Company News

Keyston Bros announces new sales rep

January 26, 2023

Keyston Bros, a well-known distributor of marine upholstery materials and supplies, announced that Jamie Marozzi, former owner of BayView Canvas, has been hired as a sales representative for the company. Marozzi will be based out of Keyston’s Raleigh, N.C. warehouse and will service the upholstery communities of the Northeast region. BayView Canvas, a custom marine …

Industry News

MARAD announces grants for small shipyards

January 25, 2023

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOD) Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced the availability of nearly $20 million in Federal Fiscal Year 2023 funding to help modernize small U.S. shipyards and train the workforce in this sector. MARAD’s Small Shipyard Grant Program provides grants that can be used to purchase equipment or provide employee training. In addition, …

Events

ATA Canada Workshop speakers announced

January 24, 2023

The Advanced Textile Association (ATA) Canada Workshop 2023 has announced five speakers who will take part in the Canada Division’s one-day workshop focused on the Canadian textile market. This workshop takes place Feb. 9, 2023, at Lasalle Canvas Inc., in Quebec, Canada. The speakers are: Workshop participants will include business owners in the Canadian provinces …

Industry News

RIMTA awards Clean Marina certifications

January 19, 2023

The Rhode Island Marine Trade Association (RIMTA) has recognized three new Clean Marina Facilities for its 2022 Clean Marina program. The voluntary program is administered by the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council to recognize Rhode Island marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs that voluntarily exceed regulatory requirements and adopt measures to reduce pollution. Designated “clean …

Industry News

Call for nominations for 2023 40 Under 40 program

January 18, 2023

Entering its seventh year, Boating Industry magazine is now accepting nominations for its 40 Under 40 program, which highlights the best young leaders across all segments of the marine industry. Each year, the magazine receives hundreds of nominations from dealer principals, owners, CEOs and other individuals in management positions across the industry, all shining a …

Industry News

Nashville Boat Show attracts strong attendance

January 17, 2023

The 2023 Discover Boating® Nashville Boat Show, in partnership with Progressive® Insurance, attracted more than 10,000 attendees after a two-year hiatus. Exhibitors reported encouraging sales and leads with show-goers eager to shop for new boats in Nashville, Tenn., after a two-year hiatus. Reinforcing consumer demand, more than 8,000 people used Nashville’s new Discover Boating Boat …

Industry News

2023 boating industry outlook shows a healthy demand

January 12, 2023

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) shared the latest industry data, and the 2023 outlook shows that coming off a record year of high demand in 2021, new powerboat retail unit sales normalized in 2022, down an estimated 15-18%, to pre-pandemic growth years (2015-2019) with an estimated 250,000 new units sold, 25% above previous averages …

Industry News

U.S. Total Boating Statistical Report for 2021 now available

January 11, 2023

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) complete 2021 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract is now available for member download on nmma.org. The report spans 2008-2021, with data and insights on trends in industry growth and shifts in market behavior. Sections include: Total Industry Sales by Category and State; Powerboat Sales Trends; Cruiser, Watersport, Fishing Boat …

Events

ATA webinar offers tools for business transformation

January 10, 2023

The Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) is offering the webinar “Work On Your Business Instead of In It” on January 18, 2023, from 1:00–2:00 pm EST. The webinar is free for ATA members and $39 for nonmembers. During this webinar, Michael Richman, EOS® implementer and former owner of Academy Awning, will introduce tools that can immediately …

Events

Registration opens for ATA’s Canada Workshop

January 6, 2023

Registration is now open for the Advanced Textile Association (ATA) Canada Division’s one-day workshop focused on the Canadian textile market. This workshop takes place Feb. 9, 2023, at Lasalle Canvas Inc., in Quebec, Canada. Participants will include business owners in the Canadian provinces involved in shade, architectural structures, marine tops, tarps and more. There will …

