Industry News

Christensen Yachts sold to military boat builder

February 19, 2019

Christensen Yachts will be vacating its longtime headquarters in Vancouver, Wash., according to the Seattle Times. The site was purchased by Vigor Industrial. The commercial yard will use the former yacht-building facility to build new landing craft for the U.S. Army. Vigor said it will close two other plants in the area and move about …

Industry News

Boating industry survey results released

February 14, 2019

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) released the results from its first boating industry policy survey. More than 1,500 responded to the survey and the results will play an important role in shaping NMMA’s 2019 legislative policy priorities. According to the survey results, the industry’s top five issues are: 1. Ethanol and fuel (E15) 2. …

Industry News

Cruise Ship Interiors Expo 2019

February 12, 2019

The Cruise Ship Interiors Expo will take place June 18-20, 2019, at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Fla. It is the world’s first and only event to focus exclusively on the interior design, architecture and outfitting for the cruise industry. The event will include a show floor with more than 200 suppliers …

Industry News

Outboard engine shipments up 5.9 percent in 2018

February 7, 2019

According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) Monthly Shipment Report (MSR), U.S. outboard engine wholesale shipments closed 2018 up 5.9 percent, compared to 2017, for NMMA’s control group of manufacturers, representing 95 percent of the market. Outboard engines rated 200 horsepower and above were up 20.8 percent in 2018 and accounted for a 25.6 …

Industry News

Congressional boating caucus co-chairs announced

February 5, 2019

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) welcomed Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.-21), and Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.-2) as the Congressional Boating Caucus co-chairs in the 116th Congress. Celebrating its 30-year anniversary, the caucus is a bipartisan group of more than 100 U.S. senators and representatives formed in 1989 …

Industry News

Polaris buys assets of Larson Boat Group

January 31, 2019

Minn.-based Polaris Industries has bought the assets of Larson Boat Group for an undisclosed price in a move that further expands its fresh dive into the boating, according to the StarTribune newspaper. Polaris spokeswoman Erika Frederick said the deal included the Larson, Larson FX, Striper and Escape brands. Acquiring Larson boats will make Polaris an …

Industry News

Premier Product Showcase 2019 call for submissions

January 29, 2019

Reader surveys show that New Products are one of the most popular parts of the magazine. Get your products in front of thousands of customers in the May/June issue of Marine Fabricator magazine, for free! Showcase your company’s most valued products and get maximum exposure. Deadline: Friday, February 22, 2019   NO COST TO PARTICIPATE …

Industry News

Herculite launches new website

January 29, 2019

Herculite® Inc., a leader in the design and manufacture of flexible composite textiles for performance applications, has launched a new website that showcases the company’s breadth of capabilities in materials for solar protection, marine, health care, digital graphics media, military and tents and structures. The new website is located at www.herculite.com. Headquartered in Emigsville, Pa., …

Industry News

Miami Boat Show Innovation Breakfast agenda set

January 24, 2019

The annual Innovation Breakfast at the 2019 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, presented by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF), is being held Friday, February 15. The breakfast will feature a host of presentations focused on propelling the recreational boating industry forward. Here’s the complete agenda: • Welcome by Larry Berryman, show manager. …

Industry News

Recasens grows US distribution network

January 22, 2019

Recasens, a leading manufacturer of performance fabric for sun protection, textile architecture, and marine use, has added Innovative Industrial Solutions, Inc. (IIS) as its newest U.S.-based master distributor. This new partnership will provide greater access to the Recasens line of European-designed fabrics for fabricators and designers in the awning, marine and decor industries. Recasens will …

Expo News

Small shops: Tips for shortening your lead times

October 17, 2018

Torey Heinz, of Teagles Consulting, has a background in small manufacturing jobs shops. This gives him a good sense of how poor workflow and other issues can affect a small shop’s lead times. Shortening lead time is important, Teagle told participants at his Oct. 17 Expo session, because shorter lead times mean increased sales and …

Expo News

The right technology can save you money

October 17, 2018

Trying to figure out which technology can save a business money can be confusing given all the options available. In his Oct. 17 Expo session, “Using Technology to Improve the Bottom Line,” Mark Stiver, manager of ecommerce, strategy and analytics for Trivantage, gave a high-level view of the primary types of technology available to specialty …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2018: Show Stopper winners on the floor

