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Old 10-29-2017, 08:20 AM   #1
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Need advice. Canvas Contract

I am about to sign a contract for bridge canvas. I have seen/heard horror stories. I have a guy and an estimate, both of which I am comfortable with.

The question is: How much money, percentage wise, should I release at various stages of completion from contract inking to completion, on the boat as a thrilled customer?
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Old 10-29-2017, 09:03 AM   #2
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How long has he estimated for completion?
Material is only about 25% of the cost and only thing he has to spend up front.
Most small jobs I have done and any others I'm aware of were total due on completion. Some might want a small amount to "reserve" a spot in the schedule or just to make sure you don't decide to go elsewhere after material ordered / received.
I guess a lot depends on local practices... did you get any other quotes? What were their terms?
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Old 10-29-2017, 10:03 AM   #3
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My canvas/upholstery guy does not want anything until the job is done.

He is recovering my PH Stidd helm chair at the moment, which includes powder coating as I am changing the color - not a small job by any means.
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Old 10-29-2017, 10:08 AM   #4
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50% up front. Balance on completion.
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Old 10-29-2017, 10:16 AM   #5
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Thanks guys, I have only seen an end cost, nothing else. He may want some up front, which is OK and I can live with 50%. I appreciate the come backs and guidance.
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Old 10-29-2017, 01:26 PM   #6
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Iíve done business with two canvas companies. The first demanded 50% up front, then 50% at completion. They guaranteed a completion date each time on four different projects. Each time, they missed the promised date by literally months. There was nothing I could do about it since they had my money, and they knew it. When I complained about the delays, they could not have cared less.

The other company didnít ask for anything until completion on three projects. They were early on all three.

Never again will I pay anything up front unless there is a delay penalty in the agreement.
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Old 10-29-2017, 02:38 PM   #7
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25 - 30% max. up front which should be the material cost. Do NOT make final payment until you go over the finished job in detail. I had my 15K canvas job done last year by a contractor out of Hindson's marina in Penetang. Ontario. I was in a hurry, I paid in full after completion but did not have a look at the boat " head on " .... Turns out, the fly bridge framing is leaning 12" + to one side and the back of the sundeck will not snap in place ( too tight ) I did go back as he is at a marina next to ours and the guy says ..... " gee Frank, I would have to re do the whole flybridge , .... that would be about 5K, you're on your own" ....... That's the marine industry / fraternity for ya ... lol. after 30 yrs. in it and having been screwed over by many, I should have known, but I trusted the guy yet again .....
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Old 10-29-2017, 03:00 PM   #8
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25 - 30% max. up front which should be the material cost. Do NOT make final payment until you go over the finished job in detail. I had my 15K canvas job done last year by a contractor out of Hindson's marina in Penetang. Ontario. I was in a hurry, I paid in full after completion but did not have a look at the boat " head on " .... Turns out, the fly bridge framing is leaning 12" + to one side and the back of the sundeck will not snap in place ( too tight ) I did go back as he is at a marina next to ours and the guy says ..... " gee Frank, I would have to re do the whole flybridge , .... that would be about 5K, you're on your own" ....... That's the marine industry / fraternity for ya ... lol. after 30 yrs. in it and having been screwed over by many, I should have known, but I trusted the guy yet again .....
I would take pictures of the lopsided canvas and post them everywhere that would hold a picture. Find a wiz kid and build a website and anything else that I could do to make him miserable God nows that lopsided Bimini would drive me crazy. I would be sure to return the favor until he fixed it.
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Old 10-29-2017, 04:32 PM   #9
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Have had canvas work done for years and never paid a deposit.
Guess it depends on where you are located, but most reputable shops will do it with no deposit. After all this is stock stuff we are talking about, unless you have some exotic materials or requests.
All that being said I am a local resident and have built a long term relationship with these people.
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Old 10-29-2017, 10:28 PM   #10
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I d o my own canvas so I have some ideas of what folks might encounter. Rule 1, pay as little as possible up front. Next have a contract and I am sure the canvas guy will want one also. In that contract you should be specific about things that are important to you. Things I would want if I were in a buying situation would be:

* canvas color and manufacture along with a sample for approval prior to the project's start.

* vinyl.... I prefer 30mil over the heavier 40. Try to avoid vinyl where it can touch metals and make sure the canvas guy avoid covering fiberglass with vinyl such as on the sides.

* thread size and type along with insisting on it having sun endurance qualities. At a minimum, the thread should be 92 polyester.

* zippers insist on YKK or RiRi along with plastic sliders. Insist that the zippers be double sewed. More on zippers, YOU not the fabricator should select the zipper's start location. Most of mine start on the panel bottoms with the exception for doors so that I can easily lower a panel.

*Velcro... I use a two inch flap over my zippers to keep rain out. All flaps point to the boat's rear and have velcro to hold them in place. No velcro on doors.

I have started using a header that slides into a track mounted above the curtains. The header is about 6" and the bottom of the header has zippers to hold curtains. This has several benefits to me such as it allows me to avoid smiles (BPITA). I prefer to be able to lower the whole curtain or at least part of the curtain.

Another benefit.... at least to me.... is I avoid rolling up anything! My doors have three zippers, two on the sides and one at the top. The beauty of this arrangement is I unzip one side and the top of the door. Next the door folds open on the remaining zipped zipper (canvas to the inside of the boat) just a wood door would in your home. Next I install a couple of snaps to both the header for the folded door to snap to. It just looks neater than rolling which I find to be another BPITA.

