Industry News

2017 IBEX Innovation Award winners announced

September 20, 2017

Winners of the 2017 Innovation Awards were announced recently at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX). The Innovation Awards honor achievement in product development in 10 areas of the marine industry. The winners were selected by a panel of judges from Boating Writers International (BWI), a professional organization consisting of writers, editors, publishers, photographers, …

Industry News

Boat industry hurricane damage will take months to assess

September 20, 2017

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the total economic loss from hurricane boat damage won’t be known for months, according to Scott Croft, spokesperson for Boat Owners Association of the United States, or BoatUS, an advocacy group for recreational boaters. The largest concentration of damaged boats and docks from Hurricane Irma is expected to …

Company News

July new powerboat registrations report available, up 6.1 percent

September 18, 2017

The National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) New Powerboat Registrations Report has been updated through July 2017, and advance data show new powerboat registrations were up 6.1 percent year-over-year for the rolling twelve-month period through July. Highlights from the report include: All boat segments were up through July. Growth in registrations was led by the following …

Industry News

NMMA offers assistance for businesses affected by hurricanes

September 13, 2017

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) will assist and continue to share news and tips for businesses impacted by hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Resources and tools for businesses and individuals in regions impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are being coordinated by FEMA here. A list of key NMMA staff contacts can be …

Industry News

IBEX to go on as scheduled following Hurricane Irma

September 13, 2017

After speaking with vendors and service providers, and with no damage to the Tampa Convention Center or surrounding hotels following Hurricane Irma, the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) will go on as scheduled September 19 – 21. All hotel room blocks and reservations remain unchanged, as do the pre-event workshops on Monday, September 18, and …

Industry News

2018 Fabrication Excellence Awards

September 8, 2017

The MFA Awards are now open for entries! MFA members are being notified in advance of non-member industry professionals. Submit your best fabrication projects for an opportunity to win a Fabrication Excellence Award. Participation is simple, so submit your projects today! The deadline to submit projects will be November 30, 2017. No exceptions. Fabrication Excellence …

Products

SADIRA Marine Products launches new teak shampoo

September 8, 2017

SADIRA Marine Products will be launching SADIRA Teak Shampoo. The company says it removes tough stains from teak and exotic woods including coffee, wine, blood and oil. The 100 percent biodegradable shampoo is safe and gentle enough for regular use on boat decks and wood furniture. Despite its ability to clean tough stains, the company …

Industry News

Safety Components hires industry veteran

September 7, 2017

Safety Components has named Erich Schwieterman to its sales and marketing development team. In his new role, Schwieterman is responsible for sales and promotion of the company’s award-winning WeatherMAX and BreakWater X performance fabrics in the marine, RV, automotive and aviation markets. Schwieterman has 12 years of experience working with outdoor fabrics. Most recently, he …

Events

Tampa boat show postponed due to Hurricane Irma

September 6, 2017

As Hurricane Irma potentially threatens the Tampa area, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has announced that the 2017 Progressive® Insurance Tampa Boat Show®, originally scheduled for September 8-10, will be postponed until October 13-15. All exhibitor space assignments will remain the same for the October dates at the Tampa Convention Center. Updated move-in and …

Feature

New marine fasteners solve pesky problems

September 1, 2017

The marine environment poses many considerations for fabricators providing products like cushions, windshield covers, enclosures and the like to this industry. Not only do they have to take the sun, wind, salt air and water into account, they must also figure out how to keep these items firmly in place (while being easy to take …

Feature

New marine fasteners solve pesky problems

September 1, 2017

The marine environment poses many considerations for fabricators providing products like cushions, windshield covers, enclosures and the like to this industry. Not only do they have to take the sun, wind, salt air and water into account, they must also figure out how to keep these items firmly in place (while being easy to take …

Feature Members only content

New thinking about pinking

September 1, 2017

Vinyl manufacturers and marine service providers contend with discoloration caused by a bacteria. “Pink” brings to mind a little girl dressed as a princess, cotton candy at the county fair and plastic lawn flamingos. But for those in the marine industry, the word takes on a sinister connotation as a stain caused by streptoverticillium reticulum. …

Feature Members only content

Problem-solving fasteners

September 1, 2017

Using the right fastener is critical for solving problems rather than creating them. As any marine fabricator will attest, carefully constructed cushions, windshield covers, enclosures, window treatments and so on have to withstand sun, salt, wind and water as well as normal (and occasionally rough) handling by their clients. These items also need to be …

Feature

Marine business passes to next generation

September 1, 2017

In 2007, Kate Mitchell set up a 10-year plan to transition her business on the Alaskan frontier to her children. Today her children value the company’s courageous past and anticipate a bright future. We didn’t homestead like the Kilcher family from Discovery Channel’s Alaska: The Last Frontier but we were here before the roads were …

Feature

Can the Maker Movement benefit the marine industry?

