COVID-19

Top tips for operating a specialty fabrics business during a pandemic

April 1, 2020

IFAI Division Webinars this week are bringing together diverse members of the specialty fabrics industry to discuss how they are navigating the COVID-19 crisis. For companies that are operational—that is, they have either been deemed essential businesses or they are not currently under a “shelter in place” order—worker health and safety is a major concern. …

COVID-19

Application process for Paycheck Protection Program opens Friday

April 1, 2020

Starting Friday, April 3, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – an initiative that was included in the $2 trillion economic relief bill signed by President Trump last week, which authorizes nearly $350 billion in forgivable loans to businesses to pay up to eight weeks …

COVID-19

Facebook, others launch grant programs for small businesses

April 1, 2020

Facebook announced a $100 million program to help small businesses affected by coronavirus. The grants will be available for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries. Facebook said it will be accepting applications in the coming weeks. The company said the program can help businesses with rent, operational costs, maintaining workforce and …

COVID-19

Friday webinar on how federal stimulus package helps boating industry businesses

March 31, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) will present a webinar on Friday, April 3, about how the $2 trillion stimulus bill recently signed into law by President Trump will help marine businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to register now. The event will feature presentations from Nicole Vasilaros, senior vice president of government and …

COVID-19

Washington State closes to recreational fishing

March 30, 2020

The state of Washington is closed to recreational fishing and shellfishing through April 8, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, and several other states are restricting access in their efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus. To support the action by Washington, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife announced it would …

COVID-19

Effects of $2 trillion stimulus plan on marine industry

March 26, 2020

With the U.S. Senate passing the nearly $2 trillion economic relief package and the U.S. House of Representatives expected to follow suit, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has compiled a breakdown of provisions in the legislation, formally known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and how they might affect the …

COVID-19

NEW Covid-19 Resource Center

March 24, 2020

As we navigate through the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic, we want to remind you that IFAI is with you every step of the way. We have developed a COVID-19 Resource Center that will be updated daily on recent developments surrounding the virus and our industry. In this Resource Center, you will find up-to-date information on: Government and Agency Information  Financial Information …

COVID-19

IFAI Member Forum Webinars set

March 24, 2020

IFAI division members are invited to attend a Member Forum Webinar. We encourage you to take part in an open conversation with other members about the COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic and discuss how your company is doing/navigating through this situation.  Discussion questions include: What practices are you implementing to keep staff working further apart and at a …

COVID-19

Message from INDA regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

March 23, 2020

Dear Colleagues, INDA is committed to safe working principles for our members, our staff and the industry as a whole. We are all making adjustments in our business to minimize the impacts and spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are carefully monitoring and following the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control, and the North …

COVID-19

NCSL tracks state fiscal responses to COVID-19

March 23, 2020

As the global and national response to COVID-19 dominates public attention, state legislatures are taking steps to address budgetary and economic threats. To find current state by state information, The National Conference of State Legislatures website outlines state budget legislation to prepare and respond to the coronavirus through supplemental appropriations, rainy day fund transfers and …

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 …

Expo News

Puerto Rico pups steal hearts at IFAI Expo 2019

October 3, 2019

Amid the latest fabrics, equipment, technology and services for the specialty fabrics industry, Lorenzo, Lilo, Lolo, and Lulo stole hearts, and, according to some dog lovers—the show—at IFAI Expo 2019 in Orlando, Fla. For this Expo, the Industrial Fabrics Foundation (IFF) and the Pet Alliance of Greater Orlando came together to promote two great causes. …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2019 Keynote: ‘Choose people’ to make effective connections

October 2, 2019

Thom Singer, the keynote speaker at IFAI’s annual meeting on Wed., Oct. 2, at IFAI Expo, is clear about one thing: People want to do business with people they know, like and trust. And that connection won’t happen through second-hand tools offered on social media or other electronic sites. Singer, a consultant to executives and …

Expo News

Follow the right steps to successfully bid on military contracts

October 2, 2019

The U.S. government is the largest buyer of goods and services in the world, and there are enough opportunities available for everyone to participate in military contract bidding, if you follow the right steps, according to Jennifer Fennell, CPM, director of procurement for Polo Custom Products, Topeka, Kan.  Fennell and Jeff Papalia, textiles program manager …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2019 Early Bird Rates End June 26

June 19, 2019

For Immediate Release June 18, 2019 PR Contact Christian Weiland 651 225 6916 caweiland@ifai.com   IFAI Expo 2019 takes place Oct. 1-4 in Orlando, FL, USA. The Early Bird Rate deadline is approaching fast, and those who wish to save on their Expo registration must do so by June 26. This year’s Expo is held …