So my above presents some of my goals for MY canvas which works out well for me along with maybe helping others. I just replaced all my canvas this spring/summer. It is now navy (Captain's) blue and since my avatar was first posted, I have another hardtop over the helm. I'll try to post a couple of pictures soon
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Old 11-02-2017, 06:16 AM   #11
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Talk is cheap, go and actually visit at least 2 finished jobs.
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Old 11-02-2017, 07:38 AM   #12
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Talk is cheap, go and actually visit at least 2 finished jobs.

How true, talk is indeed cheap but there is no need for me to look at other's work. In my above post I shared my feelings, gave ideas and tried to help others as it relates to a canvas contract. Attached are a few pictures of my canvas along with one with me installing one of my four 295 watt solar panels, two on top of each hard top.
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Old 11-02-2017, 07:49 AM   #13
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Talk is cheap, go and actually visit at least 2 finished jobs.
Amen to that!!!
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Old 11-02-2017, 07:56 AM   #14
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Amen to that!!!
Right on! I misread seasalt's post thinking his was directed to mine earlier. Yeah!!! Maybe look at MORE than two prior works AND speak to their customers.
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:41 AM   #15
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Iíve done business with two canvas companies. The first demanded 50% up front, then 50% at completion. They guaranteed a completion date each time on four different projects. Each time, they missed the promised date by literally months. There was nothing I could do about it since they had my money, and they knew it. When I complained about the delays, they could not have cared less.

The other company didnít ask for anything until completion on three projects. They were early on all three.

Never again will I pay anything up front unless there is a delay penalty in the agreement.
How much would you suggest as a reasonable delay penalty? How structured? Daily? Weekly?
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Old 11-05-2017, 09:54 AM   #16
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How much would you suggest as a reasonable delay penalty? How structured? Daily? Weekly?
It really depends on what you can negotiate, but I think a penalty of 5% per week is reasonable for a larger order, unless the vendor can show some extenuating circumstances beyond his control. If he misses his commitment for completion by 10 weeks, why shouldnít he be penalized 50%?

In my view, if a vendor misses a delivery date, itís because (a) he told you a phony date just to get your business, (b) he is incompetent at his business (c) he ran other orders ahead of yours to get their business or (d) something happened beyond his control. The only legitimate excuse for a delay is (d).

So hereís what Iíve started doing. When a vendor wants my business, I tell him to give me a delivery date he can guarantee. Then I decide if I can live with that date. If I can live with his date, I tell him his guarantee will cost him 5% per week if he misses it, unless he can show me a good reason (such as a key employee quit or got sick).

Iím not unreasonable, Iím just tired of being jerked around. If consumers refuse to put up with this practice, the vendors will stop doing it.
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Old 11-05-2017, 10:51 AM   #17
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I switched from roll up vinyl to polycarbonate i.e. Lexan. Would never go back. My guy even uses thinner stuff to bend around corners to avoid a frame right in your viewing point. The 30 ga becomes very rigid when curved. Special long life thread too.
After 7 years the poly still looks new, clear as glass.
I had smileys installed at top for ventilation.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:11 PM   #18
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Iíve done business with two canvas companies. The first demanded 50% up front, then 50% at completion.

Never again will I pay anything up front unless there is a delay penalty in the agreement.
I don't think that would have helped, if you pay 50% up front. The penalty quickly consumer their incentive to finish and more than covers their cost of materials.
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Old 11-05-2017, 12:40 PM   #19
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In my view, if a vendor misses a delivery date, itís because (a) he told you a phony date just to get your business, (b) he is incompetent at his business (c) he ran other orders ahead of yours to get their business or (d) something happened beyond his control. The only legitimate excuse for a delay is (d).
There's a canvas shop in our area that is notorious for late completions. Some friends of mine had him do a complete canvas job for them and he promised a 3-week delivery. I cautioned them to negotiate for delay penalties but they disregarded my advice. Three MONTHS later they were still trying to get him to come down to their boat to finish his work.

We're taking our boat downriver to Portland, OR (~220 miles) in the spring to get a new canvas set for the fly bridge. This guy has done my 2 prior jobs and (a) completes the work on time, (b) does excellent work; and (c) does it for the amount he quoted.

The material my canvas is made of is Stamoid, not Sunbrella. I got quotes for this job from the local guy and the guy in Portland. The local guys bid for JUST THE WINDOWS, not the fly bridge bimini, was higher than the quote I got from the guy in Portland whose bid included replacing the bimini.

So we'll take the boat down, leave it at a yacht club where we have reciprocal moorage and they've agreed to let me keep it there about 2 weeks at no charge. We'll rent a car to come home, then rent again to return when the canvas job is done and we can bring the boat home.

The boat trip is a huge plus for us. Two days down, two days back. Doesn't get much better.
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Old 11-05-2017, 01:06 PM   #20
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I fabricate my own, so I never meet my deadline... we just redid all the canvas on our boat. I did have the front panels on the flybridge fabricated by an EZ2CY shop. I put 50% down on that and the rest on completion. Since the fabricator was in Cape May, NJ and we live in MI, I made the patterns and he made the 7 panels and shipped them to us. They fit perfectly and we love the EZ2C panels. We met the fabricator on our trip home with the boat when we had some seams blow out due to old stitching. He did a wonderful job on our panels and was exactly on schedule and price. Guess it was luck of the draw so to speak, but he did show us several boats in the marina that he had done and they looked good so we went with him.
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