Feb 10, 2022

Canvasby Marc Robic

Whether you’re a powerboater or a sailor, and for those of us that have our boats hauled out and stored, winter is an excellent time to take proper care and maintenance of your canvas. Regardless of the investment that can vary greatly, we know how indispensable they are for increasing and extending the enjoyment of our beloved boating seasons.

Canvas items, such as biminis, dodgers, sail covers or simple boat covers, etc. including those with plastic windows get an unbelievable beating all season long with constant exposure to sun, water and the elements - whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at us!

Sail Canvas

In our case, we have quite a few items including sail cover, bimini & dodger plus full enclosure panels comprised of ten removeable window/screen panels to complete the package. Thanks to these, we’ve been able to stay cool in the shade on hot days and dry on rainy days. Dining in the cockpit or just enjoying being on the boat during periods with lots of bugs, such as the annual shad fly season, we roll up the windows, leaving only the screens and enjoy the cool breezes without the bugs.

Thanks to our “canvas” I often sleep in the cockpit while at anchor, protected from the elements while enjoying a nice airflow and a view of starry night skies followed by great sunrises. So, our canvas plays a very important role in our overall enjoyment as well as extending our seasons. It’s such a contributing part of the boat, your canvas should not be neglected.

Regardless of the canvas you have, big or small, taking proper care of it will easily extend the life of these luxury pieces of fabric. Ours is going on more then 12 years now and still looks great and fits perfectly.

But we take extremely good care and have developed somewhat of a routine, during the winter months, as well as during the season. It does not take much time, but the results and return make it all worthwhile, especially when one considers the replacement cost.

Here is our routine!

In the fall, while getting the boat ready for hauled out, we carefully remove and roll each canvas component and bring them home. One of the most challenging pieces is the dodger, as it the largest and has plastic windows everywhere. Bending or folding these windows is out of the question. So, once we have properly folded the dodger in such a way no windows are bent, we then use a large diameter cardboard tube to roll the whole thing.

For best results, use a tube about 6” to 8” in diameter and about 4 to 6 feet long. We got our for free at our local chandlery and sail loft, The Boathouse in Montreal. The tube came from an empty Sunbrella fabric roll. You can also get tubes at any fabric store.

As we remove the canvas, we carefully inspect each one. If we find anything that needs attention, we bring it to our sail loft for mending. So far, it has always been preventative, such as restitching an area where the thread is starting to come apart. Last year, the sail cover canvas threads were starting to look bad. So, we had our sail loft restitch the sail cover, a very inexpensive maintenance. The year before, we had the bimini “peak-a-boo” window panel replaced. Compared with the replacement or repair costs if we left these to continue to deteriorate, these regular maintenance costs are very affordable.
Maintenance costs far less than repairs or replacement!

Also, when considering any restitching, remember that the thread material used in all marine canvas and sails, are special thread that will resist exterior conditions and have a very high UV protection property. So, having this work done at a local alteration retailer, should be avoided, unless they can provide the proper thread for you.

After haul out and once the boat winterization is done, we turn our attention to the canvas. Since there is no rush, we take our time doing one or two pieces at a time. Because we do this inside the house, we lay down a large mover’s blanket to protect the flooring and the canvas panels.

Oxi Clean

Using a bucket with a mixture of Oxy Clean in warm water and a soft brittle brush, we lightly wet and brush the canvas. Using a microfiber towel, we wipe down as we go, rinsing the microfiber towel often in a separate bucket of clean water. For the bimini and dodger, we repeat the process 2 times for all outside facing surfaces. To compete the process, we Shop Vac the surfaces to soak up as much leftover humidity as possible. We then give the pieces about two days to dry. NOTE, we do not touch the plastic windows while cleaning the canvas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canvas Plexus

Once the canvas is dry, we clean and treat the plastic windows with Plexus, a really great product worth it’s somewhat higher price. It keeps the plastic clean, flexible and protected. If there’s another product out there that does as good or better, I have not seen it, and I’ve tried many! Easy spray on and wipe/polish with a clean microfiber towel.


After all the canvas is done, all the panels are rolled up stored in a bag and kept in a dry area inside our house.

