Events

IFAI Fabricators Conference and Showcase taking place in April

January 21, 2022

The Industrial Fabric Association International (IFAI) Fabricators Conference and Showcase 2022 will take place April 12, 2022, at Northcoast Canvas Training Workshops in Port Clinton, Ohio. The one-day conference is an opportunity to expand hands-on fabrication skills and grow industry knowledge. Showcase highlights include: Workforce development and training; tips, guidelines and resources Roundtable discussions covering …

Industry News

Data shows boat sales strong in 2021, continued momentum expected in 2022

January 20, 2022

Data reported by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) show that new powerboat retail unit sales are expected to surpass 300,000 units for the second consecutive year, closing 2021 an estimated 4 to 6 percent below record highs in 2020 and 7 percent above the five-year sales average. Amid heightened demand for new boats, boat …

Events

MFA Regional Workshop registration open

January 19, 2022

Registration is now open for the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) regional workshop hosted by Charlton’s Marine Canvas in Yorktown, Va., February 10-11, 2022. This is an opportunity for hands-on marine fabrication education in a shop setting. Build your network with like-minded business owners, exhibitors and suppliers, and share business information while you socialize and expand …

Industry News

U.S. Supreme Court blocks OSHA’s vaccine and testing mandate

January 18, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for private employers with 100 or more employees. The Court ruled 6-3 against OSHA’s employer mandate, blocking it from taking effect while other legal challenges play out.

Events

MFA Regional Workshop registration open

January 13, 2022

Registration is now open for the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) regional workshop hosted by Charlton’s Marine Canvas in Yorktown, Va., February 10-11, 2022. This is an opportunity for hands-on marine fabrication education in a shop setting. Build your network with like-minded business owners, exhibitors and suppliers, and share business information while you socialize and expand …

Events

IFAI Board Chair Amy Bircher to participate in online Q and A

January 12, 2022

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) will hold an “Ask Me Anything” event with IFAI Board Chair Amy Bircher on Monday, January 31, 2022, from 2pm – 3pm EST in an IFAI CONNECT community Open Forum. This is an opportunity to ask Bircher questions about the future of IFAI as well as challenges currently facing …

Industry News

2020 US Total Boat Registrations Report now available

January 11, 2022

The National Marine Manufacturers Association 2020 U.S. Total Boat Registrations Report is now available for members to download, which features registered and documented boats data by state, region and boat type, as well as estimates of the total recreational boats in use. Key insights include: The number of recreational boats in use increased by 18,022 …

Industry News

US Transportation Department awards more than $241 million in grants to ports

January 7, 2022

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded more than $241 million in discretionary grant funding for 25 projects to improve port facilities in 19 states and one territory through the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP). The PIDP is in its third year and has already awarded $492 million for 32 projects of …

Industry News

2020 Canadian export and import report now available

January 6, 2022

The National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) 2020 Recreational Boat and Marine Engine Exports & Imports report is now available as a part of the 2020 Canadian Boating Statistical Abstract. This section examines recreational boat and marine engine exports and imports from and to Canada from 2011 to 2020. Key insights from the report include: Recreational …

Events

MFA Regional Workshop registration open

January 5, 2022

Registration is now open for the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) regional workshop hosted by Charlton’s Marine Canvas in Yorktown, Va., February 10-11, 2022. This is an opportunity for hands-on marine fabrication education in a shop setting. Build your network with like-minded business owners, exhibitors and suppliers, and share business information while you socialize and expand …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2022 call for presentations

December 20, 2021

The Industrial Fabrics Association International is now accepting proposals for presentations at IFAI Expo 2022. IFAI Expo will take place Oct. 12-14, 2022, at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., with education Oct. 11-14. IFAI is accepting proposals for 50-minute classroom sessions in several categories: Advanced Textiles Shade & Weather Protection Specialty Fabrics Marine …

Expo News

IFAI Expo: Shade sail dos and don’ts

November 3, 2021

Shade sails offer a great business opportunity for fabricators, but it’s important to keep some key “dos and don’ts” in mind. That was the message from Shazeebo owner and founder Patrick Howe during his presentation “Shade Sails Dos and Don’ts—A Deep Dive,” presented at the IFAI Expo in Nashville. There are several considerations for those …

Awards

IAA Awards deadline approaching

July 22, 2021

The deadline to submit a project for the 2021 International Achievement Awards (IAA) is July 30. The IAA awards recognize the best projects across the specialty fabrics industry. The awards are an opportunity to showcase your technical skills and talents to the entire industry. Awards are given in seven major categories and 42 subcategories and …

Events

Messe Stuttgart’s Sun Shading Expo North America moves co-location debut with IFAI Expo to 2022