October 17, 2018

All the best from Texas: Wednesday morning, Oct. 17, at IFAI Expo led off with lists of winners for the year, including the most popular products on the show floor. The seventh annual Show Stopper competition was designed to showcase the best of the best in the industry, from fabrics, equipment and chemicals to services …

Expo News

2018 International Achievement Award Winners Announced

October 17, 2018

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has awarded this year’s International Achievement Awards (IAA) for design excellence in specialty fabrics applications, announced at the awards breakfast on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at IFAI Expo 2018. IFAI Expo is the largest specialty fabrics trade show in North America, held this year at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention …

Expo News

Sharpen your competitive edge

October 17, 2018

Asking yourself one simple question can help make your business a magnet for new customers, says marketing professional Madeleine MacRae, owner of MM MacRae Coaching & Consulting. “That question is ‘Who is your ideal client?’” In her Oct. 16 Expo session on distinguishing yourself in the marketplace, MacRae says answering this question is the key …

Expo News

Digital presence is key to acquiring new customers in 2019

October 16, 2018

It’s no surprise the digital world means a company’s ability to attract and keep customers requires a dramatic shift in strategy, tools and resources. Ed Keough, vice president of sales for FutureGuard Building Products Inc. in Auburn, Maine, told business owners they need to embrace digital advertising or be “left in the dust” during his …

Expo News

IFAI Expo keynote speaker Mark Scharenbroich: “acknowledge, honor and connect” with employees and customers

October 16, 2018

Keynote speaker Mark Scharenbroich has straightforward advice for growing a business: Make a true connection with employees and customers and positive results will follow. Scharenbroich shared his humor and motivational wisdom with a packed room at IFAI’s 2018 Expo annual meeting October 16. Rain, wind and cold outside the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in …

Expo News

Textile testing for comfort

October 16, 2018

IFAI’s Pre-Expo Conference Oct. 15 in Dallas offered a range of presentations—many of them focused on topics of particular interest in the advanced textiles area. Textile testing is one topic that will be addressed in more than one session. At the beginning of his talk yesterday on testing and evaluating fabrics’ human comfort, performance and …

Expo News

Useful social media for companies of all sizes

October 15, 2018

Should you bother with social media? Most definitely yes, says Luke Gusman, marketing manager for Sta-Lok Inc., a longtime manufacturer of marine and architectural rigging hardware. Gusman says that no matter how large or small your company, there are five social media platforms that can increase engagement with your product or service and raise your …

Expo News

Successful multigenerational workplaces

October 15, 2018

This is the first time in history that five distinct generations are working in a single workplace, says J. Karl Sherrill Jr., a certified risk manager with Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, in his 2018 Expo session “Leading Successful Teams in a Multigenerational Workplace.” “It’s a trend affecting every business,” says Sherrill. “You have people …

Feature

2019 MFA Time Standards Manual

January 1, 2019

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 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 organically …

Feature

Dynamic window materials

January 1, 2019

Fabricators and boat owners have a world of choices in windows. When it comes to choosing their windows, most boat owners don’t want to make it too complicated—they want a quality product that will last at a reasonable price. As fabricators know, however, it’s not quite that simple. In fact, according to Zach Grant, marketing …

Feature

How to rebuild a business

January 1, 2019

Rob Kotowski rebuilds the family business with his father’s guidance and a commitment to quality and communication. We don’t anticipate that the completion of a project is the last time we talk with our clients,” says Rob Kotowski, owner and president of Lake Shore Boat Top Co. Inc., Saint Clair Shores, Mich. “We typically follow …

Feature Members only content

The boat design process is a lengthy one

September 7, 2018

According to Sam Shimanek, a designer at Marquis-Larson Boat Group in Pulaski, Wis., there are some years the company doesn’t undergo model year changes. When it does, the process usually starts about six months in advance. “The first few months are getting design ideas drawn up,” Shimanek says. “Next we start to pick out new …

Feature

Fabricators can nudge boat owners toward a newer look

September 5, 2018

Boat owners may upgrade because of innovations they’re seeing on new boats just hitting the water. But sometimes boat components wear out and need to be replaced. That’s where fabricators can play a role in steering their customers to an updated look for their vessels. “The biggest challenge in renovating interiors is getting the customer …

Feature Members only content

Boat upgrades on the horizon

September 1, 2018

Driven by comfort, durability and a splash of color Henry Ford is famous for promising back in 1909 to make the Model T in any color, “as long as it’s black.” The same could be said (more or less) of white in the boating world, as least for most of recent history. But today, in …