August 1, 2017

Roombas, smart phone apps, Alexa, and cars with park assist. It seems that humans don’t have to do much of anything these days in order to vacuum the carpet, track their calories, turn on the lights or squeeze their Ford Focus between curbside SUVs. And yet, like the balance of nature, the world needs a …

Feature Members only content

Train, recruit and keep employees

July 1, 2017

Competition, especially from overseas manufacturing; increasing costs for equipment, materials and labor; the need to keep up with fast-paced technology; and the general state of the economy, which directly affects the consumer pool, rank as challenging issues for most businesses. Yet the owner of a marine fabrication shop in Portland, Ore., has a more pressing …

Feature Members only content

Why millennials don’t want manufacturing jobs

July 1, 2017

In 2014, Deloitte, in conjunction with The Manufacturing Institute, surveyed more than 450 manufacturing executives for a report titled “The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing 2015 and beyond.” “And beyond” strikes at the heart of the matter, in large part because of the “retirement exodus” of baby boomers leaving 2.7 million jobs by the year …

Feature

Shop organization tips and techniques

July 1, 2017

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” That sage advice from American founding father Benjamin Franklin holds true for any marine fabrication business, because an organized shop can improve employee efficiency and affect the bottom line all while keeping customers coming back for more. Streamlined Processes Marine fabricators are always looking for ways …

Feature Members only content

Interior design trends 2017

July 1, 2017

Today’s interior designs of marine vessels represent a curious amalgam of styles and trends. This is a function of boat owners wanting to experiment with new looks as well as a willingness on the part of marine fabricators to take the lead in educating their clients about the broad range of options available. This balancing …

Feature Members only content

Well-defended exterior upholstery

May 1, 2017

Fabrics and components that result in long-lasting cushions Exterior boat cushions get punished. They withstand the sun, wind, rain, saltwater, temperature changes and passenger activity. Despite these factors, these cushions are expected to look good while exposed to climate conditions. Fortunately, marine fabricators know how to merge form and function in outdoor seating. “We must …

Industry News

2017 IBEX Innovation Award winners announced

September 20, 2017

Winners of the 2017 Innovation Awards were announced recently at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX). The Innovation Awards honor achievement in product development in 10 areas of the marine industry. The winners were selected by a panel of judges from Boating Writers International (BWI), a professional organization consisting of writers, editors, publishers, photographers, …

Industry News

Boat industry hurricane damage will take months to assess

September 20, 2017

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, the total economic loss from hurricane boat damage won’t be known for months, according to Scott Croft, spokesperson for Boat Owners Association of the United States, or BoatUS, an advocacy group for recreational boaters. The largest concentration of damaged boats and docks from Hurricane Irma is expected to …

Company News

July new powerboat registrations report available, up 6.1 percent

September 18, 2017

The National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) New Powerboat Registrations Report has been updated through July 2017, and advance data show new powerboat registrations were up 6.1 percent year-over-year for the rolling twelve-month period through July. Highlights from the report include: All boat segments were up through July. Growth in registrations was led by the following …

Industry News

NMMA offers assistance for businesses affected by hurricanes

September 13, 2017

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) will assist and continue to share news and tips for businesses impacted by hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Resources and tools for businesses and individuals in regions impacted by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma are being coordinated by FEMA here. A list of key NMMA staff contacts can be …

Industry News

IBEX to go on as scheduled following Hurricane Irma

September 13, 2017

After speaking with vendors and service providers, and with no damage to the Tampa Convention Center or surrounding hotels following Hurricane Irma, the International Boatbuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) will go on as scheduled September 19 – 21. All hotel room blocks and reservations remain unchanged, as do the pre-event workshops on Monday, September 18, and …

Industry News

2018 Fabrication Excellence Awards

September 8, 2017

The MFA Awards are now open for entries! MFA members are being notified in advance of non-member industry professionals. Submit your best fabrication projects for an opportunity to win a Fabrication Excellence Award. Participation is simple, so submit your projects today! The deadline to submit projects will be November 30, 2017. No exceptions. Fabrication Excellence …

