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Video Training Library

Canvas Training Courses


       effective 10.19.14

Custom Marine Canvas Training Workshops is a dedicated marine canvas training facility, successfully training other canvas shop owners for the past 35 years.  While others attempt to copy our phraseology, our techniques are unique to our curriculum.


Basic Canvas Training Project
Boat Covers
Boat Covers


Our boat cover instructional training course is designed for a beginner with little or no experience, or for the canvas maker who wishes to improve their fabrication techniques. Curriculum includes becoming familiar with a commercial sewing machine, how to measure, cut, fit, sew, and install basic canvases such as Cockpit Covers, Travel Covers, and Mooring Covers. Many canvas sewing techniques will be taught including those essential for making marine canvas. Canvas-cut windows, canvas & window repairs, and zipper repair & installation are also taught in this class. You'll also learn about hardware & fasteners, canvas making tools, types of fabrics & threads, basic canvas estimating, canvas shop marketing, canvas & upholstery product resources, and more! You will learn how to set-up shop and get started! Students will sew their own Cockpit Covers in class and take these projects home for reference. Each student will have their own sewing machine to use during the course.

*NOTE: Sewing Machine Repair Seminar follows this course and is held on Saturday.



This Workshop is for the student who has taken the Basic Workshop, but would like more Advanced Canvas Training Projectcanvas training, or for someone who has worked in a canvas shop and needs to learn shortcuts and easier methods of producing a quality custom canvas product. We encourage the Advanced Workshop for those who are serious about marine fabricating as a full time profession.  Curriculum includes more difficult items such as, zippered bow pockets, leak-proof aft window, fitting and patterning methods, frame bending, and a continuation of fitting and sewing on more difficult projects. Frame construction, fitting, sewing, and installing a Boat Top, Side Curtains, and Aft Curtain will be the main focus in this class. Students will sew their own Boat Top, Side Window-Curtain, and Aft Curtain to take home as a reference! Each student will have their own sewing machine to use during the course. The ADVANCED Workshop follows the BASIC Workshop.



BIMINI ENCLOSURES (plus Seminars) WORKSHOP:   this series includes covers the essentials for fabricating Bimini Enclosures, Bridge Enclosures, Aft Enclosures, and Camper Enclosures.  If you are serious about being a full service shop, you need this course! The Enclosures Pro-Series Workshop is a six day course and includes the Estimator Software Seminar and the Tracks-N-Tricks Seminar.


We begin with Variable Frame Systems and their design.  We teach you how to improve a current design, or how to start from scratch and design enclosures that are leak-proof, functional, easy to use, and pleasing to the eye.  We’ll also instruct the planning, placement, and installation of snapless Track Systems.  We’ll teach you how to create tops and Enclosure panels for that ‘perfect fit’ and protection from the elements.  


Enclosures Pro-Series Workshop includes these Training Modules:

Variable Frame System Design- Learn how to plan,

Bridge Enclosure Aft Enclosure
Bimini and Aft Enclosures
Enclosure Canvas Training Project
Horizontal Aft Frames and Enclosures to the arch
Enclosure Canvas Training Project
High trim levels and advanced pockets
Semi-Rigid Enclosure
Track valances and zipper systems
Bridge Windshield
Bridge Windshields and Connectors

start, and implement your design. Design frames for arch applications, sport-fishing frames, California dodgers, camper-back, horizontal aft enclosures, and more!

Bimini Tops- perfect and wrinkle free, featuring the highest trim techniques such as: sculpted, zippered, and snapped bow pockets and multi-directional patterning & fitting. You’ll make one and take it home with you!

Enclosure Window Systems- learn how to plan and produce the highest quality enclosure panels including inner-faced and canvas-cut window panels. You’ll make your own leak-proof ‘smile’ with screen to take home with you!

Camper, Sun Top, Horizontal-Aft Tops- learn how the experts make the transition from a wide-beam camper frame to a canvas-top.  Learn to make a flat-pattern rain flap too! Perfect for Camper Tops!

