HOURS: M-F 8-4:30 Sat. by appointment Address: 65 Whites Path, South Yarmouth , MA 02664 Phone: 508.255.5666

Our Work: Retractable Awnings

Our Work: Outdoor Curtains for Outdoor Living

Don't lose time on the water! Use your boat while we craft your new canvas or cushions.


Jump to Retractable Awning Frequently Asked Questions

Marine Canvas & Cushions Frequently Asked Questions

What fabric should I choose for my boat canvas?

There are many fabrics to choose from. We can advise you of the best fabric for your application. Fabric we often use are Sunbrella, Stamoid, Top Gun...

Things to consider:

  • Waterproof vs. water repellant
  • UV resistance
  • Abrasion resistance
  • Clean ability

What thread should I use?

We always use a UV and rot resistant thread. However, for the BEST quality thread ask for a PTFE thread. This is sold under different names such as Tenara or Solarfix. This thread carries a great warranty for the life of the fabric.

How can I find a fabric I will love?

Ocean Tailors has hundreds of in-house designer fabrics including UV, water resistant or fire retardant fabrics.

We can also order fabric samples and offer fabric research services which can include meeting with you at the Boston Design Center.

To view and search through a sampling of these fabrics, please visit our fabrics page.

What type of foam should I use?

There are a few types of foam we commonly use.

Polyurethane foam:
Used for interior cushions and mattresses. Available in all thicknesses. The foam is fire rated. We use a high quality foam of 2.5 or 2.6 density with a choice of soft, medium, firm or extra firm compression.

Open Cell Foam:
Used for exterior cushions or cushion that will get wet.
This foam dries almost immediately due to the large open pores that allow water drainage and air circulation. Air circulation is key in preventing mildew and odor.
There are 2 qualities. They are both good, but one has been formulated for long term exposure to the sun and weather, and is resistant to most chemicals. It also has a fungicidal additive which is important for retarding stains and odors (which is a good quality to have in a cushion).
Available in all thicknesses.
Available in soft, medium, firm and extra firm compressions.

Closed cell foam:
Absorbs very little water. Floats. Available in ¼” – 2” thick.
Available in hard and harder (not very comfortable… we rarely sell it).

Latex foam:
Latex is very comfortable and has great qualities for a boat mattress. Independent testing has shown Talatech Latex Foam to contain no harmful substances, is hypo-allergenic, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal. It is heavy and at a higher price point than the other foams but is an excellent choice.

Memory Foam:
Typically used as a 3” mattress topper.
Not for outdoor use or use in moist environments.
Sensus 5lb. or Visco 3lb.
Very comfortable. Conforms to your body.

Can you copy my old canvas?

Patterning ensures that your new canvas will fit properly and snugly. This cannot be achieved by using old, stretched and weathered fabric for a template. Here at Ocean Tailors we always work from our own new template. We are certain you will be quite happy with the end result. Any type of boat canvas that is tensioned or needs to match up to existing canvas must be patterned. Some boat canvas such as a sail covers can sometimes be copied.

How do I clean and maintain my boat canvas and clear vinyl windows?

It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended cleaning and care instructions to protect your investment. Please refer to our care and cleaning page.

What is the process for new custom canvas or cushions?

  1. Estimate
  2. Order is received along with a 50% deposit
  3. Template (onboard)
  4. Cut, sew, fabricate (in shop)
  5. Install (onboard)

Will it interrupt the use of my boat?

You will not lose use of your boat. We stay in touch with you as to the location of your boat and your schedule so as to minimize any inconvenience. On rare occasions (depending upon the size of the job) we will be more of a presence on your boat.

Retractable Awning Frequently Asked Questions

How do I remove my valance?

Depending upon which model you have you will need a screwdriver and a set of metric allen wrenches. Loosen the end cap screw and the end cap lock underneath, and then gently pry the end cap off of on one end of the front bar.

Loosen the screws on each end of the valance (also called fabric locks). Slide the valance out. Replace end cap.

Why won't my awning won’t respond to the remote control?

Is the red light operating on the remote? If not, a new battery might be needed or may be loose. The battery is the size of a quarter. 3V Lithium Renata CR 2430. This battery may last 18 months - 4 years.

Usually this is a lack of power issue. Check to be sure the awning is powered.

  1. If the awning is plugged into an exterior outlet please make sure someone has not unplugged it. If the awning is plugged into exterior outlet but the awning is not responding, try unplugging the awning and plugging a lamp into this outlet to test the outlet. Does the lamp work?
  2. If the awning has been hardwired and on a switch, make sure the switch is on. Check to be sure the circuit breaker has not tripped. If your awning shares a circuit with a GFI check to be sure a GFI has not been tripped.

If your awning is extended and you can’t retract it using the motor, use the hand crank. We do not recommend leaving it extended in inclement weather including rain.

Should I take my retractable awning down for the winter?

Retractable awnings are designed to be self-storing. Therefore, we do not find it necessary to remove your awning for the winter. We definitely do not recommend removing the frame. We sell our retractable awnings with a metal hood which helps to protect the fabric from dirt and sun. The fabric itself is a 100% solution dyed acrylic outdoor fabric which is designed for outdoor use.

Is annual maintenance necessary?

Although our retractable awnings are virtually maintenance free, we do live on Cape Cod which is a salty environment.

Please view our care suggestions here or take advantage of our annual maintenance service.

Can I clean or replace my fabric?

Most awnings are made with a 100% solution dyed acrylic fabric such as Sunbrella. Please refer to our care and cleaning page.

We can replace your fabric or flip the fabric so that the front soiled edge of fabric will wrap around the roller tube against the house and won’t be noticed.


We are proud to offer our customers the full line of sunbrella® brand fabrics.

Cape Cod Marine Trade Association Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce IFAI NECPA Stamoid Marine Strataglass