Company News

Marine entrepreneur acquires Hydro-Turf

October 29, 2020

Marine and powersports entrepreneur, Greg Pickren, has acquired Hydro-Turf, a manufacturer of watercraft traction mats and seat covers located in Anaheim, Calif. Pickren’s holdings include Marine Mat, SEI Marine Products, API Marine, 4XPro, East Lake Axle, Watercraft Superstore, SBT, BlackTip Jet Sports, Adonis Impellers, and Pacific Big Wave. The family of companies are headquartered in …

Industry News

2019 recreational boating statistical abstract available

October 28, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) 2019 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract is now available with historical data going back to 2007 including: Outboard Engine Sales Trends Sailboat Sales Trends Powerboat Sales Trends Boat and Engine Exports and Imports Cruiser, Watersport, Fishing Boat and Trailer Sales Trends Total Industry Sales by Category and State Total …

Industry News

Wholesale boat shipments remain strong

October 27, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports that August was another strong month for new boat manufacturing activity. While wholesale shipments of new power boats tempered following three consecutive months of growth, August had the fourth highest single-month total of new boat wholesale shipments in a decade, according to its latest Monthly Shipment Report (MSR). …

Events

ABYC announces virtual Standards Week in January 2021

October 23, 2020

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), the nonprofit organization that develops the safety standards for the design, construction, maintenance and repair of recreational boats, announced its 12th annual Standards Week will be extended and held virtually, Jan. 5-21, 2021. What has usually taken place over a week of day long meetings will be extended …

Industry News

August powerboat retail sales up 8 percent

October 22, 2020

New data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) show that August new powerboat retail sales were up 8% year to date on a seasonally-adjusted basis compared to a year ago. Highlights from NMMA’s New Powerboat Registrations dashboard include: While new powerboat retail sales slowed in August following unprecedented increases in the early summer months …

Industry News

White House executive order targets water management and infrastructure

October 21, 2020

The White House released an executive order to “to improve our country’s water resource management, modernize our water infrastructure, and prioritize the availability of clean, safe, and reliable water supplies,” according to www.whitehouse.gov. The order would create a new Water Policy Committee, also known as the Water Subcabinet, to be co-chaired by the Interior and …

Events

Submission deadline approaching for MFA Awards

October 20, 2020

With a submission deadline of Nov. 6, 2020, now is the time to submit fabrication projects for a chance to win a Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) Fabrication Excellence Award. The submission process has been streamlined, the MFA has added two new categories, and entrants have the option of uploading up to six photos of a …

Conference

2020 virtual IBEX reportedly successful

October 15, 2020

IBEX Online: A Virtual Experience, held Sept. 29 – Oct. 2, 2020, ended the week with positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike, according to conference co-owner the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association. Nearly 3,000 visitors from 25 countries registered to take part in the virtual event, and more than 1,650 exhibitor representatives participated from 474 …

Industry News

Georgia DNR seeking nominees for Coastal Marshlands and Shore Protection Committees

October 14, 2020

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division is seeking nominees for appointment to the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee and the Shore Protection Committee, for the four-year term 2021 to 2024. Nominees are being sought who, by reason of their occupational or other experience, scientific expertise, legal expertise or training, are knowledgeable regarding the …

Industry News

Deadline approaching for National Boating Industry Safety Awards

October 13, 2020

Applications for the 2020 National Boating Industry Safety Awards are due Oct. 15, 2020, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association website. The 2020 National Boating Industry Safety Awards include the following categories for submission: Powerboat Manufacturer Sailboat Manufacturer Engine Manufacturer Gear/Equipment Manufacturer Human Powered (Canoe, Kayak, SUP) Manufacturer Marine Retailer with up to 3 …

Expo News

IFAI Expo and R+T Show Organizer, Messe Stuttgart, to Co-locate Trade Shows Starting in 2021

September 21, 2020

ROSEVILLE, MN—Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) and Messe Stuttgart, organizers of R+T in Stuttgart, Germany; R+T Turkey in Istanbul, Turkey; R+T Asia in Shanghai, China and R+T South America in Sao Paulo, Brazil, are pleased to announce that they will co-locate IFAI Expo with Messe Stuttgart’s new U.S. show named Sun Shading Expo North America …

Conference

IFAI Virtual Expo 2020 registration is open

September 10, 2020

Registration is now open for IFAI Expo 2020, which will be hosted exclusively online Nov. 2–12, 2020, in a robust digital platform designed to provide many exciting opportunities for attendees, exhibitors and sponsors. Attendees, no matter their role, will be able to discover new products, network and help grow their businesses. Attendees can explore the …

