Industry News

LENZIP releases No. 12 Marine Grade UV Zipper

June 22, 2017

LENZIP Manufacturing Corporation, a manufacturer of industrial and commercial grade zippers based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., has released the LENZIP No. 12 Marine Grade UV Zipper. No. 12 gauge is larger than the industry standard No. 10, but smaller than LENZIP’s BIGZIP® No. 15 gauge. The No. 12 gauge is available with 316 stainless steel …

Industry News

MFA at IFAI Expo 2017

June 13, 2017

The Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) will have a presence this year at IFAI Expo in New Orleans, La. Join MFA for sessions on upholstery and enclosures, as well as a case study and successful employee retention.  The current schedule is as follows: Monday, September 25 1:00 p.m – 5:00 p.m. – Specialty Fabrics Cover Tour …

Industry News

SEAMS announces new executive director

June 6, 2017

SEAMS, the National Association for the U.S. Sewn Products Industry, announced that Will Duncan and Associates (WDA) will assume daily management and operations of the not-for-profit organization. Duncan brings more than 30 years of experience in management development, process improvement, etc. to his new role. This board level selection of Will Duncan, founder and CEO of …

Industry News

Boat sales trends sections of NMMA Statistical Abstract released

June 5, 2017

The fifth and sixth sections of the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) 2016 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract are now available and can be downloaded here.  Data shows retail unit sales of outboard, inboard and sterndrive boats were up 6 percent in 2016 and corresponding dollars were up 8 percent. Saltwater fishing boat unit sales were up …

Industry News

2017 IBEX Innovation Awards Program open for entry

May 22, 2017

The 2017 Innovation Awards program is open for entry. The Innovation Awards program recognizes top visionaries and new products in the marine industry. Winners will be announced during the industry breakfast on the opening morning of the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) on Sept. 19 in Tampa, Fla. Products can be submitted for the …

Industry News

Federal grant supports new Great Lakes research center

May 18, 2017

The University of Michigan is establishing a research institute focused on sustainable management of the Great Lakes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is funding the new Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research with a five year, $20 million grant. Scientists with the institute will work with NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann …

Industry News

New NMMA study shows recreational boating contributed significantly to Canada’s economy in 2016

May 17, 2017

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada released a new study outlining the economic impact of recreational boating in Canada. In 2016, the influence of the recreational boating industry in Canada resulted in revenues estimated at $10 billion that generated $5.6 billion in GDP and supported nearly 75,000 jobs throughout the country. The study’s release coincides …

Industry News

Silver State Inc. presents Alaxi Newport collection

May 10, 2017

All fabrics in the Sunbrella® Alaxi Newport collection are known for being fashion focused and style driven. They are covered by a color match guarantee and are protected from dye lot issues and eliminate the need of cuttings for approval. Collection colors include Trippin’, a swirling three color pattern or there’s Lost Horizon, a large repeat ombré strip …

Business Members only content

Pre-employment background checks

May 1, 2017

These days every new employee brings a possible threat to your business, including theft, sexual harassment, physical violence, identity theft, fraud and drug use. The potential for ruinous legal actions is higher today than ever before. That’s why a background check before you hire an applicant could save your business. It’s essential that background checks …

Company News

HEYtex & BondCote hires Wolynes

May 1, 2017

HEYtex & BondCote Corp. has hired Earle Wolynes as sales manager–industrial. Wolynes has more than 20 years of experience in the textile industry in manufacturing, development, sales, marketing and outside consulting. Over his career he has received eight patents in textiles and is a multi-time member of Milliken’s Innovators Hall of Fame. Wolynes will be …

Feature Members only content

Well-defended exterior upholstery

May 1, 2017

Fabrics and components that result in long-lasting cushions Exterior boat cushions get punished. They withstand the sun, wind, rain, saltwater, temperature changes and passenger activity. Despite these factors, these cushions are expected to look good while exposed to climate conditions. Fortunately, marine fabricators know how to merge form and function in outdoor seating. “We must …

Feature Members only content

Part 1: State of the Industry 2017

May 1, 2017

Despite some slowing of global GDP in 2016, growth of the U.S. and Canadian specialty fabrics industry is slow but steady, and markets like fabric structures, tent rental and manufacturing, fabric graphics and marine fabrication are outpacing national averages. The pace is expected to continue, but can also be somewhat constrained by changes in unemployment …

