Industry News

First annual Sewn Products Reshoring Award

December 6, 2018

The sewing trade association SEAMS and The Reshoring Initiative will award the first annual Sewn Products Reshoring Award. The award is open to all companies that have successfully reshored the sewing of any product to the U.S., accelerating the Made in America movement. Eligibility for this award must include production reshoring from offshore back to …

Industry News

Covin Sales launches new website

December 4, 2018

Covin Sales & Converting has a new website featuring an enhanced look, easy navigation and a more user-friendly experience. For more than 20 years, Covin Sales has provided a wide range of fabrics, resources, solutions and services at competitive prices. The new website features industrial fabrics for many different industries including awning and marine. Visit …

Industry News

Florida funding available to replace marine diesel engines

November 29, 2018

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has introduced a program to cover up to 40 percent of the cost for replacing eligible marine diesel engines with new marine diesel engines. Applications are due to the Department’s Division of Air Resource Management by Wednesday, November 28, 2018, and funded projects must be completed before June 30, …

Industry News

Marine industry veteran retires

November 27, 2018

Jim Krueger, who started his marine industry career in 1972 at Cruisers Inc. in engineering and sales, and spent the next 45 years working for various companies around the industry, has retired. Following his time at Cruisers, Krueger worked for Sea Ray, Bertram Yachts, Trojan Yacht, Tollycraft Yacht, Shamrock Boats, Luhrs Marine Group and finally …

Industry News

Free boating marketing materials

November 22, 2018

Business owners can access a variety of free Discover Boating promotional materials and marketing resources on GrowBoating.org in the ‘Tools You Can Use’ section. These resources are available to help promote businesses and increase customer engagement on a local level. Discover Boating marketing materials, collateral and tools include: •Promotional materials (including videos, window clings, floor …

Industry News

Marine Fabricators Conference registration going strong

November 20, 2018

Online registration continues for the 2019 Marine Fabricators Conference, Jan. 10-12, onboard the Queen Mary, a historic 1930’s steamship that has been decommissioned and permanently moored in Long Beach, Calif. The conference features three full days of education including the design, patterning and fabrication of lumbar cushions, compartmental cushions and beveling basics. Additional sessions include …

Industry News

IFAI Expo 2018 attracts international crowd

November 15, 2018

The 98th IFAI Expo attracted more than 4,350 verified registered participants from IFAI Expo and 500 scanned leads from CAMX to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center for the three-day event. Attendees had the opportunity to meet with more than 800 different exhibitors, including those from CAMX, hear expert advice at more than 69 educational …

Industry News

North Carolina affirms right to fish and hunt

November 13, 2018

In the recent midterm election, North Carolinians voted in favor of adding the Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment to their state constitution. The new amendment provides permanent protections for the state’s anglers, hunters, and sportsmen and women by ensuring that laws regulating hunting and fishing will be genuine conservation efforts based on sound science. …

Industry News

Wider distribution for Xtreme Seal products

November 8, 2018

Xtreme Seal LLC, a manufacturer of edge seal products for all types of custom covers, announced a new distributor partnership with George N. Jackson Limited of Winnipeg, Canada. George N. Jackson will be representing Xtreme Seal’s Black, White and Pro Seal products with the intent of representing more products in the future. Xtreme Seal’s products …

Industry News

Free boat license, registration information

November 6, 2018

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) has launched an easy-to-use widget that helps bring fishing license and boat registration information to consumers on any site the widget is added to. Users click their state on the map or select it from the drop-down menu to be taken directly to the state agency site to …

Expo News

Small shops: Tips for shortening your lead times

October 17, 2018

Torey Heinz, of Teagles Consulting, has a background in small manufacturing jobs shops. This gives him a good sense of how poor workflow and other issues can affect a small shop’s lead times. Shortening lead time is important, Teagle told participants at his Oct. 17 Expo session, because shorter lead times mean increased sales and …

Expo News

The right technology can save you money

October 17, 2018

Trying to figure out which technology can save a business money can be confusing given all the options available. In his Oct. 17 Expo session, “Using Technology to Improve the Bottom Line,” Mark Stiver, manager of ecommerce, strategy and analytics for Trivantage, gave a high-level view of the primary types of technology available to specialty …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2018: Show Stopper winners on the floor

October 17, 2018

All the best from Texas: Wednesday morning, Oct. 17, at IFAI Expo led off with lists of winners for the year, including the most popular products on the show floor. The seventh annual Show Stopper competition was designed to showcase the best of the best in the industry, from fabrics, equipment and chemicals to services …

