Industry News

Connecticut Marine Trades Association works on Tax Reform Bill

April 17, 2017

The Connecticut Marine Trades Association has been working on Senate Bill 1048, which would decrease the sales and use tax from around six percent to approximately three percent on all vessels sold and registered within the state of Connecticut. The goal of the bill is to continue to strengthen Connecticut’s boating industry and make the …

Industry News

Grow Boating Research unlocks key to attracting first-time boat buyers

April 11, 2017

With changes in consumer shopping and online behavior over the last decade, 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 …

Industry News

Remembering Don Wedge

April 7, 2017

Don Wedge, former owner of the Marine Training Institute, Palmetto, Fla., passed away peacefully on April 3. Wedge helped launch the Marine Fabricators Association and the Master Fabric Craftsman (MFA) program. He was well known for his training school, instructional videos and developing patterning techniques. Wedge was the first inductee into the MFA Hall of …

Industry News

NMMA kicks off release of 2016 Statistical Abstract with Outboard Engine Sales Trends report

April 5, 2017

National Marine Manufacturer Association (NMMA) will be releasing its U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract by section as the data becomes available. Sections of the 2016 Statistical Abstract will be released beginning this month, with the first being the Outboard Engine Sales Trends report and sailboat sales trends 2005-2016. The Outboard Engine Sales Trends report examines …

Industry News

Phifer expands color selection for SunTex® 95

April 3, 2017

Tuscaloosa, Alabama-based Phifer Inc. added a new color to its exterior sun control fabric line SunTex® 95. The new hue, Carbon, joins the current range of eight neutral color options. Made from vinyl-coated polyester, SunTex 95 is thinner and lighter weight than traditional SunTex fabrics and is a full basketweave. SunTex 95 fabrics are infused …

Industry News

IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference: Testing Program 2017

April 3, 2017

At the 2017 Advanced Textiles Conference (ATC), four educational tracks—military, medical, smart fabrics and testing—will give attendees the latest news on the processes, products and profit potential in working with high-tech fabrics and fabrication techniques. The Advanced Textiles Conference, part of IFAI Expo 2017, will be held in New Orleans Sept. 26-29. This year’s ATC …

Industry News

IFAI’s 2017 Smart Fabrics Program

March 29, 2017

Channeling exciting ideas into new product development. At the 2017 Advanced Textiles Conference, four educational tracks—military, medical, smart fabrics and testing—will give attendees the latest news on the processes, products and profit potential in working with high-tech fabrics and fabrication techniques. The Advanced Textiles Conference, part of IFAI Expo 2017, will be held in New …

Business

Strategic retention

March 28, 2017

It’s one thing to find qualified workers; it’s another to keep them happy in their jobs. Inman Mills has a 116-year history as a textiles manufacturer, now staffing three plants with 700 employees. The Inman, S.C.-headquartered company enjoys a low turnover rate and, in fact, has employees who have been with the company for 40 …

Industry News

Student Design Competitions application deadline May 15

March 27, 2017

IFAI appreciates members’ dedication to helping advance the textile industry. We encourage you to further that advancement by passing along the following information to students  who are interested in a textile industry career. Students have until Monday, May 15, 2017, to submit projects for the IFAI Student Design Competitions. Any project completed between May 2016- May 2017 is eligible. …

Industry News

Secretary Zinke strengthens opportunities for boaters

March 14, 2017

Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued two secretarial orders which expand access to public lands and increase fishing, hunting and recreation opportunities nationwide. The two secretarial orders include: Secretarial Order No. 3346 overturns the recent ban lead ammunition and fish tackle used on Fish and Wildlife Service lands, waters, and facilities. Secretarial Order No. …

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

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 …

Feature Members only content

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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. …

Industry News

Connecticut Marine Trades Association works on Tax Reform Bill

April 17, 2017

The Connecticut Marine Trades Association has been working on Senate Bill 1048, which would decrease the sales and use tax from around six percent to approximately three percent on all vessels sold and registered within the state of Connecticut. The goal of the bill is to continue to strengthen Connecticut’s boating industry and make the …

Industry News

Grow Boating Research unlocks key to attracting first-time boat buyers

April 11, 2017

With changes in consumer shopping and online behavior over the last decade, 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 …

Industry News

Remembering Don Wedge

April 7, 2017

Don Wedge, former owner of the Marine Training Institute, Palmetto, Fla., passed away peacefully on April 3. Wedge helped launch the Marine Fabricators Association and the Master Fabric Craftsman (MFA) program. He was well known for his training school, instructional videos and developing patterning techniques. Wedge was the first inductee into the MFA Hall of …

Industry News

NMMA kicks off release of 2016 Statistical Abstract with Outboard Engine Sales Trends report

April 5, 2017

National Marine Manufacturer Association (NMMA) will be releasing its U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract by section as the data becomes available. Sections of the 2016 Statistical Abstract will be released beginning this month, with the first being the Outboard Engine Sales Trends report and sailboat sales trends 2005-2016. The Outboard Engine Sales Trends report examines …

