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Frequently Asked Questions:



Q: Where should I begin?

Persons entering into the canvas trade, or persons unhappy with their current projects, should begin with the Basic Workshop. Even though you may have experience sewing clothing, draperies, or factory piecework, you should begin with the Basic Workshop. The reason is because sewing is only one portion of canvas making. You must also learn other equally important techniques in order to fabricate canvas.

Q: In what order should I take the Workshops?

The logical progression is to complete the Basic, Advanced, and Bimini Enclosure Workshops in that order, before moving onto the Marine Upholstery or Rigid Enclosure Workshops. Scheduling of the remaining courses is determined by the demand within your market.

Q: I have previous experience fabricating canvas. Do I have to take all of the courses in order?

Experienced canvas fabricators are not required to take courses that are below their level of expertise. Experienced fabricators should speak with one of our instructors before scheduling a class to ensure proper placement.

Q: After completing a Workshop, when I can expect to actually be able to fabricate the product and sell it?

Once you have the basic supplies needed, you should be able to produce the product immediately upon completing the course. People learn and work at different paces. In our case, we were able to produce one of our most complex projects within the first nine months of business without any previous experience.

Q: What are the most significant differences among the courses?

Each course teaches you to fabricate different canvas products. As you complete each Workshop, the next course offers additional fabricating techniques, a higher level of difficulty, and more advanced trim-levels.

Q: How quickly can I expect to recoup my training investment?

On the average, each product will sell for a price that is equal or greater than the cost of the course tuition, depending on the size of boat and the market area that you are in.

Q: Can anyone learn to fabricate canvas?

While most people can easily learn to make custom canvas, there are physical demands that you may wish to consider before entering the canvas trade. Canvas fabricators are often required to climb a ladder, carry a toolbox, and handle objects weighing as much as fifty pounds. A good sense of balance and average hand-dexterity is very helpful.

Q: What written materials are included?

A workbook will be given to all students. Each workbook pertains to the courses you've chosen and contain specific instruction & techniques for fabricating various canvases. Our instruction workbooks also include subjects such as: frame-bending, a list of necessary tools, list of suppliers, management & marketing tips, estimate worksheets, cleaning and care tips, contracts, and much more. A Certificate Of Completion will be issued at the end of the course.

Q: Do we need to purchase any supplies or materials?

No! All tools, materials, supplies necessary for the workshop is provided. Although we sell the necessary supplies needed to start a canvas shop, we are not pushy about it. In fact, we provide you a list of other wholesale vendors to choose from.

Q:  How many students are in each Workshop?

Class size is limited to eight students in order to provide individual attention to each student and provide hands-on training.

Q: How long do the courses last each day?

Workshops begin at 9am on Monday, 8am Tuesday through Friday, and end at 5pm each day. Each one-day Seminar begins at 8am and ends by 3pm. Every class provides a one-hour break for lunch.

Q: Do you provide technical support?

After the course is completed, we encouraging students to call or email if they need further information or run into a problem. We encourage experienced students to email photos of problem they are experiencing, prior to attending, so that we may address the issues with you.

Q: What do we need to bring?

Bring a Digital Camera! We welcome students to take as many photos as you wish! We ask only that you not use video cameras. Also, bring a comfortable pair of non-marking shoes, such as: tennis shoes, gum sole, deck shoes.

Q: Do you have Internet access?

Students may access the Internet through our Guest terminal.

Q: What airport will I fly into?

Likely, you fly into Cleveland-Hopkins (CLE) International Airport. From there, we are approximately 1 hour 15 minutes by car to our facility. For private pilots, we are located 1 mile from the Ottawa County airport (PCW) which can accomodate up to small jet traffic. Click this link for a Map & Directions.

Q: Do we have payment plans?

Yes!  Checkout our Registration & Pricing page.


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Northcoast Marine Specialties | 250 SE Catawba Rd.  Port Clinton, OH  43452  |  Tel: 419-734-5453 Toll: 877-732-7332

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