Expo News

2018 International Achievement Award Winners Announced

October 17, 2018

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has awarded this year’s International Achievement Awards (IAA) for design excellence in specialty fabrics applications, announced at the awards breakfast on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at IFAI Expo 2018. IFAI Expo is the largest specialty fabrics trade show in North America, held this year at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention …

Expo News

Sharpen your competitive edge

October 17, 2018

Asking yourself one simple question can help make your business a magnet for new customers, says marketing professional Madeleine MacRae, owner of MM MacRae Coaching & Consulting. “That question is ‘Who is your ideal client?’” In her Oct. 16 Expo session on distinguishing yourself in the marketplace, MacRae says answering this question is the key …

Expo News

Digital presence is key to acquiring new customers in 2019

October 16, 2018

It’s no surprise the digital world means a company’s ability to attract and keep customers requires a dramatic shift in strategy, tools and resources. Ed Keough, vice president of sales for FutureGuard Building Products Inc. in Auburn, Maine, told business owners they need to embrace digital advertising or be “left in the dust” during his …

Expo News

IFAI Expo keynote speaker Mark Scharenbroich: “acknowledge, honor and connect” with employees and customers

October 16, 2018

Keynote speaker Mark Scharenbroich has straightforward advice for growing a business: Make a true connection with employees and customers and positive results will follow. Scharenbroich shared his humor and motivational wisdom with a packed room at IFAI’s 2018 Expo annual meeting October 16. Rain, wind and cold outside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in …

Expo News

Textile testing for comfort

October 16, 2018

IFAI’s Pre-Expo Conference Oct. 15 in Dallas offered a range of presentations—many of them focused on topics of particular interest in the advanced textiles area. Textile testing is one topic that will be addressed in more than one session. At the beginning of his talk yesterday on testing and evaluating fabrics’ human comfort, performance and …

Expo News

Useful social media for companies of all sizes

October 15, 2018

Should you bother with social media? Most definitely yes, says Luke Gusman, marketing manager for Sta-Lok Inc., a longtime manufacturer of marine and architectural rigging hardware. Gusman says that no matter how large or small your company, there are five social media platforms that can increase engagement with your product or service and raise your …

Expo News

Successful multigenerational workplaces

October 15, 2018

This is the first time in history that five distinct generations are working in a single workplace, says J. Karl Sherrill Jr., a certified risk manager with Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, in his 2018 Expo session “Leading Successful Teams in a Multigenerational Workplace.” “It’s a trend affecting every business,” says Sherrill. “You have people …

Feature Members only content

The boat design process is a lengthy one

September 7, 2018

According to Sam Shimanek, a designer at Marquis-Larson Boat Group in Pulaski, Wis., there are some years the company doesn’t undergo model year changes. When it does, the process usually starts about six months in advance. “The first few months are getting design ideas drawn up,” Shimanek says. “Next we start to pick out new …

Feature

Fabricators can nudge boat owners toward a newer look

September 5, 2018

Boat owners may upgrade because of innovations they’re seeing on new boats just hitting the water. But sometimes boat components wear out and need to be replaced. That’s where fabricators can play a role in steering their customers to an updated look for their vessels. “The biggest challenge in renovating interiors is getting the customer …

Feature

Boat upgrades on the horizon

September 1, 2018

Driven by comfort, durability and a splash of color Henry Ford is famous for promising back in 1909 to make the Model T in any color, “as long as it’s black.” The same could be said (more or less) of white in the boating world, as least for most of recent history. But today, in …

Feature

Design trends 2019

September 1, 2018

OEMs and fabricators—partners in progress As the marine vessel market becomes ever more competitive, the winners in the industry will be fabricators who stay on top of current and future design trends—offering innovative design solutions that go beyond service to deliver an exceptional product for both the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with whom they partner …

Feature

Balancing the benefits and drawbacks of automation

September 1, 2018

It’s always important to measure the return on investment (ROI) of any purchase—especially in the areas of equipment. The challenge is to balance the capabilities (and availability) of equipment and employees as automation and technology drive the future of the industry. Canvas Innovations in Holland, Mich., focuses on custom marine canvas and upholstery products, says …

Feature

High-tech tools for high-tech marine covers

July 5, 2018

Tim James, co-owner of digiShapes™ LLC in Kent, Wash., is a software developer with an interest in marine canvas. His company takes 3-D measurements of entire boats, which are then converted into automatic boat covers. Its SwiftShield™ system consists of a hydraulic mechanism and a tight-fitting fabric cover that is lifted up and over the …

