Industry News

Public comments sought for Section 301 tariffs

November 25, 2022

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) opened its public comment period this week asking that businesses impacted by Section 301 tariffs, which impact more than 300 commonly used components, materials and parts in the marine manufacturing process, submit comments detailing the need for exclusions from these tariffs. The comment period will remain open …

Events

2023 Minneapolis Boat Show Innovation Awards call for entry now open

November 23, 2022

The Discover Boating® Minneapolis Boat Show, in partnership with Progressive® Insurance, is now accepting entries to the 2023 Minneapolis Innovation Awards program. The Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in four product categories: aluminum fishing boats, fiberglass fishing boats, pontoon boats, and furnishings. Innovation Award entrants gain valuable product exposure, including: Innovation Award signage—identifies product as …

Industry News

Transport Canada accepts ABYC electrical standards for electric and hybrid vessels

November 22, 2022

Transport Canada has approved a policy accepting American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) electrical standards for electric and hybrid vessel compliance in Canada. This new Tier I Policy allows the marine industry to use alternative industry standards where no requirements currently exist within Canada’s regulatory framework. The policy went into effect on Oct 25, 2022. …

Events

Keynote speaker announced for ATA Women in Textiles Summit

November 21, 2022

Dr. Melissa Furman, the owner of Career Potential LLC, will be the keynote speaker at the Advanced Textile Association’s Women in Textiles Summit taking place March 1–3, 2023, at the Francis Marion Hotel in Charleston, S.C. Furman will address practical solutions to the challenges of being a woman in the workplace, particularly burnout. Furman served …

Industry News

2021 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract just released

November 17, 2022

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) 2021 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract report that presents comprehensive industry data for recreational boating intelligence for 2008-2021 is now available. The report, which provides a window into industry growth and shifts in market behavior, includes these sections: Total Industry Sales by Category and State, Powerboat Sales Trends, Cruiser, …

Industry News

IBEX 2023 Education Conference call for proposals

November 16, 2022

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) Education Conference has opened its call for proposals for the 2023 IBEX Show October 3 – 5, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. Organizers are seeking submissions for the Seminar Series, which delivers technical education from industry experts. All topics and speaker submissions are welcome but interested parties should note …

Industry News

Outdoor rec industry sees record-breaking year in 2021

November 15, 2022

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released economic data for 2021, showing outdoor recreation’s powerful economic impact on the U.S. economy. These new numbers show outdoor recreation generates $862 billion in economic output, with recreational boating and fishing the number one contributor to the outdoor recreation economy and the largest recreational …

Industry News

MRAA Dealer Week kicks off Dec. 5

November 14, 2022

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) Dealer Week, the largest annual marine dealer education event, kicks off on Monday, Dec. 5, in Austin, Texas. The MRAA hosts Dealer Week each year to unite boat retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and more professionals for a conference and expo to help retailers succeed in 2023 …

Industry News

ABYC 2023 Standards Week set for January

November 10, 2022

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

2021 U.S. powerboat sales trends stats now available

November 9, 2022

The latest retail sales trends for new traditional powerboats are now available from the National Marine Manufacturers Association statistic index. The 2021 report includes each of the four propulsion categories: outboard, sterndrive, inboard, and jet. Given challenges in the supply chain and lean dealer inventories, 2021 retail unit sales of new traditional powerboats were down …

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 …

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

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

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 …

Features Members only content

Spreading the word

May 1, 2022

What’s the best way to market your small fabrication shop? It comes down to one simple concept, “word of mouth.” It doesn’t matter whether your shop is in Arizona, New Hampshire or New Zealand, the approach doesn’t change—reputation is the most significant factor in growing a successful business. “What works is some guy talking to …

Features Members only content

Diving In

May 1, 2022

If a college friend hadn’t had extra space in a harborside building he was renting in downtown Bellingham, Greg Keeler may have never started up Bellingham, Wash.-based marine canvas company Oyster Creek Canvas Co. After earning a degree in environmental policy and assessment, the lifelong boating enthusiast had spent several years in a related desk …

Features

2022 Premier Product Showcase

May 1, 2022

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 & Miscellaneous; and Hardware and Findings. You can see the 2022 Premier …