Awards

2022 IFAI Expo Show Stopper winners list includes marine entry

October 24, 2022

Bainbridge International’s Nauti Carbon Pole™ won a 2022 IFAI Expo Show Stopper Award in the Hardware, Findings and Accessories category. The new telescoping pole is made from black carbon fiber and is an excellent solution for lightweight shade supports. The pole can be used for marine awnings, shade sails, bow shades, etc. Its simplistic design …

Expo News

Flexibility is key to navigating changing marine market

October 17, 2022

When Rick Berkey’s marine shop was closed for three months due to COVID-19 restrictions, “it became clear we couldn’t rely on marine work alone to sustain us and our employees during the ebbs and flows of market changes,” he says. Berkey is the owner of Rick’s Custom Marine Canvas and Sail Repair, based in Cornelius, …

Events

ATA hosts webinar on IFAI Expo 2022

August 15, 2022

The Advanced Textiles Association (ATA, formerly IFAI) is hosting the webinar “IFAI Expo 2022 Overview” to present the latest information on IFAI Expo 2022 being held in Charlotte, N.C., October 12-14, 2022. The webinar will take place on August 17, 2022, 1:00–2:00 EDT, and will include information about: •Schedule of events and education •Show floor …

Events

Registration for IFAI Expo 2022 opens with early bird pricing

May 5, 2022

Registration is now open for IFAI Expo 2022, taking place October 12–14 with education happening from October 11–14 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C. IFAI Expo is known as the specialty textile industry’s flagship show for sourcing, networking and education. It’s an opportunity to join thousands of industry stakeholders and leaders who are …

Events

IFAI Expo 2022 speaker submissions due March 31

March 22, 2022

The deadline to submit speaker presentations for IFAI Expo 2022 in Charlotte, N.C. on Oct. 12–14, 2022, is March 31. Speaking at IFAI Expo gives individuals a chance to connect with a wide variety of attendees in diverse markets, share their expertise and boost their credibility. For more than a century, IFAI Expo has been …

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 …

Features

2023 MFA Time Standards Manual

January 1, 2023

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 …

Features

Fabricating metal frames

January 1, 2023

Fabricating frames, tubing, hardware and other items can present a quandary for marine fabricators. It’s a job that customers need, but it’s not easy work, and it can take a pretty penny to have all the necessary equipment on hand.  But as is usually the case with fabricators, where there’s a will, there’s a way. …

Features

Pros and cons of mobile marine shops

January 1, 2023

When you’re a marine fabricator with a mobile unit, you’re often at a competitive advantage. Not only can you offer customers fast, convenient repairs and service, but you’re often able to recruit business from other boat owners who notice you at their marinas. Vendors who are fully mobile can save money on brick-and-mortar mortgages or …

Awards

Marine Fabrication Excellence Awards deadline approaching

October 26, 2022

The 2023 MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards deadline is Nov 1, 2022. Fabrication Excellence Award Winners receive: •A featured spot in Marine Fabricator magazine •A personalized plaque and press release •Recognition on the MFA website New this year: A new category called Transformations (Before & After) is meant for two or more jobs on one boat. …

Features Members only content

Choosing the right needles and thread

September 1, 2022

Needles and threads are essential for keeping marine fabrication projects looking and performing their best, but their role is often taken for granted—until something goes sideways that is. When a thread or needle is wrong for the job or is of poor quality, the consequences can be aggravating—or even worse. The correct choice matters Choose …

Features Members only content

Custom boat cover tips and techniques

September 1, 2022

Remember the old adage that the only sure things in life are death and taxes? For marine fabricators, the list might include a third one—boat covers. Tony Troxell, co-owner of Fine Line Canvas & Upholstery in Fountain, Colo., makes about 100 boat covers a year. The annual count for Ben Lange, proprietor of Wyoming Canvas …

Features

Celebrating marine fabricators age 40 and under

September 1, 2022

There is a dedicated new generation of marine fabricators who are making a difference in this industry. Marine Fabricator put the word out seeking nominations for fabricators age 40 and under who deserve recognition for their high-quality work and efforts to improve the marine fabrication industry as a whole. The nine fabricators from across the …

