Marine Services (Dodger, Heater, Painter) for Branding/Design work?

spray dodgerTo someone who doesn’t create it, the end project seems expensive. This rule applies to many things, including graphic design and marine services such as canvas work. We all can look at something, see the price, and scratch our heads. Surely it doesn’t cost that much! But if we have little to no experience in the creation of X project, how can we really know what kind of time, skill, and knowledge went into it it? We can’t. Prices reflect quality of work, as I wrote about in the blog post: The Value of Talent and Skill.

When I bought my boat, one of the many things it came without was quality cushions. The interior settees were an ugly color which I referred to as “earwax.” I like my things to look great, I’m just shallow like that. Anyway, I lamented, bitched, and groaned about the hideous cushions while also lamenting, bitching and groaning about the cost to have them replaced (a lot). Sewing is a skill I do not have, and by the time I’d learn how to sew well enough to make my own cushions, half of my hair would be gray, and the cushions would’ve remained earwaxy. Solution? I traded services.

Jonathan, who wanted to start his own sail tote and canvas company, said he’d sew me new cushions, and I said I’d create a logo for his new company. He has the sailor sewing skills, I have the design skills, and the trade was pretty even. Therefore I’m now sitting on ivory cushions (ahhhhh) and he’s got his own logo for his company. Viola.

A logo is just one part of the brand, the keystone if you will, but there’s a lot more to it. If you’ve looked into branding your company and buying all that comes with it, you’ll know what I’m talking about: logo, business cards, letterhead, style guides, website, flyers, brochures, and on and on. The bottom line is pretty expensive, in the thousands of dollars, which is why many smaller companies forgo quality branding services, and sometimes opt to do it themselves, for better or for worse.

As summer is quickly approaching, I’m having some more services done on trade, which I’m pretty excited about. I’ll be getting cushions: two additional settees for the interior, and cockpit cushions in exchange for further design services: a new website for Buster-Boy Bags as well as promotional flyers.

And that got me to thinking…

I ran a Google search for local dodger makers in my area and came up with little to nothing. The closest I could find was a company in Olympia, and according to their website I’d have to leave my boat with them for a week while they put on my dodger. There are also companies that sell dodger kits, but as outlined a few paragraphs above, I don’t have sewing skills. Dodgers, custom or kits, are expensive. Why? Time x materials x skill x precision=mullah-lah. I totally get that.

There must be other dodger makers in my more immediate area of Kitsap County, in the cities of Silverdale, Bremerton, Poulsbo, Kingston, or even and especially on Bainbridge Island, someone who just hasn’t been able to get onto the internet and be searched (because as with quality marine services, quality design costs dollars). It seems that marine businesses are a bit slower to jump on the technology wave, resulting in poorly designed, or simply old and ancient, web sites. Search out your local yacht-broker and you’ll see what I mean. I believe in riding the wave of current design, current development standards, and making your company appear timeless.

Dodger, Heater, Painter?

Are you a maker of dodgers? Do you sell or manufacture marine heaters? Do you paint boats? Do you want to get onto the internet and reach a wider customer-base? Do you need a branding package to really stand out from the crowd and create trust and build a reputation with the marine community? If you are, or know of someone, perhaps we can work out a trade. My boat is in need of many things, and I know boat work is time-consuming and requires skills I simply do not possess at this time. But I do know about branding, and could help you out. To see some of my work, please go to

If you’re looking for quality small canvas work (he doesn’t make dodgers at this time) for your boat, you can also contact Jonathan Davis and get a quote.

Hey, but what about wanting a new boat?

Oh I still do. But the boat of my dreams is a good $60,000 on the cheap side, and I don’t have that kind of cash. Darn it. My fancy was tickled yesterday when either a Valiant or Panda dropped anchor here. The boat mocked me with its gorgeous lines and longevity. How dare you, perfect boat! Until that happy day when I’m just loaded with so much cash I buy random strangers expensive lattes with extra shots of espresso just for the heck of it, I’ll be making the S/V Libby as perfect as I can with smaller projects. I’m so excited about having cockpit cushions that I lay awake in my v-berth dreaming of the day I get to sit out there and not have a sore bum. Seriously.