Rick’s Custom Marine Canvas and Sail Repair, Cornelius, N.C., was the second stop on the IFAI Specialty Fabrics tour Oct. 19. The tour was as part of the IFAI 2016 Expo in Charlotte, N.C.
Rick Berkey, owner of Rick’s Custom Marine, welcomed tour participant to look around his new shop that is behind his home. He mentioned that his business had previously been in a commercial building, but his recently-purchased home happened to include a large shop that the previous owner used for working on race cars.
Tour participants were welcome to look at Berkey’s storage and shelving systems. He remarked that he doesn’t keep a lot fabric inventory at shop, aside from the zippers and some obvious supplies. The upper level of the shop is a sail loft with stairs that drop down from the ceiling.
Rick’s Custom Marine specializes in sails and sail repair, dodgers, cockpit covers, pontoon boats, travel covers, engine covers, bimini covers and seating. Berkey has 30 years of experience as a sailor, and he brings his unique know-how to sewing and repairing sails.
Lake Norman customers keep Berkey’s shop extremely busy, and his mobile sewing unit gives him the capacity to travel to boats to do repairs and custom work.