Industry News

Public comments sought for Section 301 tariffs

November 25, 2022

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) opened its public comment period this week asking that businesses impacted by Section 301 tariffs, which impact more than 300 commonly used components, materials and parts in the marine manufacturing process, submit comments detailing the need for exclusions from these tariffs. The comment period will remain open …

Events

2023 Minneapolis Boat Show Innovation Awards call for entry now open

November 23, 2022

The Discover Boating® Minneapolis Boat Show, in partnership with Progressive® Insurance, is now accepting entries to the 2023 Minneapolis Innovation Awards program. The Awards celebrate excellence and innovation in four product categories: aluminum fishing boats, fiberglass fishing boats, pontoon boats, and furnishings. Innovation Award entrants gain valuable product exposure, including: Innovation Award signage—identifies product as …

Industry News

Transport Canada accepts ABYC electrical standards for electric and hybrid vessels

November 22, 2022

Transport Canada has approved a policy accepting American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) electrical standards for electric and hybrid vessel compliance in Canada. This new Tier I Policy allows the marine industry to use alternative industry standards where no requirements currently exist within Canada’s regulatory framework. The policy went into effect on Oct 25, 2022. …

Industry News

2021 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract just released

November 17, 2022

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) 2021 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract report that presents comprehensive industry data for recreational boating intelligence for 2008-2021 is now available. The report, which provides a window into industry growth and shifts in market behavior, includes these sections: Total Industry Sales by Category and State, Powerboat Sales Trends, Cruiser, …

Industry News

IBEX 2023 Education Conference call for proposals

November 16, 2022

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) Education Conference has opened its call for proposals for the 2023 IBEX Show October 3 – 5, 2023, in Tampa, Fla. Organizers are seeking submissions for the Seminar Series, which delivers technical education from industry experts. All topics and speaker submissions are welcome but interested parties should note …

Industry News

Outdoor rec industry sees record-breaking year in 2021

November 15, 2022

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) released economic data for 2021, showing outdoor recreation’s powerful economic impact on the U.S. economy. These new numbers show outdoor recreation generates $862 billion in economic output, with recreational boating and fishing the number one contributor to the outdoor recreation economy and the largest recreational …

Industry News

MRAA Dealer Week kicks off Dec. 5

November 14, 2022

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) Dealer Week, the largest annual marine dealer education event, kicks off on Monday, Dec. 5, in Austin, Texas. The MRAA hosts Dealer Week each year to unite boat retailers, manufacturers, suppliers, service providers and more professionals for a conference and expo to help retailers succeed in 2023 …

Industry News

ABYC 2023 Standards Week set for January

November 10, 2022

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

2021 U.S. powerboat sales trends stats now available

November 9, 2022

The latest retail sales trends for new traditional powerboats are now available from the National Marine Manufacturers Association statistic index. The 2021 report includes each of the four propulsion categories: outboard, sterndrive, inboard, and jet. Given challenges in the supply chain and lean dealer inventories, 2021 retail unit sales of new traditional powerboats were down …

Industry News

2021 Canadian recreational boat and marine engine stats now available

November 8, 2022

The Recreational Boat and Marine Engine Exports & Imports section of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) 2021 Canadian Boating Statistical Abstract is now available. This section covers exports and imports from and to Canada spanning 2012 to 2021. After a year of supply chain turbulence and COVID-19 uncertainties, Canadian trade as it related to …

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

Tough upholstery fabric

July 1, 2022

Made to withstand harsh outdoor conditions, Agora® fabrics are made of 100% solution-dyed acrylic that incorporate treatments to cope with the most demanding environments, ensuring excellent performance. The fabrics’ qualities include strength, durability, easy care and top-notch resistance to fading and degradation. They have a five-year warranty against fading due to exposure to sunlight. covinsales.com

Products

Natural durability

July 1, 2022

DuraWax is a heavy-duty waxed canvas that is an economical, environmentally friendly leather alternative for bags, packs, work aprons, tool rolls, pouches and more. The waxed coating ages beautifully to give the fabric a unique, worn-in look the more the fabric is handled and used. It does not stain easily and water rolls right off …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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

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 …

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 …

Interiors & Upholstery

New marine fabric selection techniques

March 1, 2022

We marine fabricators love fabrics. In fact, most of the conversations I have with customers start like this, “We love fabric. We have fabrics in every color under the rainbow. But our fabrics are special because they are marine grade.” And let’s be honest, fabric is the fun part of our job, right? The big …

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 …