Industry News

Boat-sharing startup expands reach

August 21, 2017

South Florida boat rental startup Boatsetter has acquired Seattle-based Boatbound, expanding its national reach. The company models its peer-to-peer boat-sharing business on Airbnb, connecting people seeking rentals with boat owners looking to monetize the time their boats aren’t being used. Boatsetter differentiates itself from similar boat-sharing businesses by also giving its users access to licensed …

Industry News

142 million Americans went boating in 2016

August 16, 2017

An estimated 142 million Americans went boating in 2016–36 percent of U.S. households–according to the 2016 Recreational Boating Participation Study, released by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and Discover Boating. Of the 142 million individuals, half were children (under the age of 18), and 17 million individuals were …

Industry News

OSHA launches injury-tracking system

August 14, 2017

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched its web-based Injury Tracking Application (ITA) on Aug. 1, and extended the deadline for submitting 2016 injury and illness data to Dec. 1, 2017. The reporting requirements are part of a final rule issued in October 2016 to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The reporting …

Industry News

New boat and yacht standards released

August 10, 2017

The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) has published its 57th supplement of “Standards and Technical Information Report for Small Craft,” which covers all major boat systems and provides boat building and repair guidelines. ABYC standards are continuously researched, developed and revised by more than 400 volunteer technical experts and marine professionals on 16 Project …

Industry News

2018 STEP Ahead Awards nominations open

August 8, 2017

Nominations are now being accepted for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) Ahead Awards, which honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in manufacturing. The Step Ahead initiative is sponsored by the Manufacturing Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. Last year’s winners within the marine industry included: Kris Carroll, President, …

Industry News

Swela 37+ awning fabric

August 4, 2017

Swela’s 37+ marine canvas is made of 100 percent spun-dyed polyester, with durability engineered for adverse climates. The high-tech, PVC-free fabric is durable and made of fully recyclable material. The 37+ will not leak even after a week of standing water, and will return to its original shape if distorted by heavy wind and water. …

Industry News

Glen Raven to acquire Sunbury Textile Mills

August 2, 2017

Glen Raven Inc., a global provider of performance fabrics, has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire Sunbury Textile Mills, a market leader in the design and manufacture of decorative jacquard fabrics. Under the agreement, Sunbury will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Glen Raven Inc. and will operate as part of Glen Raven Custom …

Industry News

IBEX 2017 emphasizes networking

August 2, 2017

The 27th International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) will offer networking opportunities and other events September 19-21 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. “There’s more going on this year than I’ve seen in a long time,” says Anne Dunbar, show director. “We highly encourage our attendees and exhibitors to visit our events page and …

Feature

Can the Maker Movement benefit the marine industry?

August 1, 2017

Roombas, smart phone apps, Alexa, and cars with park assist. It seems that humans don’t have to do much of anything these days in order to vacuum the carpet, track their calories, turn on the lights or squeeze their Ford Focus between curbside SUVs. And yet, like the balance of nature, the world needs a …

Industry News

Startup develops first self-driving boat

July 27, 2017

Boston, Massachusetts-based Sea Machines Robotic Inc. is developing the industry’s first self-driving boat. The company is using a Safeboat Defender 250 as a test model in what it hopes will be its first unmanned surface vessel (USV). Sea Machines plans to develop an autonomous control system that would initially be used in commercial work for …

Feature

Can the Maker Movement benefit the marine industry?

August 1, 2017

Roombas, smart phone apps, Alexa, and cars with park assist. It seems that humans don’t have to do much of anything these days in order to vacuum the carpet, track their calories, turn on the lights or squeeze their Ford Focus between curbside SUVs. And yet, like the balance of nature, the world needs a …

Feature Members only content

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

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 Members only content

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 …

Industry News

Boat-sharing startup expands reach

August 21, 2017

South Florida boat rental startup Boatsetter has acquired Seattle-based Boatbound, expanding its national reach. The company models its peer-to-peer boat-sharing business on Airbnb, connecting people seeking rentals with boat owners looking to monetize the time their boats aren’t being used. Boatsetter differentiates itself from similar boat-sharing businesses by also giving its users access to licensed …

Industry News

142 million Americans went boating in 2016

August 16, 2017

An estimated 142 million Americans went boating in 2016–36 percent of U.S. households–according to the 2016 Recreational Boating Participation Study, released by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and Discover Boating. Of the 142 million individuals, half were children (under the age of 18), and 17 million individuals were …

Industry News

OSHA launches injury-tracking system

August 14, 2017

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched its web-based Injury Tracking Application (ITA) on Aug. 1, and extended the deadline for submitting 2016 injury and illness data to Dec. 1, 2017. The reporting requirements are part of a final rule issued in October 2016 to improve tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. The reporting …

Industry News

New boat and yacht standards released

August 10, 2017

The American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) has published its 57th supplement of “Standards and Technical Information Report for Small Craft,” which covers all major boat systems and provides boat building and repair guidelines. ABYC standards are continuously researched, developed and revised by more than 400 volunteer technical experts and marine professionals on 16 Project …

Industry News

2018 STEP Ahead Awards nominations open

August 8, 2017

Nominations are now being accepted for the Science, Technology, Engineering and Production (STEP) Ahead Awards, which honor women who have demonstrated excellence and leadership in manufacturing. The Step Ahead initiative is sponsored by the Manufacturing Institute, an affiliate of the National Association of Manufacturers. Last year’s winners within the marine industry included: Kris Carroll, President, …

Industry News

Swela 37+ awning fabric

August 4, 2017

Swela’s 37+ marine canvas is made of 100 percent spun-dyed polyester, with durability engineered for adverse climates. The high-tech, PVC-free fabric is durable and made of fully recyclable material. The 37+ will not leak even after a week of standing water, and will return to its original shape if distorted by heavy wind and water. …

Industry News

Glen Raven to acquire Sunbury Textile Mills

August 2, 2017

Glen Raven Inc., a global provider of performance fabrics, has signed a Letter of Intent to acquire Sunbury Textile Mills, a market leader in the design and manufacture of decorative jacquard fabrics. Under the agreement, Sunbury will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Glen Raven Inc. and will operate as part of Glen Raven Custom …

Industry News

IBEX 2017 emphasizes networking

August 2, 2017

The 27th International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) will offer networking opportunities and other events September 19-21 at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. “There’s more going on this year than I’ve seen in a long time,” says Anne Dunbar, show director. “We highly encourage our attendees and exhibitors to visit our events page and …

Industry News

Startup develops first self-driving boat

July 27, 2017

Boston, Massachusetts-based Sea Machines Robotic Inc. is developing the industry’s first self-driving boat. The company is using a Safeboat Defender 250 as a test model in what it hopes will be its first unmanned surface vessel (USV). Sea Machines plans to develop an autonomous control system that would initially be used in commercial work for …

Industry News

New Strataglass website

July 25, 2017

Fort Lauderdale, Florida-based Strataglass LLC., which manufactures clear marine composite vinyl enclosure products, has launched its new website www.strataglass.com. The website provides articles, fabrication tips and other information for the marine enclosure markets including downloadable product documents for its vinyl products Strataglass and CrystalClear.

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 …