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, …

Events

The Northeast Canvas Products Association celebrates its 100th anniversary

February 20, 2020

The Northeast Canvas Products Association (NECPA) celebrated its 100th anniversary on January 16-18 in Worcester, Mass. The conference event included a full slate of Friday seminars presented by NECPA in conjunction with the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association (PAMA) and the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA), divisions of IFAI, plus a full Expo day with more than …

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 …

News

IFAI/Alliance Group partnership provides fast, competitive financing to members

February 18, 2020

Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has partnered with Alliance Funding Group to provide members of IFAI fast financing at competitive rates. IFAI’s Vice President, New Business Development, Andrew Aho says, “IFAI is enthusiastic about offering members access to one more resource when considering financing equipment or looking for working capital. Alliance Funding Group has been …

Industry News

2019 outboard engine sales reach 13-year high

February 13, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) 2019 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, Outboard Engine Sales Trends report shows sales increased for the eighth consecutive year in 2019, nearly reaching pre-recession levels with a 13-year high. “We’re seeing the trend in consumer demand for higher performance engines continue with outboard engine sales growth in 2019 led …

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: …

Industry News

Indiana moves toward creating outdoor rec office

February 4, 2020

The Indiana Senate Natural Resources committee unanimously approved Senate Concurrent Resolution #15, which calls for establishing an Indiana Office of Outdoor Recreation Development. The resolution outlines the Office’s priorities and encourages it to be established within the Indiana Destination Development Corporation. The priorities detailed in the resolution include increasing outdoor recreation-based economic development, tourism, and …

Industry News

2020 Minneapolis Innovation Award Winners announced

January 30, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) honored the winners of the 2020 Minneapolis Innovation Awards, recognizing groundbreaking new consumer marine products, presented during preview night of the Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show. The Minneapolis Innovation Awards honor manufacturers and suppliers who bring new, innovative products in the boating industry to …

Company News

Enduratex expands marine products representation

January 29, 2020

Enduratex™ has expanded its marine product representation through a new relationship with Coatney Sales and Haimes Coleman Group Inc., according to Eric Petersen, director of sales and marketing for Enduratex. Craig Coatney, principal of Coatney Sales, and Charlie Haimes, a principal in the Haimes Coleman Group, will cover the Midwest and Southeast regions, respectively. “We …

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 …

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 …

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

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

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 …

Feature

Long-term growth: the right equipment, the right software, the right employees

December 6, 2019

At each step along the supply chain, customers demand quality, efficiency, flexibility and speed.  The right kind of equipment, with the right kind of software and the right kind of operator, can lead to long-term growth.  by Maura Keller Today’s consumer expects faster turnaround times and custom quality at low prices, which means that manufacturers …

Feature

Gain and retain: creating a rewarding culture for employees

December 6, 2019

Today’s tight labor market can turn employees fickle, posing challenges for companies that need to maintain a strong and skilled workforce. But with the right approach—and good benefits and wages—employers can keep ‘em coming back. by Pamela Mills-Senn After spending 18 years as an employee, Chris Ritsema, owner of Holland, Mich., Canvas Innovations LLC, knew …

Feature

Additional services enrich relationships and bottom line

December 6, 2019

Adding services to core offerings can provide a way to cement customers to your business, meeting more of their needs and strengthening your appeal—and bottom line—in the process. Once a company has a firm grip on its core business, attention often turns to broadening the services already offered or adding entirely new ones that build …

Feature

Finders, keepers: long-term customer loyalty

December 6, 2019

Attracting customers in the market for shade products is one thing; retaining them for future business is another. Managing both objectives requires establishing connections that are meaningful and lasting.  by Pamela Mills-Senn A quick Google search on “connecting with customers” reveals all sorts of advice, usually in the form of the “seven best ways,” or the …

Feature Members only content

Finders, keepers: long-term customer loyalty

November 1, 2019

Attracting customers in the market for shade products is one thing; retaining them for future business is another. Managing both objectives requires establishing connections that are meaningful and lasting.  by Pamela Mills-Senn A quick Google search on “connecting with customers” reveals all sorts of advice, usually in the form of the “seven best ways,” or the …

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 …

Industry News

2019 outboard engine sales reach 13-year high

February 13, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) 2019 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, Outboard Engine Sales Trends report shows sales increased for the eighth consecutive year in 2019, nearly reaching pre-recession levels with a 13-year high. “We’re seeing the trend in consumer demand for higher performance engines continue with outboard engine sales growth in 2019 led …

Industry News

Indiana moves toward creating outdoor rec office

February 4, 2020

The Indiana Senate Natural Resources committee unanimously approved Senate Concurrent Resolution #15, which calls for establishing an Indiana Office of Outdoor Recreation Development. The resolution outlines the Office’s priorities and encourages it to be established within the Indiana Destination Development Corporation. The priorities detailed in the resolution include increasing outdoor recreation-based economic development, tourism, and …

