Industry News

NBSAC seeking applicants for 2018

July 20, 2017

The National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) is soliciting applications for 2018 positions, although 2017 appointments remain undeclared. According to the Federal Register, NBSAC, which advises the Coast Guard (USCG) on recreational boating safety regulations and other major boating safety matters, seeks to fill seven vacancies. Applications must reach the USCG by August 29 to …

Industry News

IMT seeks candidates for scholarship program

July 18, 2017

The Institute of Marine Technology (IMT), located at Warner University in Lake Wales, Fla., has established a scholarship program for students participating in its marine technical training program in 2017-2018. The intent of the program is to prepare individuals for entry-level technician opportunities in the watercraft industry. Three full scholarships of up to $28,000 each …

Fabric & Film

SheerWeave Style 5000 line

July 1, 2017

Phifer’s SheerWeave® Style 5000 line of window covering fabrics is available in six new colors. The new colors are Bark/Ash, Bark/Pewter, Linen/Pearl, Linen/Taupe, Linen/Clay and Metro/Platinum. The fabrics are certified to GREENGUARD standards for low chemical emissions into indoor air during product usage and are infused with Microban® antimicrobial product protection to inhibit the growth …

Editorial

New editor comes onboard

July 1, 2017

By way of introduction, let me say right up front I’m a Minnesota girl. My earliest experiences with aquatic life involved a lake, a fishing pole, a Styrofoam container of worms and a long summer morning of catching sunnies off a dock (they also like bacon). I have sailed, paddled, rowed, motored and floated on …

Fabric & Film

Ultrafabrics indoor/outdoor collections

July 1, 2017

Designed for marine environments, Ultrafabrics’® new collection of Ultraleather® Indoor/Outdoor polyurethanes protects against fading and discoloration. EPA-registered anti-mildew defense protects against foreign substances. Climate-control technology resists temperature changes, ensuring the material will not crack or decompose. Thermal comfort dissipates heat and moisture away from the body, promoting a pleasant seating experience above and below deck. …

News

In memoriam: Don Wedge

July 1, 2017

Don Wedge, former owner of the Marine Canvas Training Institute in Palmetto, Fla, passed away peacefully on April 3. Wedge was born on December 27, 1929, in Chardon, Ohio. He helped launch the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) and IFAI’s Master Fabric Craftsman (MFC) certification program. Wedge was well known for his training school, instructional videos …

Exterior Members only content

Planning a 40 foot yacht cover with no snaps part two

July 1, 2017

This article is a follow-up to the one I wrote in the May/June issue of Marine Fabricator in which I discussed the project plan our team utilized to meet the customer’s request for a full boat cover for a 40-foot Andreyale yacht. The boat is the property of the Peninsula Yacht Club in Cornelius, N.C., …

Fabricator Focus

Semi-mobile marine canvas company makes quality a priority

July 1, 2017

Charlie and Marcia Kees are the owners of Mister Sew-N-Sew Custom Boat Canvas. Based in Waterford, N.Y., the marine fabrication business designs and sews boat covers and marine upholstery for a variety of makes and models of boats. From bimini covers to mooring covers to camper-style marine covers, all custom work is professionally designed and …

Feature

Train, recruit and keep employees

July 1, 2017

Competition, especially from overseas manufacturing; increasing costs for equipment, materials and labor; the need to keep up with fast-paced technology; and the general state of the economy, which directly affects the consumer pool, rank as challenging issues for most businesses. Yet the owner of a marine fabrication shop in Portland, Ore., has a more pressing …

Hardware & Findings

Sew-in boat vent

July 1, 2017

Boat Vent AERO is Vico Marine’s first sew-in vent. Excellent for adding extra venting or to be used when tenting is not an option. An optional louver front can be added to keep bugs and rodents from entering the cover or as extra protection from heavy rain. Works well on sailboat covers, aft covers, cockpit …

Feature

Train, recruit and keep employees

July 1, 2017

Competition, especially from overseas manufacturing; increasing costs for equipment, materials and labor; the need to keep up with fast-paced technology; and the general state of the economy, which directly affects the consumer pool, rank as challenging issues for most businesses. Yet the owner of a marine fabrication shop in Portland, Ore., has a more pressing …

Feature Members only content

Why millennials don’t want manufacturing jobs

July 1, 2017

In 2014, Deloitte, in conjunction with The Manufacturing Institute, surveyed more than 450 manufacturing executives for a report titled “The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing 2015 and beyond.” “And beyond” strikes at the heart of the matter, in large part because of the “retirement exodus” of baby boomers leaving 2.7 million jobs by the year …

Feature Members only content

Shop organization tips and techniques

July 1, 2017

For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” That sage advice from American founding father Benjamin Franklin holds true for any marine fabrication business, because an organized shop can improve employee efficiency and affect the bottom line all while keeping customers coming back for more. Streamlined Processes Marine fabricators are always looking for ways …

Feature

Interior design trends 2017

July 1, 2017

Today’s interior designs of marine vessels represent a curious amalgam of styles and trends. This is a function of boat owners wanting to experiment with new looks as well as a willingness on the part of marine fabricators to take the lead in educating their clients about the broad range of options available. This balancing …

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

Leading a company by building a strong culture for employee success

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 …

Industry News

NBSAC seeking applicants for 2018

July 20, 2017

The National Boating Safety Advisory Council (NBSAC) is soliciting applications for 2018 positions, although 2017 appointments remain undeclared. According to the Federal Register, NBSAC, which advises the Coast Guard (USCG) on recreational boating safety regulations and other major boating safety matters, seeks to fill seven vacancies. Applications must reach the USCG by August 29 to …

