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Bolsters Bolsters Bolsters!!!

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Old 02-18-2003, 11:37 PM
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Default Bolsters Bolsters Bolsters!!!

There have been a few threads lately about bolsters, and on them I've posted about planning to visit a few bolster manufacturers and reporting back. This is it. I'll try to find all the other threads and link them to here soon.

Two of the three bolster manufacturers were upholstry shops that build custom bolsters or buy a ready made frame and stand from Todd Enterprises and upholster it to the customer's specs. This is a manual drop out bolster of average quality, I believe. If you live in the mid-west, especially around LOTO, these shops may be a good option. Those outside LOTO can probably find quality shops closer. One of the advantages of using these guys is they can rebuild your current bolsters for about half of what inexpensive new ones cost.

While both shops offered to build totally custom bolsters, Rob at Total Upholstry (573-346-7155), who is here on the board, took a lot of time to explane how to construct the frame of a custom bolster. He is either willing to do it himself, or inform a customer how. The more a customer can do himself, the lower the cost, and Rob is willing to work with that. He said a simple complete bolster could start around $900, and a moderly complex bolster around $1100 - 1500. His custom bolsters start with plywood, then are fiberglassed for strength and longevity, and T nuts are used for attaching stands and handles. Therefore, it is important he be able to customize each bolster to each boat, and he may need the stand to ensure correct placement of the nuts. Rob is a small shop, and there were not many current jobs to inspect, but his equipment suggested he was set up for serious work.

The second upholstry shop was Advanced Canvas (573-374-1796). They were also suggested by some OSO members. They are a larger shop, and had several projects going. The quality of their stitching was top notch, and they did little things like adding foam to the upholstry back to give it a little extra plushness. They may be the premier shop at LOTO. They have designed bolsters for boat manufactuers, and could do the same for customers, but it would probably be around $4000. A less expensive option is the Todd Enterprises boster which would be around $1400 each complete for your boat.

The last one is the most unique. It is a little boat manufacturer that happens to make their own bolsters. These are motorized bolsters, made from stainless steel frame, with Kelron Plastic (star board-like fake wood), foam and 40 oz marine vinal similar to what Fountain and Formula use. They will build and sell them for $1200 each with legs on one side, and the other attached to the gunnel. $1300 for a complete stand and bolster. The quality of the stitching is probably not going to be as good as the other guys, because they are boat builders who also build bolsters. But, I saw some of their work, and it passed my tests, not that I know anything. If these will work for you, and you can afford the price, they are without a doubt, the strongest of the ones I saw. If they wont work for you, you're SOL, cause they are not interested in custom jobs. They use Warner Electric marine accuaters(sp?) for the drop out bolster seat, and prefer to mount the switch on the boat and not the bolster. I'll attempt to post pictures of their bolster and frame in a following post.
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Old 02-18-2003, 11:59 PM
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This is the back of the boat manufacturer's bolster. They can use other materials for the leg if the customer specs that.


Well, it was susposed to be the back of the bolster, but I give up on the pictures!!! Will send them to Audio and he offered to post them here.

All the three shops can use any colors. The wilder it gets, the more it costs. Don't know that the boat builder will get much wilder than the ones pictured, but color options are no problem.

The boat manufacturer's bolster is roughly 27" wide, 29" long, 22" high, (19" high from seat to top), and an 18" seat bottom.

One other price: for a double bolster seat, they can do that by attaching two bolster together for $2200 with a full stand.

If you want to work with a custom bolster manufacturer, go ahead and call one of the two in the above post. Rember, Rob at Total Upholstry is on OSO. If you want one of the standard boat builder bolsters, please contact me. Not that I want to be involved with the money or delivery, just want to make sure my order has a high priority!
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Old 02-19-2003, 12:26 AM
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This is the frame of the seat.
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Old 02-19-2003, 12:35 AM
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This is the Front view
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Old 02-19-2003, 12:36 AM
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Old 02-19-2003, 12:39 AM
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Old 02-19-2003, 12:39 AM
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Old 02-19-2003, 12:41 AM
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That is all of them. These look sweet. Chart are these stainless frames? Or alluminum?
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Old 02-19-2003, 12:46 AM
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The frame of the bolster is stainless steel, according to the manufacturer. The stand can be made from just about anything the customer wants, including Stainless Steel. In their boat, I think they used alum for the leg. Honestly, I did not look at the leg that closely once they said it could be made from stainless steel.
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Old 02-19-2003, 07:20 AM
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Hey Chart,

Thanks for doing the leg work, that thing looks sweet. I'm going to try and work with Rob as I have a single bolster installed now and want to build a duplicate.

Regards
Mike
 
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