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.





Sea Ray Full Enclosure

Sea Ray 460 Full Enclosure

This winter we did a full enclosure for this Sea Ray 460 at Chicago Yacht Works.

We love doing jobs like this during the winter because we can really take our time to make sure that everything is perfect for when the boat hits the water in the summer!

When we do custom enclosures we always save you some time and money by using our 3d measuring device to take measurements of your boat. Then we custom design your new cover to tailor to your boats specifications. Here at Chicago Marine Canvas we want your new cover to fit like a glove! We also want to help you keep your boat dry along with it looking nice and modern!

For this Sea Ray we used Sunbrella fabric in marine blue along with GORE tenara thread in black. For all of our enclosure we suggest that you use GORE tenara thread because it has a lifetime guarantee. That means that your thread will outlast your canvas. This also means that Sea Ray 460 Full Enclosureyour seams won’t need repairs the whole time you have this canvas. GORE tenara won’t get eaten by the sun or other elements, which is why we encourage our customers allow us to fabricate their new cover with this high quality thread! Say good-bye to repairs and hello to high quality!

For the forward windows of this Sea Ray we used makrolon which is a semi-rigid polycarbonate. This material is great because it looks as if the windows are extensions of the actual boat windshield. Since it is a semi-rigid material there is no window stretching or contracting due to temperature changes in between seasons.Sea Ray 460 Full Enclosure

For the aft windows we used strataglass. As of September 1,strataglass is the only vinyl on the market that has a two year warranty. For all these panels to stay together we used Lenzip zippers in black which have a lifetime guarantee.



U-Shaped Rooftop Couch

Custom Cover For U-Shaped Rooftop Couch; UnzippedHere in the city a lot of buildings have recreational areas on their rooftops. Some of them have permeant furniture that stay up all year round, rain, sleet, or snow. Its important to protect your outdoor furniture from the sun and other elements to help them last longer.

These customers had a u-shaped couch that needed to be protected all year round. So we went on site on site to where the couch is located. Once we get out there we get out or handy 3d measuring device. This thing is so easy and efficient to use that it ends up saving us time and you money at the end of the day. After we get our measurements and take some photos of the area, we head back to the shop and start the design process. When designing this cover we made sure that water and snow could run off of it by making sure that there was a nice tight 45 degree angle from the back of the couch down to the front area. After we finish up the custom design, we plot out all of the pattern onto the fabric and let our seamstress get to work!

Custom Cover For U-Shaped Rooftop Couch; ZippedWe used Sunbrella fabric in black to create this cover along with Sunstop polyester thread in black. Sunbrella is fade resistant and has a 10 year warranty!

In each corner of this cover we put a chain zipper for easy on and off access. If they want to access a part of the couch they can leave the other parts covered, and it also helps it get on a little easier!

Around the edges we added 2″ black webbing for extra reenforcement so we could securely attach the cover to the couch. That way when the great winds of the windy city come, this cover is safe and securely attached, making sure that this couch will be dry through all the seasons!


Wellcraft St. Tropez

32' Wellcraft St. Tropez Cockpit CoverAfter we fabricated a new cover for this customers neighbor, he called us wanting a new cover as well. This 32′ 1988 Wellcraft St. Tropez needed a new cockpit cover to keep its interior dry!

We do each cover we create custom, which requires us to go out to each boat. We do this because each boat is set up slightly different. Whether it be a minor adjustment to framing or the overall set up of the boat. That way your cover fits your boat like a glove! Our first step is to take 3d measurements of the boat quickly and efficiently. Our 3d measuring device is cost-effective and labor saving, which means it saves us time and you money! After we take measurements we head back to the shop to do design work on the computer making sure that our designer meets all your boating needs when it comes to your new cover. After we finish the design work, we head over to our plotter which is another cost-effective, labor saving tool we have here at Chicago Marine Canvas. After it’s all drawn out, we give everything over to our seamstress and she sews it up.

For this cockpit cover we used Sunbrella fabric in the color dubonnet tweed along with Sunguard polyester thread in black.

We did cut outs for this boats poles that had custom cuffs and velcro flaps to ensure security of the cover onto the boat, as well as preventing water from getting into where the poles are on this boat.

32' Wellcraft St. Tropez Cockpit Cover

We used a boat vent II to ensure airflow so that no mildew or must get stuck inside the boat if the inside ever gets wet!

We also put 2″ black webbing all around the bottom edge of this boat to to reenforce where we placed each one of the snaps. For snaps we used DOT fasteners in burgundy to blend into the cover.

Roll Up Window Replacements

A customer came to us with  a roll up window replacement because their windows were yellowing. This can happen over the years, from sun and weather, or even from boat cleaner chemicals getting on the glass.
To replace these windows we used strataglass, sunbrella binding, and lenzip’s waterproof chain zipper.

Our process to do this is to first take measurements of the windows using our 3D measuring device while the old glass is inside the windows still. We could do it this way because the customer said the windows still fit perfectly, they weren’t too big or small when he put them on his boat recently.

