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post #2 of Old 05-15-2003
Join Date: Jul 2002
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Source for Bimini and Dodger

You''ll need stainless steel tubing to support the work. Any good canvas shop can do this too. I would not consider this part as a do it yourself option.

Today there are no canvas shops that are any good that are not very busy for the next few months. There are lots of options, details, and add ons that could drive the price more than double. Little details like cfae protection and things you just wouldn''t think of. I would say you''ll be in the $5K area for somethig nice. If you want to add a connector, side curtains maybe with screens, matching sail cover, grill cover, pedestal cover, hatch covers, awnings you can see how getting to well over $10K is really easy for a first rate job.

Find someone local, meet them, look at work they do and meet them in person. Look in local marinas and ask who did the work. Ask sailmakers too. They usually know who does what in your area.

See how long it is before they can come to the boat. Once they can come to the boat you''ll get a firm quote for labor plus an allowance for fabric. If the fabric is more or less they make an adjustment when you pick the color and type you want. A million different colors and fabrics out there. Geting them to the boat is always the hardest part. Find the best shop closest to the boat if you ave a choice.

Use the very best materials as you pay a lot for the labor. Demand to see the best materials they have as you don''t save money with cheap materials.

If you shop around don''t play around too long. Geting shops to look at the boat takes time and if it takes you a month to getb three estimates you just may lose your window. Shop first by availability and reputation. The really good folks charge a bit more.

I''m having some repair work done now and for a new job I know I couldn''t get it completed until late July. Many shops disappear late in the summer. It is not uncommon for them to work really hard long hours this time of year and take some time off later. Big shops or small shops it generally gets down to the one person working on your boat so don''t let a small shop worry you. Some of the best are just one person operations.
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