Canvas Waterproofing

 

 

 

 

In the spring, we lay the pieces outside, on large blankets to protect them from dirt and grass, with the tops and outside surfaces facing up. Using Woods camping canvas waterproofing and UV protector, we “paint” the entire canvas area and let dry. This will not only prevent water from dripping through, but will also protect the canvas and all the stitching from the sun and elements. We find it also protects and prevent the colour from fading.

(By the way while we do these boat pieces in the spring, we also “paint” waterproofing on our three outdoor patio umbrellas.)

 

 

Marc and Claude

 

 

 

Marc Robic

Marc is a member of the Canadian Power & Sail Squadron. He and his wife, Claude Couture sail their Catalina 270, Aquaholic 3, out of the Ile-Perrot Yacht Club in Montreal, where Marc spent 16 years as volunteer Harbour Master. They are also regular Caribbean bareboat yacht charterers. With over 40-years experience, Marc is an avid onboard do-it-yourselfer.

Marc Robic & First Mate, Claude
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Related Articles

Monday, 28 January 2013 09:46

When it comes to making environmentally friendly choices, the tradeoff is not always paying more for something that doesn't work as well. Boat owners seeking a "greener" sacrificial anode have an...

Monday, 04 November 2019 16:43

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve told my children to wash their hands. I remind them before dinner, after using the washroom, after touching dirty, sticky or grimy things.

Saturday, 22 June 2019 11:43

In any boat with an inboard engine, the machinery that the drives the boat moves through the hull. An engine drives a propeller shaft, at the end of which is the propeller that moves the vessel...

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 06:10

The moment we all dread. It’s a warm sunny day and you’re out for a cruise. Suddenly the boat shudders beneath you, pings, dings and clangs are heard and you realize that you’ve hit something...

Monday, 24 March 2014 15:51

Understanding how systems really work – and degrade over the winter – can help you prepare your boat for a trouble-free season. Here’s a guide from a pro…Sometimes the most daunting thing about...

Saturday, 09 July 2016 21:10

One of the largest, if not the largest,boatyard in Nova Scotia is South Shore Marine. Located around the corner from village of Chester, the yard, which began in the late 70s, now hauls about 500...

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
Over the years Canadian Yachting has had the pleasure of doing several boat review articles on new ...
When J/Boats set out to make their latest model, their thinking moved away from a boat that you had ...
Wellcraft launched a legacy of offshore boats from Sarasota, Florida more than 60 years ago and ...
The well-known Four Winns brand is now a part of the international boatbuilder Groupe Beneteau and ...
Boats have been in high demand for the past two years and there’s no sign of this easing. ...
When we arranged to interview the designer and manufacturer to write a profile of the X Shore Eelex ...
I am lucky to have the opportunity to helm many types of boats. I am even more lucky to sail boats ...
The weather wasn’t cooperating for our test of the new Fountaine Pajot Isla 40. Rain, storm clouds ...
Last August, we were again invited to the Neptunus Yachts facility in St. Catharines, Ontario to ...
Cruisers Yachts’ 34 GLS is the latest model in the Cruisers Yachts line that includes a dozen ...

Video Gallery

Neptunus 650F

By Andy Adams

Over the years Canadian Yachting has had the pleasure of doing several boat review articles on new Neptunus models and we are familiar with the qualities that Neptunus is famous for. They have all been exceptional yachts, but this is the one I would most want to own myself. It’s a personal choice and a matter of taste as to whether you would prefer to have a sedan express model or a flybridge but in my opinion, the flybridge layout offers some wonderful attributes.

We met with Neptunus Managing Director Jan Willem De Jong this past fall to take the new Neptunus 650F out in Lake Ontario. 

Read More

Destinations

  • Prev
I sail on Lake St Clair. Michigan is on one side of the lake, and Ontario is on the other. My ...
The bright summer sun forces its way through magnificent Arbutus trees as I dive off our ...
I was first seduced by the United States Virgin Islands during a ferry ride from St. Thomas to ...
It was the last day of August and we were in Little Current heading south. Our Lasalle winter haul ...
Cowichan Bay is a waterfront village with a row of shops, artisan products, marine supplies and a ...
Instant towns have sprung up in the past, especially on the BC coast. In the late 1850s, Victoria ...
Following the War of 1812, a battle that Canada narrowly won against the United States, the ...
You’ve weathered COVID and you’re ready to book your charter to paradise. You’ve done some ...
If you are looking for an interesting destination for a weekend trip or longer, Quebec City will ...
A holiday often is defined by the experiences we make in unique and beautiful settings. But what ...

