Powering Your Boat with the Sun

We will be discussing a method used for attaching solar panels to your boat. This is just one of the many ways we can help you get the most out of solar energy for your boating adventures.

Attaching a solar panel to your Bimini top is a smart move for boaters looking to harness the sun’s power. An important note, for the success of this installation heavily relies on the condition of your Bimini top. If the cover is loose or poorly fitted you may encounter some challenges.

As we outline this process, remember, this is only an introduction to one of the ways you can attach solar panels to your boat. Let’s explore how you can take a step towards sustainable boating with this practical addition to your vessel.

Solar panel with a harness sitting on the workbench

The harness shown above ensures that your solar panel is not just secured to your boat but also optimally positioned to capture sunlight, maximizing energy efficiency. The grommets play a crucial role, providing strong anchor points to keep the panel firmly in place, even when you’re cruising in wind or navigating choppy waters.

This means you can enjoy uninterrupted solar power without worrying about your panel shifting or sustaining damage. It’s all about making renewable energy on the water as reliable and hassle-free as possible, ensuring that your solar panel remains a steadfast source of power for all your electrical needs.

Solar panel manufacturer which includes a plastic trim and grommets

Eco-Worthy is a well-regarded choice among boat owners looking for solar panels, offering an appealing mix of affordability, durability, and power output. Their 100W solar panel kit, designed for keeping batteries topped up, is competitively priced and includes useful additions like an LCD control unit and four ‘Z’ brackets for mounting​​.

The panels are mono-crystalline, ensuring efficient performance even in a marine environment. However, it’s worth noting that the warranty period is limited to only one year, and some users might find the panels not as resistant to the elements as they’d prefer​​.

On the plus side, Eco-Worthy solar panels are known for their ease of installation and connection, featuring built-in protection mechanisms to safeguard against electrical issues​​. Their flexible and lightweight design makes them portable, an important consideration for boaters who need to maximize space and minimize weight​​. Their 200W poly-crystalline solar panel option offers high module conversion efficiency and is built strong to withstand harsh marine conditions​​.

However, potential buyers should be aware that the installation instructions may not be as clear as desired, possibly requiring professional assistance for some​​. Despite these considerations, Eco-Worthy’s solar solutions stand out for those seeking a balance between cost and performance, particularly in off-grid marine applications where durability and efficiency are paramount.

For boat owners, this makes Eco-Worthy a solid option, especially when considering their commitment to renewable energy products since 2002 and their range of products suitable for various off-grid situations​​. Always consider your specific needs, available space, and power requirements when choosing the right solar panel for your boat​​.

Installing solar panels on a Bimini top is a smart move for boaters looking to harness solar energy for their vessels. This approach not only offers an eco-friendly power source but also maintains the aesthetics of the boat. There are several methods to securely attach solar panels to a Bimini, each catering to different needs and preferences.

Kederwelt that has been sewn on to Bimini, tracking has been sewn on to solar panel

One popular method involves the use of Keder welt, which is sewn onto the Bimini. This welt acts as a robust and waterproof connection between the fabric and the frame, ensuring a seamless integration of the solar panels​​. For the solar panels themselves, tracking can be sewn directly onto the panels, providing a durable method to attach and align the panels efficiently​​.

Flexible solar panels are often favored for their ease of installation and minimal weight impact. They can be attached to the Bimini top using various methods, such as zippers, Velcro (hook and loop), or grommets, allowing for easy removal or adjustment as needed​​. Zippers offer a secure attachment and are suitable for intensive use in marine environments, resisting corrosion. Velcro provides a simple, tool-free option for attaching and detaching the panels, while grommets offer a sturdy solution for more permanent installations​​.

Furthermore, the installation process can be customized to include additional protective measures, such as insulation between the panel and canvas to reduce heat transmission​​. It’s important to select the right type of solar panel that fits the Bimini’s size and curvature, with semi-flexible panels being a great option for their high temperature resistance and efficiency​​.

Technicians sliding panel into position Top view of Kedder welt being secured to the bimini Down view of the turnstiles snap that will be put through the grommet hole of the solar panel

This stayput fastener typically includes a twist lock and an eyelet or stud component. The part shown in the image has a twist lock portion, which is designed to be attached to a flexible surface, such as a boat’s Bimini top.

This type of fastener is commonly used to secure solar panels to Bimini tops because it provides a reliable yet detachable connection, allowing for easy removal or attachment of the panels as needed. The stayput fastener is practical for marine environments due to its resistance to corrosion and its ability to withstand the elements while keeping the solar panel firmly in place.

Overall, integrating solar panels onto a Bimini top requires careful consideration of the panel type, attachment method, and the structural integrity of the Bimini itself. By utilizing methods like Keder welt and tracking sewn onto the panels, boaters can achieve a secure and efficient solar setup that complements the functionality and appearance of their vessels.

Finished installation of a total of three panels

In conclusion, integrating solar panels onto your boat’s Bimini top offers an innovative way to harness renewable energy while enjoying your boating adventures. By securely attaching solar panels to your vessel, you not only enhance energy efficiency but also contribute to a greener planet.

