Dodger & Bimini Re-stitch...$$? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 08-02-2007 Thread Starter
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Question Dodger & Bimini Re-stitch...$$?

I am thinking of having my dodger and Bimini re-stitched as the thread is failing everywhere fast. The canvas is still in pretty good shape. I have taken it to a local shop and the estimate for some minor repair to the canvas, complete restitch, and replacing the glass...was $500. WOW!

Does this sound reasonable?

To replace everything new I'm guessing it would be around $1500-2000. Not including the sail cover, winch covers, and pedestal cover.

Over the winter we tried to save some $$ by trying to re-stitch it ourselves with a regular sewing machine, not only did we do a pretty crappy job but the machine isn't able to get the stitches tight enough, so its already coming out.

$500 to get about 5 more years (so they say) doesn't seem to unreasonable, but...thought I would ask.

Cheers,
Shawn

S/V Windgeist
1982 Tartan 37C

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Last edited by T37Chef; 08-02-2007 at 05:40 PM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 08-02-2007
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We went through the same issues with our last boat - which had a full canvas enclosure around the cockpit. The stitching was a few years old and becoming unraveled. I brought home an old Singer machine which was up in my Mom's attic for years, unused.

The body and gears are all heavy, cast and machined metal, with lots of torque in the motor. It made easy work of sewing through up to six layers of fabric, zippers and isenglass. I've been using it for years now for all canvas work, and have gotten pretty good at it. I even made a Sunbrella sun awning for this boat, restiched the aft deck lee-cloth and both sail covers.

Works like a charm and was free.

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sold the Nauticat
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post #3 of 11 Old 08-02-2007 Thread Starter
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So I can send it to you and you'll stitch it for $50

Cheers,
Shawn

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post #4 of 11 Old 08-02-2007
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Sure Chef, I'll do it for you . . . and material costs. $50 pays for a lot of thread.

The problem is time - took me all winter just to do the sun awning, since other priorities always seemed to be more important - like my paying clients < G >.

Send it with prepaid return shipping, but it may take two-three years to get it back . . .

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post #5 of 11 Old 08-02-2007
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Tenara thread

No matter what the labor cost is, consider to use W. L. Gore "Tenara" thread (PTFE). Its expensive (about $125 for a large spool of it) but it is totally stable to UV exposure and will last LONGER (maybe forever) than any sail or canvas item.

I now use it when making my 'primary' sails.

If you are using a 'home' sewing machine to restitch your canvass, soak the polyester thread (V69, etc.) in PTFE based lubricant before your sew .... the thread will 'set' better, will pull tighter knots for a more even stitching ... and the needles holes will tend not to leak. Use the correct needle size for the thread you are using and use 'ball-point' needles. With a 'home' machine you usually must set the foot pressure of the home machine to is maximum .... or the foot will 'jump' when the needle withdraws and you will get 'lousy' stitching (use the lube on the thread as above); sometimes you can get a stronger foot spring from a sewing machine supply for a 'home' machine.

For $500 you can sometimes purchase a good industrial zig-zag sewing machine on ebay that would be suitable enough for 'canvas work'.
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post #6 of 11 Old 08-02-2007
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We had our dodger restitched with new glass a couple of times. usually $200 to $300. Finally got smart and bought a Sailrite machine for $600. A couple more restitchings and it's paid for itself. Machine is used every couple of years or so but it's worth it.

Rick I
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post #7 of 11 Old 08-02-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
We had our dodger restitched with new glass a couple of times. usually $200 to $300. Finally got smart and bought a Sailrite machine for $600. A couple more restitchings and it's paid for itself. Machine is used every couple of years or so but it's worth it.
Here is someone who used his/her head.
As a retired Boatswain's mate, I've done canvas work of various sorts while in the US Navy. And have taught my ex how to sew. Plus custom fitted uniforms (picked up some extra cash doing this) and made my own hunting parka along with repairing tents and made other canvas carryalls for the woods.
Now the Sailrite machine will pay for itself over the long run and you may endear more friends if you throw in a patch or two on their sails. And there are sail kits that you can assemble yourself, thus reducing the cost of some of the new sails you may need/want in the future.

And you could become a bikini fitter also.... That is if you SO lets you.
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post #8 of 11 Old 08-02-2007
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If you're really looking to save money...buy a heavy duty sewing machine and re-stitch your bimini and dodger, and get enough sunbrella to make new ones, using the old ones as a pattern.

Sailingdog

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post #9 of 11 Old 08-02-2007
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Ditto the recommendation on Goretex thread. Holds up to the sun wayyyy better.
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post #10 of 11 Old 08-02-2007 Thread Starter
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Thanks ya'll...

I guess I didn't mention that these days there doesn't seem to be enough time to do it ourselves, so we're resorting to paying the price...to my surprise it was more $$ than I expected.

A good friend even has a sailrite machine and offered to loan it to us...arh, but not enough time in the day I guess I should have planned better to do it last winter...gota prioritize better!

Great tip on the thread!

Cheers,
Shawn

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1982 Tartan 37C

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