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Messages - timtheboatguy

Pages: 1 ... 5 6 [7] 8 9 ... 16
General Discussion / Re: Need Yellow boat cover fabric
« on: February 28, 2013, 11:11:11 AM »
Thanks folks! I am getting my account set up with Miam Corp and will look into the Racacril.

General Discussion / Re: Need Yellow boat cover fabric
« on: February 27, 2013, 07:24:31 PM »
The customer does not want to pay for Sunbrella and Surlast is either 6 or 7.5 oz. I would like at least a 9oz fabric.

General Discussion / Need Yellow boat cover fabric
« on: February 27, 2013, 05:36:34 PM »
I have a customer with a 25' tri-toon that wants a custom cover, bimini top, and boot, and she wants it in yellow. I typically use Aqualon or Harbor Time and niether come in yellow anymore. Was hoping to find something besides Sunbrella. Any suggestions?



The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Technology compared to quality
« on: February 27, 2013, 01:16:32 PM »
We live in a throw away society which seems ironic when you contrast that with the obsession to save the enviroment and recycle everthing today. Everthing has a life span engineered into these days.

When I was a kid we did not throw away milk, soda or beer bottles, they all went back to the store when you bought more. My father once bought a used refridgerator at a yard sale back in 1970 for $15. He sold it last year for $40. it was still working and had never been serviced!

Getting back to the topic of upholstery; from my experience in the boat industry, I see improvement with the roto plastic seat frames where they used to be plywood. The designs and shapes are more complex than they were thrty years ago which makes it harder for guys like us working with more primitive tools and equipment.

I agree with Clay; things are built to move off the showroom floor and this is because we don't need things to last long as we are constantly being bombarded with advertising telling us we need the newest and latest stuff. People do not buy furniture or appliances with the expectation to never replace them as did my grandparents. My wife and I have been married twenty-five years and I cannot think of one piece of furniture that we have today that we started with.

The subject of this thread keeps grabbing my attention and in spite of my previous silly comments I find myself mulling over this topic in my mind almost every day.

There are things that we do that pay well and things that don't. Things we enjoy and things we don't. The bottom line for me is that while facing ever increasing taxes, health care cost, high priced gasoline and this list goes on; I need to make more money. And, not just to have more stuff but just to survive!

A friend once told me that a mentor said to him "to be sucessful, do one thing and be the absolute best at it." Often, I find myself doing way too many things and in too many places which is very inefficient.

So as I have been mulling over this for the last couple of weeks and discussing this topic with my wife; I have decided to start tweaking my business some, and researching the possibility of focussing on one aspect, that being boat covers.

This will not be an overnight transition, but my plan is to push forward in this direction and still do upholstery among other things for now. Hopefully learning to turn away from more of the time waster money loosing jobs, while building a reputation for producing high quality boat covers with fast turn around and a grat value.

Just my thoughts, my appologies for the excessive rambling. :)

The Business Of Upholstery / Re: Long Arm
« on: February 23, 2013, 01:47:36 PM »
I have looked at long arm machines several times but after looking at the price; have a change of mind. For most marine canvas work and upholstery I don't think it is necessary, in fact I have made boat covers with one of those Sailrite clones that only has a 7" bed.

General Discussion / Re: customer irk me
« on: February 21, 2013, 11:31:43 PM »
Some people just don't get it. I have had this kind of crap happen too and it's usually the guys that appear to have lots of money that do these stunts. I've always wanted to have some line on my invoices like; IN ORDER TO AVOID A RELENTLESS BEATING, PLEASE BE PREPARED TO PAY FULL AMOUNT ON COMPLETION OF WORK! and of course THANK YOU! ;D

General Discussion / Re: the rush is on again
« on: February 21, 2013, 11:23:35 PM »
I am up to my ears in boat seats, covers and recarpet jobs! When I did only motor work, I would get very little work over the winter, don't understand it. Perhaps the folks that would have been buying new boats are opting to fix up rather than a payment book???

Not complaining, it's good to be busy, and the more work I do the better and faster I get; however the better and faster come very slowly.

General Discussion / Re: Work happens.
« on: February 18, 2013, 09:25:35 AM »
It is always feast or famine. So many times I would start to get nervous about the lack of work and then work comes in. The Lord continues to provide, while the government continues to take away.

