Industry News

Do new European data privacy regulations affect your business?

June 21, 2018

Many businesses in the U.S. assume the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) doesn’t affect them since it’s a European-based regulation. However, the boating industry is a global marketplace and it is quite possible that even small businesses will be affected by the new regulations, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) website: “Your customers …

Industry News

NMMA says Trump tariffs bad for boating industry

June 19, 2018

The Trump administration’s recently announced Section 301 tariffs of 25 percent on approximately $50 billion worth of select Chinese products include nearly 300 marine-related parts. National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) President, Thom Dammrich, is calling on the administration to withdraw the tariffs. “The U.S. recreational boating industry—a $39 billion industry that supports 650,000 American jobs—experienced …

Industry News

Free fishing guide for kids

June 14, 2018

The U.S. Department of the Interior, along with the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recently published a new free booklet to help kids get hooked on fishing. The Junior Ranger “Let’s Go Fishing!” activity booklet introduces kids and their families to fishing and encourages healthy and responsible outdoor recreation. Kids …

Industry News

Free social media boating content available

June 12, 2018

Discover Boating, a public awareness effort managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), is offering a new free resource to provide relevant boating lifestyle content for marine fabricators’ Facebook business pages. This new social media content program, called Get Social with Discover Boating, is available to industry stakeholders in the U.S. and Canada at …

Industry News

Free international boating resource guide

June 7, 2018

The Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service, along with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), has released the 2018 Pleasure Boat International Resource Guide. This free resource, which includes reports on 32 countries, gives current and prospective exporters specific market insight and information. Click here to download your free copy of the guide.

Industry News

Polaris enters boating industry with Boat Holdings LLC acquisition

June 5, 2018

Polaris Industries Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Boat Holdings LLC, a boat manufacturer owned by the Vogel family, management and Balmoral Funds, in an all-cash transaction valued at a net present value of approximately $805 million. Boat Holdings is the largest manufacturer of pontoon boats in the U.S., one of the largest …

Industry News

US boating industry sales at a 10-year high

May 31, 2018

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) 2017 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract shows that unit sales of new powerboats increased 5 percent in 2017, reaching 262,000, the highest levels the U.S. recreational boating industry has seen in 10 years. What’s more, total marine expenditures were at an all-time high in 2017 at $39 billion (spending on …

Industry News

Serge Ferrari announces rebrand and new website

May 30, 2018

Serge Ferrari, a well-known producer of flexible composite materials, has launched a new website, www.sergeferrari.com, that features new product branding for a more intuitive product selection experience. The move streamlines the names of the company’s 125-plus products, and improves brand communication. To enable rapid understanding of the company’s products, the company has renamed many of …

Industry News

Connecticut cuts boat sales tax

May 24, 2018

A cut in Connecticut’s sales tax on marine vessels from 6.35 percent to 2.99 percent is set for July 1 in an effort to provide a much-needed boost to Connecticut’s boating industry. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a revised state budget that reduces the state sales tax on vessels, vessel motors and trailers used …

Industry News

New West Coast Morbern rep

May 22, 2018

Morbern, a designer and manufacturer of upholstery vinyl for commercial interior, marine and automotive markets, announced that Chris Zappala has joined the company as the West Coast sales agent. Zappala will lead the company’s presence in California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, and focus his efforts on the contract market, marine aftermarket and …

Feature

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 …

Feature

Diversifying beyond marine

May 1, 2018

There’s value in diversifying beyond boats for marine fabricators, like steadier work and income flow, but the move may not be smooth sailing for every business; careful evaluation is critical to avoid sinking. Business owners are often given conflicting advice. On the one hand, they are cautioned about the dangers of “putting all your eggs …

Feature Members only content

Makerspaces offer work-based learning for students

April 10, 2018

The CCC Maker Initiative, administered by Sierra College (www.sierracollege.edu) in Rocklin, California, is offering internships and work-based learning experiences for students through 24 California Community College makerspaces, where students gain technical, entrepreneurial and work-ready skills sought by employers. California Community Colleges participating in the CCC Maker (cccmaker.com) initiative to build makerspace communities are preparing students …

Feature Members only content

On the horizon for marine tension shades

March 13, 2018

Canvas shops around the country have seen an increase in demand for tension shades versus fixed-frame structures such as biminis. Boat owners like sun protection with less obstructive framing and the modern look of shade sails. Fabricators who have been installing tension shades are already looking at where the market is heading and where the …