The installation process, although nuanced, presents various methods catering to different needs and preferences. From utilizing Keder welt for a waterproof connection to exploring flexible panel options with attachment choices like zippers, Velcro, or grommets, there’s a solution suited to every boater’s requirements.

Moreover, the structural integrity of your Bimini top plays a pivotal role in the success of your solar panel installation. Ensuring a snug and secure fit enhances reliability and longevity, guaranteeing uninterrupted solar power even during high-speed cruising or choppy waters.

With careful consideration of panel type, attachment method, and protective measures, boaters can achieve a seamless integration of solar panels that not only enhance functionality but also maintain the aesthetics of their vessels.

Embracing solar energy not only benefits individual boaters but also contributes to a broader shift toward sustainability in marine environments. Let’s embark on this journey toward greener boating practices, one solar panel at a time.


An outdoor dining area is a wonderful thing for any restaurant. It provides your guests the comfort of the outdoors, the ability to enjoy a scenic view, or simply some fresh air while dining. Many restauranteurs have found that the revenue created from their outdoor dining area can rival the revenue from the remainder of their seating. So the pressing question for business owners is: “How can I continue to reap the benefits of my outdoor dining area when the summer months come to an end?” The answer to this question, of course, is to enclose your outdoor dining area. An enclosure will allow you to retain enough heat to make it comfortable in the outdoor dining area even when the temperature drops. Also, it can be a way to keep air conditioning in if you are in a hotter climate where refuge from the heat can be the attraction. Guests can still enjoy the view and still feel like they are outdoors, and most importantly, they can still eat and drink at your establishment without being uncomfortable.

In this specific example, we have a business that has thrived as an outdoor eatery since 1954. A classic Drive-In style, family oriented restaurant here on the Jersey Shore, The Circus is and always has been a seasonal business. The customer had previously installed rope-and-pulley curtains to provide refuge from driving rain. These curtains made it possible to still keep the dining room full in the face of a rainy day. The years had not been kind to the clear vinyl in the roll-up panels. Wear and tear is inevitable in a product like this one, and years of exposure to the elements left these curtains looking less than ideal. The solution is a rigid panel system with clear vinyl stapled into the frames of each panel. These panels will keep the elements out, and the comfort in. U-Zip windows in each panel make it easy to roll up one, or all of the windows in the enclosure for ventilation, or to bring back the fully outdoor feel from the original design. With the windows zipped closed, the ambient heat from the nearby kitchen should be enough to keep this area cozy through the fall, and perhaps into winter.

The dramatic facelift that this enclosure provided should provide enough curb appeal to attract new customers, and the improvements show your loyal regular customers your commitment to providing them the best experience possible. The owner of The Circus will undoubtedly recoup his initial investment in a short time, and the possibility for an exponential return on his investment exists due to the extension of his otherwise seasonal business. By making it possible for guests to enjoy this outdoor dining experience well into October and November, they will realize yearly sales totals that they never thought possible. Make the most out of your outdoor dining area. Turn a seasonal oasis for guests into a year-round revenue generator for yourself. Think about an enclosure for your outdoor dining area, and make your space more valuable.

Got Shade?

Pergolas are a great way to beautify your backyard. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and really offer a great look. Unfortunately, shortly after installation of a pergola, many homeowners and business owners alike experience a bit of buyer’s remorse. The fact of the matter is, that pergolas do not offer the amount of shade beneath them that many people are looking for.

Their open design is intentional for aesthetic appeal, but it is not conducive to providing shade. If shade is what you are looking for, but you love the look and feel that a pergola offers, than a custom canvas pergola cover is exactly what you need.

A covered pergola will still look exactly the same as an uncovered pergola from across the yard or patio, but once you get underneath, the difference is night and day. The Before and After pictures show the vast difference in shade under a covered pergola. Do you have a problem with pigeons or seagulls dropping unwanted gifts from above? Do you have a pesky crab apple or mulberry tree raining down relentlessly? A pergola cover can not only protect you from these undesirable occurrences, but can keep you a few degrees cooler while it does so.

Being as pergolas are typically built without any pitch to them, keeping rain out is another problem all together. Without adequate pitch for the water to run off, a solid cover just is not practical. After a good rain, the amount of water weight held between the rafters of your average pergola will cause even the best built cover to stretch, sag, or even tear completely. This is why the recommended fabric for pergola covers without pitch is a mesh material called Coolaroo.

Coolaroo is a professional grade architectural shade fabric. It is constructed to block up to 98.8% of harmful UV sun rays, has a specialized lock stitch knit for better air movement, is backed by a 10 year manufacturer’s warranty, and considering the slew of benefits is also relatively inexpensive. Coolaroo will still let rain water pass through it, so you won’t have to worry about your custom pergola cover being damaged due to rain. Just make sure that everything you keep under the pergola is built to withstand getting wet, or simply bring it inside if you hear rain in the weather forecast.

If you can’t take the heat… beat it! Keep cool under your pergola by adding a custom cover, and get the most out of your investment.

Vestibule Project

This is one of our recent Do -It-Yourself vestibule projects that was shipped to Ohio.

