Industry News

Registration open for 2020 American Boating Congress

December 5, 2019

Registration for the 2020 American Boating Congress (ABC) is open. The recreational boating industry’s annual advocacy summit in Washington, D.C., will be held May 12-14 and for the first time, the event moves to the InterContinental hotel located at the Wharf, a mile-long stretch of property on the Potomac River. ABC provides attendees with the …

Industry News

Garmin receives DAME Design Awards

December 3, 2019

Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., announced it was honored with wins in two categories in the 2019 DAME Design Awards, an annual competition that celebrates marine equipment design. The Garmin Force trolling motor and the GPSMAP 86i marine handheld with inReach® satellite communication capabilities received top DAME accolades in the ‘Machinery, Propulsion, …

Industry News

New Grow Boating chairperson named

November 28, 2019

In early November, Bryan Seti, general manager of sales and marketing, Yamaha WaterCraft Group, was elected chairperson of the Grow Boating Board of Directors during its annual meeting in Chicago. Seti succeeds Joe Lewis, owner and general manager of Mt. Dora Boating Center, who served as chairperson from 2011 through October 2019. Seti joined Yamaha …

Industry News

Metstrade attendance strong

November 26, 2019

Metstrade, an international trade exhibition of marine equipment, materials and systems, had record attendance and exhibitor numbers. The organizers said in a statement that 17,792 visitors made 26,984 visits over the three-day event, Nov. 17-19, a five percent increase over the previous year’s record. The show at Amsterdam’s Rai Convention Center also reported a record …

Industry News

Free marketing presentations available

November 21, 2019

This year at IBEX, a panel of leading marketing experts presented at the Grow Boating Marketing Summit to provide insights on the evolving digital marketing landscape and offer actionable strategies to help businesses boost their sales. The following panel presentations are available for free to record or to download printable versions at www.growboating.org: •The who …

Industry News

September powerboat registrations on par with last year

November 19, 2019

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) September New Powerboat Registrations Report showed new powerboat retail sales down slightly to 0.9 percent on a rolling 12-month year-over-year (R12M YOY) basis and up a healthy 5 percent on a rolling three-month year-over-year (R3M YOY) basis through September. Total new units sold in 2019 (through September) reached 251,000. …

Industry News

Free boating marketing materials available

November 14, 2019

Access a variety of free Discover Boating promotional materials and marketing resources on GrowBoating.org in the “Tools You Can Use” section. Explore these resources to help promote your business and increase your engagement with consumers on a local level. Discover Boating marketing materials, collateral and tools include: •Social media content (via the Get Social with …

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 …

News

IFAI president and magazines recognized with MMPA Excellence awards

November 8, 2019

The Minnesota Media and Publishing Association recognized IFAI president and CEO Steve Schiffman with the Hedley Donovan Award at its Annual Awards Gala. In addition, three IFAI magazines received Excellence Awards at the November 7th event. The Hedley Donovan Award, created in 1999 by the MMPA, recognizes individuals who have shown outstanding lifelong dedication and have …

Industry News

Marine manufacturing confidence remains stable

November 7, 2019

As the recreational boating industry prepares to close out 2019, the second highest level of sales in 12 years, National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) member manufacturer confidence continues to be favorable with 78 percent of CEOs stating business is stable or expanding (51 percent stable and 27 percent expanding). The report comes from NMMA’s Marine …

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 …

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 …

MFA Excellence Awards

MFA Awards entry now open

September 10, 2019

The deadline for submissions to the 2020 MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards is November 15, 2019. From design excellence to quality workmanship, the awards showcase projects that represent the breadth of the industry—from tops and covers to interior and exterior upholstery. Awards will be announced at the 2020 MFA Conference. To enter or for more information, …

Feature Members only content

Prepare now for a future disaster

September 1, 2019

When the worst happens to your business, it’s already too late. The time to prepare for a disaster is now. By Jeff Moravec Although extreme events such as fires, floods, hurricanes and other disasters were once considered rarities, they are becoming more common. Business owners need to ask themselves how they would survive such an …

