Events

International Boating & Water Safety Summit to be held virtually, May 17-19

April 14, 2021

Registration is now open for the virtual 2021 International Boating and Water Safety Summit (IBWSS), May 17-19. In its 24th year, IBWSS will explore “Partnerships for Progress”–a close look at how recreational boating and water safety communities collaborate to save lives around the world. Participate in daily sessions from 1 p.m. – 4 p.m. EDT, …

Conference

2022 MFA Conference call for speakers, shop tour locations

April 13, 2021

Organizers of the 2022 Marine Fabricators Conference, which will be held Jan. 13-15, 2022, at Wild Dunes Charleston’s Island Resort, Isle of Palms, S.C., are looking for speakers and shop tour locations. Speaker proposals must be free of commercial content, and conference organizers are especially interested in educational sessions that provide hands-on demonstrations covering topics …

Industry News

Boating Industry magazine announces 2021 roster of young marine industry leaders

April 8, 2021

Boating Industry magazine announced its “40 Under 40” for 2021, a list of the top young leaders from across the recreational boating industry. The honorees were selected from hundreds of entries for their outstanding work in the industry and their potential to continue to carry the marine industry forward. Check out the list for 2021 …

Industry News

Certified marine technician numbers increase with online learning

April 7, 2021

Over the past year, 1,100 students have passed online courses to earn their professional-level marine technician certifications through the interactive online education course hosted by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), the nonprofit organization that provides standards-based technical education for the marine industry. Additionally, 54 marine technicians have become ABYC Master Technicians, which is …

Industry News

Water Sports Foundation launches National Boating Safety Media Center

April 6, 2021

As part of a U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Outreach Grant, the Water Sports Foundation (WSF) is launching a new National Boating Safety Media Center, designed to facilitate and support the work of journalists assigned to cover boating safety topics. Housed within a dedicated section on WaterSportsFoundation.com/Media/, the National Boating Safety Media Center includes nearly …

Fabric & Film

Horizon marine upholstery collection expands

April 5, 2021

Sunbrella® announces two new colorways for Horizon™, the brand’s signature marine vinyl fabric that offers industry-leading protection against microbial pinking. Capriccio Salt is a clean and crisp shade that provides a versatile base to coordinate against any palette, from neutrals to brights to warm and cool tones. Capriccio Pacific Blue is a bright and sophisticated …

Feature

Does co-entrepreneurship lead to more divorce?

April 1, 2021

By Michelle Miron Are divorce rates higher among couples that co-own a business? Consider the 24/7 togetherness, the disagreements over business decisions, the juggling of work and family, and the worries over the bottom line. How could that not translate into marital strife? Chandler and Charlene Clark, co-owners of Signature CanvasMakers in Hampton, Va., say …

Events

IBEX plans for in-person event

March 30, 2021

The International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference (IBEX) returns to the Tampa Convention Center Sept. 28-30, 2021. Organizers are planning for a safe in-person event, which will offer attendees access to more than 700+ exhibits in the exhibit halls, outdoor display space and on the IBEX Docks. Registration will open soon. More details to come.

Company News

Fasnap promotes Grady

March 29, 2021

Fasnap Corp. has promoted Ryan Grady to national sales manager. Grady joined Fasnap in 2003 and has served key marine textile markets in the southeastern U.S. as well as domestic and international military and textile markets. Having excelled in building customer relationships throughout the Southeast and Midwest, Grady was reassigned to Fasnap’s Anaheim, Calif., branch …

Company News

New Atlanta Boat Show roles announced

March 26, 2021

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has announced the promotion of Courtney Erhardt to show manager for the Progressive® Insurance Atlanta Boat Show. Erhardt will also be responsible for exhibit space sales in her new role. Erhardt has worked for the NMMA for 15 years coordinating operations for numerous trade and consumer events—including for the …

Conference

Call for IFAI Expo 2021 speakers, topic ideas

January 5, 2021

IFAI Expo 2021 organizers are looking for presentation topic ideas and interested speakers for Expo 2021, which will be held Nov. 1–4, 2021, at the Music City Center in Nashville, Tenn. Expo organizers are looking for speakers and topic ideas for 50-minute classroom education sessions and 25-minute campfire education sessions. Submissions are being accepted for …

Expo News

Standard for active illumination developed in Europe

November 16, 2020

In a session at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, “Smart Textiles Standardization, Active Illumination,” Dr. Jan Beringer, senior scientific expert Hohenstein Group, explained the new standard for active illumination that will soon be implemented in European Union countries.  Organizations worked together to develop the standards. It is notable, he said that both textile and electronics industries …