Expo News

Registration opens for IFAI Expo

June 15, 2020

IFAI Expo Nov. 3–6, 2020 in Indianapolis, Ind., will mark the event’s 100th anniversary. IFAI has announced that it is moving forward as planned, and registration is now open. Safety protocols are in place and will be coordinated with host hotels and the Indiana Convention Center (ICC).  The registration area at IFAI Expo will be …

Conference

Registration now open for 100th anniversary of IFAI Expo

June 2, 2020

Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) Expo 2020 is moving forward as planned Nov. 3–6 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Ind. This year marks the centennial of the event, and numerous safety protocols are planned to keep participants safe including social distancing at registration, enhanced cleaning protocols for all common areas, room capacity restrictions …

Company News

IFAI president responds to Coronavirus, adjusts upcoming events

March 17, 2020

As concern over the Coronavirus (COVID-19) grows, I want all IFAI members to know we are closely monitoring developments and following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). We will follow their recommendations to keep our employees, their families and our members healthy and safe. With this in …

Expo News

Don’t overlook overhead

October 10, 2019

Gary Westlund, of Awning Tracker, knows what he’s talking about when he says, “Overhead is a real cost. Unless you properly account for overhead on job bids, you are just guessing.” Westlund gave a straight-talk presentation at Expo 2019 in early October, telling attendees he owned and operated his own awning business for 25 years, …

Awards

IFAI’s 2019 Outstanding Volunteer Awards

October 8, 2019

At this year’s annual meeting during IFAI Expo 2019, IFAI presented the Outstanding Volunteer Awards, recognizing members who generously gave of their time to serve on different boards, task forces and committees, judged competitions and provided education and leadership to others in the industry. This year’s winners: Amy Bircher, president, MMI Textiles Inc. Jonathan Chakales, …

Expo News

2019 Chairman’s Award winner: Scott Campbell, Rainier Industries

October 8, 2019

The Chairman’s Award (originally, the President’s Award) is an honor bestowed by the chairman of IFAI to an individual that has had an extraordinary and meaningful impact on the association. It is rarely given, and awarded at the sole discretion of the IFAI chairman. At IFAI’s annual meeting at IFAI Expo 2019, IFAI chairman Steve …

Expo News

Award breakfast transforms into a networking event

October 4, 2019

Keynote speaker Thom Singer hosted IFAI’s annual award ceremony October 3 at Expo 2019, continuing his message to “see people.” As Expo exhibitors and attendees entered the breakfast event, Singer encouraged people to separate from familiar colleagues and sit with new people. This year’s award ceremony was infused with an additional goal—that of networking with …

Awards

2019 Show Stoppers at IFAI Expo

October 3, 2019

All the best from Florida: Thursday morning, Oct. 3, at IFAI Expo led off with lists of winners for the year, including the most popular products on the show floor. The eighth annual Show Stopper competition was designed to showcase the best of the best in the industry, from fabrics, equipment and chemicals to services …

Events

Submission deadline approaching for MFA Awards

October 20, 2020

With a submission deadline of Nov. 6, 2020, now is the time to submit fabrication projects for a chance to win a Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) Fabrication Excellence Award. The submission process has been streamlined, the MFA has added two new categories, and entrants have the option of uploading up to six photos of a …

Feature

Company values that increase a company’s value

September 1, 2020

Your shop can be loaded with employees having outstanding skills, but without a supportive, positive environment, low morale and turmoil can thwart all efforts to succeed.  by Pamela Mills-Senn Pre-pandemic, SewLong Custom Covers in Salt Lake City, Utah, focused on interior and exterior marine textiles and boat covers. But when the pandemic hit and the …

Feature

Shade Solution Evolution

September 1, 2020

Design tips for removable shade structures that bring value to clients and profit to fabricators. by Sigrid Tornquist Boat enthusiasts have always sought shade solutions. It’s a matter of survival and comfort. And it’s also a matter of aesthetics. It’s been 30 years since Mike Erickson, CEO and owner of Canvas Designers® Inc. in Riviera …

Exterior

Imagining new ways to create shade

August 31, 2020

Whitney Carman relies on lateral thinking and relationship building to create innovative shade solutions. By Sigrid Tornquist “I think one of the reasons my projects are unique has to do with the ability for lateral thinking, which means seeing a variety of solutions to a problem or uses for an object, and not necessarily just …

Feature Members only content

Digital determination

July 1, 2020

Adding automation can prove challenging, with costs to consider, processes to change and nervous employees to reckon with. Still, fabricators who have taken the leapsay there’s no other way to go.  By Pamela Mills-Senn When Darren Arthur, owner of Nautilux Custom Canvas LLC in Hazlet, N.J., purchased a single-fly Aeronaut cutter eight years ago—his first …

