Industry News

Boat sales are making waves in Minnesota

January 12, 2017

Minnesota boat dealers are preparing and packing their boats to bring to the Minneapolis Boat Show this month. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), “36 percent of powerboat owners decided to purchase a boat after attending” the Jan. 19-22 boat show. This event and others taking place across the country this month are …

Industry News

Self-cleaning textiles embrace sustainability

January 10, 2017

Self-cleaning textiles and coatings are making inroads in a variety of industries including those related to medical, architectural and fashion endeavors. Using hydrophilic and photocatalytic properties, self-cleaning textile technology allows fabrics to be cleaned simply by water without using cleaning agents. The photocatalytic component of these textiles can help decompose organics on the textile using …

Industry News

Does a digitized shop make sense?

January 4, 2017

The digitization of marine canvas design and production holds many promises, including time savings and fewer errors. However, many small fabrication shops have found that going digital doesn’t make good business sense. Digital measuring machines, cutters and computers that support computer aided design (CAD) software require a large upfront investment in equipment and training. “It …

Industry News

Eyes on the Market

January 2, 2017

Transportation industry upholsterers do their homework If you run a successful business, you’re probably looking outside your office walls for consumer trends and industry innovations. We asked fabric manufacturers and upholsterers involved in interiors for the transportation market how they accomplish this important task. Here’s what some of them had to say: Jason Estes, director …

Industry News

Transporting people: Fabrics in automobiles, buses, trains and planes must be more than fire retardant

January 2, 2017

Government agencies mandate fire-resistance standards for fabrics used in modes of transportation; however, design aesthetics cannot be regulated. So, aside from the first priority of safety, what do fabricators’ customer want in the interiors of their automobiles, buses, trains and planes? Ron Larabie, president of Dallas-based JetSet Interiors, says his customers rank weight at the …

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 …

Fabric & Film

Aqualon Edge® fabric

January 1, 2017

Trivantage recently added Aqualon Edge® marine fabric to its product line. Intended for boat covers and bimini tops, this multi-use marine fabric is based on Perfecta Marine® technology that reduces heat gain to keep surfaces and interior temperatures cool. Aqualon Edge is available in 20 fade- and stain-resistant colors. The fabric can be cleaned using …

Industry News

Sliva named new Herculite western sales manager

January 1, 2017

Buddy Sliva has been hired as western regional sales manager–awning and marine at Herculite Products Inc. Sliva comes to Herculite with many years of successful sales and business development experience, both nationally and regionally. He is an avid supporter of the industrial fabrics industry, serving on IFAI committees and division boards and participating in industry …

Industry News

Outboard flushing system

January 1, 2017

The Reverso Automatic Outboard Flushing System eliminates the cumbersome process of manually flushing outboard engines after a day on the water. The flushing system has received the National Marine Manufacturers Association Product Innovation Award and a Boating Industry 2016 Top Products Award. www.reversopumps.com

Feature

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

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

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 …

Industry News

Boat sales are making waves in Minnesota

January 12, 2017

Minnesota boat dealers are preparing and packing their boats to bring to the Minneapolis Boat Show this month. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), “36 percent of powerboat owners decided to purchase a boat after attending” the Jan. 19-22 boat show. This event and others taking place across the country this month are …

Industry News

Self-cleaning textiles embrace sustainability

January 10, 2017

Self-cleaning textiles and coatings are making inroads in a variety of industries including those related to medical, architectural and fashion endeavors. Using hydrophilic and photocatalytic properties, self-cleaning textile technology allows fabrics to be cleaned simply by water without using cleaning agents. The photocatalytic component of these textiles can help decompose organics on the textile using …

Industry News

Does a digitized shop make sense?

