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Personalize boat upholstery: A modern yet challenging approach

custom boat covers

Who would have thought custom boat upholstery as a career option? Certainly not many people in the world. People plan for different career approaches. Have you heard someone telling that they want to make boat covers in the future? But we certainly have heard a man making boat covers as a career. The name is Steve Griffith. He doesn’t come in the list of rich people around the world. He is an ordinary man, living a comfortable and satisfying life with the shop he opened in 1990 at Madison, named Marine Tops Unlimited.

Steve Griffith Story

According to him, making custom boat covers is not actually a very wealthy job to do but he does it anyway for living. He is a creative minded man that seeks creative results and wants to work by his own hands. He said that his mom taught him basic sew and later he learned it from his high school. These kinds of people are rare who are so passionate and willing.

But is it all true that making boat covers is a niche industry and hardly anyone is interested in making this as their career? We definitely have seen people knocking the doors of best tattoo artists to learn the skill. But nobody has seen anyone jumping over the opportunity to learn how to make custom boat cushions.

Working hard for this career

It wasn’t easy for Griffith to become a boat upholstery creator. After being graduated from his high school, he got involved with the Mad-City Ski team and due to which he got into contact with a tournament boat manufacturer in Fort Wayne, which was distant from his home so he commuted from Madison for five years or more.

He was a hardworking man and did a nice job while building the boats for his living. He also described that he used to do everything from taking orders to executing them to laying the fiberglass to rigging the motors and all other stuff related to making and installing boat covers.

After some years when that company was bought, Griffith’s job became mainly to sell. A part of his job was to set up shops at boat displays in the area, including one shop at the green bay.

Turning point

In the green bay, the neighboring booth every year used to be taken by Marine Tops Unlimited. Once the owner of Marine Tops approached Griffith and asked him that if you would like to sell boat covers while he would sell other boat equipment. He agreed and then they discussed the pricing schedules and the owner gave him the basic guides about the work.


His Accomplishment/ Praises by Others

That minor step brought a huge change in his life. He further told that the boat market proved to be lucky for him than just selling boat covers. And then later, he opened Marine Tops Madison.

Now Marine Tops Madison is one of the three companies that make custom boat covers and other boat related equipment.

  • A former Gallagher employee, Kris Stone, who also opened Kris’ Custom Sewing said that she was unaware of how many boats related stuff was sewed. She was also surprised to see how crazy boat interior was and how different every boat is and how many works was there to be done on a single boat.
  • Henrikson, the sales manager at Skipper Bud’s in Madison observed and loved Griffith work. He was so excited after seeing the work that he hired Griffith for some work on his own boat. Henrikson said that in his experienced eye, he has never seen such remarkable boat cover maker, and he also called Griffith work as ‘Quality work’.

Persuading people to show interest

The big challenge for boat cover designers is to persuade the customers to pay a little extra for a boat cover designed specifically for just their customer’s boat. Boat upholstery designer works hard on making the perfect cover for your boat. Boat covers are not cheap not at all. Definitely not the customized ones. The traditional covers for the boat have been almost terminated these days. As people want to have everything personalized according to their will, even boat covers.

People need to be educated rightly so they can understand why their boat upholstery gets destroyed earlier than the guaranteed time. It is because of the material used in the upholstery. The better material used in the formation of covers makes it long lasting and Griffith uses the best fabric for the boat covers and makes them look stand out.


As the success of Griffith’s work made quiet fame in history. Yet it is still not the best option of a career to be selected. But there might be many people like Griffith out there, who are passionate about making custom boat covers.

Alone, this is cannot be done. You will need someone who gives you enough knowledge about the business and helps you execute it. Taking wisdom from an experienced person before moving into this niche business sounds good.

Amy Jackson Amy Jackson works as an advertising specialist at web design and development agency, she is an inspired writer who loves to share her experiences using lovely words. Her passion for writing has made her produce numerous articles on design, SEO, digital marketing and business. You can also follow the author on Twitter