In 2003, owners Becky Pattinson and Mike McWilliams incorporated Florida Canvas as a sister service to Mike’s sail making and repair business, Florida Sails. Florida Canvas and Florida Sails were located together in a Fort Lauderdale facility that served local and visiting sailors as the North Sails Super Yacht facility.
Their winter operations largely supported the extensive sailboat racing circuit and luxury super yachts in excess of 100’. Amongst their super yacht canvas customers were SV Georgia (159’ Poalo Scanu), SV Hyperion (156’ Royal Huisman), and Lady in Blue (170’ Amels). For larger customers, they built exterior covers, interior dust covers, biminis, awnings, and enclosures, as well as specialized sail bags and covers. They also worked on many J-boats (Ranger, Shamrock IV, and Endeavor) as well as Transpac 52 racing boats and their Protector tenders, building special bags and covers to protect equipment and facilitate quick sail changes during races.
During the busy summer powerboat season, they designed and built biminis, dodgers, spray hoods, and awnings, as well as full covers for boats ranging in size from 8’ inflatable dinghies to 63’ Sea Rays. In addition, they designed, constructed, and installed all of the original canvas for Passport Yachts ranging in length from 47’ to 62’, during commissioning of sailing vessels for their new owners.
In 2006, Becky and Mike sold Florida Canvas and Florida Sails and relocated to Northern Michigan, where they founded The Canvas Company.
Becky Pattinson is more comfortable on the bow of a boat than just about any place on earth. She is a licensed professional Electric Power Engineer turned boat loving pattern-maker, seamstress, and business owner. Raised on a lake in northern Michigan, Becky lived and worked for much of her adult life in Key West and the US Virgin Islands. Her interest in boating and sailing made it a natural step into the marine canvas industry. She uses her design, engineering, and project management background as an asset in designing marine and commercial enclosures.
Mike McWilliams is living the dream of most bankers. Mike left a successful corporate banking career to pursue his love of sailing, spending several years sailing including a transatlantic passage, logging time in the Mediterranean and the Greek Isles. He learned the craft of sail making in Hawaii at Shore Sails Hawaii and continued in Key West and Ft. Lauderdale, where he founded Florida Sails, Inc.