Feature Members only content

Recommended fabric cleaning products

July 1, 2018

Fabricators play an important role in teaching customers to keep their boats in shape. It’s pretty simple. People buy boats because they want to have fun. The reality, however, is that work—the opposite of fun—is required to keep any watercraft in tip-top condition. Therein lies the rub. “A lot of boaters don’t want to do …

Feature Members only content

Better job costing for better profits

July 1, 2018

Working with numbers may not be your cup of tea, but it’s critical to the success of your business. It’s a fairly safe bet that not many fabricators started their operations because they wanted to work on spreadsheets. But like it or not, when you hang out a shingle, only part of your work will …

Feature Members only content

Coping with material failures and client confusion

July 1, 2018

Material meltdowns, client confusion and the wrath of Mother Nature create challenges for fabricators that require savvy skills and teeth-gritting determination. Nearly every marine fabricator has stories about projects that went awry and failed to meet demands in one way or another. It might be thread that doesn’t hold up, a mooring cover tearing loose …

Feature Members only content

Liz Diaz creates marine interiors and homeless shelters

May 1, 2018

Liz Diaz designs inspired boat interiors—and is applying that expertise to bring shelter to the homeless. Having a really good life is not financially driven. It’s inspiration driven,” says Liz Diaz, MFC, owner of North Beach Marine Canvas in San Francisco, Calif. “Working on and around the water is a singularly lovely employment. I am …

Industry News

First annual Sewn Products Reshoring Award

December 6, 2018

The sewing trade association SEAMS and The Reshoring Initiative will award the first annual Sewn Products Reshoring Award. The award is open to all companies that have successfully reshored the sewing of any product to the U.S., accelerating the Made in America movement. Eligibility for this award must include production reshoring from offshore back to …

Industry News

Covin Sales launches new website

December 4, 2018

Covin Sales & Converting has a new website featuring an enhanced look, easy navigation and a more user-friendly experience. For more than 20 years, Covin Sales has provided a wide range of fabrics, resources, solutions and services at competitive prices. The new website features industrial fabrics for many different industries including awning and marine. Visit …

Industry News

Florida funding available to replace marine diesel engines

November 29, 2018

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has introduced a program to cover up to 40 percent of the cost for replacing eligible marine diesel engines with new marine diesel engines. Applications are due to the Department’s Division of Air Resource Management by Wednesday, November 28, 2018, and funded projects must be completed before June 30, …

Industry News

Marine industry veteran retires

November 27, 2018

Jim Krueger, who started his marine industry career in 1972 at Cruisers Inc. in engineering and sales, and spent the next 45 years working for various companies around the industry, has retired. Following his time at Cruisers, Krueger worked for Sea Ray, Bertram Yachts, Trojan Yacht, Tollycraft Yacht, Shamrock Boats, Luhrs Marine Group and finally …

Industry News

Free boating marketing materials

November 22, 2018

Business owners can access a variety of free Discover Boating promotional materials and marketing resources on GrowBoating.org in the ‘Tools You Can Use’ section. These resources are available to help promote businesses and increase customer engagement on a local level. Discover Boating marketing materials, collateral and tools include: •Promotional materials (including videos, window clings, floor …

Industry News

Marine Fabricators Conference registration going strong

November 20, 2018

Online registration continues for the 2019 Marine Fabricators Conference, Jan. 10-12, onboard the Queen Mary, a historic 1930’s steamship that has been decommissioned and permanently moored in Long Beach, Calif. The conference features three full days of education including the design, patterning and fabrication of lumbar cushions, compartmental cushions and beveling basics. Additional sessions include …

Industry News

IFAI Expo 2018 attracts international crowd

November 15, 2018

The 98th IFAI Expo attracted more than 4,350 verified registered participants from IFAI Expo and 500 scanned leads from CAMX to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center for the three-day event. Attendees had the opportunity to meet with more than 800 different exhibitors, including those from CAMX, hear expert advice at more than 69 educational …

Industry News

North Carolina affirms right to fish and hunt

November 13, 2018

In the recent midterm election, North Carolinians voted in favor of adding the Right to Hunt and Fish Amendment to their state constitution. The new amendment provides permanent protections for the state’s anglers, hunters, and sportsmen and women by ensuring that laws regulating hunting and fishing will be genuine conservation efforts based on sound science. …