Industry News

Safety Components hires industry veteran

September 7, 2017

Safety Components has named Erich Schwieterman to its sales and marketing development team. In his new role, Schwieterman is responsible for sales and promotion of the company’s award-winning WeatherMAX and BreakWater X performance fabrics in the marine, RV, automotive and aviation markets. Schwieterman has 12 years of experience working with outdoor fabrics. Most recently, he …

Events

Tampa boat show postponed due to Hurricane Irma

September 6, 2017

As Hurricane Irma potentially threatens the Tampa area, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has announced that the 2017 Progressive® Insurance Tampa Boat Show®, originally scheduled for September 8-10, will be postponed until October 13-15. All exhibitor space assignments will remain the same for the October dates at the Tampa Convention Center. Updated move-in and …

Industry News

NMMA offers exporting videos

September 1, 2017

In partnership with the U.S. Department of Commerce (USDOC), The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is offering a video series about exporting basics to help members tap into the world market. The series discusses how to find information about doing business in other countries, assessing business prospects abroad, ensuring proper payment, shipping across borders and …

Industry News

New high-tech fabrics incubator

September 1, 2017

Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA), a public-private partnership that began at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), officially opened its headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. The $10 million center is located near MIT, which founded AFFOA after the federal government tapped Massachusetts to lead a national textile manufacturing innovation institute. AFFOA is working to develop …

Products

SADIRA Marine Products launches new teak shampoo

September 8, 2017

SADIRA Marine Products will be launching SADIRA Teak Shampoo. The company says it removes tough stains from teak and exotic woods including coffee, wine, blood and oil. The 100 percent biodegradable shampoo is safe and gentle enough for regular use on boat decks and wood furniture. Despite its ability to clean tough stains, the company …

Hardware & Findings

Sew-in boat vent

September 1, 2017

Precision-Sew Vents are unique UV-stabilized polyurethane sew-in boat vents. They feature a large sewing flange surface area that eliminates the need for additional fabric reinforcement. This is an effective way to circulate air and keep mold from growing in boat covers. Compatible with 3/4 inch and 7/8 inch boat poles. www.rochfordsupply.com

Hardware & Findings

Modular hand-drive setting tools

September 1, 2017

Providing a high-quality and affordable option to set multiple sizes of grommets and washers, Stimpson’s versatile collection of modular hand-drive setting tools means that a single handle and bolster will accommodate a wide variety of Stimpson setting tools. Tools are available for sheet metal grommets sizes #00–#5 and rolled rim grommet sizes #0–#4. The complete …

Hardware & Findings

Corrosion-resistant LED light

September 1, 2017

Larson Electronics’ HALP-48-2L-LED-DNMS Hazardous Area LED Light Fixture features both a motion sensor and a day/night sensor and is specifically designed to handle the rigors of saltwater marine environments. The fixture is constructed of noncorrosive materials including a polyester housing reinforced with glass fiber, a poured in place gasket for reliable sealing and an impact-resistant …

Hardware & Findings

316 stainless steel snaps

September 1, 2017

Durable DOT® 316 is the dot snap fastener to use when superior snap action and holding strength are required. The fastener’s heavy-duty construction assures a firm grip that will remain secure through years of use. DOT Durable sockets are constructed to narrow tolerances that provide consistent snap action snap after snap. The design of the …

Hardware & Findings

Waterproof hardware lube

September 1, 2017

After outdoor storage wreaks havoc on snaps, zippers and hinges, Iosso Products’ E-Z Snap gets hardware working again. E-Z Snap lubricates, waterproofs and reduces friction. It won’t melt away in hot weather, so it doesn’t have to be constantly reapplied throughout the season. Beyond its uses on outdoor canvas hardware, it also works on drawer …

Hardware & Findings

Heavy-duty shears

September 1, 2017

Wolff Industries’ Premium KAI series multipurpose shears are made from high-quality Japanese steel. With steel throughout the handles, the soft Santoprene insert cushions the user’s hands for increased comfort. The shears are made from A-8 High Carbon stainless steel with a Rockwell hardness rating of approximately 60, one of the hardest and smoothest available. These …