Our customer was looking for ways to prevent the cold air from entering his business which was making all of the seating near the door unusable.  Our solution was to custom build a vestibule that not only solved his cold draft issue but one that was also aesthetically pleasing.

This project all began with a few photos and measurements. Our customer had several ideas and from there we made sketches. They were approved by the customer and the blueprints were then drawn up and we were ready for production.We handed them off to our welding and sewing departments

It is an aluminum frame that was MIG welded. Once completed, it was sent over to the powder coating specialist for a white finish.

At the same time .030 clear vinyl was cut and was given to our sewing department. They stitched the clear vinyl to the red vinyl and did the arch work.

The vinyl was then affixed to the white frame and the final touch of zip strip was added.

Project under construction step by step:

Vestibule/Outdoor Sitting Room

Our experts designed and fabricated a Vestibule/Outdoor Sitting Room for our customer in Fort Lee, NJ. He wanted an additional room as well as keeping the cold from rushing in his front door in the winter.

This is a four (4) season sitting area! The front and side panels are removable for summer use or simply open the “U” Zippers for fresh air. It offers protection of furniture, carpeting and amenities. It is actually classified as a “Temporary Structure”.

Below is the erection of the enclosure onto the property:

We Ship Everywhere!

No location is too far away for Jean’s Canvas Products to ship a vestibule, outdoor kitchen cover, custom awning, rigid or soft panel enclosure, pergola cover, escalator cover or anything else.

We are able to offer any of these projects as either a Do-It-Yourself Project by using custom generated technical drawings to obtain the necessary measurements, or we can even offer you patterning and installation services at an additional cost. As long as you have a shipping address, we can get our product(s) to you. Whichever you path you desire to take, let Jean’s Canvas Products be your guide.

Every project that we ship out comes in a custom fabricated crate, and includes everything needed for installation including hardware, fasteners, and detailed instructions.

How to prevent outdoor countertops from cracking & fading

Adding countertops to your outdoor space is a great way to add functionality as well as aesthetics. Unfortunately, just about all materials used to make these countertops, such as granite and marble, are susceptible to damage caused by the outdoor elements. Luckily this damage can be prevented.

It’s especially important to take these steps to prevent cracking and fading in an outdoor kitchen.

What causes outdoor countertops to crack and fade?

There are generally two main causes of cracking and fading; sunlight and rain

It may sound bizarre that sunlight can mess with your countertop, but the damage is caused by the UV rays contained within. 

UV can damage just about anything, from your skin to concrete. A good example of this is how wood will gradually change color when it’s left outside for a long time. The same concept applies to your countertop. 

Not only do you need to worry about fading, sunlight can also cause countertops to crack. Granite, for example, contains polymers which are particularly susceptible to damage from UV.

Unless your countertop is made from a material that is specifically resistant to UV rays, this is absolutely a factor you need to keep in mind.

You can read more about the effects of UV on countertops here.

Keep in mind, UV rays can also affect indoor countertops as well, when they are regularly exposed to sunlight coming in from a window or skylight.

The other big cause of cracking and fading is rain or any form of moisture. Many of the common countertop materials are porous, meaning when water is present it will begin to soak in.

Even though these materials are often sealed, prolonged exposure to water can, eventually, still get through.

Moisture will eventually cause both fading and accelerated weathering, which can subsequently cause cracks.

Which kinds of countertops fade when exposed to sun or rain?

Just about all stone countertops are porous and therefore vulnerable to moisture. This includes tile countertops, quartz countertops and even a popular choice for outdoor kitchens; granite countertops.

Again, if your countertop is not specially designed for outdoor usage (to resist UV rays), this is another thing to worry about too.

If your countertop is made from granite, marble, natural stone or quartz and it’s not intended for outdoor use, you should definitely take action to prevent these forms of damage. 

How you can prevent damage to your countertop

Although additional sealing and shade can help in protecting your countertop from the natural elements, they are not perfect solutions.

Shade will prevent UV rays from being able to reach your counter, but shading your countertop in such a way that it’s shaded all day can be very tough as the angle of the sun is constantly changing.

Sealing is good for preventing moisture-related damage, but the problem with this method of protection is that water will degrade the sealant over time. 

The best way to protect your outdoor countertops is a canvas cover.

By choosing a cover composed of a fabric that won’t allow water to get through, you will be preventing any form of water damage to your countertop.

The same thing also applies to sun-related damage. If the light from the sun cannot get through the cover, neither can the harmful UV rays.

If you’re trying to protect an outdoor kitchen, a cover can be a good and possibly the best option as it will not only protect your countertops but also your outdoor kitchen appliances.

We recommend a custom-fabricated cover, as the fit will be near perfect and therefore the cover itself won’t be subjected to damage caused by wind, or water pooling. There are, however, prefabricated covers available, they just may not be the same quality.

Our Objective

Our objective is to exceed your expectations & offer innovative ideas using state of the art techniques with the best quality products to design your custom canvas. Our innovative staff has over thirty five years experience creating custom canvas for the Military, Government, Commercial, Marine and Residential Applications.