Industry News

Massachusetts 2022 budget includes marine workforce funds

July 29, 2021

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker recently signed the 2022 state budget, which includes $150,000 in funding for workforce development and career technical education initiatives within the recreational boating industry, according to a press release from the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association (MMTA). The funds were introduced via budget amendments sponsored in the House by Representative William Straus …

Conference

IBEX announces 2021 Education Conference sessions

July 28, 2021

The 30th International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) announced the details of its Education Conference sessions, beginning with pre-conference sessions on Sunday, September 26 and Monday, September 27. Pre-conference sessions include ABYC Certification, Electronics Installer Training, Marina 101, NMEA Basic Marine and Stability Standards for Boats Over 20 Feet. The Seminar Series will be held …

Conference

2022 MFA Conference registration now open

July 27, 2021

Registration is open, and the full conference schedule is available for the annual Marine Fabricators Conference being held Jan. 13-15, 2022, at Wild Dunes Charleston’s Island Resort, Isle of Palms, S.C. The conference features three full days of education and networking designed to help marine fabricators cultivate industry connections, improve their efficiency and increase revenue. …

Industry News

Wake boating activities restricted along Spokane river

July 23, 2021

After three months of public hearings, amendments and strong opposition from the recreational boating community, the Kootenai County Commission in Kootenai County, Idaho, passed an ordinance prohibiting boaters from engaging in activities that create “excessive wakes” by a 2-1 vote, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association website. The ordinance defines “excessive wake” as “plowing …

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 …

Company News

Beaver Paper Group announces price increase

July 22, 2021

Beaver Paper Group, Atlanta, Ga., a manufacturer of sublimation media and sewn paper products, announced a general price increase on Wednesday, July 21, of 8-12% across its global portfolio of products. The price increase will be effective Sept. 1, 2021. “We are taking this initiative due to the current market pressures and the rising costs of …

Company News

Glen Raven announces next phase of expansion plan

July 21, 2021

Glen Raven Inc. has announced its next round of significant investments in facilities and infrastructure. The investments represent phase two of a multi-phase expansion plan and are specifically focused on growing Glen Raven’s U.S. capacity. They will include additional production facilities and a new distribution center in the U.S., as well as additional equipment to increase …

IFAI news

IFAI 2021 State of the Industry report now available for purchase

July 21, 2021

The 2021 State of the Industry report from Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) is now available for sale at IFAI’s e-store. IFAI members may purchase the report for $79, a $300 discount off the non-member price. Read a summary of the report here, and purchase the full report here. IFAI conducts research annually among its …

Conference

Submit Tools, Tips and Tricks ideas

July 21, 2021

Organizers of the Marine Fabricators Conference 2022, being held Jan. 13–15, 2022, at the Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms, S.C., are seeking tips, how-to ideas and DIY techniques that benefit the marine fabrication industry. Qualified entries appear in Marine Fabricator magazine, and prizes for first, second and third place are presented at the Awards …

Industry News

Free boating marketing content available

July 20, 2021

Discover Boating B2B has free marketing tools and resources available for fabricators to share on their websites and social channels to help drive consumer engagement. These include interactive boat buying tools such as a Boat Loan Calculator and Boat Finder, which can be embedded directly on a fabricator’s website. Other resources include an industry-wide “Get …

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 …

Conference

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 …

Expo News

The larger issues in respiratory protection

November 12, 2020

Dr. Bryran Ormond, assistant professor, Wilson College of Textiles, NC State explained respiratory protection in an “Ask an Expert” session with Jing Liang, Medical PPE Consulting LLC. Dr. Ormand has typically worked in the area of chemical and biological protective equipment, but with the onslaught of the pandemic, began to focus on respiratory protection generally, …

Expo News

Rodgers: Textiles are the “T” in STEM

November 11, 2020

How do you create a channel from research to application? How do you create a pathway toward understanding complex human problems across supply chains and market sectors? STEM—a curriculum based on teaching science, technology, engineering and math—has branched out from basic chemistry and biology and physics classes, into collaborative efforts, including textiles, according to Stephanie …

Feature

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

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

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, …

Feature Members only content

Tools of the Trade: Marine fabricators share their favorites

May 1, 2021

We asked marine fabricators to tell us about the “must-have” tools in their shop. The variety and creativity of submissions we received told us what we already knew—fabricators are a resourceful and innovative lot! By Cathy Broberg Hercules 1575 foam cutter with Bosch blade “A good quality foam cutter makes shop life so much easier,” …