Sunset off St. John

By Mark Stevens

I was first seduced by the United States Virgin Islands during a ferry ride from St. Thomas to Tortola to begin one of our earliest British Virgin Islands charters nearly twenty years ago.

A perfect sunset off St. John with St. Thomas views for backdrop.

Clearing Pillsbury Sound, surrounded by voluptuous emerald mountains as the ferry sliced through royal blue waters, I was struck by the unspoiled ambiance of St. John, the island gliding past our starboard beam and the irresistible charm of a village called Cruz Bay visible from our quarter stern.

Read More

Lifestyle

  • Prev
Our Video of the Week comes from Matt Ingram, a reporter at CHCH in Hamilton ON who investigated an ...
Good afternoon. With the possibility that the Kirkfield locks will be closed, we have no choice but ...
Introducing the next graduate in our marine career path series, April Scarlett. A former Ontario ...
Our Photo of the Week this time comes from our CY Team at FLIBS. Perhaps it’s the camera angle or ...
Yes, we are once again going to the dogs, a very popular and always welcome Photo of the Week ...
Last week Antonia and Georgia Lewin-LaFrance from Chester NS were named today Sail Canada’s Rolex ...
This week’s Photo of the Week comes from BC. The 99th Grey Creek Regatta was held at the Lakeview ...
Back in 2019 (I believe) your magazine used a pic of Sweet Love, a Ranger Tug 31, in a photo ...
a few shots of my wife Maggie practicing her silks routine on our 1982 C&C in the North Channel ...
Last issue, we took a look at boat names. Little did we know we would get what probably will be the ...

Marine Products

  • Prev
Plentiful drink holders have become expected amenities on today's boats but can be tricky to ...
January weather got you down? Dive into a Cruise guide (from Canada or down south) and get away ...
The need for onboard web connectivity has become commonplace—for both vessel systems and passengers ...
On January 4th, 2023, Mercury Marine introduced the Avator™ 7.5e electric outboard at the Consumer ...
The NEW edition of PORTS Cruising Guides: Lake Ontario and The 1000 Islands is available for ...
The fine folks at the Nautical Mind have been stocking their shelves and website with one thing – ...
The December issue of Canadian Yachting once again featured the magazine’s Annual Marine ...
The world of marine electronics is just on fire in terms of development. You can almost name ...
On the water, most people store mobile devices in safe but relatively inaccessible spots. This ...
Many consider a tender a utilitarian means to an end—mere transportation. Argos Nautic's RIB ...

News

  • Prev
David Howard passed way this week. He was the past commodore of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club and a ...
Earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Brunswick Corporation ...
Le Boat announces plans to expand further into Ottawa for its 2023 season beginning May 19, 2023. ...
Boatbuilder, Aviator, Engineer, Entrepreneur, Husband, Father & Friend to many, Howard’s ...
BVI is the favorite cruising destination for many Canadian boaters but it’s always been a bit of a ...
The Maritime Museum of BC in Victoria has a Nautical Nights speaker night coming up featuring ...
On January 9th in New Orleans during ABYC’s Standards Week, the American Boat & Yacht Council ...
As of Tuesday,  Canada Ocean was in third place, racing Two-Handed on IMOCA 60 Canada ...
Everyone has gone digital including Volvo Penta. Under the headline ‘Boating for everyone’, Volvo ...
Engineered for an amazing day boating experience, the LS9 is perfect for creating lasting memories ...

Mercury marine V10 OutboardsOn November 15th 2022, Mercury Marine, a division of Brunswick Corporation (NYSE: BC), introduced the industry’s first ever V10 outboard with the official launch of its all-new 5.7L 350 and 400hp Verado® outboard engines.
 
Consistent with the award-winning Verado brand, the new V10 engines are the quietest and smoothest in their class running 45 percent quieter than a leading competitor at cruise. In addition to NVH, the new Verado’s are not only compatible with the latest Mercury SmartCraft® technologies but will also be offered with an optional dual-mode 48V/12V alternator to seamlessly pair with Navico Group’s Fathom® e-power system, an integrated lithium-ion auxiliary power management system, providing boaters the opportunity to eliminate an onboard generator system.

Read More