July 7, 2021

Messe Stuttgart announced that its new U.S.-based show Sun Shading Expo North America will not be held in 2021 as a separate trade show but will instead contribute its expertise in internal and external sun shading systems at IFAI Expo 2021 in the form of expert talks, open discussions and more. IFAI Expo 2021 will still take place …

Expo News

Grants available to North Carolina small businesses to exhibit at IFAI Expo 2021

June 8, 2021

Eligible North Carolina small businesses can take advantage of a program allowing for reimbursement of booth expenses related to exhibiting at IFAI Expo 2021, Nov. 2–4, 2021, at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn. The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC) announced another round of funding for the North Carolina State Trade Expansion …

Expo News

Registration is open for IFAI Expo 2021

May 10, 2021

Registration is open for IFAI Expo 2021. IFAI Expo celebrates the 100th anniversary of the show this November, and you won’t want to miss it! After a long hiatus of in-person events, this year’s show is the perfect place to reconnect with your industry. Register now to get the Early Bird rate! Early Bird rates end …

Events

Call for IFAI Expo 2021 speakers, topic ideas

January 5, 2021

IFAI Expo 2021 organizers are looking for presentation topic ideas and interested speakers for Expo 2021, which will be held Nov. 1–4, 2021, at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn. Expo organizers are looking for speakers and topic ideas for 50-minute classroom education sessions and 25-minute campfire education sessions. Submissions are being accepted for …

Expo News

Standard for active illumination developed in Europe

November 16, 2020

In a session at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, “Smart Textiles Standardization, Active Illumination,” Dr. Jan Beringer, senior scientific expert Hohenstein Group, explained the new standard for active illumination that will soon be implemented in European Union countries.  Organizations worked together to develop the standards. It is notable, he said that both textile and electronics industries …

Expo News

Rapid prototyping = faster market launch

November 16, 2020

A presentation at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, titled, “Rapid Prototyping and Textile Product Development” urged attendees to use “sticks and glue … whatever method you have to get your idea out there.” The presenter, Dr. Andre West, director of the Zeis Textiles Extension (ZTE), Wilson College of Textiles, NC State University, may not have meant …

Expo News

Textile industry leaders call for policy changes to support U.S. production of PPE

November 13, 2020

The U.S. textile industry has stepped up to meet the demand for face masks, medical gowns, wipes and other products necessary to combat the coronavirus pandemic, but it needs policy changes from Washington so that the U.S. is not caught off-guard again in a future crisis, according to association leaders speaking at Industrial Fabrics Association …

Feature

2022 MFA Time Standards Manual

January 1, 2022

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 that 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 …

Feature

Showroom showdown

January 1, 2022

Whether it’s online or brick and mortar, a well-conceived product showroom can make a substantial difference in how customers perceive your company and its offerings. Strategic improvements in both can help your clients better understand their choices and smooth your way toward easier, more profitable orders.  Location, location, location When Greg Keeler first rented downtown …

Feature

Regaining control over job scheduling

January 1, 2022

Moving projects out the door when promised is key to keeping customers happy and sanity intact but getting a handle on job scheduling can be tough. Although setting production priorities and communicating these to customers has always been important, this need has become even more urgent as shops continue to deal with staffing and supply …

Awards

MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards deadline next week

October 22, 2021

From design excellence to quality workmanship, the MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards showcase projects representing the breadth of the industry from tops and covers to interior and exterior upholstery. Submissions will be accepted through Oct. 30, 2021. Winners will be announced at the 2022 MFA Conference at Wild Dunes Charleston’s Island Resort, Isle of Palms, S.C., …

Feature Members only content

Shade sails on land and sea

September 1, 2021

Honing your math skills can open up new markets. By Jeff Moravec On the way to becoming the owner of Wyckam Fabric Creations in Portland, Ore., Amy Poe developed a set of eclectic skills that have come in handy in the wide world of fabrication. She earned degrees in physics and Spanish and specialized in …

Feature Members only content

New solutions to some sticky textile problems

September 1, 2021

Supply chain issues aside, advancements in marine fabrics bring long-awaited solutions to at least some of the problems that have plagued marine canvas manufacturers since the dawn of the industry. by Sigrid Tornquist Despite a log-jammed supply chain and an increase in the number of people who want to renovate their boats, this is a …

Feature Members only content

Taking the next step: Jeff Newkirk grows his business

September 1, 2021

Pushed by the pandemic, Jeff Newkirk envisions a growth plan for Precision Custom Canvas.   By Michelle Miron Jeff Newkirk, MFC, started sailing at such a young age, he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t entranced with sailboats, the glide across open water and the call of the open wind.  That’s why sail and …

Feature Members only content

Bedding projects that wow

July 1, 2021

The sleeping quarters are where marine fabricators can really show off their design chops, but for bedding projects that impress, asking clients the right questions and thoughtful preplanning are essential.  By Pamela Mills-Senn Boats give marine fabricators plenty of chances to showcase their skills and some of the best areas on the vessel for doing …