Windshields & Connectors- Learn the proper way to plan, fit, and sew, multi-panel Windshields with zipper flaps and Connectors.


Two Seminars are also included:

Track &Tricks Seminar- Track Systems and Valances- everything you need to know about making track systems and attaching to them!  We’ll show you how to make and market the 'Arch Conversion'. Learn how to plan, install, and fit to track systems; build track valances and contoured (bat-wing) flaps. We'll cover horizontal frames and Aft Enclosure Tops too! This Seminar is held Saturday.

Quick Canvas Estimator & Quick Frame Calculator Seminar- take a tour of our computer generated canvas Estimator and Frame Calculator! This Seminar is held Friday evening.


Other course features include:

Each student will sew an advanced Bimini Top and Enclosure Panels to take home!

• Each student will have their own sewing machine to use during the course.

• Step-by-step Enclosure & Camper Training Manual included

NOTE: The Enclosure Workshop is reserved for students who have taken the Basic and Advanced Workshops. It is also available to experienced canvas fabricators who desire to increase their quality or to tackle even the most difficult design challenges. Complete class curriculum requires the attendance of Friday evening and Saturday full-day seminars.



This 5-day Workshop boat upholstery training course teaches how to pattern, measure, cut, and sew basic upholstery, including these techniques:

Upholstery Training Workshop
Upholstery Training Workshop

  • zippers
  • welt (piping)
  • striping
  • multi-colors and patterns
  • track-welting
  • cutting, shaping, & bonding foam
  • seating design
  • and more!

Each student will fabricate and take home with them:

  • boat cushions
  • multi-paneled cushion cover
  • contoured V-berth cushion


This 5-day Workshop boat upholstery training course teaches advanced upholstery techniques such as:


  • Bucket Seats
  • Contoured Corners & U-shape Dinette style seating
  • Compartment cushions with inner-boxing sections
  • Knee Rolls & quick covers
  • "Baseball" endcaps
  • Bolsters
  • Base building & repair


Each student will have their own sewing machine to use during the course. A great class for both beginner and upholstery veterans! Completion of the Basic Workshop, or prior sewing experience, is required for this class. Students will take home their finished products!


Upholstery Training Workshop Upholstery Training Workshop



Fabricating Semi-rigid Enclosure Panels is a growing need in the canvas trade! Learn about the most current products available today! This course is reserved for students whom have completed the Basic & Advanced Workshops or, for experienced fabricators.

T-Top and Center-Console boats require Enclosures, Mooring Covers, Console Covers, Track Systems and more.  Learn the techniques for properly fitting and and attaching to Center Console design boats.

Class Topics include:

Wavestopper II, Wavestopper, Wavestopper Dodger
polycarbonate windows (above
Center Console Enclosure (below)


• Various attachments including zippered track systems, valances, snap-hooks, and locking fasteners.


• Learn to make polycarbonate enclosure windows


• Learn northern-style Designing & Fabricating for harsh wether conditions.


• Fitting Console Covers and Mooring Covers "through the pipes".

• Each student will fabricate their own sample semi-rigid window panel to take home!


• Each student will have their own sewing machine to use during the course.







One-Day Seminars and Refresher Courses:  Select Seminars from the menu.



Canvas Training To Go! 

When travel is out of the question, we can help!  Fabricators, boat builders, and canvas associations can benefit from our full five-days consultation on design, frame systems, fitting methods, fabrication, installation, and other topics of your choice! We work side-by-side with manufacturing teams and fabricators.  Our hands-on approach provides vital knowledge while seeing visual progress. Certain restrictions apply. Contact us to discuss specific details and to schedule Canvas Training To Go.



Summary of Workshops:

Whether you are a beginner with no sewing experience or a veteran fabricator desiring to learn the latest techniques, we have a marine canvas training course for you. Our workshops are geared for the individual who would like to learn to make the highest quality custom canvas in the shortest amount of time.

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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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