Industry News

House passes Water Resources Development Act

December 9, 2016

The U.S. House passed the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), also known as the Water Infrastructure Improvements for the Nation Act (WIIN). The bill approves critical funding improvements and upkeeps for our nation’s waterways and harbors and includes ecosystem, dredging, flood control, and navigation programs. The WRDA will now be up for consideration in the Senate. …

Industry News

NMMA, Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable detail infrastructure needs for Trump team

December 8, 2016

The new Outdoor Recreational Industry Roundtable, a group of more than 10 outdoor industries that come together that have come together to call attention to the collective breadth and positive impact of our nation’s recreation and outdoor industry, shared a white paper with Trump transition team that outlines the critical infrastructure needed to sustain and …

Industry News

National safe boating council seeks industry support for #GivingTuesday

November 28, 2016

In its efforts to create safer waterways, the National Safe Boating council (NSBC) is seeking industry support on Tuesday, Nov. 29 for #GivingTuesday. Its #GivingTuesday efforts are focused on keeping children safe while boating by teaching them valuable lessons, such as proper life jacket wear. To support the campaign you can donate by clicking here and you …

Industry News

Larson Boat Group closes Minnesota facility

November 23, 2016

The Larson Boat Group has announced plans to consolidate its Little Falls, Minn., facility with its larger Pulaski, Wis., plant. The Little Falls plant manufactures the boating lines Larson, Larson FX, Larson Escape, Striper and Triumph. President and chief executive of Larson Boat Group Rob Parmentier released a statement indicating that “after months of analysis, …

Industry News

Burrows named president of Chamber of Marine Commerce

November 22, 2016

The Chamber of Marine Commerce (CMC) has appointed Bruce R. Burrows as president, effective December 1, 2016. Burrows joins the chamber as the bi-national industry association enters a new chapter, having recently completed a merger with the Canadian Shipowners Association in September. Burrows brings almost 35 years of government relations, business development and consensus-building expertise …

Industry News

Powerboat registrations up 6.6 percent through September

November 15, 2016

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) New Powerboat Registrations Report has been updated with advanced September data. Through September 2016, total new powerboat unit sales are up 6.6 percent year over year (YOY). For additional data from NMMA by boat type, hull material, propulsion and size going back five years, see the full report. NMMA members …

Industry News

Nominations sought for 2017 Freedman Award

November 10, 2016

Nominations are being accepted for the 2017 Alan J. Freedman Memorial Leadership Awards. Recipients of the NMMA Freedman Award are individuals who made outstanding contributions to the marine accessories industry through leadership, creativity and personal motivation. To nominate an individual, complete and submit the formal application to Rachel Timko, rtimko@nmma.org by Nov. 30. The award will be presented at the Progressive …

Industry News

Enter the 2017 Fabrication Excellence Awards today

November 8, 2016

Now is the time to submit your best fabrication projects for a chance to win a Fabrication Excellence Award. The deadline to submit projects is Dec. 5. The award winners will receive a feature spot in Marine Fabricator magazine, a recognition on the MFA website and participation in the awards ceremony dinner at the Marine Fabricators Conference. The …

Industry News

Advisory council applicants sought for eight marine sanctuaries

November 4, 2016

Advisory council applicants are being sought for eight National Marine Sanctuaries which are oversaw by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office. These community-based groups guide management decisions and community relations for each sanctuary site. Candidates are selected based on expertise and experience. Applications are being accepted through Wednesday, November 30. More information is …

Industry News

Registration is open for the 2017 Marine Fabricators Conference

November 4, 2016

Registration is now open for the 2017 Marine Fabricators Conference, Jan. 19–21 at the Jacksonville Marriott Hotel in Jacksonville, Fla. Join fellow marine fabricators for three days of education, networking, fun and and business building. You won’t want to miss out on the conference’s nine educational seminars. These seminars are devoted to helping your business grow …

Feature

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

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

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 …

Feature

Warranting your work

September 1, 2016

Going above and beyond protects customers’ investment At first glance, marine fabricators may not seem to have much in common with L.L. Bean, the maker of outdoor clothing and gear. Bean became an icon in the business world through its legendary customer service, and that lesson is not lost on fabricators. Fabricators may never get …

Feature

Taking stock

July 1, 2016

Fabricators’ inventory management needs vary from simple to complex. A customer contacts your shop for a new bimini top for his boat. He meets with you at your business, choosing an ever-popular canvas from your selections. After he provides a down payment, you enter his order into your project management system and initiate the production …

Feature

Windows on the water

July 1, 2016

Product knowledge and best practices lead to stunning results and happy customers. Whether on the lake in a trusty fishing vessel or soaking up ocean views from a luxury yacht, boat owners want the best windows for their crafts. Product manufacturers, distributors and fabricators have great material options to meet their customers’ marine window goals. …

Feature

Competitive edge through technology

July 1, 2016

New software and hardware help fabricators find new efficiencies. Efficiency and consistent quality are two factors that marine fabricators consider before investing in technology. In addition, the marine industry—and consumers in general—look for customized solutions to meet their unique design needs. Marine fabricators can look to several companies for solutions to improve their production processes. …

Feature

Asking competitors for help

May 1, 2016

Concerned you’ll lose customers if you ask competitors for help? Not to worry. For many people, asking for help is an acquired skill. Faith Roberts, owner of Banner Canvas, Ham Lake, Minn., knows this first hand. Her customer wanted a wakeboard tower covered. No problem, said Roberts. Then reality set in. “I kept telling myself …

Feature

The 2016 State of the Industry

May 1, 2016

Positive outlook projected for marine businesses. Six years after the world economy emerged from the Great Recession of 2009, a return to a strong global expansion remains elusive. The downside risks to the world economy appeared more noticeable than ever in 2015. Economic growth has improved in the advanced economies—the United States, Japan and Europe. …

