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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 …

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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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. …

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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 …

Kid-friendly interiors

August 24, 2015

Marine fabricators emphasize durability, health and safety when designing kid-friendly boat interiors. Designing boat interiors with families in mind requires special attention. Marine fabricators first must understand how customers intend to use their boat before making suggestions on fabric choice, lodging and storage solutions that will meet all of their needs for having children onboard. …

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Sitting pretty

July 1, 2014

With access to better fabrics and accessories, fabricators are crafting boat cushions that look great and perform well. Boat cushion design is leaving the Dark Ages, where basic vinyls, color and patterns have reigned supreme. “Over the past 10 years, fashion and design have become more prevalent in the marine industry,” says Patty Mastrandrea, a …

Fabricators go mobile

July 1, 2013

When Charlene and Chandler Clark, owners of Signature CanvasMakers in Hampton, Va., wanted to improve their business, they turned to tablet computers. The mobile devices—an iPad for Charlene and Android for Chandler, purchased last year—proved their worth right away. “It allowed us to engage the customer in better, more active ways, and to get immediate …

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Made in the shade

January 1, 2013

A decade ago, shading on boats was relegated to permanent or semi-permanent structures. Marine fabricators, however, started to experiment with removable shade structures, and boaters got on board. “With all the concern about sun exposure and skin cancer, shade tops have really come to the forefront of people’s minds,” says Keith Purves of Riverside Covers …