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Topics - timtheboatguy

General Discussion / Thread knots up in reverse
June 21, 2016, 04:29:18 am
Hello all, it's been a while since I have been on here. Way too busy, and I have a frustrating problem with my Highlead GC0618. I believe it's a timing issue, however the owners manual is in Chinese English and not easy to understand. 

Whenever I push the reverse lever down the thread bunches up on the bottom. If I reverse very slow and easy it will not bunch up as bad. Also, the upper thread keeps getting thrown off the thread controller.

This machine has had a lot of use the last five years and has been trouble free until now. I am thinking about upgrading to a Japanese or German built machine. Any recommendations?

Any input here much appreciated,

Can any of you boat folks tell me what size clips to use on late model Cobalt boats? It looks like Trivantage has either 3/4 or 7/8.

I measured the boat last week for a cockpit cover and forgot to measure for the clips.
General Discussion / A couple of travel covers
June 25, 2014, 05:36:16 am
Just thought I would share a couple of pics of some recent behavior. The big yellow boat took about twice as long as I anticipated.

General Discussion / Hand Sewing
March 24, 2014, 05:36:36 pm
Every once in a while I will install a completed cover only to find a small area where the binding was not quite in place when stitched down or some other small mistake. Does anyone ever hand stitch these goof ups rather than removing the cover and taking it back to the machine? If so, what would be the recommended method, sewing awl or ???
General Discussion / Embroidered or silk screen patches
February 05, 2014, 07:00:39 pm
I'm sure this has been ask here before and possibly me so my apologies for the mindlessness.

I want to have some patches made that have my biz name & number on them that I can stitch onto my boat covers. Before I just pick some company off the internet, do any of you fine folks have any recommendations? Also, preference embroidered VS silkscreen.

Thanks Much!
General Discussion / Needle Holes in Bimini Top
August 02, 2013, 01:06:25 am
I made a bimini top for a pontoon boat and accidently stitched one of the frame pocket zippers on in the wrong direction. After correcting this little mishap, I now have a complaing customer who is worried that the holes are going to be a problem later. The zipper is 24" so I have a nice set of holes about that long.

The fabric is 11 ounce Harbor Time which is very similar to Top Gun. I was thinking that if He (the customer) would just leave the top up for a week or two, the holes would close up. I also thought about trying to steam them. Any ideas other that replacing the entire panel?
General Discussion / Hand power fine wire stapler
April 23, 2013, 12:50:28 am
Does anyone know of a decent hand power or mechanical stapler that shoots fine wire staples? Occasionally I find myself in a situation where there is no electric or air and I need to staple stuff.
General Discussion / Logo patches for boat covers
April 16, 2013, 06:12:42 pm
Does anyone install a patch with your biz name and phone or web site to your finished canvas work, and if so where is a good place to obtain patches that will withstand outdoor use?

General Discussion / Tool Belt
March 20, 2013, 03:39:33 am
I finally got around to making a tool belt. This one is for fitting the blank to the boat, and I plan to make another one for doing the final fit and snap installation.


General Discussion / Need Yellow boat cover fabric
February 27, 2013, 10:36:34 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?


General Discussion / More Marine Canvas Wrinkles Argh!
February 11, 2013, 12:02:30 am
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.


General Discussion / Hand Pain
January 30, 2013, 04:18:21 am
I haven't posted here in a while, had to go back to wrenching on boats over the winterizing season. Now I have a stack of boat seats to re-upholster over winter and my hands, specifically the thumb joints are killing me!

I guess 30+ years of working with my paws has taken its toll. Anyone else deal with this, and what do you do about it?
General Discussion / Snap in Carpets
October 22, 2012, 03:18:15 am
I have a customer wanting replacement carpets for a 21' bow rider. I have done a lot of carpet work but always glue in stuff. When making snap in carpets do you use regular marine carpet and just sew some biding around the edge, and what weight of carpet and what size binding do you use? Are there any do's or Don'ts that I need to be aware of?

Thanks for any tips here!

I have sold stuff on craigslist before but never advertised my services. Today I placed an ad for my boat cover business. I received four calls in about a six hour period. All wanted a "ballpark" price. One guy says he will get back with me when he gets around to digging his boat out of storage, another guy has to discuss it with his wife, the third guy says he will bring his boat in at the end of the season and the forth guy is suppposed to drop off his bimin top first thing in the morning for me to fabricate a new one.

I am trying to be positive here but I get the feeling I may be entertaining "tire kickers". The ad cost nothing, but the time spent on the phone cost plenty. Any thoughts on this matter?

General Discussion / 108 degrees today!
June 29, 2012, 03:35:09 am
The temp hit 108 today in Missouri and the forcast calls for tripple didgets for the next several days. Installed a forward bimini on a pontoon and modified the cover to fit with the new top, I was wiped out. Can't wait to get back out there tomorro!  8)
General Discussion / Half Patterning
June 12, 2012, 12:32:48 am
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
June 04, 2012, 03:45:05 am
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
May 26, 2012, 06:34:26 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
May 12, 2012, 10:38:53 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
May 11, 2012, 01:23:49 am
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.