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.




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.





Ocean Tailors | 508.255.5666 | 65 Whites Path, South Yarmouth, MA 02664
Proudly serving Cape Cod, the South Coast and the South Shore of Massachusetts 
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