???


The Business Of Upholstery / Estimating: 2 passes, 3 passes ?
« on: March 18, 2010, 07:30:43 PM »
I was looking in my Marine Fabricator Magizine (Jan/Feb) which has a MFA Time Standards Manual toward the back of the publication. There are charts that give the hours that it should take to fabricate various items. For example a boat cover for a 24' boat shows 10Hrs for 2 passes 16Hrs for 3 passes and 18 Hrs for 4 passes.

What exactly do they mean by passes?

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