Hardware & Findings

Perfect sized zipper

September 1, 2017

The LENZIP No. 12 Marine Grade UV Zipper is a new zipper for tough marine applications that is larger than the industry standard No. 10, yet smaller than Lenzip’s BIGZIP® No. 15 gauge. The No. 12 gauge is available with 316 stainless steel sliders in auto lock single or double pull, and non-locking sliders. Standard …

Hardware & Findings

Handheld die cutters

September 1, 2017

Vicar’s handheld die cutters are the perfect tool for neatly cutting holes into heavy fabric and vinyl. This can save many hours of hand-hammering with conventional cutters and mallets because all holes are punched neatly at the same time. Excellent for marine and RV fabricators on the road. Models available for either Vicar Turnbuckle (Common …

Products

Faster, easier way to measure 2-D and 3-D shapes

August 31, 2017

Prodim’s Proliner is a portable digital measuring tool for marine fabricators with patented technology: measuring with a wire. At the end of the wire is a metal measuring pen that allows the user to mark relevant points, which are directly translated into a digital DXF CAD file. Straight, curved and very complex shapes can be …

Interiors & Upholstery

Window Treatment Trends

July 1, 2017

Interest in window coverings for marine applications has experienced a rebirth of sorts and more consumers, fabricators and designers are using innovative window treatment designs. When Krisha Plauché, owner of Onboard Interiors in Marblehead, Mass., is fabricating drapery for a stateroom, she often uses blackout applications, but Plauché has found that lining drapery with a …

In the Shop Members only content

Fresh updates for older vessels

January 1, 2017

Most interior fabrication projects occur on fixer-uppers. The vessel might be vintage or it might be less than ten years old. While I always welcome the challenge of doing a better design than the original, there is a fine line between aesthetics and practicality. After all, the boat needs to be both comfortable and secure …

How-To Articles Members only content

Constructing snow flies for the Alaskan climate

January 1, 2017

Our winters in Fairbanks, Alaska, can be cold or very cold with lots of snow or little snow; it all depends. One condition we don’t see often is wind. In my 26 years of living here, I can remember only one time when the wind blew and the snow flew. Most of our snow falls …

How-To Articles

Meticulous prototyping leads to attractive cylinder cushions

September 1, 2016

Over the years I have been asked to fabricate several unusual items. I never know if that item will be a one-hit wonder or will become a customer favorite. In most cases, I create prototypes that help me creatively solve design challenges. I charge a prototype fee of a few hundred dollars to develop and …

How-To Articles

Marine fabricators meet customers’ window wish lists

August 1, 2016

When making boat windows for customers, marine fabricators often have a specific set of requirements of their materials. “Our fabricators require a sheet that is easy to handle, durable and can be cut and sewn easily without fear of damaging the product,” says Lyle Shipley, product manager at O’Sullivan Films, Winchester, Va., for O’Sea and …

How-To Articles

Complex and compound frame bending

July 1, 2016

Incorporating unconventional design into dodgers and biminis. I often suggest that my customers try to think out of the box when envisioning what their boats can look like. I tell them, “If I have done my job properly, the cover will become part of the boat.” Take a spray dodger, for example. I generally recommend …

Interiors & Upholstery

The art of project management on contour cushions

July 1, 2016

Marine fabricators are a unique group of craftspeople and business owners. Many of us are familiar with the notion that creative pursuits are right-brain activities, while math and logic are left-brain activities. As marine fabricators, we utilize the right sides of our brains for design solutions that meet customers’ aesthetic and practical expectations. At the …

Interiors & Upholstery

Restyled sleeping cabins

May 1, 2016

Interior sleeping cabins on a vessel have always been my favorite projects. I enjoy researching options and ultimately providing customers with tidy solutions that offer easy accessibility. Cabin spaces and mattresses come in all shapes and sizes. One of my clients claims to sleep 14 people on his 54-foot Bertram with only three interior cabins, …

How-To Articles

Lazy Jack – stack pack sail covers

March 1, 2016

These names are some of the descriptions for a process of suspending sail covers. I started making these Lazy Jack covers 20 years ago, as a progress/advance of the Lazy Jack rope system, designed to help flake a main sail as it is put away. The idea was to connect the rope to a sail …

Interiors & Upholstery

Elegant performance in stripes

March 1, 2016

Stripes come in every color, shape and size. A two-color stripe can even be juxtaposed to form an eye-catching pattern. Striking stripe patterns can be matched or combined with solid colors to provide dramatic effects for your next project. Stripes are more popular than ever. Sunbrella likes them so much, subtle as well as dramatic …