After we take the measurements we do the design work on the computer using CAD software. Then we draw out the new windows using our plotting device so they are exactly what we need.

Then we cut out the old windows, removing all the old discolored glass. After that we put down seamstick which is a double sided tape that helps keep all of our sewing holes a little more waterproof. Over time, dirt and outside debris will get in there and stick to the tape, creating a blockage in the needle hole. We put this all along the outside edge of the glass.

Then we put that aside, and we do the roll up window. First we put down the water proof zipper, also using seamstick. After the zipper is down, we put binding we’ve sew up on the front and back of the window, so it looks nice and clean. After that, we sew down the zipper, then we place the new window into the old canvas, and sew it down.





Chicago Marine Canvas Wins 2017 Award of Excellence

 Chicago Marine Canvas wins 2017 Award of Excellence

(Jacksonville, Fla. – Jan. 21, 2017) –  Chicago Marine Canvas was recognized with the 2017 Fabrication Excellence Awards for design excellence in marine fabric applications, that took place Jan. 21 at the 2017 Marine Fabricators Conference, at the Jacksonville Marriott Suites in Jacksonville, Fla.

Chicago Marine Canvas received an Award of Excellence for its Blarney Island – Keeping the Customers Warm project. The project was recognized in the competition’s Powerboat – Rigid Enclosures category.

MFA received a total of 82 entries submitted in 9 categories in this year’s competition. Winners were selected based on complexity, design, workmanship, uniqueness and function. Judges were certified Master Fabric Craftsman professionals who were chosen for their knowledge in a particular product area.

All entries receive prominent recognition at the Marine Fabricators Conference. Entrants receive additional publicity through coverage in the Marine Fabricator and winners not only receive additional coverage in the Marine Fabricator but also on the MFA website and in future MFA marketing material.

The goal of the awards is to promote awareness of the marine fabrics used in marine products and applications ranging in size and type.

The Fabrication Excellence Awards is a competition sponsored by MFA, a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, a not-for-profit trade association whose over 1,500 member companies represent the international specialty fabrics and technical textiles marketplace.


Overstock Fabric

We have a large supply of overstock fabric on hand that we want to open to the public to buy. Need some upholstery fabric? We have so much of it! Need some waterproof/out door fabric? We have a ton of that too! So come on over to our shop, and take a look! Below is a list, so you have an idea of what we have, but seeing the fabric and feeling it will really help you get a better idea of what we have!

