How to Replace Snaps on Boat Canvas using a Snap Setter Tool | SavvyBoater.com
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Instructions for Replacing a Boat Canvas Snap with the Snap Setter Tool

If you’re wishing that you could replace your broken snaps yourself but don’t want to spend money on the expensive snap setting tools that your local canvas shops uses, then look no further than the Snap Setter. We found the Snap Setter Snap Tool to be an easy to use tool for replacing broken boat snaps or installing new ones. Make handling your canvas even easier with the Top-Snapper canvas snap tool. Made for snapping and unsnapping your canvas from either the inside or outside.

Removing a Damaged Boat Snap

Before you are able to replace a broken or problem snap you will need to remove the old snap. For removing the old snap we suggest using a drill. There is a hollow post that runs from the dome through the female part of the snap, formed into a lip attaching the two snap pieces. Use a drill bit that is slightly larger than the center of the hollow post. A 3/16" drill bit should do the job for you. You will also want to have some vice grips or pliers to hold the snap while you drill, to prevent the snap from spinning and ripping your canvas.

Follow all normal safety precautions for using a drill. Place snap in vice grip and put on a firm surface. Put the point of the drill bit into the hole of the post and begin to carefully drill. Drilling here will cut away the lip that the post has formed, which holds the canvas snap together. Once you drill the lip enough the snap should come apart.

How to Replace a Boat Snap with the Snap Setter Snap Tool

Installing a new snap is simple with the Snap Setter snap setting tool. Measure carefully on your canvas to determine the exact spot where you want the boat snap. Or if you are replacing an existing snap use the same hole.

To install a new snap, grab the Snap Setter and adjust the end knob until the punch on the upper jaw meets the anvil on the lower jaw. Place the hollow post of the boat snap through the hole in your canvas or carpet and place the snap dome on the concave anvil of the Snap Setter Snap Tool. Place the female snap fitting over the hollow post, sandwiching your canvas between the two snap pieces. Squeeze the handles of the Snap Setter together. You’ll have to squeeze hard to flatten the hollow post. The edges of the post will roll out and rivet the two pieces of the boat snap together. Make sure that the post has been deformed enough that the two pieces of the snap are firmly fixed together.

With your new snaps in place it may be time to put your canvas back on your boat. This is not always the easiest part of owning a boat, but now you can at least make it much easier to accomplish with the help of the Top-Snapper canvas snap tool. This product is designed to snap and unsnap those difficult canvas snaps on the inside and out side of your boat's canvas cover. It works great to remove corroded snaps before replacement or putting tight, shrunken canvas back on with your new snaps in place.

Snap Setter Step by Step Illustration

Adjusting the Snap Setter
Adjust Snap Setter

Snap Setter with dome in place
Snap dome in place

Boat Canvas with hole for Snap Setter snaps
Put snap post through hole

Female snap piece with canvas between
Place female snap piece on the other side with canvas in between before using snap setter

Snap Setter squeezing snap closed
Squeeze snap setter closed to snap. Squeeze hard.

Finish snap with help of Snap Setter
A finished set snap

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