January 4, 2017

The digitization of marine canvas design and production holds many promises, including time savings and fewer errors. However, many small fabrication shops have found that going digital doesn’t make good business sense. Digital measuring machines, cutters and computers that support computer aided design (CAD) software require a large upfront investment in equipment and training. “It …

Industry News

Eyes on the Market

January 2, 2017

Transportation industry upholsterers do their homework If you run a successful business, you’re probably looking outside your office walls for consumer trends and industry innovations. We asked fabric manufacturers and upholsterers involved in interiors for the transportation market how they accomplish this important task. Here’s what some of them had to say: Jason Estes, director …

Industry News

Transporting people: Fabrics in automobiles, buses, trains and planes must be more than fire retardant

January 2, 2017

Government agencies mandate fire-resistance standards for fabrics used in modes of transportation; however, design aesthetics cannot be regulated. So, aside from the first priority of safety, what do fabricators’ customer want in the interiors of their automobiles, buses, trains and planes? Ron Larabie, president of Dallas-based JetSet Interiors, says his customers rank weight at the …

Industry News

Outboard flushing system

January 1, 2017

The Reverso Automatic Outboard Flushing System eliminates the cumbersome process of manually flushing outboard engines after a day on the water. The flushing system has received the National Marine Manufacturers Association Product Innovation Award and a Boating Industry 2016 Top Products Award. www.reversopumps.com

Industry News

Help NMMA reform the tax code

December 21, 2016

NMMA wants to ensure recreational boating interests are represented, advocated for and protected in any tax policy debate. In order to accomplish this NMMA needs to know what tax policies our members want to protect, change or eliminate. To help get a better understanding, a brief, anonymous survey has been put together. Participation in the survey is …

Industry News

Marine Fabricator Conference

December 19, 2016

Online registration is open for the Marine Fabricator Conference 2017 from January 19–21 in Jacksonville, Fla. The annual three-day event features a variety of education and training from hands-on to classroom presentations covering topics including: Sewing Machine Maintenance, Patterning, Upholstery, Rigid Enclosures, Software and Business Management training and more. Attendees have numerous opportunities to connect …

Industry News

NMMA, Outdoor Recreation Industry Roundtable Detail Access Needs for Trump Team

December 15, 2016

The new Outdoor Recreational Industry Roundtable has released its second white paper, shared with the Trump transition team outlining the necessary expanded access to public lands and waters in order to grow and diversify outdoor recreation in the U.S. Some of the key asks in the access white paper include: commit to granting access for diverse recreation activities …

Industry News

President Obama Signs Outdoor REC Act into Law

December 12, 2016

President Obama signed the Outdoor Recreation Jobs and Economic Impact Act of 2016 into law, a critical bill that quantifies the true size of the outdoor economy, including recreational boating. Better known as the REC Act, it will instruct the Bureau of Economic Analysis of the Department of Commerce (DOC) to assess and analyze the …

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 …

Fabric & Film

Aqualon Edge® fabric

January 1, 2017

Trivantage recently added Aqualon Edge® marine fabric to its product line. Intended for boat covers and bimini tops, this multi-use marine fabric is based on Perfecta Marine® technology that reduces heat gain to keep surfaces and interior temperatures cool. Aqualon Edge is available in 20 fade- and stain-resistant colors. The fabric can be cleaned using …

Hardware & Findings

Centek Check Valve

January 1, 2017

The Check Valve from Centek Industries helps prevent water from flowing back into engines and gensets. The check valve is useful on boats and yachts that navigate in a following sea, or when a backdown is needed while fighting game fish. Manufactured from flame-retardant and heat resistant resin, it is available in a wide range …

Equipment

DOT Common Sense/Life-the-DOT Fastener tool

January 1, 2017

DOT Common Sense/Lift-the-DOT® Fastener Tool comes with two interchangeable dies—machined out of 4140 hardened steel—to prepare fabric for use with both Common Sense and Lift-the-DOT fasteners. Created by a marine fabricator, the tool was designed to save time and money by allowing fabricators to properly place fasteners and make small repairs without having to remove …

Equipment

Taco Marine Carbon Fiber Outrigger poles

January 1, 2017

Taco® Marine Carbon Fiber Outrigger Poles won the Product Innovation Award in the Fishing Equipment, Gear and Tackle category at the 2016 Progressive® Miami International Boat Show. The carbon fiber design has the strength to accommodate modern fishing techniques. A patent pending, swivel roller mechanism allows for live baits or artificial lures to have a …

Fabric & Film

BellBloc liner

January 1, 2017

Action Upholstery Supply now offers BellBloc fabric liner. The BellBloc fabric liner system improves the performance of any application by protecting the foam insert from the elements, extending the long and useful life of foam cushions. This liner is engineered to resist moisture, mold and mildew while reducing foam compression in the harshest environments. www.actionup.com

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. …

In the Shop

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

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 …