Feature Members only content

Digital patterning: 2D and 3D tools

July 1, 2021

How one fabricator stepped into the future. By Jeff Moravec Marine Tops Unlimited Inc. has been providing custom fabrication for Wisconsin boats for just shy of 40 years. Kyle Van Damme, who with his father owns the company in Omro, west of Oshkosh, has for the vast majority of those years done fabrication the old-fashioned …

Feature Members only content

Tailored Solutions: Monica Stockburger profile

July 1, 2021

Monica Stockburger combines artistry with performance when repairing the vessels of Alaska’s Kachemak Bay.   by Darcy Maulsby Southcentral Alaska is filled with spectacular natural beauty, hardworking people and an array of fishing boats and other vessels that are often in need of repair. The latter fact creates an opportunity for Monica and Mike Stockburger, …

Industry News

Data shows boat sales strong in 2021, continued momentum expected in 2022

January 20, 2022

Data reported by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) show that new powerboat retail unit sales are expected to surpass 300,000 units for the second consecutive year, closing 2021 an estimated 4 to 6 percent below record highs in 2020 and 7 percent above the five-year sales average. Amid heightened demand for new boats, boat …

Industry News

U.S. Supreme Court blocks OSHA’s vaccine and testing mandate

January 18, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court has temporarily blocked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Vaccination and Testing Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for private employers with 100 or more employees. The Court ruled 6-3 against OSHA’s employer mandate, blocking it from taking effect while other legal challenges play out.

Industry News

2020 US Total Boat Registrations Report now available

January 11, 2022

The National Marine Manufacturers Association 2020 U.S. Total Boat Registrations Report is now available for members to download, which features registered and documented boats data by state, region and boat type, as well as estimates of the total recreational boats in use. Key insights include: The number of recreational boats in use increased by 18,022 …

Industry News

US Transportation Department awards more than $241 million in grants to ports

January 7, 2022

The U.S. Department of Transportation has awarded more than $241 million in discretionary grant funding for 25 projects to improve port facilities in 19 states and one territory through the Maritime Administration’s (MARAD) Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP). The PIDP is in its third year and has already awarded $492 million for 32 projects of …

Industry News

2020 Canadian export and import report now available

January 6, 2022

The National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) 2020 Recreational Boat and Marine Engine Exports & Imports report is now available as a part of the 2020 Canadian Boating Statistical Abstract. This section examines recreational boat and marine engine exports and imports from and to Canada from 2011 to 2020. Key insights from the report include: Recreational …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2022 call for presentations

December 20, 2021

The Industrial Fabrics Association International is now accepting proposals for presentations at IFAI Expo 2022. IFAI Expo will take place Oct. 12-14, 2022, at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., with education Oct. 11-14. IFAI is accepting proposals for 50-minute classroom sessions in several categories: Advanced Textiles Shade & Weather Protection Specialty Fabrics Marine …

Industry News

Analysis shows Canada’s proposed luxury tax will have heavy impact on marine industry

December 20, 2021

A recent economic analysis, “An Economic Evaluation of the Proposed Luxury Boat Tax,” conducted by Jack Mintz, Ph.D., at the School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, in conjunction with Fred O’Riordan at EY Canada, concludes that Canada’s proposed luxury tax on new boats will collect little revenue while threatening middle-class jobs across …

Industry News

U.S. House passes first U.S. shipping law revamp in two decades

December 16, 2021

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the first major update on U.S. international ocean-shipping laws in more than two decades–an important step for marine manufacturers who have been affected by ongoing supply chain and port disruptions exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association website. Bipartisan legislation, the Ocean Shipping Reform …

Industry News

Virginia Governor announces funding for outdoor recreation

December 15, 2021

Virginia Governor Ralph Northam proposed a two-year budget that will include nearly $245 million for outdoor recreation and Virginia’s natural lands. The new funding will help significantly expand Virginia’s network of regional trails, state parks and the Office of Outdoor Recreation, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association website. Outdoor recreation employs more than 197,000 …

Industry News

Cox Marine to develop diesel-hydrogen-fueled outboard motor

December 9, 2021

Cox Marine has joined SHAPE UK, a consortium looking to develop the UK’s first zero-emissions maritime hub, to work with the University of Brighton to convert one of the company’s CXO300 diesel outboard engines to operate as a dual-fuel hydrogen engine, according to boatingindustry.com. The SHAPE project will: Address the viability of a local hydrogen …

Products

Long-lasting durable

January 1, 2022

Docril N 60-inch fabric is designed for the manufacturing of nautical awnings, canopies and pergolas that endure wet climates, splashing and heavy rainfalls. Its special finish prevents the growth of microorganisms as well as fabric deterioration, extending its useful life and retaining its appearance for years. The fabrics remain colorfast, with a durable outdoor performance. …