Industry News

IMT seeks candidates for scholarship program

July 18, 2017

The Institute of Marine Technology (IMT), located at Warner University in Lake Wales, Fla., has established a scholarship program for students participating in its marine technical training program in 2017-2018. The intent of the program is to prepare individuals for entry-level technician opportunities in the watercraft industry. Three full scholarships of up to $28,000 each …

Industry News

NMMA 2016 statistical research available

July 1, 2017

The National Marine Manufacturer Association’s (NMMA) 2016 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract is available. Each section is released individually as the statistics become available and contains thousands of data points and insights on the boating industry. The data sections’ release dates are as follow: March: Outboard Engine Sales Trends; Sailboat Sales Trends April: Pre-owned Boat …

Industry News

Boating industry expands

July 1, 2017

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the U.S. boating industry is expected to have its seventh consecutive year of growth in 2017, surpassing the pre-recession peak set in 2006. The article, which included an interview with National Marine Manufacturer Association (NMMA) president Thom Dammrich, attributes part of that growth to boaters upgrading to bigger, automated, …

Industry News

Grow Boating buyer research available

July 1, 2017

Given the changes in consumer shopping and online behavior, the Grow Boating Board of Directors commissioned a study to better understand today’s first-time boat buyer. Study findings include definitions of six different types of first-time boat buyers including their interests and psychographic traits, what motivates them to explore boat ownership, how they move from “boating” …

Events

Geotechnical Frontiers 2017 a success

July 1, 2017

More than 2,100 attendees and 193 exhibitors gathered at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Orlando, Fla., in March for Geotechnical Frontiers 2017, the biggest geosynthetics show in the industry. Geotechnical Frontiers combined the annual Geo-Congress and the biennial Geosynthetics Conference into a super-event held once every six years. “We had a great show and we’re …

Industry News

New members join MFA

July 1, 2017

Marine Fabricators Association welcomes the following new members. For complete contact information, visit www.ifai.com/marine. Duneland Custom Canvas LLC James Torres Portage, Ind. Design Techniques LLC David Weatherly La Conner, Wash.

Industry News

Small business spends big on taxes

July 1, 2017

http://smallbiztrends.comSmall businesses are spending a lot of time and money on federal taxes, a new survey has found. According to the National Small Business Association 2017 Small Business Taxation Survey, federal tax burden is one of the biggest challenges facing small businesses. The report finds the majority of small businesses (67 percent) are spending more …

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 …

Fabric & Film

SheerWeave Style 5000 line

July 1, 2017

Phifer’s SheerWeave® Style 5000 line of window covering fabrics is available in six new colors. The new colors are Bark/Ash, Bark/Pewter, Linen/Pearl, Linen/Taupe, Linen/Clay and Metro/Platinum. The fabrics are certified to GREENGUARD standards for low chemical emissions into indoor air during product usage and are infused with Microban® antimicrobial product protection to inhibit the growth …

Fabric & Film

Ultrafabrics indoor/outdoor collections

July 1, 2017

Designed for marine environments, Ultrafabrics’® new collection of Ultraleather® Indoor/Outdoor polyurethanes protects against fading and discoloration. EPA-registered anti-mildew defense protects against foreign substances. Climate-control technology resists temperature changes, ensuring the material will not crack or decompose. Thermal comfort dissipates heat and moisture away from the body, promoting a pleasant seating experience above and below deck. …

Hardware & Findings

Sew-in boat vent

July 1, 2017

Boat Vent AERO is Vico Marine’s first sew-in vent. Excellent for adding extra venting or to be used when tenting is not an option. An optional louver front can be added to keep bugs and rodents from entering the cover or as extra protection from heavy rain. Works well on sailboat covers, aft covers, cockpit …

Accessories

LED boat lights

July 1, 2017

Larson Electronics’ LED boat lights offer a combination of intensity, power and durability. Underwater boat lights are available for boaters who wish to add more aesthetic to their watercraft. The Perko mount LED navigation/running lights will provide bright illumination needed for safe navigation after dark. Make stairways and walking areas safer with Larson interior LED …

Hardware & Findings

Aluma Hawk aluminum boat paint

July 1, 2017

The Aluma Hawk™ boat paint line is available in several new colors. The chromate-free paints’ quick-dry coating is designed for use on aluminum with no need for additional primers. It is ideal for a wide variety of vessels, and the complete color palette can be mixed and matched, allowing for a fully coordinated look. Additionally, …

Fabric & Film

High-tech 37 + fabric

July 1, 2017

Spun-dried polyester for marine applications is engineered for the toughest climates; the fabric is PVC-free but virtually waterproof—it will not leak even after a week of standing water. High-tech 37+ fabric will not permanently stretch or shrink, and returns to its original shape after being distorted by heavy wind and water. It also does not …

Fabric & Film

Serge Ferrari One fabric

July 1, 2017

Serge Ferrari One is durable but exceptionally soft upholstery fabric designed for demanding indoor and outdoor environments in hospitality, yachting and contract seating. Oil-resistant and easy to clean, the fabric is phthalate-free and fire-retardant. Now available in 25 colors, with a choice of smooth or grain finish. Seven-year warranty offered. www.sergeferrari.com

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

Interiors & Upholstery

Window Treatment Trends

July 1, 2017

Interest in window coverings for marine applications has experienced a rebirth of sorts and more consumers, fabricators and designers are using innovative window treatment designs. When Krisha Plauché, owner of Onboard Interiors in Marblehead, Mass., is fabricating drapery for a stateroom, she often uses blackout applications, but Plauché has found that lining drapery with a …

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 …