Features Members only content

Space management 101

July 1, 2022

Clutter. Claustrophobia. Continual need for more storage.  Those are possible hazards of working out of a physically small marine fabrication shop. Yet it’s understandable that many fabricators choose to house their companies in conservatively sized spaces to better control overhead costs.  Keeping small shops organized can require planning and extra patience; often, staff have to …

Features Members only content

Next-gen sewers

July 1, 2022

It’s not easy. Attracting, hiring and keeping sewers is perhaps one of the most challenging issues facing marine fabrication shops today. But the good news is that it is not an insurmountable challenge. Many people want to put their hands to work and make something beautiful and functional from available parts. And for shop owners …

Features Members only content

Small tools and machines deliver big benefits

July 1, 2022

The “right tool for the job” has long been a maxim for success. Marine fabrication can involve the use of large, complex tools, but those are not the bread and butter of most operations. It’s the smaller tools used daily, over and over, that can often determine if a shop is efficient and effective or …

Industry News

MARAD announces grants for small shipyards

January 25, 2023

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOD) Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced the availability of nearly $20 million in Federal Fiscal Year 2023 funding to help modernize small U.S. shipyards and train the workforce in this sector. MARAD’s Small Shipyard Grant Program provides grants that can be used to purchase equipment or provide employee training. In addition, …

Industry News

RIMTA awards Clean Marina certifications

January 19, 2023

The Rhode Island Marine Trade Association (RIMTA) has recognized three new Clean Marina Facilities for its 2022 Clean Marina program. The voluntary program is administered by the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council to recognize Rhode Island marinas, boatyards and yacht clubs that voluntarily exceed regulatory requirements and adopt measures to reduce pollution. Designated “clean …

Industry News

Call for nominations for 2023 40 Under 40 program

January 18, 2023

Entering its seventh year, Boating Industry magazine is now accepting nominations for its 40 Under 40 program, which highlights the best young leaders across all segments of the marine industry. Each year, the magazine receives hundreds of nominations from dealer principals, owners, CEOs and other individuals in management positions across the industry, all shining a …

Industry News

Nashville Boat Show attracts strong attendance

January 17, 2023

The 2023 Discover Boating® Nashville Boat Show, in partnership with Progressive® Insurance, attracted more than 10,000 attendees after a two-year hiatus. Exhibitors reported encouraging sales and leads with show-goers eager to shop for new boats in Nashville, Tenn., after a two-year hiatus. Reinforcing consumer demand, more than 8,000 people used Nashville’s new Discover Boating Boat …

Industry News

2023 boating industry outlook shows a healthy demand

January 12, 2023

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) shared the latest industry data, and the 2023 outlook shows that coming off a record year of high demand in 2021, new powerboat retail unit sales normalized in 2022, down an estimated 15-18%, to pre-pandemic growth years (2015-2019) with an estimated 250,000 new units sold, 25% above previous averages …

Industry News

U.S. Total Boating Statistical Report for 2021 now available

January 11, 2023

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) complete 2021 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract is now available for member download on nmma.org. The report spans 2008-2021, with data and insights on trends in industry growth and shifts in market behavior. Sections include: Total Industry Sales by Category and State; Powerboat Sales Trends; Cruiser, Watersport, Fishing Boat …

Industry News

U.S. Total Boat Registrations Report for 2021 now available

January 4, 2023

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) 2021 U.S. Total Boat Registrations Report is now available for purchase. There were 12 million boats registered and documented in the U.S. in 2021, up 1% compared to 2020. The top five states for boat registrations in 2021 were: By region, the Great Lakes region accounted for 33.8% of …

Events

ABYC 2023 Standards Week set for January 9-13

January 3, 2023

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), the nonprofit organization that develops safety standards for the design, construction, maintenance and repair of boats, has registration open for its annual Standards Week, January 9-13, 2023, in New Orleans. Standards Week is dedicated to daily Project Technical Committee (PTC) meetings to discuss updates to Supplement 63 for …