Products

Carbon fiber shade poles

January 1, 2022

Carbiepoles, also known as Carbies, are telescoping, adjustable carbon fiber shade poles complete with line and high-grade sailing block. Available in black, will fit all rod holders and are adjustable from 68 to 88 inches. Very light, strong, durable and easy to store. For boats/marine (sandbar shades/sunshades) or home/patio (awnings/shade). Simple care and maintenance: just …

Products

High-performance vegan leather

January 1, 2022

Sileather®, a cruise ship and marine-grade high-performance vegan leather coated with 100 percent silicone, has launched the Capri collection, which is designed and formulated specifically for challenging marine environments. Offering excellent UV resistance and performance, the new collection includes 30 colors and three styles. This durable, eco-friendly marine vinyl alternative can be used for both …

Products

Pink stain-resistant value-priced vinyl

January 1, 2022

Morbern’s Voyager and Sandpiper vinyls for marine upholstery deliver high performance at a value price point, less than $10 a yard. Both employ Splash construction, a pink stain-resistant vinyl formulation, the gold standard in the marine industry. With UV protection, cold crack resistance and four-way stretch, they are designed for boat interiors and exteriors. Available …

Products

Sticky snap and zipper cure

January 1, 2022

Shurhold’s Snap Stick provides long-lasting lubrication that allows sticky hardware to perform like new. Made in the USA, it is non-toxic, biodegradable and it won’t harm fabric or solid surfaces. Appropriate for metal and plastic zippers, snaps, hinges and other small marine hardware, the solid, wax-like formula applies like lip balm. Snap Stick is easy …

Products

Tough UV-resistant thread

January 1, 2022

Bonded polyester PremoBond thread is designed for the application of long-lasting seams in vinyl, canvas and carpets. This strong, UV-resistant, anti-wicking marine-grade sewing thread is bleed-resistant and needle heat-resistant, even when sewing at higher speeds with heavier materials. It is specially formulated for use in a variety of outdoor products in the marine, awning, tarp …

Products

Leather-like upholstery fabric

September 1, 2021

Stamskin® Top Club has a new leather-grain texture for the already popular Stamskin Top upholstery range. Available in 15 modern colors, the fabric emulates the look of worn leather and performs well in demanding environments such as outdoor, marine and hospitality. Rated as a heavy-duty material, it withstands more than 600,000 double rubs in Wyzenbook …

Products

Corrosion-free screw stud

September 1, 2021

The CAF-COMPO composite screw stud blends with any design. Now introducing new M6-threaded versions that are suitable for installation on aluminum or steel, offering a 100 percent corrosion-free solution. No galvanic action on window profiles or other aluminum or steel surfaces. The stud is the lower part of a snap or press fastener system. Available …

Products

Smooth and comfortable seating

September 1, 2021

For exterior and interior boat seating, Causeway features a polycarbonate-based top coating for ease of cleaning and extended performance. It offers durability, stretch and recovery, color retention, and water and mildew resistance. Available in 16 embossed colors, it comes in marine fabric, Roll-N-Pleat and Foam Back styles. May be paired with matching marine-grade hidem gimp …

Products

Vegan leather upholstery fabric

September 1, 2021

Compo-SiL® silicone rubber-based marine leather is a green alternative to toxic leather and leatherette materials used for interior and exterior marine upholstery. Non-toxic and free of PPA, lead, latex and halogens, it is maintenance-free and easy to clean. It withstands the harsh sunlight and salt-rich ocean environment, is mildew resistant and can be customized to …

Exterior and Cover

Pontoon enclosure process honed to perfection

September 1, 2021

By Michael Charpentier Here at Paul’s Custom Canvas Inc., we have seen our fair share of pontoon boats over the years. Some of the first were a few pieces of wood bolted to two pontoons with basic seating and a rail to keep you from falling in the water. They had a 75-horsepower motor that …

Interiors & Upholstery

Products and techniques for custom cushions

September 1, 2021

By Terri Madden and Alayna Wool What do you do when a customer requests something that is outside your realm of experience? How do you elevate your skills in order to work on the type of projects you love? How do you learn about new product offerings and materials from suppliers? By reading columns like …

Awards

Marine Fabricator wins publishing awards

November 12, 2019

The Minnesota Media and Publishing Association recognized Marine Fabricator magazine, led by senior editor Elisa Bernick, with a Bronze Award and a Silver Award in publishing excellence for how-to articles, “Seam finishing for marine cushions and covers” and “Zipper basics and helpful sewing techniques.” Both articles were written by Terri Madden, owner of Sand Sea …

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

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 …