Feature Members only content

NECPA: A century of survival

July 1, 2020

Lessons from three canvas companies that have survived for a century and continue to thrive. By Cathy Broberg In January 2020, the North East Canvas Products Association (NECPA), a trade organization for the canvas and outdoor fabric industry, marked its 100th anniversary. Members celebrated at its annual conference with a gala and by touring a …

Feature Members only content

Succession planning 101

May 1, 2020

A seamless transfer of leadership in a family business requires hard conversations and a detailed road map to avoid the worst potholes and ensure a successful journey. By Jeff Moravec A family business can offer great rewards—personally and professionally—for its founders and their descendants. But a family business also presents unique challenges and requires careful …

Feature

2020 Premier Product Showcase

May 1, 2020

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, and Flooring; Equipment, Tools & …

Feature

IFAI member long-distance case study

March 19, 2020

During the 2019 boating season, IFAI member Tecsew, located in Gosport, United Kingdom, took on a challenging project for a customer located in the United States. Due to the distance between fabricator and customer, questions and answers were exchanged via emails and a few long-distance telephone calls. The customer provided the fabricator with access to …

Fabric & Film

Jumping on the design trend bandwagon

March 3, 2020

Embrace new design materials with knowledge and caution. by Sigrid Tornquist “Customers are always looking to us, the materials manufacturers, to guide them on trends while bringing new innovation,” says Warren J. McCrickard, executive vice president, sales and marketing for Dothan, Ala.-based Infinity Luxury Woven Vinyl™. “If it is cool to the touch, easy to …

Industry News

2019 recreational boating statistical abstract available

October 28, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) 2019 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract is now available with historical data going back to 2007 including: Outboard Engine Sales Trends Sailboat Sales Trends Powerboat Sales Trends Boat and Engine Exports and Imports Cruiser, Watersport, Fishing Boat and Trailer Sales Trends Total Industry Sales by Category and State Total …

Industry News

Wholesale boat shipments remain strong

October 27, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports that August was another strong month for new boat manufacturing activity. While wholesale shipments of new power boats tempered following three consecutive months of growth, August had the fourth highest single-month total of new boat wholesale shipments in a decade, according to its latest Monthly Shipment Report (MSR). …

Events

ABYC announces virtual Standards Week in January 2021

October 23, 2020

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), the nonprofit organization that develops the safety standards for the design, construction, maintenance and repair of recreational boats, announced its 12th annual Standards Week will be extended and held virtually, Jan. 5-21, 2021. What has usually taken place over a week of day long meetings will be extended …

Conference

2020 virtual IBEX reportedly successful

October 15, 2020

IBEX Online: A Virtual Experience, held Sept. 29 – Oct. 2, 2020, ended the week with positive feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike, according to conference co-owner the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association. Nearly 3,000 visitors from 25 countries registered to take part in the virtual event, and more than 1,650 exhibitor representatives participated from 474 …

Industry News

Georgia DNR seeking nominees for Coastal Marshlands and Shore Protection Committees

October 14, 2020

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources Coastal Resources Division is seeking nominees for appointment to the Coastal Marshlands Protection Committee and the Shore Protection Committee, for the four-year term 2021 to 2024. Nominees are being sought who, by reason of their occupational or other experience, scientific expertise, legal expertise or training, are knowledgeable regarding the …

Industry News

Deadline approaching for National Boating Industry Safety Awards

October 13, 2020

Applications for the 2020 National Boating Industry Safety Awards are due Oct. 15, 2020, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association website. The 2020 National Boating Industry Safety Awards include the following categories for submission: Powerboat Manufacturer Sailboat Manufacturer Engine Manufacturer Gear/Equipment Manufacturer Human Powered (Canoe, Kayak, SUP) Manufacturer Marine Retailer with up to 3 …

Industry News

Tennessee commission to address Asian carp

October 9, 2020

Tenn. Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order establishing the Asian Carp Advisory Commission to study and provide advice regarding the best methods for mitigating the invasion of Asian carp into the state’s lakes and river systems, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association website. “Tennessee’s lakes and rivers are a critical feature of our …

Industry News

Coast Guard survey seeks input on improving waterway navigation

October 7, 2020

The U.S. Coast Guard is conducting a Waterways Analysis and Management System Study on the Shallow Draft System, which applies to waters less than 12 feet deep, to update its policies and make U.S. navigable waterways safer and more efficient, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). The survey will remain open until November …