Industry News

2020 Minneapolis Innovation Award Winners announced

January 30, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and Boating Writers International (BWI) honored the winners of the 2020 Minneapolis Innovation Awards, recognizing groundbreaking new consumer marine products, presented during preview night of the Progressive Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show. The Minneapolis Innovation Awards honor manufacturers and suppliers who bring new, innovative products in the boating industry to …

Industry News

Entry of NMMA certified vessels into Canada made easier

January 23, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is entering a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Transport Canada to ease the entry of NMMA certified boats and yachts for sale into the Canadian marketplace. NMMA certified boat manufacturers will soon be able to provide an NMMA certificate for their certified model alongside an abbreviated Declaration of Conformity …

Industry News

275,000 new boats sold through November

January 21, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) November New Powerboat Registrations Report shows new powerboat retail unit sales were up 6 percent on a rolling 3-month year-over-year (R3M YOY) basis and down 1 percent on a rolling 12-month year-over-year (R12M YOY) totaling 275,000 units. Insights from the November report include: •Sales of new personal watercraft and …

Industry News

U.S. boat sales up in 2019, expected to remain strong in 2020

January 15, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) announced that retail unit sales of new powerboats are estimated to have held steady in 2019 at approximately 280,000 units, the second highest total since 2007. The busy winter boat show season kicks off this week across the country and NMMA expects new powerboat sales to be up as …

Company News

Steve Szenay appointed Serge Ferrari technical support manager

January 13, 2020

Serge Ferrari announced that Steve Szenay has been promoted to Technical Support Manager for North America. Szenay will be responsible for disseminating technical information for all Serge Ferrari products sold in the United States and Canada, including product use, fabrication best- practices, maintenance and claim evaluation. In this newly created position, Szenay will be the …

Industry News

Annual advocacy survey ends soon

January 7, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is calling on all recreational boating industry stakeholders to participate in the association’s second annual advocacy survey, which will play an important role in shaping the organization’s 2020 policy priorities. Click here to take the survey. Direct stakeholder feedback is essential to ensuring the industry’s advocacy efforts are robust …

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 …

Products

Maximum light

January 1, 2020

Built to outlast portable work light standards and expectations, the Big Ass Light Bar checks in at nearly 5 pounds and 2 feet long, and features a waterproof IP67-rated design, shock-absorbing components and chemical-resistant materials. With six brightness settings reaching a 5,000-lumen maximum output, it’s a tool, not a flashlight. Every piece of the light …

Products

Strong, stable fabric

January 1, 2020

Durable Coolshade stands up to the sun and meets harsh climate conditions head on. It is recommended for awnings, shade structures, pool covers, athletic divider curtains, marine applications, boat tops, tents and tension structures. Easy to clean, weldable, mildew-resistant and UV-resistant, this premium outdoor fabric has a wick-resistant scrim and accepts many types of graphics …

Products

Tough marine vinyls

January 1, 2020

Surf and Bayside marine vinyls are designed to handle all the challenges that long exposure to sun and water bring. Both employ Splash construction, a pink stain-resistant vinyl formulation. With UV protection, crack resistance and four-way stretch, the vinyls for boat interiors and exteriors feature a cold crack rating of -25 degrees Fahrenheit and 1,000 …

Products

Grinding and finishing disc

January 1, 2020

The Blue-Kote™ Soft Material Application Flap Disc grinds aluminum and all non-ferrous metals at high speed with minimal clogging or loading, while keeping the work surface temperature low for quality finishing. The soft, long-lasting disc that simultaneously grinds and finishes saves process time, eliminates the need for product changeover and reduces total cost. The Type …

Products

Breathable polyester

January 1, 2020

Solution-dyed polyester Hydrofend™ balances high water resistance with breathability, letting water vapor out while preventing water from coming in. Applications for Hydrofend include boat covers, boat enclosures, storage covers and furniture covers. To ensure superior performance, the fabric was designed with a tear strength starting at almost 40 pounds warp and fill. Available with a …

Products

High-strength repair ribbon

January 1, 2020

Forj is a high strength, lightweight plastic ribbon that molecularly fuses to itself in a matter of seconds. Simply heat, press and repeat to form the plastic into any desired shape. Once cooled, the self-bonding plastic hardens, creating a bond as strong as steel. Quick fix uses on the water include repairing a reel, strengthening …

Products

Eqodry reticulated foam now available in US

December 24, 2019

Eqodry USA launched a new line of thermally reticulated smart foam products to the U.S. market at the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) Marine Fabricators Conference held in Daytona Beach, Fla., January 9-11, 2020. The open cell structure of Eqodry®—pronounced E-Co-Dri—allows water to pass through for zero water retention and fast drying times, which makes …

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 …