Feature Members only content

Managing difficult clients

May 1, 2021

Marine fabricators discuss their best forms of defense By Michelle Miron Most businesses have encountered these people at least once: impossible-to-please customers who make life miserable for everyone who has to work with them. Maybe they are disrespectful to you and your employees. Maybe they demand price breaks where none are due. Or perhaps they …

Feature

2021 Premier Product Showcase

May 1, 2021

High-quality products to help you create durable, attractive and successful projects. For this feature, we asked our contributors to send us information about their high-performing products. The product information was submitted by the participating manufacturers and suppliers by the established deadline. The products are organized into three categories: Fabric, Film, & Foam; Equipment, Tools & …

Feature

Does co-entrepreneurship lead to more divorce?

April 1, 2021

By Michelle Miron Are divorce rates higher among couples that co-own a business? Consider the 24/7 togetherness, the disagreements over business decisions, the juggling of work and family, and the worries over the bottom line. How could that not translate into marital strife? Chandler and Charlene Clark, co-owners of Signature CanvasMakers in Hampton, Va., say …

Feature

2021 MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards

March 1, 2021

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

Feature Members only content

Husband and wife teams

March 1, 2021

A Juggling Act That Impacts the Bottom Line By Michelle Miron If you’ve ever contemplated running a company with your spouse, you may wonder how it might work to juggle the complications of a relationship with the day-to-day logistics of a business.  Can business disagreements lead to spats over household management? Do family dynamics worm …

MFA Time Standards

2021 MFA Time Standards Manual

January 1, 2021

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 …

Industry News

Massachusetts 2022 budget includes marine workforce funds

July 29, 2021

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker recently signed the 2022 state budget, which includes $150,000 in funding for workforce development and career technical education initiatives within the recreational boating industry, according to a press release from the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association (MMTA). The funds were introduced via budget amendments sponsored in the House by Representative William Straus …

Industry News

Wake boating activities restricted along Spokane river

July 23, 2021

After three months of public hearings, amendments and strong opposition from the recreational boating community, the Kootenai County Commission in Kootenai County, Idaho, passed an ordinance prohibiting boaters from engaging in activities that create “excessive wakes” by a 2-1 vote, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association website. The ordinance defines “excessive wake” as “plowing …

Industry News

Free boating marketing content available

July 20, 2021

Discover Boating B2B has free marketing tools and resources available for fabricators to share on their websites and social channels to help drive consumer engagement. These include interactive boat buying tools such as a Boat Loan Calculator and Boat Finder, which can be embedded directly on a fabricator’s website. Other resources include an industry-wide “Get …

Industry News

RBIEF awards record scholarship funds

July 15, 2021

The Recreational Boating Industries Educational Foundation (RBIEF) more than doubled the amount of funds distributed this year compared to years past, as qualified applicants express keen interest in careers in the marine industry. The Foundation awarded $18,500 in scholarship funds to 10 students, according to boatingindustry.com.  The RBIEF scholarship fund was developed in 1986 by …

Industry News

NOAA announces Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary

July 13, 2021

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of National Marine Sanctuaries recently announced the designation of the Wisconsin Shipwreck Coast National Marine Sanctuary. The area on Lake Michigan in Wisconsin has been under consideration for national marine sanctuary status since 2014. The sanctuary will make up 962-square-miles in Lake Michigan on the Wisconsin side …

Industry News

New powerboat sales remain strong through April

July 8, 2021

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports new boat sales remained strong through April, according to the latest New Powerboat Registrations Report. Data shows retail unit sales of new powerboats were up 32 percent on a rolling 12-month (R12M) year-over-year (YOY) basis through April, reflecting the surge in demand and sales over the past year. …

Industry News

Michigan DNR approves $4 million in boating grants

July 6, 2021

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources recently announced that more than $4 million in grant funding will be awarded to 23 communities throughout the state to boost recreational boating, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association website. The funding is made possible through the DNR Parks and Recreation Division’s waterways grant program, which began in …

Industry News

2021 Shipyard Safety Awards announced

July 2, 2021

The Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA), the national association representing the U.S. shipbuilding, maintenance, and repair industry, recently announced the recipients of its annual shipyard safety awards. SCA honors shipbuilding and repair organizations with the “Excellence in Safety,” “Improvement in Safety” and “Significant Safety Achievement” awards each year for enhancement of operations and promotion of …

Industry News

2020 powerboat sales trends report available

July 1, 2021

The Powerboat Sales Trends section of the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) 2020 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract is now available on nmma.org. This section includes retail sales trends for new traditional powerboats for 2020 in each of the four propulsion categories (outboard, sterndrive, inboard, and jet), as well as data from 2008-2020, as well …