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 …

Feature

2020 fabric and flooring trends

March 1, 2020

Fabric and flooring trends for the upcoming season—and beyond.  by Sigrid Tornquist Maybe it’s because boats are so special to their owners, or because boat owners are people who love to show off their latest acquisitions. Whatever the reason, most boat owners crave a vessel that showcases statement-making flooring and fabric trends. “If the boat …

Feature

Turn onetime gigs into long-term revenue streams

March 1, 2020

By Jeff Moravec For many people, the so-called gig economy has created an entirely new way to make a living. The idea of side hustles may strike many fabricators as familiar—just with a new name. It’s not difficult to find fabricators who started a business with a narrow, well-defined specialty, only to find opportunities (sometimes …

Awards

2020 MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards

March 1, 2020

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

Fabric & Film

Inhibiting microbes with topcoat technology

February 11, 2020

When compounded performance additives in vinyl aren’t enough, antimicrobial lacquers and topcoats offer extra protection. By Hugh Barrett Microbes, such as bacteria and fungi, can live on a surface for months. Manufacturers of flexible vinyl, films, fabrics and textiles use engineered antimicrobial (AM) lacquers and barrier topcoats to offer an extra level of protection against …

Editorial

Time really is money

February 6, 2020

Track time for better bidding By Sigrid Tornquist Just as the first step in money management is to understand your spending habits, the first step in shop efficiency is to know how your workers are spending their time. The formula to figure out how much chargeable time versus non-chargeable time your shop spends is simple: …

Feature Members only content

Training a new generation

January 1, 2020

Kathryn Maisto mastered her marine canvas skills over a lifetime and across oceans, and now she’s training a new generation. By Jill C. Lafferty I’m always looking for ways to enhance our product line,” says Kathryn Maisto, owner of Fairwinds Canvas LLC, Racine, Wis. “In what we do and what we offer, we have truly …

Feature Members only content

Managing Time and Space

January 1, 2020

Follow these four steps to increase shop efficiency and boost your bottom line. By Sigrid Tournquist The secret to an efficient shop boils down to understanding chargeable time versus non-chargeable time—and then doing whatever possible to decrease non-chargeable time. How the workspace is arranged, whether or not workers can easily find and access what they’re …

Feature

2020 MFA Time Standards Manual

January 1, 2020

The Time Standards Manual was developed in 1996 by the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA), a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, to serve as a benchmark that shop owners can use to set fabrication times, with which they can generate competitive labor costs. The manual is an ongoing project that will grow and change …

COVID-19

Friday webinar on how federal stimulus package helps boating industry businesses

March 31, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) will present a webinar on Friday, April 3, about how the $2 trillion stimulus bill recently signed into law by President Trump will help marine businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to register now. The event will feature presentations from Nicole Vasilaros, senior vice president of government and …

COVID-19

Florida Keys shut down due to coronavirus

March 23, 2020

The Florida Keys are closed to visitors, including all hotels and other lodging establishments. Officials from Monroe County, which encompasses most of the archipelago off the southern coast of Florida, posted a statement on the county’s website that said the Keys would be “closed to all tourists and leisure visitors, lodging establishment are no longer …

Events

NMMA cancels Northwest Sportshow

March 16, 2020

Following Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s decision to call for a moratorium on events with more than 250 people, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has canceled the Progressive® Insurance Northwest Sportshow® in Minneapolis, Minn., on April 2-5, 2020. “While we remained hopeful that the show would proceed amid the evolving coronavirus situation, we agree with …

Events

NMMA cancels Saltwater Fishing Expo

March 12, 2020

As a result of the evolving coronavirus outbreak in the tri-state region and new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has canceled the Progressive® Insurance Saltwater Fishing Expo in Edison, New Jersey on March 13-15, 2020. However, at this time, NMMA is still moving forward with …

Industry News

Boating community backs Minnesota wakesurfing setback bill

March 12, 2020

Bipartisan legislation was introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives (HF 3770) and State Senate (SF 3624) to establish a 200-foot setback from shoreline and structures for all wakesurfing activities in Minnesota. Representatives from the recreational boating community support the legislation because it is “clear, consistent, and effective”: Clear: 200 feet is the length of …

Industry News

Fuel products spark confusion among consumers

March 10, 2020

Consumers remain confused about the multiple fuel product offerings in the marketplace, says a new study commissioned by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and conducted online by The Harris Poll among more than 3,000 U.S. adults. The study, which has been conducted annually for seven years, shows lack of education, inadequate labeling and dangerous …

Conference

NMMA U.S. boat shows to take place, coronavirus situation being closely monitored

