32.5 Dufour Sailboat California Dodger and Bimini Top

325 Dufour Dodger and Bimini Top The Salty Dog Sailing Company reached out to Chicago Marine Canvas to fabricate a new custom sailboat dodger and bimini top for their 33ft 2005 Dufour 325 sailboat. Using a combination of marine grade quality products and state of the art technology, we were able to not only meet the customer’s expectations but exceed them. 

At Chicago Marine Canvas we offer a plethora of styles and colors. This meets everyone’s needs due to a variety of selections ranging from loud and vibrant tones to classic and timeless colors. For this project, we used an elegant Sunbrella canvas in Marine Blue on the dodger along with matching Sunbrella Marine Blue binding.

The dodger features a canvas top and five adjoining windows made out of a super durable Aqua-lite UV polycarbonate material designed for high-impact, made to withstand even the most extreme weather conditions, and offers a clear view while also providing protection from the sun’s UV rays. 

Not only does the dodger feature custom stainless steel side grab rails installed on the dodger top.  The dodger is also sewn with black Solarfix PTFE Thread. This type of heavy marine grade thread is backed with a limited lifetime guarantee. The leather reinforcement along rigging lines and the fastener less connection to the topside of the sailboat, allow for a user-friendly and hassle-free daily operation. This was achieved with the use of a PVC track and Keder insert. 

The bimini frame was bent from 1″ stainless steel and was designed with a small mast window, an essential component of all sailboat biminis. The use of heavy duty, marine grade Lenzip Zippers on both the dodger and bimini top will ensure smooth operation and are a testament that even the smallest components were carefully selected to provide a durable and long-lasting result. 

Lady M

Lady M

Embarking on a summer journey to Canada, the 65ft Navigator, Lady M, underwent a remarkable transformation with the help of Chicago Marine Canvas. Through innovative design and craftsmanship, a custom lower aft frame was fabricated, creating the illusion of a fiberglass hardtop. Complemented by the choice of fabrics, both inside and out, Lady M now boasts a seamless blend of style, functionality, and durability.

The Illusion of Fiberglass

Chicago Marine Canvas took Lady M’s aesthetic to new heights by crafting a custom bimini top spanning an impressive 16ft X 10ft. Constructed with 1 ¼-inch stainless steel tubing, this frame showcases the team’s expertise in combining structural integrity with visual appeal. By utilizing Serge Ferrari’s Stamoid Top fabric in white, and then black through the windows, an extraordinary illusion of a fiberglass hardtop is achieved, per the customer’s design choice.

Visual Harmony and Lengthened Appeal

Lady M’s custom canvas design makes clever use of color to enhance the vessel’s aesthetics. The black fabric seamlessly blends into the horizon, creating a sleek and uninterrupted profile. This choice allows the eyes to focus on the boat’s captivating features, highlighting its length and sophistication. Meanwhile, the white fabric blends harmoniously with the rest of the boat, elongating the vessel’s overall appearance and drawing the viewer’s gaze across its entirety.

Superior Comfort and Enduring Style

Chicago Marine Canvas didn’t stop at enhancing Lady M’s exterior allure.  Custom bridge and bow cushions made from Sunbrella Horizon in Capriccio White gave a touch of luxury to the vessel. These cushions not only provide unparalleled comfort but also demonstrate remarkable durability while still offering timeless elegance.

The Sunbrella Horizon Difference

Sunbrella Horizon fabric delivers exceptional performance and practicality, making it an ideal choice for Lady M’s interior cushions. The fabric’s resistance to mold and mildew ensures longevity, even in challenging marine environments. Additionally, its resistance to cold-cracking and UV fading guarantees that the cushions will remain vibrant and intact, withstanding the rigors of the summer sun. Furthermore, Sunbrella Horizon’s bleach-cleanable feature ensures easy maintenance, allowing for worry-free enjoyment of every adventure.

Lenzip Zippers and Solar Fix PTFE Thread

Lady M acknowledges the significance of dependable hardware and sewing techniques. This vessel is furnished with Lenzip zippers and Solar Fix PTFE thread, guaranteeing exceptional efficiency and durability. Lenzip zippers are accompanied by a restricted lifelong warranty, offering reassurance and dependability with each utilization. Coupled with Solar Fix PTFE thread, renowned for its robustness, UV resistance, and ability to withstand environmental harm, these elements guarantee the longevity of the boat’s canvas components.