Chicago Marine Canvas
1907 N. Mendel St. Suite 112
Chicago, IL. 60642

Overstock Fabric

Bay 2 : Aqualon : Grey : 10-30Yards

Bay 2 : Aqualon : Brown : 10-30 Yards

Bay 2: Aqualon : Cream : 10-30 Yards

Bay 2 : Aqualon : Black : 10-30 Yards

Bay 2 : Aqualon : Navy : 10-30 Yards

Bay 2 : Aqualon : Navy : 10-30 Yards

Bay 3 :  Unknown : Blue Basket Weave : 10-30 Yards

Bay 3 : Unknown : Yellow/Green Pattern : >10 Yards

Bay 3 : Unknown : Checkered Light Grey : 10-30 Yards

Bay 3 : Unknown : Pink/Brown : <30 Yards

Bay 3 :  Unknown : Red/White/Blue Stripes : 10-30 Yards

Bay 3 : Aqualon :  Burgondy : <30 Yards

Bay 3 : Unknown : Brown/Blue/White/Black Plaid : 10-30 Yards

Bay 3 :  Unknown : Blue With Colored Dots : 10-30 Yards

Bay 3 : Unknown : White/Blue Stripes : 10-30 Yards

Bay 3 : Unknown : Burgundy Honey Comb Weave : 10-30 Yards

Bay 3: Unknown : Blue Suede : 10-30 Yards

Bay 3 : Unknown :  Brown Stripes : >10 Yards

Bay 3 : Unknown : Brown Pattern : >10 Yards

Bay 3 : Unknown : Purple Pattern : >10 Yards

Bay 3 : Sunbrella : Orange : 10-30 Yards

Bay 5 : Aqualon : Charcoal : 10-30 Yards

Bay 5 : Aqualon : Mountain Rock : 10-30 Yards

Bay 5 : Aqualon : Ivory : 10-30 Yards

Bay 5 : Aqualon : Black : 10-30 Yards

Bay 5 : Aqualon : Blue : 10-30 Yards

 Bay 5 : Aqualon : Smoke/Neutral Rubber/ 10-30 Yards

Bay 5 : Unknown: Burgondy : 10-30 Yards

Bay 5 : Aqualon : Dark Charcoal : 10-30 Yards

Bay 5 : Unknown : Black : <30 Yards

Bay 5 : Unknown : Gold : >10 Yards

Bay 6 : Ship2Shore Armada : Lemon Chiffon : >10 Yards

Bay 6 : Unknown Upholstery : Ivory : >10 Yards

Bay 6 : Unknown Upholstery :  Black/Red : 10-30 Yards

Bay 6 :  Unknown Upholstery : Burgundy : 10-30 Yards

Bay 6 : Unknown Upholstery : Bright Blue : 10-30 Yards

Bay 6 : Unknown Upholstery : Cream : 10-30 Yards

Bay 6 : Unknown Upholstery : White Pleated : 10-30 Yards

Bay 6 : Unknown Upholstery : White Pleather/Light Blue Backing : 10-30 Yards

Bay 6 : Unknown Upholstery : White : <30 Yards

Bay 6 : Unknown Upholstery : Blue : <30 Yards

Bay 6 : Unknown Upholstery : White : <30 Yards

Bay 6 : Unknown Upholstery : Cream : <30 Yards

Bay 7 : Unknown Upholstery : White/Black Stripe : <30 Yards

Bay 7 : Unknown Upholstery : Brown : 10-30 Yards

Bay 7 : Unknown Upholstery : Green : 10-30 Yards

Bay 7 : Unknown Upholstery : Teal : 10-30 Yards

Bay 7 : Unknown Upholstery : Navy : <30 Yards

Bay 7 : Unknown Upholstery : White : <30 Yards

Bay 7 : Unknown Upholstery : Cream : <30 Yards

Bay 7 : Unknown Upholstery : Red : 10-30 Yards

Bay 7 : Unknown Upholstery : Grey : 10-30 Yards

Bay 7 : Unknown Upholstery : Dark Grey : 10-30 Yards

Bay 7: Unknown Upholstery : White Textured : 10-30 Yards

Navigation Console Cover

img_20160802_085850949_hdrNeed a custom cover for your navigation console? Were the people to come to. Using our 3D measuring device, we can assure to fit all your boats needs.


We created this custom cover out of Black Sunbrella fabric. Using DOT snaps, it snaps right onto the console itself making sure the wind wont take it away, and your navigation area will stay dry!

Dinghy Cover

img_20160623_133837972This Dinghy needed a cover to help prevent water from getting into it when it wasn’t being used.

For this cover we had to keep in mind while designing it, that the only part of the boat that we could put snaps on would be the Aft part of the boat on theimg_20160623_134018202 fiber glass, the other parts would need some sort of strap to hold the front and sides down.

img_20160623_133910944_hdrUsing GORE Tenara thread, which has a life time guarantee, Cadet Grey Sunbrella fabric, and Velcro we got to work.

img_20160623_134121796_hdrWe made port and star straps to hold the cover down on the side, and Grey DOT snaps. For this cover, Velcro was the way to go!





Strataglass Vs. Eisenglass

When deciding on a new boat cover there are many options to choose from. Some are easier than others but one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is the type of Eisenglass (also commonly spelled as isinglass or isenglass) for your  boats windows.


Strataglass (left) and Clear Vinyl (right) aged 10 year on the same boat

Cost is a factor for everything but visibility and lifespan also have a role in this type of marine product.

Eisenglass Marine Products come in four primary categories:

  • Clear Vinyl on a roll – the least expensive option that offers limited visibility.
  • Polished Vinyl Sheets – great economical option that have good visibily within their 5-7 year lifespan.
  • Strataglass and O’Sea- premium vinyl sheets that offer 10+ year of usage.
  • Lexan and Makrolon – semi-rigid products seen on larger yachts with hard enclosures.

Most boaters narrow their decision down to a brand such as Strataglass vs Eisenglass (aka Clear Vinyl Sheets).   Clear Vinyl Sheets are by far the most popular and can be found on the majority of boats in any harbor.   Strataglass is a big step up in price but you get an excellent product with a much longer life.

This decision though can’t be made on it’s own.   You wouldn’t put a turbocharger in Buick would you?   The same goes with choosing the right isinglass.   As discussed before, these two product has a different lifespan and so do other product that go into the construction of your boat cover.   Thread is one of these factors.   Standard polyester thread has a 5 year lifespan which is similar to clear vinyl sheets.   Gore Tenara thread is more expensive but is guaranteed for life and more suited to be used with Strataglass.   Other finishing factors such as using Facing to cover transition area and Xtreme Seal instead of Webbing also go hand in hand in deciding what type of isinglass to choose.    It’s essentially standard vs. premium.

Both Strataglass and Clear Vinyl Sheets are great products serving different needs.   If you have the means for a premium custom boat cover and plan on enjoying your boat beyond the 5-7 year lifespan Clear Vinyl Sheets provides then Strataglass sounds like a great solution.  Keep in mind that Clear Vinyl Sheets can be replaced too especially if your canvas is in good condition.

And a parting tip for those who have read the whole article……. Suntan lotion may protect you from UV rays but it kills clear vinyl and Strataglass!   It will result in a hazy look if not removed immediately.   So be sure not to let your guests bring any spray suntan lotion or bananas too!

Happy Boating!


Sailrite Window Material Buying Guide
Strataglass Care and Maintenance
IMAR Clear Vinyl Cleaning Products