Straightline Canvas Owner Jay Gaunt said he brought his business to the Tri-Lakes Area about five years ago to fill a growing need for custom boat covers and enclosures.
“We also have a location at Lake of the Ozarks I started that in the early ’90s, and we had a couple of customers ask me to look at coming down here to do business because there was really nobody down here that did what we did,” he said. “Springfield is about the only place that does what we do other than an upholstery shop.”
Getting a boat cover at an upholstery shop typically doesn’t turn out as well as it may seem.
“They might quote you a cheaper price, but there’s a huge difference in quality,” he said. “A lot of people will go to an upholstery shop and think they can do anything since they have a sewing machine. Sometimes those shops don’t really know what they’re doing when it comes to boat covers, but they want the business and won’t say ‘no.’”
Gaunt, who has over 30 years of experience under his belt, said Straightline won’t confuse people with too many choices.
We use what we know works,” he said. “It gets confusing with too many choices. We may not stock certain colors, but we can order them.”
Gaunt said the company recently purchased exciting new digital equipment and should be up and running within 30 days.
“We currently take measurements manually, but with the new equipment we’re going to make boat covers with a laser and a computer,” he said. “It’s incredible technology where we 3D an image and put it in a cutter to create the product from that digital image. It’s almost going to be a 48-hour cover; our current method takes a lot longer. We’re going to go around and digitize several boats beforehand so we’ll be prepared to build covers for all the most popular boats.”
About four years ago, Straightline took over a golf cart business from Milo Heading.
“He was a family friend who fell ill, so we stepped in to help him out with the business temporarily and ended up purchasing it from him,” he said. “Then he passed away about a year later. So we kind of inherited the golf cart business, but I personally come from a background of that kind of stuff. In high school, I worked for a John Deere dealership and worked with all kinds of small engines.”
Gaunt said the company sells and rents golf carts, as well as providing service and parts.
“Most people don’t realize we have hard-to-find parts,” he said. “The golf cart business has been around for over 20 years, so we have all kinds of parts for older carts.”
For more information, call 417-739-3131 for the canvas shop and 417-779-4200 for motor sports.