Feature Members only content

Fasteners for marine tension shades

March 7, 2018

As more boat owners are having tension shades installed over decks for sun protection, marine fabricators have come up with various ways of attaching the fabric to poles. “The most common fastener is SnapFast® for hardtops,” says Tony Shaw, owner of Affordable Canvas LLC in Venice, Fla. “Sometimes we use keder track or webbing to …

Feature

Zipper tricks and techniques

March 1, 2018

Advanced tips and techniques for choosing and working with zippers in your projects. Providing an excellent end product is paramount to marine fabricators, and zippers play a vital role in the long-term functionality of everything from covers to cushions. But zippers can be tricky. Choosing the right one can be confusing, and working with zippers …

Feature Members only content

Marine tension shade options

March 1, 2018

Marine fabricators help boat owners expand shading options with stretched fabric. It could easily be argued that the pleasures of boating are best appreciated on a deck rather than in a cabin. But protection from sun exposure requires more than that provided by a wide-brimmed hat. With that kind of coverage in mind, boat owners …

Feature

2018 MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards

March 1, 2018

Sponsored by the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA), the Fabrication Excellence Awards contest is designed to recognize excellence in marine fabrication. The entries are displayed throughout the MFA’s Marine Fabricators Conference and are judged by a panel of certified marine professionals. Awards of Excellence and Outstanding Achievement Awards are given in each category. The MFA recognizes …

Feature Members only content

Saving the domestic industrial sewing work force

February 20, 2018

Reposted from insidefashiondesign.net Industrial sewing has reached a critical point. An aging workforce combined with a lack of incoming talent has created a worker shortage that threatens to shutter long-standing American businesses and stifle growth in a billion-dollar industry. We spoke with someone on the front lines of the battle to save industrial sewing—Magda Ronningen, National …

Feature

2018 MFA Time Standards Manual

January 1, 2018

The Time Standards Manual was developed in 1996 by the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA), a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, to serve as a benchmark shop owners can use to set fabrication times, with which they can generate competitive labor costs. The manual is an ongoing project that will grow and change organically …

Industry News

Do new European data privacy regulations affect your business?

June 21, 2018

Many businesses in the U.S. assume the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) doesn’t affect them since it’s a European-based regulation. However, the boating industry is a global marketplace and it is quite possible that even small businesses will be affected by the new regulations, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) website: “Your customers …

Industry News

NMMA says Trump tariffs bad for boating industry

June 19, 2018

The Trump administration’s recently announced Section 301 tariffs of 25 percent on approximately $50 billion worth of select Chinese products include nearly 300 marine-related parts. National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) President, Thom Dammrich, is calling on the administration to withdraw the tariffs. “The U.S. recreational boating industry—a $39 billion industry that supports 650,000 American jobs—experienced …

Industry News

Free fishing guide for kids

June 14, 2018

The U.S. Department of the Interior, along with the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recently published a new free booklet to help kids get hooked on fishing. The Junior Ranger “Let’s Go Fishing!” activity booklet introduces kids and their families to fishing and encourages healthy and responsible outdoor recreation. Kids …

Industry News

Free social media boating content available

June 12, 2018

Discover Boating, a public awareness effort managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), is offering a new free resource to provide relevant boating lifestyle content for marine fabricators’ Facebook business pages. This new social media content program, called Get Social with Discover Boating, is available to industry stakeholders in the U.S. and Canada at …

Industry News

Free international boating resource guide

June 7, 2018

The Department of Commerce’s U.S. Commercial Service, along with the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), has released the 2018 Pleasure Boat International Resource Guide. This free resource, which includes reports on 32 countries, gives current and prospective exporters specific market insight and information. Click here to download your free copy of the guide.