Feature

An emphasis on strengths

May 1, 2017

Chris Ritsema leads his company, Canvas Innovations, by building a strong culture for employee success. My vision has always been to grow a company that empowers its employees,” says Chris Ritsema, owner of Canvas Innovations in Holland, Mich. “I want to give people a reason to stay here and build their careers—and to do that …

Feature

Beyond process improvement

March 1, 2017

Marine fabricator amps up teamwork and quality results There is a common thread with custom manufacturing—it’s very labor-intensive, very expensive and typically done by artisans and skilled trades people,” says Ed Skrzynski, owner of Marco Canvas, Marco Island, Fla. “When I took over the company from my father, I asked myself if I could successfully …

Feature Members only content

High-Performance Sewing Machines

March 1, 2017

Every trade has its tools, and marine fabrication is no exception. A critically important tool of marine fabrication is the sewing machine. Regardless of the brand, a sewing machine has to be durable, reliable and easily maintained, because it is, after all, the workhorse of a productive shop. Purchasing a professional-grade sewing machine, however, is …

Feature Members only content

The third dimension of marine fabrication

January 1, 2017

John Bland revolutionizes marine fabrication by applying 3D CAD principles to the design process.  Moving a business forward can mean advancing the use of technology. “Look at the motor industry—you wouldn’t be happy driving a car that was spec’d 20 years ago,” says John Bland, managing director of Tecsew Ltd., Gosport, Hampshire, U.K. “It’s the …

Feature Members only content

Protecting customers from the sun’s harmful rays

January 1, 2017

Fabricators bring together innovative and classic elements to protect their boating customers from the sun’s harmful rays. Whether permanent or removable, shading on boats has a big job to fulfill: protecting the crew and passengers from the sun while creating a comfortable environment. And boat owners are becoming more knowledgeable about the health dangers that …

Feature Members only content

Navigating the nuanced waters of insurance coverage

September 1, 2016

Marine fabricators face a number of unique circumstances in their operations. They perform onsite work at their shops and offsite work at marinas. They use expensive-to-replace tools and equipment both on and off site. Occasionally a fabricator must bring parts of a customer’s watercraft back to his or her facility to do the work. Such …

Feature Members only content

Accent on marine innovation

September 1, 2016

Textiles that combine performance and aesthetics please fabricators and customers Sun and water are the iconic companions of leisure and recreation. However, if you are a marine fabricator, those same elements can also play an adversarial role. Marine fabrics should protect the people and equipment on board from the effects of heat, UV radiation and …

Feature Members only content

Climates dictate how five regional shops make enclosures

September 1, 2016

Local geography can define a business. In the case of marine fabrication shops, locality can factor into everything from work schedules to choice of materials. Whether the shops are based in the subtropical heat of Florida or the often-chilly climate of the Great Lakes, fabricators make sure their marine applications meet customers’ unique needs. Honoring …

Industry News

LENZIP releases No. 12 Marine Grade UV Zipper

June 22, 2017

LENZIP Manufacturing Corporation, a manufacturer of industrial and commercial grade zippers based in Rolling Meadows, Ill., has released the LENZIP No. 12 Marine Grade UV Zipper. No. 12 gauge is larger than the industry standard No. 10, but smaller than LENZIP’s BIGZIP® No. 15 gauge. The No. 12 gauge is available with 316 stainless steel …

Industry News

MFA at IFAI Expo 2017

June 13, 2017

The Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) will have a presence this year at IFAI Expo in New Orleans, La. Join MFA for sessions on upholstery and enclosures, as well as a case study and successful employee retention.  The current schedule is as follows: Monday, September 25 1:00 p.m – 5:00 p.m. – Specialty Fabrics Cover Tour …

Industry News

SEAMS announces new executive director

June 6, 2017

SEAMS, the National Association for the U.S. Sewn Products Industry, announced that Will Duncan and Associates (WDA) will assume daily management and operations of the not-for-profit organization. Duncan brings more than 30 years of experience in management development, process improvement, etc. to his new role. This board level selection of Will Duncan, founder and CEO of …

Industry News

Boat sales trends sections of NMMA Statistical Abstract released

June 5, 2017

The fifth and sixth sections of the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) 2016 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract are now available and can be downloaded here.  Data shows retail unit sales of outboard, inboard and sterndrive boats were up 6 percent in 2016 and corresponding dollars were up 8 percent. Saltwater fishing boat unit sales were up …