Feature Members only content

Automation advantages

September 1, 2019

Technology solutions offer marine fabricators expanded capabilities, opportunities for greater creativity, and new project and market options. By Pamela Mills-Senn  Ask Thomas Carlson, manager of Tulsa, Okla., Carlson Design Corp., about his number one competitor and he offers up a surprising response.  “It’s a pair of scissors. Most of our customers have been cutting manually …

Feature Members only content

Focusing on quality, creativity and customer service

September 1, 2019

By building his business slowly, Carl Pellegrini keeps SeaCanvas focused on quality, creativity and customer service. by Jill C. Lafferty Each project we accept is a new chance to make a change in the current design,” says Carl Pellegrini, the owner-operator of SeaCanvas, based in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. “Let’s say an enclosure for a …

Feature

Sustainable boating includes the john

July 4, 2019

Sustainable boating takes many forms, from solar panels to using wind or water for power, eco-friendly cleaning products, low-flow showerheads and LED lights. Joe OBrien, of Schwenksville, Pa., has been outfitting his sailboat with an earth-friendly component that is about as elemental as they come—a composting toilet. OBrien and his wife, Julie, have been renovating …

Feature

Pros and cons of digital measuring tools

July 2, 2019

Any boater knows that the way you handle a vessel changes with the weather. The same is true with a fabricator’s measuring tools. Many fabricators now have both touchpoint 3D and touchless laser systems in their toolkits, and which one works best depends to some degree on the environment. “I use a variety of digital …

Feature

Solar panel savvy

July 1, 2019

Improvements in solar panels give boaters more power and choices. By Jeff Moravec There may or may not be any truth to the notion that solar power wouldn’t exist on boats were it not for the desire to find an energy-efficient way to keep adult beverages cold.   But if in fact that’s a motivation, …

Feature

Metal framework takes top billing

July 1, 2019

It’s time for metalwork and framing to move from being bit players to getting top billing. By Jeff Moravec Fabric is typically the star of the show in any fabrication project. What often gets overlooked, however, is the role supporting metal frameworks play—often behind the scenes—in fabric structures. The metal framework may frequently be an …

Feature

No-fail boat covers

July 1, 2019

There’s more than one way to build a boat cover—but the best fabricators ask clients these critical questions before they settle on a design. by Sigrid Tornquist Fabricators agree—custom boat cover fabrication starts with a conversation with the boat owners. What canvas professionals do with the information they get, coupled with experience and innovation, can …

Industry News

Garmin receives DAME Design Awards

December 3, 2019

Garmin International, Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., announced it was honored with wins in two categories in the 2019 DAME Design Awards, an annual competition that celebrates marine equipment design. The Garmin Force trolling motor and the GPSMAP 86i marine handheld with inReach® satellite communication capabilities received top DAME accolades in the ‘Machinery, Propulsion, …

Industry News

New Grow Boating chairperson named

November 28, 2019

In early November, Bryan Seti, general manager of sales and marketing, Yamaha WaterCraft Group, was elected chairperson of the Grow Boating Board of Directors during its annual meeting in Chicago. Seti succeeds Joe Lewis, owner and general manager of Mt. Dora Boating Center, who served as chairperson from 2011 through October 2019. Seti joined Yamaha …

Industry News

Free boating marketing materials available

November 14, 2019

Access a variety of free Discover Boating promotional materials and marketing resources on GrowBoating.org in the “Tools You Can Use” section. Explore these resources to help promote your business and increase your engagement with consumers on a local level. Discover Boating marketing materials, collateral and tools include: •Social media content (via the Get Social with …

Industry News

Marine manufacturing confidence remains stable

November 7, 2019

As the recreational boating industry prepares to close out 2019, the second highest level of sales in 12 years, National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) member manufacturer confidence continues to be favorable with 78 percent of CEOs stating business is stable or expanding (51 percent stable and 27 percent expanding). The report comes from NMMA’s Marine …

