Adventure 208 - Complete Canvas/Vinyl Reupholster

Should I go through with all new fabric?


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JCReynoldsIV

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Grady Owners,

Last April I purchased a 1995 Adventure 208, 1995 Johnson 175, and a 1996 Venture Tandem Axle Roller Trailer all for $10,500. I enjoyed it all summer long and couldn’t ask for a better boat. As I’m getting ready to deploy I figured I’d get some things in line before I head out the door and have my boat ready for whenever I return. The boat is in great shape with a few fiberglass repairs that need to be made. Today I dropped off my original bikini top, side curtains, all vinyl seats, and the cuddy cabin cushions to be completely redone with new fabric and foam. The estimate I just received was $6,800 to redo every piece of fabric on the ole Grady. Is it worth spending that much on that, given the age of the boat or should I look to purchase a bigger used Grady whenever I return? I use the boat for fishing and entertaining in the Washington, D. C. area. Thank you all!
 
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Ky Grady

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First of all, Thank you for your service!! USN '80-'86 myself.

Really only you can answer that question. Is the boat in good shape, any soft spots? Do you like the boat or do you desire a bigger Grady upon your return? How's the motor? If the current Grady checks all your boxes, then your expenses to redo all your stuff are justified. If hesitant on anything, you could always wait till your return and either do it all then or use that $6800 and put with your trade of current boat and move up and on.
 

JCReynoldsIV

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Ky Grady, thank you for your service as well!

The boat is in great shape and the hull is extremely hard. The motor being a 1995 is surprisingly quick and has never let me down, especially when I originally had it on the ICW. I feel as though the longer I’m on it, I wish I had a bigger boat, but at the same time a 20 foot is great for what I use it for - minus seating. I will say that I am only sticking to Grady because I’ve been nothing but happy with my 208. Is a 30 foot an overkill on size? I did this same thing whenever I bought my first 1500 and then upgraded to a 2500, not even 6 months later. What size do you have?
 

Ky Grady

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Again, 30' depends on what you plan to do. It's a big jump from a 208.

I have the 228, which is the next step up from your 208. For me, right now the 228 is fantastic. It is easy to trailer, can go anywhere I want to boat and fish. Fish's 4 comfortable on her. Nice size cockpit, just a all round great, functional, boat for me. Somewhere down the road I may upgrade boats and go for a 282 Sailfish or the 300 Marlin, but at that time I will be spending way more time on the water than I do now. I pull with a F350 dually, but I wouldn't want to wrestle the Sailfish or the Marlin down the road like I do now with my 228. The 228 suits me well.

20180910_141102.jpg
 
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imjus4u2nv

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I have a 1996 Adventure 208 (same model/setup as yours) and have been trying to complete my enclosure (I have factory enclosure but not the factory bimini top).
First, the price you were quoted for canvas/cushions is a small fortune and appears abnormally high ($6500 you will never recover on this boat.) - have you shopped around? I believe having the bimini and enclosure redone (having the templates/old canvas) should be under $2,000 and would be more worth the investment. Try A&J in NC - can ship them your old canvas as a templates and they will duplicate (I do not have template or I would have used them).

If you do decide to get the bimini done please let me know, as I would be willing to buy your old bimini to use as a template or would possibly be interested in just having A&J make two of them - I am desperately searching for a factory bimini (with zippers) to match up to my factory enclosure.

As far as the cushions (while i wouldn't want to get rid of mine) I only use the captains cushions, and occasionally the back two - maybe you can just have those replaced/refinished to save some money. Also, how bad a shape are they in? Mine cleaned up nice and I used some automotive leather sticky patches to fix some tears - captains seats stay on all year and still holding seams together - looks decent, not great.

I love my 208, perfect size for what i do (usually ride solo or one to two other passengers) - if i entertained more I would want to upgrade, but something nice about this boat is it is very manageable by myself. Also do you trailer the boat or dock it? How far to ramp, tow capacity on truck etc. All factors to consider.


Thank you for your service to this country!
 

steveditt

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I own 98 208 for about six years always upgrading something ,pulpit with windless ,dash and side compartments painted ,last year new Etec G1 150 HP HO with hydraulic steering , all cushions and side bloster $900 ,nice to have everything new but I do use my bimini---- my curtains are never used only for reason of a storm maybe looks nice up but never used ,I don't go on long trips or bad weather ,this winter new trim tabs . Depending how you plan on using your boat I would only upgrade what is necessary I would not spend 6800 on those upgrades to a 95 . Stay safe !
 

Fishtales

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Call A&J Canvas in Vanceboro NC. They do all the stock enclosures. I got one for my boat for less than $3K complete. You can get blue or white. They should have your pattern.
 

imjus4u2nv

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Call A&J Canvas in Vanceboro NC. They do all the stock enclosures. I got one for my boat for less than $3K complete. You can get blue or white. They should have your pattern.
I tried A&J for my 1996 and they did not have pattern, if you find out otherwise please let me know
 

seasick

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When you go to sell this boat, the condition of the canvas and cushions if very good, don't really add a lot of value. Bad canvas and vinyl will be an issue though and could lower the perceived values of the boat.If the market for a buyer concentrates on newbies or first timers, they often don't have an idea what reupholster and canvas costs. A buyer might think, what makes this boat worth 5 or 6 thousand more than similar boats?
So will you recoup your investment? Probably not even close.
Now if you want new materials and will use them, it's a decision you need to make not based on return on investment.

I would get more estimates first. Cushions that are material as opposed to vinyl may be less expensive if done by an upholstery shop not a marine canvas shop.
Check to see if your foam is actually shot or if it can be reused. Don't bother with embroidered logos on seats if offered.
A good canvas shop can make a new Bimini from you old one assuming it isn't totally ripped to shreds.

If I were looking for a boat like yours, I would be more interested in the transom, whether the tank is original and if that motor is close to its end of life. The trailer at 22 years might not be worth much.
I have a 208 and to be honest, I don't use my curtains often. In fact, I haven't had them on in several years. I am not a cold weather boater to be honest.
Your situation may be different.
 

Fishtales

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without the pattern you are going to have to go local and likely custom which probably means more money. You probably have to do that for the cushions so maybe try to get a package deal.