A New Way To Look At Your Boat

There is nothing harsher than the elements that face the interior of a boat. From salt water to scorching summer sun, the upholstery on a boat takes a beating without proper care. Weather-torn seats can age a vessel and depreciate its value.

But, it’s not hard to fix battered boat upholstery to give new life to your boat’s interior. Here are some tips for small upholstery repair:

  1. Decide if you can patch the area in question or if you’d be better off reupholstering the boat seat. If it’s a small hole or tear, you can probably get away with a vinyl repair kit, but if the material is lacking moisture due to sun damage, you may be better off having the entire seat or section redone. Upholstery, especially custom boat upholstery, may need professional assistance to maintain its continuity with the other seats.
  2. Find a vinyl repair kit which allows you to customize your upholstery color so you can get a close match with your existing upholstery. Be sure you are buying something that is marine-grade quality or can at least withstand abuse from the sun.
  3. Mix the vinyl colors to come up with a color that is close to the existing colors on the boat.
  4. Prepare the area you are repairing by thoroughly cleaning and drying the upholstery. Many repair kits also suggest placing a backing material into the hole so the vinyl or leather repair has something to adhere to other than the seat’s filler.
  5. Once you have an adequate color, fill the hole with the vinyl mixture. Apply the compound in thin layers, with a feathery motion, using a small spatula-like tool.
  6. Apply the grained paper to give the vinyl texture. Most repair kits will include a patterned paper to help give texture to the patch, replicating the original patterns in boat upholstery.
  7. Using a heat device, usually included, cure the vinyl patch. Do not remove the grained paper until after this step is complete. The paper protects the original upholstery and helps seal in the patch’s appearance. Apply the heat based upon the manufacturer’s suggestion. Some kits do not require heat application.
  8. If you’re not completely satisfied with the final outcome, repeat steps 6 and 7.

Voilà. You’re done. Step back and admire your work. Then, get your boat back on the water and enjoy the sun and fun.

If you’re not the DIYer or simply don’t want to risk messing up your boat’s upholstery, no worries. Canvas Craft can fix the smallest of holes or the recover the entire seat, it’s up to you. And, the best part is, you’ll never know the difference.

Don't Make A Mistake It Can Be A Thing

Keeping your boat cover in good repair is an ongoing need – and especially important to know that it is in good repair before you need to use it. We see all the time how the Minnesota sun, sand, wind and water can all damage your boat canvas over time, so regular inspection and cleaning is important in keeping it intact and looking good.  Canvas boat covers should be inspected for any tears, missing snaps or hooks, or other defects.  It should be mold and mildew free, or it will rot out.  Your goals:  keeping it healthy and prolonging your canvas’ life, and protecting your boat from damage that could occur from not having reliable boat canvas covers.

Cleaning tips for your canvas:

Although the marine canvas you obtain from a reputable canvas company such as ourselves it will be mold and mildew resistant, if you have dirt and moisture repeatedly left on it – it surely will mildew.

  1. Clean your canvas monthly, using a mild cleaner and warm water, if at all possible.  Harsher cleaners can remove some of the protector sealant on quality canvas.  Regular cleaning is the key.
  2. Use a soft brush to clean your canvas, and rinse the cleanser off with water until all residue is completely gone.  Pay attention to seams and heavily stitched areas, as these can collect dirt and moisture easily.
  3. You will need to dry your canvas naturally – not in a dryer, or have it dry-cleaned.  Putting canvas away wet will guarantee a sure path to mildew so be sure to leave your canvas out in the open for several hours prior to putting away.
  4. A boat cover used for mooring cannot be used for towing or hauling a boat, as wind or weather could destroy it – it could rip right off.  You will need specific, tight-fitting covers for hauling purposes.  Boats that are larger, like pontoon boats, need supportive poles, or the canvas will sag, and collect water, dirt, and you will have a harder time keeping it clean – and will shorten its lifespan if not well-supported.  Don’t forget to remove any snow on your boat canvas cover during Minnesota’s winter months to decrease your risk of damage.
  5. Be sure the inside of the boat is completely dry before storage or covering. Moisture left in the hull of the boat from cushions and other wet fabrics can cause mold and mildew to build inside of the boat and could potentially cause damage.