Industry News

Deadline for Miami Innovation Awards entries approaching soon

December 29, 2022

The submission deadline to enter a new product into the Miami Innovation Awards program presented at the Discover Boating® Miami International Boat Show® is Jan. 10, 2023. The awards program recognizes manufacturers and suppliers who bring new, innovative products to market. Innovation Award winners will be announced during the boat show’s Industry Breakfast on Feb. …

Industry News

MRAA’s Dealer Week 2022 breaks attendance records

December 28, 2022

After two years that were affected to varying degrees by COVID-19, the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA)’s Dealer Week 2022 broke both overall and dealer attendance records earlier this month in Austin, Texas, according to a news release from the organization. Highlights from Dealer Week 2022 included: In addition, the MRAA is providing …

Products

Stay-cool vinyl

September 1, 2022

Sonar with ChromaCool™ vinyl is a marine-grade material designed to stay cool even after prolonged sun exposure. Designed to reflect sunlight and block UV rays, it keeps coated fabrics 30 degrees cooler than standard black vinyl. For use in marine, outdoor and stadium seating, golf carts and many other applications. rexpeggfabrics.com 

Products

Upholstery cleaner for synthetic leathers

September 1, 2022

Bling Sauce has added Mild Soap Sauce to its upholstery cleaning collection. Specially formulated to clean cool touch vinyl and synthetic leathers, the cleaner has been approved by leading OEM vinyl and upholstery manufacturers for specialty fabrics prohibiting the use of anything other than the use of mild soap. The cleaner repels mold, mildew and …

Products

Coated fabric line adds new colors

September 1, 2022

Trivantage’s Hydrofend®, an exclusive solution-dyed polyester with a proprietary high-performance back coating, is now available in mahogany brown and hunter green colorways. The new additions were created based on customer feedback and will be offered with matching binding. The fabric is designed to balance high water resistance with breathability. Its multipurpose applications include boat covers, …

Products

New shade fabrics collection

September 1, 2022

The Sunbrella® Emerge Collection is a versatile and vibrant collection that highlights a host of new yarns from calming blues to muted earth tones that pairs classic colors with modern hues. With 11 patterns and 35 colors, the collection is suitable for a variety of indoor and outdoor upholstery applications, from sofa covers to patio …

Products

Premium multilayer memory foam

September 1, 2022

CushionCraft Comfort Premium+ foam is a luxurious multilayer memory foam with Supportive Air Technology fused over a Comfort Premium support core. The top layer dissipates heat to ensure comfort at any temperature. The premium support core provides excellent joint and body relief and relaxation. Recommended uses include indoor couch and chair cushions, mattresses and marine …

Products

Pinking-free comfort

September 1, 2022

Exclusively available at Keyston Bros., Neptune offers a five-year limited warranty with a three-year limited warranty against microbial pinking. Available in 19 colors, its two-way stretch allows for easy fabrication and long-term comfort and performance. Mold and mildew resistant, UV resistant, cold crack to -10 F, 32 ounces, incredibly soft and easy to clean. keystonbros.com

Products

Eco-friendly zippers

July 1, 2022

IDEAL Earth™ Zippers are made from recycled polyester using special processes that convert recycled water bottles into zippers. Available in metal, Delrin, invisible and coil with more than 600 colors and in various sizes. idealfastener.com

Products

Versatile cushion fabric

July 1, 2022

Dimensionally stable and opaque, Vicar Patterning Fabric is weatherproof, lightweight and reinforced for strength, yet it will lie flat for easy use. The material received a stamp of approval from Autometrix for use on its cutting tables because its proprietary camera system can pull out the pattern automatically without having to digitally trace it for …

Products

Luxury leather alternative

July 1, 2022

Now with Nassimi’s proprietary Resilience™ coating, Seaquest luxury performance cushion vinyl now offers an improved superior stain resistance coupled with enhanced durability. With 14 new colors for the 2022 season, the vinyl’s color palette is now up to 35 colors, all available with matching roll n’ pleat, hidem and welting from stock.  manart-hirsch.com

