"Quality Canvas Work and Sailmaking for 39 Years!"
Robert Mew starting sailing in 1976 at the age of 16 in a Fireball class dinghy that he built himself. He has been involved in many aspects of the boat industry including formal education in yacht design, rigging, spars and boat building. At the age of 17 worked for Whitehouse boats building Racing One Design boats, foils and spars. Robert raced in anything he could, especially the Fireball, Shark and Albacore classes.
At 18 bought his first commercial sewing machine and started building sails and covers in his parents basement as a summer business while in high school and became active in the International 14 and 505 classes. At 19 he was the youngest competitor at the 505 world championships in South Africa. At 20 he was selected to do a work term drafting at the C&C yachts design office in Oakville. That same year, his summer basement business had grown to 2 student employees and together they built hundreds of dinghy sails and one design boat covers including all the sails for Mirror Sailcraft of Canada. In his spare time, Robert also built a few more boats in his parents garage including several Mirror dinghies and a Kevlar/Carbon/Nomex Flying Dutchman with his sights set on the 1983 Olympic trials.
At the age of 21 he was approached by Richard Storer to start up a new loft on the edge of Toronto Harbour under the name of Sobstad/Storer Toronto as an independent affiliate of Sobstad/Storer Sailmakers in Barrie. Over the next 5 years, business expanded with 2 relocations; each time with more staff and larger premises to the point of leasing a 6000 sq.ft loft on the east side of the harbour with a full time staff of 10, operating under the banner Hurricane Canvas/ Sobstad Sails.In 1989, Robert transitioned from being a Sobstad service loft to becoming the Ontario agent for Neil Pryde Sails with a seasonal staff between 15 to 20. He campaigned the C&C 34 Cookie Monster with Neil Pryde Sails and took the top spot in its division. In 1990 Robert downsized to a staff of 7 and a smaller loft. In 1995 Robert and his wife Gabi purchased a 105’ open deck barge which they renamed “Bobbin” and constructed a 6000 sq. ft. floating sail loft and canvas shop which is the current home to Hurricane Canvas and Sails.
Robert has and continues to race on a variety of high profile boats. Robert and Gabi have also done some limited cruising in the Bahamas, Virgin Islands, and of course Lake Ontario. Robert and Gabi has just purchased a C&C Mega, which they plan on sailing in Ontario and Florida.
Gabi Mew joined Hurricane Canvas & Sails in 1990 as co-owner and has worked in virtually every aspect of the business from administration, to overseeing all of the cutting and sewing. Gabi is currently focusing on all the service work for both sails and canvas and managing the administration.
Gabi enjoys sailing the family C&C Mega which is berthed on Toronto Island.