Marine canvas care is a year-round need, but simple routine steps will lengthen its lifespan.  Feel free to contact any of our professionals at Canvas Craft.

Valuable Things You Need To Know Semi Annual Boating Checklist

It’s mid boating season and if your time on the water is important to you it is imperative that you take time to run through a few tips we have compiled to ensure your boat stays on the water. We recommend using this information as a checklist. Just as you would get a checkup for yourself at the doctor, to ensure your boat continues to provide you with great experiences on the water the health of your boat is vital.

Discoverboating.com offers a semiannual boating maintenance checklist, go through this list to make sure your boat is staying up to code and the boat is functioning correctly mid-season.

 

Fire Extinguishers

  • Do you have all required quantities and types of fire extinguishers?
  • Have they been checked within the past year?
  • Are serviceable units tagged by a licensed facility?
  • Are units accessible?
  • Is at least one accessible from the helm or cockpit?
  • Are you and your crew familiar with their operation?

Safety Equipment

  • Lifelines or rails in good condition.
  • Stanchions or pulpit securely mounted.
  • Hardware tight and sealed at deck.
  • Grab rails secure and free of corrosion or snags that may catch your hands.
  • Non-skid surfaces free from accumulated dirt or excess wear.

Fuel System

  • Is the system properly grounded at the filter, tank, deck, pump, etc.?
  • Is the fuel tank free from rust or contamination?
  • No leaks from tank, hose or fittings.
  • Hoses U.S.C.G. approved and free of cracking or stiffness with adequate slack to account for vibration.
  • Is tank secured?
  • Fuel shut-off valve on tank and at engine.
  • Engine compartment and engine clean and free of oily rags or flammable materials.
  • Blower switch at remote location.
  • Is your fuel system protected from siphoning?

Ground Tackle

  • At least two anchors on board.
  • Anchor and rode adequate for your boat and bottom conditions.
  • Tackle properly secured.
  • Length of chain at anchor.
  • Thimble on rode and safety wired shackles.
  • Chafing gear at chocks for extended stays or storm conditions.
  • Anchor stowed for quick accessibility.

Stoves

  • Labeled and designated for marine use.
  • Properly ventilated to remove carbon-monoxide from cabin.
  • Retainers or rails for pots and pans while underway.
  • If built-in, properly insulated and free from combustible materials, CNG and LPG (propane).
  • Stored in separate compartment from vessel's interior and engine room.
  • Tightly secured shut-off valve at tank.
  • Proper labeling and cautions in place at tank location.
  • Hoses, lines and fittings of approved and inspected type.
  • Compartment is ventilated overboard and below level of tank base.

Electrical System

  • Wiring approved for marine applications.
  • Is system neatly bundled and secured.
  • Protected against chafing and strain.
  • Adequate flex between bulkhead and engine connections.
  • Clear of exhaust system and bilge.
  • System is protected by circuit breakers or fuses.
  • Grounds to Zincs if required.
  • Wire terminals and connections sealed to prevent corrosion.

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

In addition to your pre-departure inspection of PFDs check for wear or abrasion, weak or torn seams, secure straps and buckles. Some types of PFDs are equipped with inflation devices; check to be sure cartridges are secure and charged.

Bilge Pumps

Will pump(s) adequately remove water in emergency? Do you have a manual backup? Are bilges clean and free to circulate (clear limber holes)? Do you check bilges frequently and not rely on automatic pumps?

Corrosion Prevention

  • Through-hulls, props, shafts, bearings, rudder fittings, and exposed fastenings free of destructive corrosion.
  • Zincs are adequate to provide protection.
  • Through-hulls are properly bonded.
  • Inspect the steering cables, engine control linkage and cables, engine mounts and gear case for corrosion.
  • These items are properly lubricated or painted to prevent undue corrosion.

Through-hulls

  • Strainers, intakes and exhaust or discharge fittings are free from restrictions such as barnacles, marine growth or debris.
  • Inspect sea valves for smooth operation.
  • Handles are attached to valves for quick closure.
  • Hoses are in good condition and free from cracking.
  • Double hose-clamps below the waterline.
  • Anti-siphon valve fitted to marine toilet.
  • Through-hull plugs are near fittings or attached to hose in case of emergency.