March 5, 2020

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) President, Frank Hugelmeyer, issued a memo to all members of the association regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). According to the communication, NMMA is currently proceeding with all upcoming shows and events as scheduled. Full memo: “NMMA, like the general public, is closely monitoring the impact that the coronavirus outbreak is having …

Industry News

Great Lakes researchers seeking ballast water monitoring devices

February 27, 2020

The Great Waters Research Collaborative (GWRC), a federal grant-funded research program of the University of Wisconsin-Superior’s Lake Superior Research Institute (LSRI) is currently seeking applications from developers of ballast water compliance monitoring devices to participate in a verification program for the Laurentian Great Lakes. This one-time program is made possible through funding from the United …

Industry News

Biscayne National Park Fisheries Management Plan finally approved

February 25, 2020

After decades of debate, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) approved the Biscayne National Park (BNP) Fisheries Management Plan. The plan enters into force on July 1, 2020, and addresses the following: Increases the minimum size limit for ten major finfish by 20 percent and establishes new limits on fish such as grunts, …

Industry News

December 2019 powerboat registrations retail unit sales on par with 2018

February 20, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) December New Powerboat Registrations Report shows new powerboat retail unit sales closed the fourth quarter of 2019 up 4 percent on a rolling 3-month year-over-year (R3M YOY) basis and closed 2019 down 1 percent on a rolling 12-month year-over-year basis, marking the second highest level of new powerboat sales …

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 …

Products

Curated fabric collection

March 1, 2020

The Marine Upholstery Collection is a curated line of products designed to provide the best selection of fabric options for any marine upholstery project. The collection’s four fabric options—Sunbrella® Horizon™, Causeway™, Seaquest, and Nautolex® Capitano™—are available in an extensive range of prices, colors, patterns and textures, and all meet or exceed industry performance standards, including …

Products

Flexible panel mounting

March 1, 2020

Fastmount’s new SL-SF15A builds on the Stratlock Range, which enables flexible installation yet extremely secure panel mounting to aluminum framework on walls and ceilings. Combining the flexible load chassis and the dual indent mechanism of the Stratlock Range clips, the SL-SF15A expands the types of substrates that can be used. It was developed without the …

Products

Tested sun protection

March 1, 2020

Parasol™ Commercial Grade Shadecloth is now available in North and South America from select distributors. Sold in Australia for 10 years, the cloth has an established track record for protecting people from the harsh rays of the sun. It is manufactured using a combination of high-density monofilament and tape, which offers a higher degree of …

Products

Durable polyester

March 1, 2020

SunMaster™ is a versatile 7.5 oz. solution-dyed polyester featuring a 5-year warranty that is specially formulated to withstand just about anything Mother Nature can serve up. The fabric is abrasion resistant and easy to clean, making it an excellent choice for marine, awning, shade, and garden applications such as boat covers, canopies, awnings, patio umbrellas, …

Products

Fabric Bond Tape

March 1, 2020

Fabric bond tape uses high-quality bonding technology for durable seams. This polyurethane-based welding tape is used to heat seal seams with Hot Air, Hot Wedge, or RF (radio frequency) welding equipment. The 7/8” tape is made for use with polyester, acrylic fabrics and vinyl when welded to acrylics or polyester. It eliminates the need for …

Products

Outdoor mesh

March 1, 2020

Style PW60 is a specialty mesh for outdoor use. With high UV resistance, water repellency and the ability to be cleaned with bleach without altering color, it can withstand the elements and retain its original look and feel. For outdoor and marine applications. www.apexmills.com

Fabric & Film

Inhibiting microbes with topcoat technology

February 11, 2020

When compounded performance additives in vinyl aren’t enough, antimicrobial lacquers and topcoats offer extra protection. By Hugh Barrett Microbes, such as bacteria and fungi, can live on a surface for months. Manufacturers of flexible vinyl, films, fabrics and textiles use engineered antimicrobial (AM) lacquers and barrier topcoats to offer an extra level of protection against …

Accessories

YKK debuts zipper made from recycled plastic

January 28, 2020

Zipper manufacturer YKK has launched a new collection, Natulon Ocean Sourced, which are zippers made from plastic recovered from the ocean. The collection is sourced from plastic waste within 50km of Sri Lanka’s coastline and aims to address the problem of marine plastic. The company says the collection is indistinguishable from zippers made of virgin …

Accessories

Premier Product Showcase 2020 call for submissions

January 21, 2020

Reader surveys show that New Products are one of the most popular parts of Marine Fabricator 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 21, 2020 NO COST TO PARTICIPATE …

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 …