Industry News

2020 U.S. Boating Statistical Abstract now available

June 24, 2021

The Total Industry Sales by Category and State section of the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) 2020 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract is now available. Total recreational marine expenditures reached a high of $49.4 billion in 2020, up 14.2% from 2019, in a record year for the boating industry as Americans sought ways to spend …

Products

Substance and style

July 1, 2021

Delivering powerful protection from extreme precipitation and moisture, Sunbrella® SeaMark® is a top-rated marine-grade fabric that doesn’t sacrifice style. Fabricated from Sunbrella performance fabric with a 100 percent impervious waterproof backing, the product is available in a range of colors for use on biminis, dodgers and cockpit enclosures, as well as restaurant patio enclosures, awnings …

Products

Durable elegance

July 1, 2021

Made to withstand adverse weather conditions, DUO is 100 percent water repellent with a natural appearance and agreeable texture. The reversable two-sided technical fabric is durable, lightweight and offers high UV-radiation resistance and eliminates condensation with a specific anti-mold treatment. Recommended for marine applications, upholstery and awnings. Easy to handle and dries quickly. www.decoabrusci.us

Products

Lightweight and waterproof

July 1, 2021

Waterproof yet breathable Tempotest Marine Coated fabric is lightweight compared to other waterproof products, and its acrylic back coat will remain clear and flexible. The fabric has high colorfastness and comes in a wide range of colors with a 10-year warranty. Recommended for boat covers, bimini tops, sun shades, sprayhoods, enclosures, awnings and canopies. www.miamicorp.com

Products

Luxury on the water

July 1, 2021

UV-stable Trevira CS Outdoor textiles are inherently flame retardant and are recommended for indoor use to comply with fire safety regulations and outdoor use where materials are required to perform against tearing and the elements. Appropriate for drapes, decorative fabrics, upholstery materials, sunscreen systems, wallcoverings or bedding textiles on cruise ships and other marine applications. …

Products

Horizon upholstery collection expands

July 1, 2021

Sunbrella® announces two new colorways for Horizon™, the brand’s signature marine vinyl fabric that offers industry-leading protection against microbial pinking. Capriccio Salt is a clean and crisp shade that provides a versatile base to coordinate against any palette, from neutrals to brights to warm and cool tones. Capriccio Pacific Blue is a bright and sophisticated …

Products

New colors for solar protection

July 1, 2021

Serge Ferrari introduces a new color collection for three of its most popular solar protection fabrics: Soltis® Horizon 86, Soltis® Perform 92 and Soltis® Opaque B92. The new collections include several new colors including Shea, Taupe, Celestial Grey, Brick, French Blue and True Black. Soltis Harmony 86 introduces five new colors, Soltis Perform Harmony introduces …

Fabric & Film

Horizon marine upholstery collection expands

April 5, 2021

Sunbrella® announces two new colorways for Horizon™, the brand’s signature marine vinyl fabric that offers industry-leading protection against microbial pinking. Capriccio Salt is a clean and crisp shade that provides a versatile base to coordinate against any palette, from neutrals to brights to warm and cool tones. Capriccio Pacific Blue is a bright and sophisticated …

Products

Weather-resistant,antimicrobial upholstery

March 1, 2021

Sol-Out® has launched a new collection of 100% acrylic antimicrobial outdoor upholstery fabrics that combine two specialty fibers: Durashine™, a high-performance solution-dyed acrylic fiber that provides excellent colorfastness and UV resistance; and Amicor™, which provides permanent antimicrobial qualities by incorporating additives into the core of the fiber. Color brilliancy, durability and microbial protection suitable for …

Products

New marine vinyl, cooler seating

March 1, 2021

Utilizing a change in the pigment, OMNOVA’s CoolComfort™ technology allows heat and light to reflect more optimally off of seating upholstery, creating up to a 15-degree F cooler seating experience. This technology can be added as an upgrade to the company’s broad portfolio of marine and transportation vinyl upholstery including Beacon, the newest addition to …

Products

Next-gen marine and awning fabric

March 1, 2021

Available in three different product categories; SolarShade, SolarShade FR, and SolarShade Plus FR offer breathability, high water repellency, mildew resistance, and outstanding strength and durability. Crafted from advanced staple fiber and spun 100% solution-dyed polyester yarns, these products provide exceptional value at their price point, and after being tried and tested in the field, have …

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 …

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 …