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Author Topic:   Mills Canvas On The Way!!!!!
compounder posted 01-30-2001 11:03 AM ET (US)   Profile for compounder   Send Email to compounder  
Well, I finally did it! Called Leslie this morning and ordered the full set for the Montauk. Forward shelter, windshield, side curtains, rear curtain & boots. Hopefully, no more rainsuits for me or my first mate. Ordered the traditional Pacific Blue color. Plan on getting a vinyl stripe (in dark red to match the BW logo) applied just above the margin of the blue bottom paint. Ought to add a little pizzaz to the the old gal. Leslie assures me that all mounting hardware is provided, along with adequate instructions for installation. Anyone out there done this? Any tips or suggestions? Estimated date of arrival here is 2/10/01. Can hardly wait!
Peter posted 01-30-2001 11:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Just follow their instructions precisely and you can't go wrong. Measure twice, drill once. Make sure that you countersink any holes you drill with a philips head driver to prevent cracks from propagating from the holes.
andygere posted 01-30-2001 12:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Even better, countersink with a countersink bit. You'll get nice clean holes and no cracks. I bought my Montauk with a full Mills setup, so feel free to contact me with any questions about how mine is installed.
lpaton posted 01-30-2001 12:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for lpaton  Send Email to lpaton     
In addition to the countersink it is important to get the pilot hole the right diameter. Too big and the screws won't hold. Too small and they're difficult to get in and the head sometimes breaks off. I had to go by trial and error to get it right. I unfortunately still don't know the correct relationship between pilot hole size/diameter and screw size for screwing into fiberglass. Can anyone help out?
minh nguyen posted 01-30-2001 04:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for minh nguyen  Send Email to minh nguyen     
To drill a hole thru fiberglass I usually put a piece of tape and drill thru
the tape that way you'll make a nice round hole.
dchris2 posted 01-31-2001 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for dchris2  Send Email to dchris2     
Any chance on a new 13' sport. Is there a Mill's cover. It is true I'm your worst nightmare, but its's not like I've been treated fairly either. It has nothing to do with this forum. It's an NJ issue. Would like to extend my opportinities on the boat.
rwest posted 02-03-2001 07:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for rwest  Send Email to rwest     
Hi Compounder,
I'm looking at the same setup with forward shelter and top. What kind of price did you get form Mills?
compounder posted 02-03-2001 07:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
rwest, I don't know exactly because of shipping, but should come in around 2k!!!!
This is the full setup including the rear curtain and boots.
compounder posted 02-08-2001 02:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
It's here guys! Yellow freight delivered it today. Huge 5X7 flat cardboard box and one smaller container. Leaving town today for a long weekend, but Monday morning will start the installation. Stand by---I may need some on-line help.
lpaton posted 02-09-2001 11:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for lpaton  Send Email to lpaton     
Good luck with the screw hole size. Let me know what works, am looking at a fly top this summer
compounder posted 02-12-2001 04:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Unpacked everything and it looks great!

A couple of questions come to mind immediately upon seeing the beautiful,perfectly unblemished vinyl windows. What can I do to best maintain their clarity? Anyone have suggestions for convenient and safe storage of the windshield and side & rear curtains when not in use? I'm thinking rolled instead of folded.

whalernut posted 02-12-2001 04:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I have misplaced Mill`s Canvas phone #. Would somebody supply me with it please? Regards-Jack Graner.
lhg posted 02-12-2001 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
You definitely want to roll, not fold. I happened to order a fishing pole from Cabela's and it came in a big tube, about 4" in diameter. From this I cut two tubes to proper length to roll the curtains on the OUTSIDE of the tube.

On one tube I first roll up the side curtains, and tie or rubber band in place. The fabric can be folded over, but not the vinyl.
Then, around those, I roll the windshield, since this is used more often, and goes up first. Mills made me a blue sack to put this roll into. For the rear curtain, which is larger, I fold over to it's smallest rolleable size, then roll and rubberband.

I keep my windshield/side curtain roll in the front cooler seat, always available if I need it. I only carry the rear curtain in the boat when I know I'm going to need it.

Keep the windows waxed and polished with a gool automotive CLEARCOAT approved wax. If they get scratched, you can first use clearcoat polishing compound. Silicone spray your forward shelter and flying top once a year and they won't leak. I use Starbright's canvas waterproofer.

Congratulations on your decision to make this purchase. You'll be amazed how this system increases your comfort when out boating.

compounder posted 02-12-2001 09:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Jack Graner:
Mills Canvas 1-800-477-1535
Ask for Leslie. She is pleasant and knowledgeable.

Thanks for the input. I may try the same storage method. If I understand correctly, you roll one side curtain on each of two tubes and then roll the windshield up on the TWO rolls? How long did each tube turn out to be? What approx. size is the bag Mills made for you? Thanks.