Products

Versatile patterning fabric

July 1, 2022

The Phiftertex Cushion and Matte Fabric Addition cushion fabrics offer more options and versatility for outdoor furniture. They are a more malleable, 100% PVC option that can be manipulated and sewn to fit cushions. With a softer hand compared to traditional PVC fabric, this option provides soft comfort and sturdy fabric that can be cleaned. …

Exterior and Cover

Horizontal and cantilever frames

January 1, 2023

Following the typical 10-to-20-year delay that “new ideas” seem to take to catch on in the canvas industry, the popularity and demand for horizontal frame systems and cantilever support systems has finally arrived everywhere. Sea Ray actually offered a horizontal aft frame option in 1999 on its newly released 460 Sundancer. Some brave canvas shops …

Interiors & Upholstery

Tricky client design challenges

January 1, 2023

For most fabricators, long-term success doesn’t come from the easy jobs, but from the challenging projects. Using two case studies, I’ll present a few design challenges I’ve encountered in the hope that my experiences will help you work more smoothly with clients and shorten your learning curve. Case study 1: Agree on the design vision …

Awards

Inspiration

January 1, 2023

The clients wanted to make adjustments and add to their current stainless steel dodger and bimini frames to create a more functional cockpit area for cruising. They asked that strong, high-quality materials be used so the final result would be suitable for offshore cruising. A significant challenge was using, adjusting and adding to the existing …

Interiors & Upholstery

Tools and tips for better cushions

September 1, 2022

At Custom Marine Canvas, we are always looking for ways to improve our work. After 38 years, we’re still finding new ways to do things. In this article, we share some of our favorite tools and tips for improving your cushions. Zipper jig Nothing is worse than making a pile of cushions and spending a …

Exterior and Cover

Thinking outside the box

September 1, 2022

Thinking outside the box by Russ Griffin Our company, Northcoast Marine Specialties LLC, has had two decades of great success due to our unfamiliarity with the outdated and unimaginative techniques many canvas shops fall into the habit of re-creating endlessly. Many people entering this trade have a vision of creativity. Often, however, the day-to-day operations …

Exterior and Cover

Award-winning travel covers

July 1, 2022

Fabricating travel covers presents a unique set of challenges for the marine fabricator. The cover needs to withstand highway traveling speeds, crosswinds and road debris without rubbing or otherwise damaging the boat. The correct fabric choice, close tailoring and proper reinforcing all play a part in preventing unnecessary wear to the cover and damage to …

Interiors & Upholstery

Adjusting to a bigger shop

July 1, 2022

In 2019, I moved Chicago Marine Canvas into a new 2,500-square-foot space, and by the summer of 2021, customer projects were piling up on top of one another. An additional sewing table had been made under a low storage loft, we were constantly moving projects in the middle of production to complete everyday tasks, and …

Exterior and Cover

Pattern darting

May 1, 2022

Pattern darting is a useful technique to have in any marine fabricator’s toolbox. This article will provide an example of this technique using a series of forward enclosure panels that tuck under the windshield to a line of fasteners.  Pattern darting speeds patterning on the boat using a single piece of Tyvek®, heavy craft paper …

Interiors & Upholstery

Ultimate cushion design

May 1, 2022

At Interiors by Dawn, the ultimate cushion design—which provides increased drainage and airflow, reduced mold and mildew growth and longevity—is always evolving. This is not for every customer or project; we tailor and customize our cushions to fit each individual project. However, we make sure to discuss these options with customers so they understand what’s …

Exterior and Cover

Tools to make things easier

March 1, 2022

The Boatswain’s Locker in Jacksonville, Fla., was founded in 1961 by my father, Charles W. Bransford, as a shop specializing in custom boat canvas and sails. At that time, there was a lot of handwork that required many hours to complete a job. Since then, many time-saving and more productive methods and tools have been …