Industry News

2017 IBEX Innovation Awards Program open for entry

May 22, 2017

The 2017 Innovation Awards program is open for entry. The Innovation Awards program recognizes top visionaries and new products in the marine industry. Winners will be announced during the industry breakfast on the opening morning of the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) on Sept. 19 in Tampa, Fla. Products can be submitted for the …

Industry News

Federal grant supports new Great Lakes research center

May 18, 2017

The University of Michigan is establishing a research institute focused on sustainable management of the Great Lakes. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is funding the new Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research with a five year, $20 million grant. Scientists with the institute will work with NOAA’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann …

Industry News

New NMMA study shows recreational boating contributed significantly to Canada’s economy in 2016

May 17, 2017

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada released a new study outlining the economic impact of recreational boating in Canada. In 2016, the influence of the recreational boating industry in Canada resulted in revenues estimated at $10 billion that generated $5.6 billion in GDP and supported nearly 75,000 jobs throughout the country. The study’s release coincides …

Industry News

Silver State Inc. presents Alaxi Newport collection

May 10, 2017

All fabrics in the Sunbrella® Alaxi Newport collection are known for being fashion focused and style driven. They are covered by a color match guarantee and are protected from dye lot issues and eliminate the need of cuttings for approval. Collection colors include Trippin’, a swirling three color pattern or there’s Lost Horizon, a large repeat ombré strip …

Company News

HEYtex & BondCote hires Wolynes

May 1, 2017

HEYtex & BondCote Corp. has hired Earle Wolynes as sales manager–industrial. Wolynes has more than 20 years of experience in the textile industry in manufacturing, development, sales, marketing and outside consulting. Over his career he has received eight patents in textiles and is a multi-time member of Milliken’s Innovators Hall of Fame. Wolynes will be …

Company News

Top Value Fabrics honors Hinsch

May 1, 2017

Robert Hinsch, vice president of Top Value Fabrics, Carmel, Ind., is celebrating his 30th year with the company. Hinsch is recognized throughout the industry as an expert in developing custom textile solutions for a range of industries. He joined the company in 1987 with the idea to build a West Coast sales and distribution center. …

Fabric & Film

WeatherMAX 3D Outdoor Fabric

May 1, 2017

WeatherMAX® 3D is a high-performance outdoor technical fabric. Intended for sun shades, protective covers or any application requiring outdoor durability, the highly elastic fabric stretches 30–100 percent. WeatherMAX 3D is water-resistant and has long-term UV and fade resistance. www.safetycomponents.com

Fabric & Film

Crystal Clear Vinyl

May 1, 2017

Crystal Clear double-roller polished marine-grade clear vinyl window sheeting has an additive UV protectant that makes this an excellent product in 20-, 30- and 40-gauge applications. This exceptionally clear film is ideal for outdoor enclosures, including curtains and bimini tops. www.vicarinternational.com

Equipment

Turn Button & Curtain Fastener Drivers

May 1, 2017

The Turn Button & Curtain Fastener Drivers work on screw-in turn buttons and curtain fastener studs. C.S. Osborne also makes a tool for bending prongs on these fasteners that is fast, easy and safe, and a durable hand punch for cutting slits for fastener prongs. www.csosborne.com

Equipment

Fit Right Cover Kit

May 1, 2017

The Fit Right Cover Kit comes with 50 socket pins, 25 holding caps and 1 unsnapping tool. The kit helps fabricators save time when laying out projects and measuring patterns for marine canvas. Individual components also sold separately. www.csosborne.com

Fabric & Film

Phifer Indoor/Outdoor Fabrics

May 1, 2017

GeoBella® Indoor/Outdoor Performance Fabrics has introduced a new line of colors. Burnt Orange, Spruce, Mushroom, Slate and Chambray are the newest introductions to the line. Chic and functional, these plush 100 percent recyclable fabrics are suitable for any area of the home. www.phifer.com

Equipment

Turn Button & Curtain Fastener Cutters

May 1, 2017

C.S. Osborne manufactures the original cutting pliers used to install turn buttons and curtain fasteners in marine canvas. These time-saving tools make all jobs faster and easier. Made in the USA with heavy-gauge steel, hardened castings and stainless steel rivets. www.csosborne.com

Equipment

Turn Button & Curtain Fastener Punches

May 1, 2017

C.S. Osborne manufactures two different hand punches used to install turn buttons and curtain fasteners in marine canvas. The punches are a more economical alternative to the company’s heavy-duty cutting pliers. Made in the U.S. www.csosborne.com

