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The Hohlbein Family consists of Matt, the creative custom guy and Mary, the behind the scenes mastermind of data.  


Matt has an extensive background in custom wood projects, evolving from commercial store fixtures to lobster boats, then spiral staircases to coffins, but the lure of a sawdust-free medium had always tempted Matt.  Stitching homemade shoes and fabric bound kayaks rekindled his interest in sewing, and he's happy to say that the industrial sewing machine has found a way into his shop.  Matt's ultimate talent is figuring things out, and if he could just figure out how to sew tennis balls, he'd be all set. 

Mary has always enjoyed the challenge of working with other minds, whether it be human or computerized.  Finishing a degree in Biology, and adding an education certificate, she and Matt thrived on daily bicycle rides to work in the big city.  She teaching, he fixturing.  The consensus after a while in the city was to ditch the stoplights and head north to dive into marriage and all the adventures that come with it.  No college degree can prepare a person for those adventures, so there's been lots of learning, but in the end the specimens have proven to be very fascinating.  Mary found her niche helping the library be a service to the people of the community as well as heading up the accounting and marketing department of our growing canvas business.   


Follow that all up with a healthy dose of ballerina BMXers and northern Emmet County majesty and you have one busy family.

Matt and Mary Hohlbein

How To Order

Cutwater Canvas is a custom sewing shop.  In order to create custom marine softgoods, including covers, tops, enclosures, and upholstery, visits to the boat are necessary.  We service a wide area in northern lower Michigan and the Straits area into the UP.  If you do not live in our area, we encourage you to find a custom sewing shop near you using the Marine Fabricator's Association find a fabricator listing. Using a local shop will allow you to purchase a high quality, custom product while supporting your local economy.  (An exception to our internet ordering exists with SCAMP items, although they must be ordered through Howard Rice at The Pocket Yacht.)

Please contact Matt to discuss your project directly.

Matt Hohlbein

Cell: 231-203-4474

Office: 231-537-2196

Once we've talked, a typical order follows the following process:

  • We'll visit your boat to take measurements, color notes, and address your inquiry.

  • Cutwater Canvas will create an estimate for the work you have requested.  The estimate can be texted, emailed, or mailed to you.  Please remember that the estimate cannot take into account any later changes or issues that may be discovered during the project.  For example, an estimate to replace cushion fabric later with rotten backing found upon disassembling.  

  • If you accept the estimate, a 50% deposit is required to add it to our schedule.

  • At this point, the materials are finalized (such as color matches) and ordered from our suppliers.

  • Once your project is up for work, we will visit your boat for patterning, if applicable.

  • When fabrication is complete, we will install your project (also if applicable) and submit a final bill.

  • Thank you for your business!

Cutwater Canvas accepts payment via check or credit card.

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