Elegance and Functionality

Chicago Marine Canvas has truly elevated Lady M’s elegance and functionality with their custom canvas work. The creation of a custom lower aft frame, expertly designed to mimic a fiberglass hardtop, showcases their dedication to both form and function. The careful selection of fabrics, with the black and white combination, enhances the vessel’s aesthetic appeal, lengthening its profile and captivating the eye. Inside, the Sunbrella Horizon cushions provide unbeatable comfort, resilience, and easy maintenance. Look out for Lady M as she embarks on her voyage to Canada for the summer and then to the Caribbean in the fall!

Dodger, Bimini and Frame Adjustment

Our team recently undertook an exciting project to update the dodger on a Jeanneau Yacht, customized to meet the specific needs of our valued customer. Dodgers are undoubtedly a perfect addition to any boat, much like bimini tops, providing protection and enhancing the overall boating experience. In this case, we focused on increasing the height of the dodger to ensure optimal functionality and comfort for the customer.

One of the notable features of this updated dodger is its windows, which are crafted from a polycarbonate semi-rigid material. This choice offers several advantages, including exceptional clarity that allows for unobstructed views of the surrounding environment. Furthermore, the material’s impressive durability guarantees that it will withstand the challenges of marine environments, while also providing effective rain protection. With this dodger in place, the customer can confidently enjoy their time on the yacht, even in adverse weather conditions

In addition to the top-notch materials used for the windows, we pride ourselves on the quality of the entire dodger construction. The thread and fabric utilized in most of our projects are of the highest caliber, ensuring longevity and strength. 

We encourage you to visit Montrose Harbor to see the impressive results of this dodger update. You’ll find this project to be a testament to our expertise and dedication to meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations.

Winter Sailboat Cover – Cal 25 Sagatuck, MI

Winter Sail Boat Cover
Winter Sailboat Cover

The owner of this Cal 25 contacted us to have a winter sailboat cover made for their boat which was being moved to Sagatuck, MI.  The winters on the great lakes can be cold and snow fall totals can be in excess of 12″ per event.   Instead of draping canvas over the boom and the rest of the hull we fabricated a heavy galvanized steel frame that would sit over all of the rigging and then rest outside of the lifelines.   This would ultimately keep the cover off the Cal 25 sailboat itself but also allowed over 6′ of headroom underneath the cover to perform any maintenance or prep work before next season began.

Galvanized Steel Skeleton Frame

The frame itself acts as a skeleton on top of the boat with a spine and then ribs supporting the winter sailboat cover.   For practical purposes of installing and removing, the spine is broken into multiple pieces and joined.   Each rib is fitted to spine with a through joint tightened down via screws.   The equally spread out weight of the frame assists in stabilizing itself making it an extremely solid support structure.  With rubber tips at the bottom of each rib the hull is protected from scratching.

The cover is split into a large forward and aft section adjoining together with a doubled up zipper and velcro flap.  With the mast remaining up, we made small collars for each line, nine collars in total.   The aft has an oversized access door that fully zippers down allowing large items to be moved in and out with the cover in place.

The beauty of our designs is the ease and quickness that the frame and cover can be installed.   The frame is marked as to which pieces goes where and can be reconstructed in 30 minutes.   The cover is then unfolded with all of the zippers securing around the mainstay lines.   The collars to take time to zipper up and tie off but the install of the canvas should take another 1 hour.   The bottom of the cover has connectors for lines made of webbing and not grommets which can scratch up the hull.   It may take another 30 minutes to completely tie down the cover to the sailboat’s cradle.   The goals is to have an easy to install / removed winter cover that be installed by 1 person in an afternoon.


Sailboat: Dodger, Helm Cover, Winch Covers, Sail Cover

Custom Sailboat Dodger, Sail Cover, Helm Cover, Winch CoversFor this sailboat we created a custom dodger, helm cover, winch covers and sail cover.

Here at Chicago Marine Canvas, everything we do is custom. We use many cost-effective, labor-saving tools that help us speed up the process, therefore you save some money. This also helps us make sure that your cover will fit perfectly when it comes to install time!

The first thing we do to begin our process is journey out to your boat. Once we get Custom Sailboat Dodger, Sail Cover, Helm Cover, Winch Coversthere we use our 3D measuring device to take precise pinpoint measurements. After we gather all of those, we head back to our shop where our designer gets to work. We use CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) Software during our design process. On the computer we can see the thing we can see the design in 3D.Custom Sailboat Dodger, Sail Cover, Helm Cover, Winch Covers

Making sure everything matched in color, we used Sunbrella fabric in the color toast. Sunbrella is one of our favorite marine fabrics to use when it comes to canvas, it comes with 10 year warranty. For all the things we sewed up for this job, we used  SolarFix thread in clear, which has a lifetime guarantee. This means, no more restitching after your new canvas has been out in the sun for a few years! This thread will outlast the canvas it self!