Industry News

Bipartisan legislation to protect small businesses from natural disasters

October 2, 2020

U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Angus King (ME-I), Ben Cardin (D-MD), John Kennedy (R-LA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Joni Ernst (R-IA) introduced the Providing Resources for Emergency Preparedness and Resilient Enterprises (PREPARE) Act, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association website. This bipartisan legislation, which matches companion legislation in the U.S. House …

Conference

Virtual IBEX starts tomorrow

September 28, 2020

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX), is being held virtually September 29 – October 2, 2020. IBEX Online: A Virtual Experience is a free trade event. In addition to the free event, the 2020 IBEX Education Conference will run concurrent technical sessions in nine tracks during all four days of the event. The Full …

Accessories

Last chance to get listed in the Marine Fabricator 2021 Buyer’s Guide

September 25, 2020

The annual call for listings in the Marine Fabricator 2021 Buyer’s Guide will close on Sept. 28. Thousands of companies turn to this annual guide to purchase products and services for their businesses. This comprehensive resource lists suppliers of fabric, film and foam; hardware and findings; end products and services; and equipment and tools. This …

Accessories

Get listed in the Marine Fabricator 2021 Buyer’s Guide

September 14, 2020

The annual call for listings in the Marine Fabricator 2021 Buyer’s Guide is now open. Thousands of companies turn to this annual guide to purchase products and services for their businesses. This comprehensive resource lists suppliers of fabric, film and foam; hardware and findings; end products and services; and equipment and tools. This year’s Buyer’s …

Accessories

Get listed in the Marine Fabricator 2021 Buyer’s Guide

September 2, 2020

The annual call for listings in the Marine Fabricator 2021 Buyer’s Guide is now open. Thousands of companies turn to this annual guide to purchase products and services for their businesses. This comprehensive resource lists suppliers of fabric, film and foam; hardware and findings; end products and services; and equipment and tools. Current advertisers and …

Products

Recycled upholstery fabric

September 1, 2020

Tessutica’s new Greencare fabric line is a collection of 100% recycled and recyclable upholstery fabrics created from pellets that come from marine plastic waste. The fabrics are engineered with recycled yarns from regular post-consumer PET bottles from the oceans, landfills and upcycled cotton from garments and are certified under the Global Recycle Standard (GRS) label. …

Products

Classic look, high performance

September 1, 2020

The Stamskin® One allure collection of indoor/outdoor upholstery fabrics offers the same performance of its sister collection, Stamskin One, with a new finish: an understated leather-like grain suited to classic designs. The fabric pairs a supple, luxurious hand with abrasion resistance of more than 665,000 double rubs (ASTM D4157), inherent resistance to pink mold and …

Products

Eco-friendly, fluorine-free

September 1, 2020

Fluorine-free Sunbrella® Assure upholstery fabric delivers water repellency, stain resistance and enhanced durability for healthy and sustainable indoor and outdoor health-care and commercial spaces. A proprietary bio-based formula combats the absorption of water-based spills and messes without the use of fluorochemicals. Oil-based stains can be removed easily by following the cleaning and care guide. Highly …

Products

Water repellent protection

September 1, 2020

Iosso Water Repellent protects outdoor fabrics against UV rays, dirt, grime, mold, mildew, oil, bird droppings and sap. It offers invisible protection for Sunbrella® and other technical acrylics, canvas, vinyl and leather. It isn’tsolvent-based and has no silicone, so fabrics maintain their vivid colors without darkening. They retain all their original breathability, flexibility and feel …

Products

Feature-packed sewing machine

September 1, 2020

New features on the Consew model 2206RB-14-7-DD sewing machine include a presser feet connecting rod that allows for presser feet to alternate more efficiently and a top thread electric clamping system for trimming. Other benefits include a direct-drive motor (no belt connection required), an automatic electric foot lift and an automatic lubrication system. For sewing …

Products

Tough, versatile PVC

September 1, 2020

Challenger features a buttery soft hand, is treated with Endurepel Armour performance finish and offers excellent durability. This versatile PVC is a strong performer across multiple markets including marine, awning and industrial. It has the soft feel of leather and demonstrates both durability and strength. Offered in numerous style options featuring single tone or two-tone …

Products

Durable PTFE thread

July 1, 2020

Austrian-made Profilen® PTFE sewing thread is now being distributed by Polyfab USA. The thread is an excellent choice for long-lasting outdoor items such as awnings, shade sails and marine covers. It is flame retardant, resistant to highly corrosive environments, competitively priced and is covered under a factory warranty for the lifespan of the fabric onto …

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 …