Industry News

New Hampshire establishes outdoor recreation office

October 24, 2019

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu recently signed legislation establishing the Office of Outdoor Recreation Industry Development within the New Hampshire Department of Business and Economic Affairs (BEA). This legislation formalizes the state’s commitment to the businesses, natural assets and attractions that make up the outdoor recreation industry, which employs nearly 38,000 people in New Hampshire …

Industry News

New powerboat registrations down slightly through August

October 22, 2019

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) New Powerboat Registrations Report shows that new powerboat sales were down slightly (0.9 percent) on a rolling 12-month year-over-year basis and down 2 percent on a rolling three-month year-over-year basis through August. Total new units sold to date in 2019 reached 274,200, and by year-end are expected to be …

Industry News

Initiative to further increase availability of E15

October 17, 2019

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a new initiative to expand the use of biofuels like E15 across the country. The proposal follows the administration’s decision earlier this year to lift the summertime ban on E15 sales. The newest initiative seeks to pump more than 15 billion gallons …

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 …

Industry News

New leadership for IFAI

October 2, 2019

Each year, the Leadership Development Committee of the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) follows a detailed process outlined in association bylaws for electing new board members. As recently announced at IFAI’s annual meeting at IFAI Expo in Orlando, the following individuals have been chosen to serve on the IFAI board of directors: Ron Houle, president …

Industry News

Correct Craft CEO to chair federal recreation advisory panel

October 1, 2019

Bill Yeargin, the president and CEO of Correct Craft, was elected to serve as chair of the Department of the Interior’s “Made in America” Outdoor Recreation Advisory Committee (ORAC) – a board comprised of recreation industry representatives that counsels Interior Secretary David Bernhardt on policies to expand access to and improve infrastructure on public lands …

Products

SunMaster fabric featured during 2019 IFAI Expo

October 29, 2019

A featured Show Stopper at the 2019 IFAI Expo, 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 …

Accessories

Sail sensor provides data

October 15, 2019

With a growing desire to use data to enhance the performance and enjoyment of sailing, Sail-Sense is a new sensor that helps boaters be smarter about sail management. The sensor attaches permanently to the sail, measuring key performance data such as hours of use, UV, G-force and flogging (movement). Like a “passport” for a boat’s …

Products

Powerful products

September 1, 2019

These latest products are changing the marine fabricator industry. Want to see your products here? Email: erbernick@ifai.com.  Fire-retardant clear vinyl  Visilite™ FR passes NFPA-701 Test Method 2 for fire resistance and is part of a collection that also includes double polished, extruded and interleaf styles. The vinyl offers lasting visual clarity and durability for a variety …

Fabric & Film

New Hydrofend coated fabric for marine applications

August 1, 2019

Hydrofend™, a solution-dyed polyester designed to balance high water resistance with breathability, is now available from Trivantage, a one-stop shop for fabrics, hardware, and accessories. “Our goal was to create a fabric that lets little water in and water vapor out,” says Dan Fouratt, director of business development for Trivantage. “Hydrofend achieves this balance.” Applications …

Products

Smart supplies

July 1, 2019

These latest products are changing the marine fabricator industry.  Want to see your products here? Email: erbernick@ifai.com. Colorful faux suede  The KnollTextiles Contour Collection includes new colors of Ultrasuede®, its premier high-performance, multi-use faux suede. The durable fabric is inherently stain resistant and versatile with a soft hand. It is appropriate for upholstery, wrapped panels …

Products

New products

March 1, 2019

These latest products are changing the marine fabricator industry. Want to see your products here? Email: erbernick@ifai.com. Self-piercing grommets ClipsShop® Self-Piercing Grommet Sets are made from solid brass and feature gripping teeth on the washers that provide extra holding power for a wide range of industrial applications subjected to constant tension such as awnings, sails, …

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 …

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 …