Dan posted 02-12-2001 10:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dan  Send Email to Dan     
I'm picking up my fly top, console, and seat covers from Mills for my 17' Outrage this Thursday. I'm psyched! I live on Long Island - about 2 hours or less from Mills. I've spoken with Leslie many times. I find it frustrating because she wont let customers speak directly with the people who actually make and/or design the canvas. Also, Mills doesn't have photos of their designs. However, they're well known for making a quality product, and their prices are the same as most custom canvas places with lesser reputations. So I'm not worried. I didn't order the forward shelter or the rear curtains because I want to see if I need it and if I want to part with the cash.
whalernut posted 02-13-2001 05:12 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Thanks Compounder! Regards-Jack Graner.
lhg posted 02-13-2001 05:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Compounder: I roll both of the side curtains on one of the cardboard tubes, and secure them with big rubberband or cord, then roll the windshield over these, all on the same tube. The Mills sack is sized to fit this roll of items. The much larger rear curtain, folded over so only the glass is still flat, then rolls up on the other tube. I'd say each tube is about 30" in length, but size them to the width of what you are rolling up.

I have used this system for years, and it works quite well for me, keeping the glass in great shape. When you stow the forward shelter in its boot, be sure the window portion is wrapped around the whole bundle and pulled tight, being sure it's not folded or creased.

compounder posted 02-14-2001 08:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
I'm a little nervous about drilling all these new holes in my boat. What is the preferred bedding material for the SS screws? 4200? 5200?
triblet posted 02-15-2001 12:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I'd use 101. You don't need strength,
you need to seal the seam between the
screw and the glass. And water makes it
set. You can get the boat wet immediately.

I would NOT use 5200. You won't get the
screws out if you ever have to.

Also, if you want make things look REALLY
nice, get a VIX bit. A large HW or lumber
yard will have them. They precisely center
the screw hole with the hole in the bracket
or whatever. The screwhead ends up nicely
centered. If you have buddy who is a serious
woodworker, they'll have one you might be
able to borrow.


Tom W Clark posted 02-15-2001 01:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
With regards to drilling holes, VIX bits are the way to go. With the exception of the largest size, they are not expensive ($5-$7) Just buy one (or two). You will use them again and again. Just be sure to buy the appropriate size or sizes.

As to bedding the screws, it is true you need the seal not the adhesion, but any polyurethane will do just fine. You will easily be able to get a screw bedded with 3M 5200 out. (I've done it many times) Sika 1A, 231, 241, 3M 4200, 3M 5200 are all great to use. But don't use 5200 or 241 or 1A on any thing with significant surface area that you may want to remove later. They ARE powerful adhesives!

compounder posted 02-15-2001 09:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Thanks guys! I have never heard of VIX bits. I'll check them out before I start to install.
Dan posted 02-15-2001 07:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Dan  Send Email to Dan     
Well, picked up my fly top and console & seat covers from Mills today. It's a cool place -- very big and well organized. Mills himself loaded the top onto my Subaru. I broke with tradition and got the charcoal tweed material. I made my choice based on a one inch fabric sample. Not the brightest thing I ever did. I thought it would look darker, but it looks like a medium tone silver -- its nice but I might have opted for more color. No prob, the seagulls will decorate it.
compounder posted 02-15-2001 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Congratulations on your purchase Dan! I'm sure you will enjoy your top.

I am impressed with the apparent quality of the canvas and hardware used in the Mills products.

Chesapeake posted 02-15-2001 08:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chesapeake  Send Email to Chesapeake     
Joe: Hope you will post some pictures when she's all put together.

Good luck on the install.


compounder posted 02-16-2001 02:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Need some help on the VIX bit idea. Went to 8 (yep, EIGHT!) HW & BS stores today looking for them. No one admitted to ever hearing the term VIX. Is that the correct term? One fellow suggested a "self-centering hinge bit" which looked interesting, but only available in 9/64. Thanks.
Tom W Clark posted 02-16-2001 06:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

Yes, VIX-Bit is the term (brand name). A self centering hinge bit is probably the same kind of thing. I have four different sizes of them. VIX-BIT sizes them with numbers. The two sizes I use most are the medium sizes: #5 and #9. The #5 has a 7/64" pilot bit and is designed for #5 & #6 screws. The #9 has a 9/64" pilot bit and is designed for #8, #9, #10 screws. The #9 is probably the one I use most often.

The VIX-Bits I own, I've aquired here in Seattle over the years from differnt sources. My local Lumber yard has them, all the local tool supply stores have them, and the despicable "big box" stores have them. (Here in Seattle we have Loews & The Home Depot). I wouldn't be suprised if you could buy them from

I just checked Amazon. They sell 3 different sizes. It appears VIX-Bit now simply uses the pilot bit size to describe each bit.

compounder posted 02-16-2001 06:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for compounder  Send Email to compounder     
Thanks Tom.
whalernut posted 02-16-2001 07:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Tom or others, I tried to go to the lead you gave for Vix bits and Amazon had a heading when reaching that page that just said: "Browser Bug? There appears to be a bug in the web browser you are currently using." Any clue as to what they meen by this statement, it has me somewhat concerned? Regards-Jack Graner.
kingfish posted 02-16-2001 08:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I got the same thing-


Tom W Clark posted 02-16-2001 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
Me too! It probably has something to do with a cookie on my computer and is NOT indicative of any problem with your computer.

Let's try this: When you get to the Amazon site type in vix in the search box and hit return

whalernut posted 02-16-2001 08:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
Thanks guys! JACK.
triblet posted 02-17-2001 09:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
I did a little checking, and yes, Amazon
has them, and at a VERY good price (Not
always the case at Amazon). Search on Vix.

[url][\url] has them
to, for a decent price, but more than Amazon.
Woodworker's Supply, where I got mine about
10 years ago, has them too, but is noticably
more expensive.


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