Feature Members only content

Design trends 2019

September 1, 2018

OEMs and fabricators—partners in progress As the marine vessel market becomes ever more competitive, the winners in the industry will be fabricators who stay on top of current and future design trends—offering innovative design solutions that go beyond service to deliver an exceptional product for both the original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) with whom they partner …

Feature Members only content

Balancing the benefits and drawbacks of automation

September 1, 2018

It’s always important to measure the return on investment (ROI) of any purchase—especially in the areas of equipment. The challenge is to balance the capabilities (and availability) of equipment and employees as automation and technology drive the future of the industry. Canvas Innovations in Holland, Mich., focuses on custom marine canvas and upholstery products, says …

Feature

High-tech tools for high-tech marine covers

July 5, 2018

Tim James, co-owner of digiShapes™ LLC in Kent, Wash., is a software developer with an interest in marine canvas. His company takes 3-D measurements of entire boats, which are then converted into automatic boat covers. Its SwiftShield™ system consists of a hydraulic mechanism and a tight-fitting fabric cover that is lifted up and over the …

Feature Members only content

Recommended fabric cleaning products

July 1, 2018

Fabricators play an important role in teaching customers to keep their boats in shape. It’s pretty simple. People buy boats because they want to have fun. The reality, however, is that work—the opposite of fun—is required to keep any watercraft in tip-top condition. Therein lies the rub. “A lot of boaters don’t want to do …

Industry News

Christensen Yachts sold to military boat builder

February 19, 2019

Christensen Yachts will be vacating its longtime headquarters in Vancouver, Wash., according to the Seattle Times. The site was purchased by Vigor Industrial. The commercial yard will use the former yacht-building facility to build new landing craft for the U.S. Army. Vigor said it will close two other plants in the area and move about …

Industry News

Boating industry survey results released

February 14, 2019

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) released the results from its first boating industry policy survey. More than 1,500 responded to the survey and the results will play an important role in shaping NMMA’s 2019 legislative policy priorities. According to the survey results, the industry’s top five issues are: 1. Ethanol and fuel (E15) 2. …

Industry News

Cruise Ship Interiors Expo 2019

February 12, 2019

The Cruise Ship Interiors Expo will take place June 18-20, 2019, at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami Beach, Fla. It is the world’s first and only event to focus exclusively on the interior design, architecture and outfitting for the cruise industry. The event will include a show floor with more than 200 suppliers …

Industry News

Outboard engine shipments up 5.9 percent in 2018

February 7, 2019

According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) Monthly Shipment Report (MSR), U.S. outboard engine wholesale shipments closed 2018 up 5.9 percent, compared to 2017, for NMMA’s control group of manufacturers, representing 95 percent of the market. Outboard engines rated 200 horsepower and above were up 20.8 percent in 2018 and accounted for a 25.6 …

Industry News

Congressional boating caucus co-chairs announced

February 5, 2019

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) welcomed Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.), Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-Fla.-21), and Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.-2) as the Congressional Boating Caucus co-chairs in the 116th Congress. Celebrating its 30-year anniversary, the caucus is a bipartisan group of more than 100 U.S. senators and representatives formed in 1989 …

Industry News

Polaris buys assets of Larson Boat Group

January 31, 2019

Minn.-based Polaris Industries has bought the assets of Larson Boat Group for an undisclosed price in a move that further expands its fresh dive into the boating, according to the StarTribune newspaper. Polaris spokeswoman Erika Frederick said the deal included the Larson, Larson FX, Striper and Escape brands. Acquiring Larson boats will make Polaris an …

Industry News

Premier Product Showcase 2019 call for submissions

January 29, 2019

Reader surveys show that New Products are one of the most popular parts of the magazine. Get your products in front of thousands of customers in the May/June issue of Marine Fabricator magazine, for free! Showcase your company’s most valued products and get maximum exposure. Deadline: Friday, February 22, 2019   NO COST TO PARTICIPATE …

Industry News

Herculite launches new website

January 29, 2019

Herculite® Inc., a leader in the design and manufacture of flexible composite textiles for performance applications, has launched a new website that showcases the company’s breadth of capabilities in materials for solar protection, marine, health care, digital graphics media, military and tents and structures. The new website is located at www.herculite.com. Headquartered in Emigsville, Pa., …