Fabric & Film

Sunbrella® Shift Collection

March 1, 2017

The new Sunbrella® Shift Collection by Glen Raven Custom Fabrics debuts with classic designs interpreted in a contemporary fashion. The collection is comprised of six patterns that cleverly layer texture, color and pattern, fusing traditional patterns with modern styling. Fabrics in the Shift Collection meet ACT standards for use in high-traffic areas, which means they …

Fabric & Film

SheerWeave Style 7500

March 1, 2017

Phifer Inc. now offers new color options in its popular SheerWeave Style 7500 blackout range. Dual-sided options are now available in Phifer’s R21 Orient and R22 Midnight colors. The new selections are referenced as S97 Orient x2 and R99 Midnight x2 Orient and feature the same back and face color, a variation from the product …

Fabric & Film

Palm Harbor by Enduratex™

March 1, 2017

Palm Harbor has a leather-like look with a weave embossed pattern. Its topcoat, Forbid SRT, increases stain resistance while preserving the integrity of the fabric luster and softness of the faux leather textile. The collection is available in 15 SKUs and is recommended for use in marine, residential, hospitality, health care and restaurant seating. www.enduratex.com

In the Shop Members only content

Fresh updates for older vessels

January 1, 2017

Most interior fabrication projects occur on fixer-uppers. The vessel might be vintage or it might be less than ten years old. While I always welcome the challenge of doing a better design than the original, there is a fine line between aesthetics and practicality. After all, the boat needs to be both comfortable and secure …

How-To Articles Members only content

Constructing snow flies for the Alaskan climate

January 1, 2017

Our winters in Fairbanks, Alaska, can be cold or very cold with lots of snow or little snow; it all depends. One condition we don’t see often is wind. In my 26 years of living here, I can remember only one time when the wind blew and the snow flew. Most of our snow falls …

How-To Articles

Meticulous prototyping leads to attractive cylinder cushions

September 1, 2016

Over the years I have been asked to fabricate several unusual items. I never know if that item will be a one-hit wonder or will become a customer favorite. In most cases, I create prototypes that help me creatively solve design challenges. I charge a prototype fee of a few hundred dollars to develop and …

How-To Articles

Marine fabricators meet customers’ window wish lists

August 1, 2016

When making boat windows for customers, marine fabricators often have a specific set of requirements of their materials. “Our fabricators require a sheet that is easy to handle, durable and can be cut and sewn easily without fear of damaging the product,” says Lyle Shipley, product manager at O’Sullivan Films, Winchester, Va., for O’Sea and …

How-To Articles

Complex and compound frame bending

July 1, 2016

Incorporating unconventional design into dodgers and biminis. I often suggest that my customers try to think out of the box when envisioning what their boats can look like. I tell them, “If I have done my job properly, the cover will become part of the boat.” Take a spray dodger, for example. I generally recommend …

Interiors & Upholstery

The art of project management on contour cushions

July 1, 2016

Marine fabricators are a unique group of craftspeople and business owners. Many of us are familiar with the notion that creative pursuits are right-brain activities, while math and logic are left-brain activities. As marine fabricators, we utilize the right sides of our brains for design solutions that meet customers’ aesthetic and practical expectations. At the …

Interiors & Upholstery

Restyled sleeping cabins

May 1, 2016

Interior sleeping cabins on a vessel have always been my favorite projects. I enjoy researching options and ultimately providing customers with tidy solutions that offer easy accessibility. Cabin spaces and mattresses come in all shapes and sizes. One of my clients claims to sleep 14 people on his 54-foot Bertram with only three interior cabins, …

How-To Articles

Lazy Jack – stack pack sail covers

March 1, 2016

These names are some of the descriptions for a process of suspending sail covers. I started making these Lazy Jack covers 20 years ago, as a progress/advance of the Lazy Jack rope system, designed to help flake a main sail as it is put away. The idea was to connect the rope to a sail …

Interiors & Upholstery

Elegant performance in stripes

March 1, 2016

Stripes come in every color, shape and size. A two-color stripe can even be juxtaposed to form an eye-catching pattern. Striking stripe patterns can be matched or combined with solid colors to provide dramatic effects for your next project. Stripes are more popular than ever. Sunbrella likes them so much, subtle as well as dramatic …

Interiors & Upholstery

Window treatments to WOW your customers

January 1, 2016

This article presents options for the perfect look and fit for those challenging yacht windows. A bit of experience will help, but don’t be daunted by the encounter; just reading this page likely means you have already overcome obstacles for other areas of vessels that were once demanding. Entire lines of blinds and shades are …