Industry News

Polaris enters boating industry with Boat Holdings LLC acquisition

June 5, 2018

Polaris Industries Inc. has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Boat Holdings LLC, a boat manufacturer owned by the Vogel family, management and Balmoral Funds, in an all-cash transaction valued at a net present value of approximately $805 million. Boat Holdings is the largest manufacturer of pontoon boats in the U.S., one of the largest …

Industry News

US boating industry sales at a 10-year high

May 31, 2018

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) 2017 Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract shows that unit sales of new powerboats increased 5 percent in 2017, reaching 262,000, the highest levels the U.S. recreational boating industry has seen in 10 years. What’s more, total marine expenditures were at an all-time high in 2017 at $39 billion (spending on …

Industry News

Serge Ferrari announces rebrand and new website

May 30, 2018

Serge Ferrari, a well-known producer of flexible composite materials, has launched a new website, www.sergeferrari.com, that features new product branding for a more intuitive product selection experience. The move streamlines the names of the company’s 125-plus products, and improves brand communication. To enable rapid understanding of the company’s products, the company has renamed many of …

Industry News

Connecticut cuts boat sales tax

May 24, 2018

A cut in Connecticut’s sales tax on marine vessels from 6.35 percent to 2.99 percent is set for July 1 in an effort to provide a much-needed boost to Connecticut’s boating industry. Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a revised state budget that reduces the state sales tax on vessels, vessel motors and trailers used …

Industry News

New West Coast Morbern rep

May 22, 2018

Morbern, a designer and manufacturer of upholstery vinyl for commercial interior, marine and automotive markets, announced that Chris Zappala has joined the company as the West Coast sales agent. Zappala will lead the company’s presence in California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and Washington, and focus his efforts on the contract market, marine aftermarket and …

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 …

Hardware & Findings

New marine hardware options

March 1, 2018

Trivantage has added SolaMesh hardware to its shade sail and structure product offering. This new line of hardware complements SolaMesh fabric with a wide range of D-rings, shackles, stainless steel rope, rope connections and mounting options for all installations. SolaMesh hardware offers eye-on-eye, jaw-on-jaw and hook-on-hook turnbuckle options to suit a variety of preferences and …

Accessories

Rugged thread

March 1, 2018

Trivantage has introduced a new line of filament-bonded polyester sewing thread designed for vinyl, canvas and carpet applications. PremoBond features maximum durability, UV protection and colorfastness. With yarn that’s approximately 30 times stronger than the current industry standard, the thread is long-lasting, even in harsh weather conditions. PremoBond’s proprietary bonding blend and custom-formulated dyes ensure …

Fabric & Film

Tougher transparency

March 1, 2018

Robeco’s newest flexible transparent vinyl provides another film option for the marine and industrial fabrics industries. GlassClear® adds a scratch-resistant coating to both sides of its one ply 030 Clear Extruded Vinyl product. Supplied in roll form, this newest product option allows users to unroll only what they need for a specific job, This reduces …

Fabric & Film

Colorful window coverings

March 1, 2018

Phifer Inc. has added 16 new fabrics to its SheerWeave® Style 5000 line, expanding the current line of 36 patterns in its decorative window covering fabric collection. These additional patterns, previously available only through exclusive sourcing, are now in stock in a 98 inch width. The fabrics feature Microban® antimicrobial product protection to inhibit the …

Fabric & Film

Advanced awning fabric

March 1, 2018

Cooley Group has launched Weathertyte® PLUS, a premier product designed for use in commercial awning applications as well as marine and other markets. The product features the benefits of the original flagship Weathertyte® fabric, with a softer hand, superior strength, improved weldability and bolder image quality. It offers the high performance of vinyl with the …

Products

New compact fiber laser welding system

January 11, 2018

Amada Miyachi America has introduced the updated LMWS Pulsed Fiber Laser Welding System, a highly configurable, compact unit designed for lean manufacturing. The system features a versatile high-power, high-speed laser available in 20-70 Watt (W) powers for welding metals and plastics. The LMWS is ideal for welding dissimilar metals, including copper to aluminum, aluminum to …

Accessories

EVA foam cleaner

January 1, 2018

SC Wake’s Boat Juice is formulated for cleaning the surface dirt off ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA ) non-skid foam boat flooring. Available in a convenient 32 oz. spray bottle, the cleaner is easy to use and requires only soft scrubbing and a rinse. The product is nontoxic, colorfast and environmentally friendly and is safe on upholstery …

Fabric & Film

New flexible enclosure products

January 1, 2018

Covestro has launched two new flexible marine enclosure products—Makrolon® Marine 5 and Makrolon® VR. Both provide high optical clarity, low distortion and exceptional durability. Marine 5 is designed for the most demanding conditions. It provides the highest weathering performance and two-sided hard coat protection against abrasion, UV and chemicals. VR is an alternative to vinyl …

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 …