Industry News

Phifer expands color selection for SunTex® 95

April 3, 2017

Tuscaloosa, Alabama-based Phifer Inc. added a new color to its exterior sun control fabric line SunTex® 95. The new hue, Carbon, joins the current range of eight neutral color options. Made from vinyl-coated polyester, SunTex 95 is thinner and lighter weight than traditional SunTex fabrics and is a full basketweave. SunTex 95 fabrics are infused …

Industry News

IFAI’s Advanced Textiles Conference: Testing Program 2017

April 3, 2017

At the 2017 Advanced Textiles Conference (ATC), four educational tracks—military, medical, smart fabrics and testing—will give attendees the latest news on the processes, products and profit potential in working with high-tech fabrics and fabrication techniques. The Advanced Textiles Conference, part of IFAI Expo 2017, will be held in New Orleans Sept. 26-29. This year’s ATC …

Industry News

IFAI’s 2017 Smart Fabrics Program

March 29, 2017

Channeling exciting ideas into new product development. At the 2017 Advanced Textiles Conference, four educational tracks—military, medical, smart fabrics and testing—will give attendees the latest news on the processes, products and profit potential in working with high-tech fabrics and fabrication techniques. The Advanced Textiles Conference, part of IFAI Expo 2017, will be held in New …

Industry News

Student Design Competitions application deadline May 15

March 27, 2017

IFAI appreciates members’ dedication to helping advance the textile industry. We encourage you to further that advancement by passing along the following information to students  who are interested in a textile industry career. Students have until Monday, May 15, 2017, to submit projects for the IFAI Student Design Competitions. Any project completed between May 2016- May 2017 is eligible. …

Industry News

Secretary Zinke strengthens opportunities for boaters

March 14, 2017

Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued two secretarial orders which expand access to public lands and increase fishing, hunting and recreation opportunities nationwide. The two secretarial orders include: Secretarial Order No. 3346 overturns the recent ban lead ammunition and fish tackle used on Fish and Wildlife Service lands, waters, and facilities. Secretarial Order No. …

Industry News

Manufacturing institute honors 130 women with STEP awards

March 7, 2017

The National Association of Manufactures (NAM) Institute announced that 130 women are being recognized with the Women in Manufacturing Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) Ahead Award. This year’s winners include Kris Carroll, Jan Morton, Katelyn Vara and Marcea Weiss. The recipients of the STEP Ahead Awards will be honored at a gala in Washington, D.C., …

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

Fabric & Film

Wesley Mancini Collection

March 1, 2017

Wesley Mancini has teamed up with outdoor fabric manufacturer Al Fresco Functional Fabrics for a new collection. The collection will feature more than 35 new designs, incorporating a wide array of new colors, novelty yarns and constructions. Made in the U.S., all fabrics are bleachable, antimicrobial and UV resistant. www.altizerco.com

Equipment

WeatherStrong® Outdoor Cabinetry

March 1, 2017

Florida-based Ideal Cabinetry has introduced a new modular Outdoor Cabinetry program under the brand name WeatherStrong®. These new cabinets are manufactured from a marine-grade waterproof polymer and feature 304-grade stainless steel hardware. WeatherStrong cabinets are built with precision dowel alignment and a fast-cure solvent-free structural adhesive system that provides excellent bond strength. www.idealcabinetry.com

Accessories

SS71 Bonding Tape

March 1, 2017

Developed by Miller Weldmaster, SS71 Bonding Tape is available exclusively from Trivantage®. Made with polyurethane adhesive, it uses proven bonding technologies for the clean assembly of projects. The welding tape is designed to work with Sunbrella®, Sunbrella® Plus, FIRESIST® and other acrylic fabrics. It creates clean, waterproof seams. www.trivantage.com

Hardware & Findings

Q-SNAP® fasteners

March 1, 2017

Manufactured by SUREFAS, Q-SNAP® is the only secure fastener that incorporates a stretch function. The snap is joined by a small lever to help secure and stretch the fabric enough to easily fasten a boat cover in place. While fabrication is similar to other fasteners, Q-stud-holders, stud-markers and Q-installation pins make installation up to three …

Fabric & Film

Diamond Pleat vinyl

March 1, 2017

Action Upholstery Supply has added a dielectric diamond pleat vinyl to its stock. Available in two colors: Seabrook chalk and ebony. This 54-inch-wide product is extremely durable to suit all marine applications. www.actionup.com

Fabric & Film

SEFAR® TENARA® Fabric Meets California Title 19

January 1, 2017

SEFAR® Architecture’s TENARA® Fabric is now a registered flame-resistant product under California Title 19, established by the California State Fire Marshal. As a Title 19 registered product, TENARA Fabric expands the applications for large-scale exterior fixed and retractable canopy and tensile fabric applications. The increasing importance of fire prevention in public spaces has caused the …

Equipment

Furuno X-Class radar

January 1, 2017

Furuno has introduced the DRS6AX “X-Class” Radar. This radar sensor brings a renewed and refined 6kW open array to NavNet TZtouch and TZtouch2. The DRS6AX introduces a “bird mode” so flocks of birds can easily be picked out at various ranges without manual tuning. Along with new technological advancements, the DRS6AX gearbox pedestal is 20 …

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 …