We made sure to add leather reinforcement patches on the forward and aft areas of the dodger where Custom Sailboat Dodger, Sail Cover, Helm Cover, Winch Coversthere would be high amounts of friction on the sailboat. For the windows of this dodger we used Strataglass. Strataglass is the only vinyl on the market that offers a 2 year warranty if it is properly maintained and cleaned.

For this sailboat we also made matching winch covers out of sunbrella fabric as well as a matching helm cover!

Dodger Window Replacement

Dodger Window Replacement By Chicago Marine CanvasOne of the services we offer here at Chicago Marine Canvas is window replacements. If your windows have yellowed, fogged up, cracked, shrunk, or expanded over time, replacing the glass can fix those issues. This sale boat owner contacted us about foggy, yellowed windows that he needed replaced. One of the first things we do before doing a window replacement is assess the quality level of the canvas. “How many years does it have left? What is your budget?” We have different qualities of glass that we recommend for different quality of canvas. This dodger was in great shape, so we recommended that the customer use a high quality glass that will last as long as their dodger.

Before Image of Dodger Window Replacement By Chicago Marine Canvas
Before image of dodger in desperate need of a window replacement!

For window replacements we usually take the window panel, or dodger in this case, back to the shop and carefully cut out the glass. Then we go back to the boat and snap it back on the boat. After it’s all snapped on, without the old windows, we use one of our labor-saving, cost-effective tools, our 3D measuring device and take measurements of your windows. Once we gather all of our needed measurements, we take off the dodger, and head back to the shop with it. Then our designer gets to work and designs the new windows using CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software, so we can make sure everything looks right. Then we send the designs of the new windows over to our plotter. Our plotter is another one of our labor-saving, cost-effective tools we use here at Chicago Marine Canvas. It quickly draws out whatever we design on the computer perfectly, saving us time and you money at the end of the day! After that, our seamstress cuts out the new windows and gets to work!

Dodger Window Replacement by Chicago Marine CanvasFor these windows we use Strataglass. Strataglass is one of our favorite products when it comes to glass for canvas that is brand new, or in great shape, like this dodger was. It’s the only glass on the market that offers a 2 year warranty! With proper care these windows will outlast its warranty, just make sure that you rinse them with water after you go out on the water, or after your boat has been on the dock to help extend the life of your new windows. Be sure to remove any sunscreen, harmful liquids, or sprays that may accidentally get on the surface.

If your dodger, or enclosure is in need of a window replacement give us a call today! Chicago Marine Canvas is open all year long, ensuring our customers that their boat will be ready to go once the next season begins!

Cruisers Rogue 3175

This Cruisers Rogue 3175 was in need of a new bimini. Biminis are great for keeping you out of the sun when you are out on the water, they even keep you dry if you get caught out in a storm.

Cruisers Rogue 3175 Bimini By Chicago Marine CanvasAll of our covers,  biminis, enclosures, and upholstery work is custom made. We work this way because each boat has different framing which means each boat is different and we want your new canvas to fit like a glove!

Here at Chicago Marine Canvas we use a bunch of labor-saving, cost-effective tools. The first step of our process involves us going to to your boat and taking measurements with our 3D measuring device. Using this tool speeds up our measuring process so we have more time to work on your custom design!

After we gather all the measurements, we go back to the shop and upload them to the computer. We do all of our design work using CAD (Computer-Aided-Design) software, that way we can make all the proper adjustments a head of time, as well as see visually how the design is going to turn out.

Once we finalize the design, we send over all the pieces of your new cover to our plotter. Our plotter draws out all of the pieces of your cover. This is another one of our labor-saving, cost-effective tools. With our plotter we can quickly draw out new designs in minutes rather then hours. This saves us time and you money in the end. After our plotter is finished, our seamstress cuts everything out, and begins the sewing process.

For this bimini we used Sunbrella fabric in black. We love using Sunbrella fabric! It is fade resistant and has a 10 year warranty! To sew everything up we  used GORE Tenara thread in black. GORE Tenara thread has a lifetime warranty! That means you can say good-bye to restitching and repairs! This thread doesn’t get eaten by the sun, water, or exposure to other outside elements. We used Lenzip zippers for this bimini. Lenzip also has a lifetime guarantee on zippers. No more zipper teeth breaking, no more zippers loosing their zip! We finished off this bimini with Sunbrella black binding to make sure theres no fraying of any canvas, that way it lasts!