Industry News

Miami Boat Show Innovation Breakfast agenda set

January 24, 2019

The annual Innovation Breakfast at the 2019 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show, presented by the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF), is being held Friday, February 15. The breakfast will feature a host of presentations focused on propelling the recreational boating industry forward. Here’s the complete agenda: • Welcome by Larry Berryman, show manager. …

Industry News

Recasens grows US distribution network

January 22, 2019

Recasens, a leading manufacturer of performance fabric for sun protection, textile architecture, and marine use, has added Innovative Industrial Solutions, Inc. (IIS) as its newest U.S.-based master distributor. This new partnership will provide greater access to the Recasens line of European-designed fabrics for fabricators and designers in the awning, marine and decor industries. Recasens will …

Products

New products

January 1, 2019

Waterproof shade on land and sea Recognized in the marine market for its weather resistance and durability, Sunbrella® SeaMark® is now available in a wider selection of colors and has expanded from marine applications into the commercial shade market. Fabricated from durable Sunbrella performance fabric and 100 percent impervious waterproof backing, SeaMark is available in …

Products

New products

September 1, 2018

These latest products are changing the marine fabricator industry. Want to see your products here? Email: erbernick@ifai.com. Temperature resistant Designed to resist the harshest environments, Stamskin One handles extreme temperatures (-58°F to 302°F) and is insensitive to UV radiation and water. Formulated by Serge Ferrari, the elastomer gives it an ultra-soft touch and “peach skin” …

Products

Tips for keeping marine fabrics clean and protected

July 3, 2018

Care and maintenance of clear vinyl products, especially those like Strataglass® that are coated to be scratch-resistant, requires cleaning methods using specific cleaning and protection products, according to Craig R. Zola, vice president for marketing and distribution at Herculite® Products Inc., parent company of Strataglass, based in Emigsville, Pa. In the harsh marine environment, it’s …

Fabric & Film

Lightweight durability

July 1, 2018

For marine applications, gazebo covers, patio furniture covers, tarps, canopies and campers, Top Notch 1S is a 100 percent solution-dyed polyester fabric with a clear urethane back coat. At 60 inches wide, 7.4 oz. per sq. yd., it offers exceptional strength, durability, water resistance, tear resistance, abrasion resistance and UV- and mildew-resistance. Because it is …

Equipment

Seam sealer

July 1, 2018

Most fabrics are only as waterproof as their seams. For boat covers, awnings, rucksacks and other outdoor gear, Iosso’s Seam Sealer keeps moisture where it belongs—on the outside. It forms an effective, invisible seal against water intrusion without altering the color or feel of the material. It prevents leaks on cotton, cotton blend, polyester and …

Hardware & Findings

Quick-release fasteners

July 1, 2018

Loxx® Fasteners are durable self-locking quick-release fasteners precision engineered from brass and stainless steel. Versatile and reliable in the harshest environments, these fasteners are appropriate for marine, architectural, cover and tarp, and industrial fastening applications. They are easy to install by simply punching a hole and screwing on the mating washer. There is no need …

Fabric & Film

Tear-resistant vinyl

July 1, 2018

AquaFloat 32 is a premium coated fabric (32 oz. vinyl) formulated for inflatable boat and raft applications, with excellent tear and tensile strength to resist punctures and hold air. With treatments for UV protection and mildew resistance, in a semi-gloss finish, it is available in a wide variety of fade-resistant colors popular in the recreation …

Fabric & Film

Classic leather looks

July 1, 2018

Made exclusively in the U.S., Naugahyde® products deliver superior performance fabric solutions for the marine, recreational and automotive markets. Naugahyde Surfside is strong and durable, easily maintained and is resistant to fading. It is ideally suited for marine and outdoor seating as well as trim/door panels, auto trim, RV/van upholstery and other applications. www.rexpeggfabrics.com

Fabric & Film

Versatile polyester

July 1, 2018

Aqualast HD is resistant to mildew and UV radiation, providing extra protection for boat covers, awnings, bimini tops, storage and furniture covers, and camping enclosures, among many other uses. The heavy-duty, 100 percent solution-dyed polyester fabric has a urethane coating, is offered 60 inches wide, and comes in 12 popular colors with a 5-year warranty …

Products

New exterior roller shades color

March 15, 2018

Phifer Inc. has added a new color to its SunTex® 95 exterior sun control line. The new hue, Stucco, joins the current range of nine neutral color options in this fabric collection designed specifically for exterior roller shade applications. Made from vinyl-coated polyester, the line is thinner and lighter weight than traditional SunTex fabrics. Blocking …

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 …