Industry News

Wider distribution for Xtreme Seal products

November 8, 2018

Xtreme Seal LLC, a manufacturer of edge seal products for all types of custom covers, announced a new distributor partnership with George N. Jackson Limited of Winnipeg, Canada. George N. Jackson will be representing Xtreme Seal’s Black, White and Pro Seal products with the intent of representing more products in the future. Xtreme Seal’s products …

Industry News

Free boat license, registration information

November 6, 2018

The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) has launched an easy-to-use widget that helps bring fishing license and boat registration information to consumers on any site the widget is added to. Users click their state on the map or select it from the drop-down menu to be taken directly to the state agency site to …

Products

New products

September 1, 2018

These latest products are changing the marine fabricator industry. Want to see your products here? Email: erbernick@ifai.com. Temperature resistant Designed to resist the harshest environments, Stamskin One handles extreme temperatures (-58°F to 302°F) and is insensitive to UV radiation and water. Formulated by Serge Ferrari, the elastomer gives it an ultra-soft touch and “peach skin” …

Products

Tips for keeping marine fabrics clean and protected

July 3, 2018

Care and maintenance of clear vinyl products, especially those like Strataglass® that are coated to be scratch-resistant, requires cleaning methods using specific cleaning and protection products, according to Craig R. Zola, vice president for marketing and distribution at Herculite® Products Inc., parent company of Strataglass, based in Emigsville, Pa. In the harsh marine environment, it’s …

Fabric & Film

Lightweight durability

July 1, 2018

For marine applications, gazebo covers, patio furniture covers, tarps, canopies and campers, Top Notch 1S is a 100 percent solution-dyed polyester fabric with a clear urethane back coat. At 60 inches wide, 7.4 oz. per sq. yd., it offers exceptional strength, durability, water resistance, tear resistance, abrasion resistance and UV- and mildew-resistance. Because it is …

Equipment

Seam sealer

July 1, 2018

Most fabrics are only as waterproof as their seams. For boat covers, awnings, rucksacks and other outdoor gear, Iosso’s Seam Sealer keeps moisture where it belongs—on the outside. It forms an effective, invisible seal against water intrusion without altering the color or feel of the material. It prevents leaks on cotton, cotton blend, polyester and …

Hardware & Findings

Quick-release fasteners

July 1, 2018

Loxx® Fasteners are durable self-locking quick-release fasteners precision engineered from brass and stainless steel. Versatile and reliable in the harshest environments, these fasteners are appropriate for marine, architectural, cover and tarp, and industrial fastening applications. They are easy to install by simply punching a hole and screwing on the mating washer. There is no need …

Fabric & Film

Tear-resistant vinyl

July 1, 2018

AquaFloat 32 is a premium coated fabric (32 oz. vinyl) formulated for inflatable boat and raft applications, with excellent tear and tensile strength to resist punctures and hold air. With treatments for UV protection and mildew resistance, in a semi-gloss finish, it is available in a wide variety of fade-resistant colors popular in the recreation …

Fabric & Film

Classic leather looks

July 1, 2018

Made exclusively in the U.S., Naugahyde® products deliver superior performance fabric solutions for the marine, recreational and automotive markets. Naugahyde Surfside is strong and durable, easily maintained and is resistant to fading. It is ideally suited for marine and outdoor seating as well as trim/door panels, auto trim, RV/van upholstery and other applications. www.rexpeggfabrics.com

Fabric & Film

Versatile polyester

July 1, 2018

Aqualast HD is resistant to mildew and UV radiation, providing extra protection for boat covers, awnings, bimini tops, storage and furniture covers, and camping enclosures, among many other uses. The heavy-duty, 100 percent solution-dyed polyester fabric has a urethane coating, is offered 60 inches wide, and comes in 12 popular colors with a 5-year warranty …

Products

New exterior roller shades color

March 15, 2018

Phifer Inc. has added a new color to its SunTex® 95 exterior sun control line. The new hue, Stucco, joins the current range of nine neutral color options in this fabric collection designed specifically for exterior roller shade applications. Made from vinyl-coated polyester, the line is thinner and lighter weight than traditional SunTex fabrics. Blocking …

Equipment

Lighter thread snips

March 1, 2018

The ECO thread nipper is a lighter weight thread snips from Kretzer that offers a new feel to snipping threads. Traditional thread snips require the user to pick up and adjust the grip, because the finger has to be placed in the ring before snipping. With these new snips, the user simply picks them up …

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 …