70′ Hatteras

70' Hatteras Bimini By Chicago Marine CanvasVisiting Chicago from Florida for the summer. This 70′ Hatteras lost its bimini somewhere from Traverse City to Chicago.  We got to create a custom bimini for this boat to help bring the shade back into these boaters lives!

Our first step when we get a job is going on site to take measurements. We bring our 3d measuring device which is labor-saving and cost-effective. It saves us time measuring which saves you money at the end of the day on your new custom cover. After we gather all of our measurements we need and take lots of detailed photos we head back to the shop. We do all of our design work on the computer so we can physically see what we are creating, as well as be super accurate. This helps save us trips when we go to fit the new cover onto your boat. After we do all the design work we then bring it over to our plotter. This is another one of our tools that is labor-saving. 70' Hatteras Bimini By Chicago Marine CanvasInstead of us hand drawing out all of our designs, our plotter does it for us, quickly and efficiently. Then we hand all of our plotted fabric over to our seamstress, who cuts everything out and then starts the fabrication process.

For this 70′ Hatteras bimini cover we used Stamoid fabric in white. Stamoid is UV, water, and fold resistant. It’s very easy to clean with just water! Check out this video to see Stamoids performance testing videos! To sew this up we used GORE tenara thread in clear. GORE tenara UV, saltwater, chemical, and extreme weather resistant. It is backed by a lifetime guarantee. We used lenzip zippers which also have a lifetime guarantee.

We installed this cover on the day the Cubs won the world series! Go Cubs GO!

31st Harbor Shade Sails

31st Harbor Shade SailsCustom shade sails are a great way to keep you cool all summer. At the 31st Harbor in Chicago we replaced their old shade sails and made some brand new ones.

We start off every project by going on site to do custom measurements with our 3d measuring device. This tool is great because it saves us time, which at the end of the day saves you money. It is quicker and more efficient then doing measurements by hand, especially on a project this size that could have possibly taken hours to measure due to the wind speeds and how high we would have had to have gone to measure at the tops of these structures. After we got our measurements, we head back to the shop to do some design work on the computer. Once we got the designs all figured out we started plotting them out with our plotter!

We fabricated these out of Polyfab, which is a commonly used shade sail material. Their line called Comtex is perfect for medium residential projects as well as large scale commercial ones. It is a high strength fabric that can reduce 90% of UV rays. Comtex is made from virgin resins and has one of the best UV stabilizers that are both lead and heavy metal free.

We also used GORE tenara thread, which has a life time guarantee. This means that the thread we used will outlast the fabric itself. It doesn’t get effected by the elements like other threads.

Along with the GORE tenara we used Polyfab’s shade sail 2″ edge webbing all around the edges of the shade sails. This is a polyester webbing that has a breaking strength of 4,700 pound force.

31st Street Harbor Shade SailsPolyfab Comtex has a 10 year limited warranty. This means if your shade sail is installed properly it should last you ten years. The care for this product requires a mild dish soap and a low pressure water hose. Using any other kind of chemicals on this product can deteriorate the UV stabilizers as well as the fabric itself, this will void it’s warranty.





Twin Helm & Bridge Table Cover

Twin Helm And Bridge Table CoverFor this sailboat we created twin helm covers and a custom slip cover for their bridge table.

We start of all of our jobs by going onsite to take measurements. We use our special 3d measuring device, which is easy and efficient. This process alone saves us time and you money at the end of the day. After we get our measurements we head back to the shop to begin our design process on the computer. All of our custom covers are designed using CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software. This makes things super easy for us, allowing us to see the design before we sew it all up, that way we can ensure that all of your needs are met and there are no design flaws on our end. After we finish up designing everything, we go to our plotter and draw out all the pattern pieces for our seamstress to sew up. Out plotter is another one of our labor-saving, cost-effective tools. It draws out our design perfectly on the fabric so that everything fits just as it should. After everything is drawn out, our seamstress cuts out all the pieces and gets to work!

Twin Helm And Bridge Table Cover

For these covers we used Charcoal Sunbrella fabric. Sunbrella comes with a 10 year warranty and is fade resistant!!! To sew everything together we used GORE tenara thread. GORE tenara thread is a great thread to use on your new canvas, because it has a lifetime guarantee. It is chemical resistant, UV resistant, salt water resistant and extreme weather resistant.  and Lenzip zippers. For our zippers we use Lenzip. These also come with a lifetime guarantee!

We did a hidden zipper on these to help make them look nice, clean and modern. It also prevents water leakage making sure that everything stays nice and dry.