General Discussion / Re: Work happens.
« on: February 16, 2013, 07:28:42 PM »
Have tou thought of having a booth at the shOw?
I looked into it last year and the cost was over $1000. for a small booth. It may be worth the investment, but for now I am staying busy enough without that show.

I do set up a booth at our local on the water show here in Lake Saint Louis in June each year, and also at our local Octoberfest. Those cost me much less and I have got some good business from them.

General Discussion / Re: Work happens.
« on: February 16, 2013, 12:50:06 PM »
Same here Mike,

Last week was the boat show here in St. Louis and my phone has been a ringing! I have a multitude of boat seats to recover and three or four boat covers to make.

Eventually I am going to get fast and efficiant at this- I hope! ???

General Discussion / Re: More Marine Canvas Wrinkles Argh!
« on: February 13, 2013, 08:58:01 PM »
Mike, How you can pattern only half the boat is amazing to me! It seems like you would run the risk of the cover coming out either too wide or too narrow even if only by a 1/2".

What about when you have a ladder or something on one side but not the other?

General Discussion / Re: More Marine Canvas Wrinkles Argh!
« on: February 13, 2013, 08:21:50 PM »
Ok, Looks like I'm going to be the jerk here. Tim asked for help because he is obviously not satisfied with the job he did. I admire him for wanting to produce a better product. Telling him not to sweat it isn't answering his questions or helping him. Quite frankly, that job wouldn't leave our shop. Sorry Tim, but don't feel bad, I've
been exactly where you are.

First problem is that it's a pontoon boat with railing breaks (as mentioned) and rounded cushions that stick up
above the railing. Too many up, downs, ins, outs and angles. Cockpit covers on pontoon boats should be double
a similar sized cover for a sportboat. I've done an over windshield cockpit cover on a 48' Sunseeker and would
gladly do another one over a 24' pontoon boat.

Get out of the habit of having seams run side to side. Seams should run front to back. We used to go side to
side and covers would stretch out and peak at the supports like a big top tent. Glen Raven said it was due to
warp vs. weft. That's also why the cover is pulling in between the snaps. We double stitch our center seam for
cockpit covers. 1st stitch about 3/4" from edge then fold a stitch line and stitch again. The support poles are
going on the center line and the strong seam there will help out.

When I do a pontoon boat cover I fit to the top of the rail then fit a separate skirt piece around the perimeter.

Hard to tell but the picture looks as if you folded the edge under. Never works out for me. I always reinforce
with webbing and bind the edge.

Setting machine tension is a must but one trick many don't do is to hold the material in front and behind the
needle as you're sewing. This keeps the top and bottom layers even with each other. If you sew a seam then
pull it out it should be smooth. If one panel is smooth and the other has some pucker then the panels didn't
sew evenly.

Thanks for those tips, I will try some of the things you mentioned on future covers. Not all my covers look as bad as the pic that I posted, but I am never happy with the final product. Interesting you mentioned the fold under edge. I just went back to using binding today and that alone made a big difference.

So when you fit to the top rail and then do a skirt around the perimeter; do you staple or pin the pieces together, or use reference marks? Thanks again for the help, I really want to take my work to a higher level.


General Discussion / Re: More Marine Canvas Wrinkles Argh!
« on: February 12, 2013, 07:50:46 PM »
Thanks for the pat on the back! The customer did not complain, and in fact I have had several compliments on my wrinkly covers. It's only when I produce an almost perfect product; that's when I get complaints about wrinkles etc. Go figure!

I do have a competitor that makes a fantastic looking cover, almost no wrinkles, but I have had customers come to me complaing of his snake-like personallity, so it must be my good looks and charm that keeps the phone ringing ;D

General Discussion / More Marine Canvas Wrinkles Argh!
« on: February 10, 2013, 07:02:30 PM »
What am I doing wrong here? Each cover I make seams to be a little worse than the one before it.  I think I may have picked up some bad habits. I thought perhaps I was putting too many darts in my covers trying to make them smooth and tight so I was careful not to over dart this one, and as you can see in the pic, it is down right hidious. Suggestions welcome and appreciated.



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