At the end of last season, a few storms ripped across the North East River, causing one boat to sink (see my story on Solidaire), at least one or two more in danger of sinking, and my bimini top being torn off it’s frame, collapsing onto the floor of my cockpit.
There wasn’t much to salvage. All the zippers were broken, the middle support completely ripped out, nothing but a few strands holding everything together. I thought, “Well, here we go, another Six or Seven hundred dollars into the hole in the water boats can sometimes be.
I scoured the internet, getting a few quotes from different places, all of them hovering around the Nine Hundred dollar mark. My bimini, as it turns out, is a pretty odd size, with a few non-standard features, all adding to the price of a new one.
I put things off for a few weeks and before long found myself tooling around the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis at the beginning of October. There I came across a few different canvas places, but one stuck in my memory, Indycanvas.com. They had handed me a postcard good for Fifteen percent off any orders placed at the show. Towards the end of the show I went back and asked if I could still get the discount if I sent them the specifications of my bimini and received a quote within the next few days. They said sure, not a problem.
The following week, I sent them the dimensions of my old bimini and got a quote for a brand new replacement. Including my discount, they were easily half of what the other quotes I got from various other places. I got back to them and asked if I could place my order in the first quarter of 2011 and still receive the quoted price. They said sure, and we were in business.
Round about March of 2011, I packed up the old bimini and sent it along with my order, so they could match everything up just right. Now aside from some clunkiness in the online system they use to track customers and orders and a few frantic emails to make sure all was well on the payment side of things, everything worked out great.
By the beginning of June I had my new bimini in hand, and it’s perfect! It would have been done sooner, for those of you who think that three months is too long, but the aforementioned clunks in the system, and my lack of following up, actually delayed the start of things by a good few weeks. So if you go to indycanvas.com for your canvas needs, just be thorough in your following up on things, and you should be good to go.
I give Indycanvas.com four out of five stars, and when it comes time for a dodger, you know who I’ll be calling!