Feature

Fabric on the frontier

May 1, 2016

Alaska’s extreme climate demands attention to detail and creative problem solving. “The remote area where we work can be a challenge so we have to be flexible and willing to do lots of different things,” say Eric Walton, MFC, and Devlin McKee, CC, owners of Custom Canvas Alaska (CCA) in Fairbanks, Alaska. “People come to …

Industry News

Anti-Fouling Paint Testing Method Released for Public Comment

August 8, 2016

An important testing method that could benefit boaters and marinas faced with strict regulation of copper-based anti-fouling paint has been released for public comment by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports that the saltwater biotic ligand model (BLM) is of particular interest in California, where regulators have set …

Industry News

NMMA signs letters to state delegations to support TPP

August 3, 2016

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has signed on to a second round of letters from companies, business and agricultural associations supporting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) as a part of the U.S. Coalition for TPP. The letters were delivered to congressional delegations from the following states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, …

Accessories

Sun & Sea Trilaminate Vinyl

September 1, 2016

Vicar International now offers a 15-ounce, 62-inch wide vinyl trilaminate with a contemporary embossing over a matte, easy-to-clean finish. This product, called Sun & Sea, is available in 15 colors. Specifications include flame retardant, passes CPA1-84, NFPA-701, CA. Title 19 Sec. 1237.1, high tear and tensile strength, and mildew and rot resistance. Treated with 1,000 …

Accessories

Distinction-Poly Thread

September 1, 2016

Available in 20 bold, contrasting colors, Distinction-Poly Thread gives fabricators and manufacturers the versatility, extra UVR, and mildew resistant performance needed for both indoor and outdoor applications. The thread is formulated to meet the rigorous demands of the marine, automotive, RV, and golf industries. Recommended for marine and automotive seating, golf seating, outdoor furniture, accent …

Accessories

MagicEzy 9 Second Chip Fix

September 1, 2016

MagicEzy 9 Second Chip Fix is a UV- and water-resistant, ready-to-use filler, available in 10 popular boat colors. Intended for repairing small holes, chips and gouges in fiberglass, the product requires no mixing and there is no need to paint over the repair. This product incorporates the latest nano-technology to provide ultimate strength and adhesion. …

Fabric & Film

Sunbrella® Shift Collection

September 1, 2016

The new Sunbrella® Shift Collection by Glen Raven Custom Fabrics includes six patterns that layer texture, color and pattern, fusing traditional pattern with modern styling. The patterns include Spotlight, Loft, Escapade, Connect, Integrated and Radiant. Fabrics in this collection meet ACT standards for use in high-traffic areas, making them suitable for hospitality, residential indoor and …

Fabric & Film

South Beach collection

September 1, 2016

Silver State Inc. now offers the South Beach collection, distributed exclusively through Alaxi, a division of Silver State. The Sunbrella® South Beach collection includes, among other designs, Fontainebleau, a railroaded stripe with a 32.25 inch repeat; Avenues, a large/mid-scale with a labyrinthian turn on a traditional Greek key; and Kitty Kitty, an organic tiger pattern …

Equipment

SuperMAX™ anchors

September 1, 2016

SuperMAX™ anchors provide a strong hold in any seabed and in many conditions, from grass to coral, tidal currents and hurricane winds. Manufactured in the U.S. from high-tensile strength American tool-grade steel (harder than any steel used in competitive anchors), the SuperMAX is hot-dip galvanized for years of protection. Available in rigid and pivoting shank …

Accessories

#138 Polyester Thread

September 1, 2016

Vicar International has added size #138 UVR to its Aqualon line of bonded polyester threads, which combine durability with aesthetics. The thread is available in 1-pound units in white, black and beaver as well as 15 colors in 8-ounce cones. Available sizes include #92 and #138. Aqualon threads are suitable for numerous marine and sail …

Fabric & Film

Redesigned Sunbrella® Fusion Collection

September 1, 2016

The latest textures, patterns and colors from the Sunbrella® Fusion Collection are now available exclusively through Trivantage. This collection features 99 new styles for indoor and outdoor upholstery. The collection includes Tailored, inspired by menswear tweed; Savvy, a geometric design; Agra, a design that resembles raindrops; and Demo, which draws upon familiar textures and colors. …

Hardware & Findings

Hand punch tool and fasteners

July 1, 2016

The Common Sense/Lift-the-DOT Fastener Tool brings ease to die cutting in marine and awning applications. Q-SNAP fasteners make installation up to three times faster than with other secure fasteners. The Common Sense/Lift-the-DOT Fastener Tool was designed to save fabricators time and money by allowing them to properly place fasteners and make small repairs without removing …

Accessories

Marine helm chairs

July 1, 2016

New ergonomically designed Taco® Marine premium helm chairs are now available in two styles. The Capri Helm Chair is available in light gray, vanilla or white, with a standard rollback bolster seat or a fixed seat and adjustable armrests. A smaller version is available without armrests. The Capri is also available as a bench-style seat …

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 …

Management

Ready to share 35 years of fabrication experience

January 1, 2016

In this series of articles, I will be introducing you to another talented fabricator, Aaron Stroud-Smith from Canvas Barn Marine Trimming, located across the country in Victoria. Aaron has taken on 95 percent of my strange methods, changing the way he fabricates and having excellent success with his end results. Back in 1978, at 16, I …

Feature

Child’s play

September 1, 2015

Kid-friendly boat interiors balance durability, safety and plenty of fun. Kids are fun and adorable. They’re also clumsy and messy. So when boat owners decide to spend time on the water with their children and grandchildren, they need interiors that can stand up to the task. “Designing with family or pets in mind takes extra …