Finding good marine work in Charleston is often a pretty frustrating experience. So I was a little concerned about using Custom Canvas of Charleston to replace a twenty year old bimini on one of three charter boats I'm running.
I should have stuck to my plan of going to Ft. Lauderdale last spring and I might be writing about fuel filters, South Beach or the value of sunscreen, rather than shoddy canvas work.
It took Jim and Jeri the owners of Custom Canvas of Charleston nearly three months to quote the job and another six months once I paid them the deposit of $800.00, to get the work finished. When Jim finally showed up with the new bimini it was the wrong color and a completely different fabric from what we had discussed.
So I listened to Jeri's song and dance about how the "Stamoid" Fabric is some new "space age" super fabric that will never fad, crack or stretch and that the color was the best match for the boat and so on, After much discussion, I chose to pay them the balance of the agreed price, another $800.00.
The choice was not attractive, either I pay Custom Canvas the balance and accept the shoddy work or start over with another canvas shop and loose the $800.00.
Now six months latter the canvas is loose on one side, flapping like a wounded mud duck in even the most gentle of winds. Worse, the loose side beats the hell out of the boat when the wind blows hard like it has the past few days or the boat is underway.
It is clear to anyone who walks past the boat, that the canvas is not right, yet Jim refuses to even look at the job he finished less then six months ago, even when I ask him as walks down the dock in front of Southern Comfort at the Charleston City Marina.
Calls to Custom Canvas about the issue resulted in a rude return call where Jim blamed the fabric "you are not supposed to leave it up all the time or in strong winds" and the fact that he "had to use our old frame".... etc, etc....
Why in the world would I want a "new frame" on a 63 foot Hatteras? The old frame has held up over the years just fine, it is without rust and simply needs a canvas that fits.
Jim and Jerri have plenty of work so my bad "review" will not hurt their wallet.
But consider this..... In the month since I have asked Jim to fix my bimini or at least look at it and offer some advice as how to correct the problem, I've talked to at least a dozen people all who used Custom Canvas of Charleston "once".... and the key word is once.
So today as Jim walked past my boat I asked him to look at my canvas and address his workmanship. He just shrugged shook his head and walked on by, so I'll add my name to all the other ripped off Custom Canvas Customers.
I hope I have saved you some money with this review. I could have saved myself $1,600.00 if I had just asked around, as I don't need to walk far down the dock to hear tales from other one time Custom Canvas clients.
Over and over the dockside scuttlebutt is the same, "Don't expect Jim to provide any service after he gets your check" and watch out for his "good enough" appearance suggestions.
Don't expect Jim to follow directions, to match colors or do the job right even if it is a standard fabric or simple design as Custom Canvas of Charleston has a habit using scrapes to "get it close".
Check out Custom Canvas of Charleston at the Better Business Bureau of Charleston.
Custom Canvas of Charleston, Inc
Phone: (843) 767-1573
Fax: (843) 767-1573
7187 Bryhawke Circle
North Charleston, SC 29418
Ms. Jerilyn C. Perillo and Mr. James N. Perillo
This company is not a BBB Accredited business.