Expo News

Rapid prototyping = faster market launch

November 16, 2020

A presentation at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, titled, “Rapid Prototyping and Textile Product Development” urged attendees to use “sticks and glue … whatever method you have to get your idea out there.” The presenter, Dr. Andre West, director of the Zeis Textiles Extension (ZTE), Wilson College of Textiles, NC State University, may not have meant …

Expo News

Textile industry leaders call for policy changes to support U.S. production of PPE

November 13, 2020

The U.S. textile industry has stepped up to meet the demand for face masks, medical gowns, wipes and other products necessary to combat the coronavirus pandemic, but it needs policy changes from Washington so that the U.S. is not caught off-guard again in a future crisis, according to association leaders speaking at Industrial Fabrics Association …

Expo News

The larger issues in respiratory protection

November 12, 2020

Dr. Bryran Ormond, assistant professor, Wilson College of Textiles, NC State explained respiratory protection in an “Ask an Expert” session with Jing Liang, Medical PPE Consulting LLC. Dr. Ormand has typically worked in the area of chemical and biological protective equipment, but with the onslaught of the pandemic, began to focus on respiratory protection generally, …

Expo News

Rodgers: Textiles are the “T” in STEM

November 11, 2020

How do you create a channel from research to application? How do you create a pathway toward understanding complex human problems across supply chains and market sectors? STEM—a curriculum based on teaching science, technology, engineering and math—has branched out from basic chemistry and biology and physics classes, into collaborative efforts, including textiles, according to Stephanie …

Expo News

Partnerships in smart textile products

November 11, 2020

The second week of IFAI’s Virtual Expo 2020 advanced textiles educational sessions began with a presentation that illustrated the importance of collaboration. “Smart textiles for healthcare and wellbeing: a collaborative approach” had three presenters speaking from different perspectives, but with one, unified message about reaching across geographical distance and areas of expertise to create successful …

Expo News

Welding technology for your business

November 11, 2020

During IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, Jeff Sponseller, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Miller Weldmaster, led a campfire session titled “How to Select the Correct Welding Technology for Your Business.” “Essentially a good weld means that the fabric will tear before the weld does,” says Sponseller. Many types of different materials can be …

Expo News

Guidance offered in commercial insurance market

November 10, 2020

Wildfires, hurricanes, a pandemic and civil unrest have wreaked plenty of chaos on the commercial insurance market in 2020. Steve Christenson, with Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, offered guidance to business owners Nov. 9 at IFAI Virtual Expo 2020. “The business insurance market has been going through several changes this year,” says Christenson, with U.S. …

Expo News

How to make your business attractive to a buyer

November 6, 2020

Thinking about selling your business—either to an outside party or the next generation? Then it’s time to start considering how your equipment and processes fit into your succession plan. Jonathan Palmer, the second-generation owner and CEO of equipment supplier Autometrix, and Autometrix director of global sales Truy Pham, led an educational session at IFAI Virtual …

Feature

Does co-entrepreneurship lead to more divorce?

April 1, 2021

By Michelle Miron Are divorce rates higher among couples that co-own a business? Consider the 24/7 togetherness, the disagreements over business decisions, the juggling of work and family, and the worries over the bottom line. How could that not translate into marital strife? Chandler and Charlene Clark, co-owners of Signature CanvasMakers in Hampton, Va., say …

Feature

2021 MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards

March 1, 2021

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

Feature

Husband and wife teams

March 1, 2021

A Juggling Act That Impacts the Bottom Line By Michelle Miron If you’ve ever contemplated running a company with your spouse, you may wonder how it might work to juggle the complications of a relationship with the day-to-day logistics of a business.  Can business disagreements lead to spats over household management? Do family dynamics worm …

MFA Time Standards

2021 MFA Time Standards Manual

January 1, 2021

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 Members only content

Finishing Touches

January 1, 2021

Materials and techniques for marine trimmings that improve form and function.  by Sigrid Tornquist It all matters. Fabric. Thread. Trimmings. They work together and depend upon each other. Skimp on one component and the whole project is compromised. For marine fabricators, trimmings are the critical details that refine and elevate a project. Read on for …

Industry News

Submission deadline extended for MFA Awards

November 27, 2020

The deadline to submit fabrication projects for a chance to win a Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) Fabrication Excellence Award has been extended to Dec. 1, 2020. The submission process has been streamlined, the MFA has added two new categories, and entrants have the option of uploading up to six photos of a project. Fabrication Excellence …

Awards

Submission deadline extended for MFA Awards

November 17, 2020

The deadline to submit fabrication projects for a chance to win a Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) Fabrication Excellence Award has been extended to Dec. 1, 2020. The submission process has been streamlined, the MFA has added two new categories, and entrants have the option of uploading up to six photos of a project. Fabrication Excellence …

Events

Submission deadline approaching for MFA Awards

October 20, 2020

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

Feature Members only content

Company values that increase a company’s value

September 1, 2020

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

Feature Members only content

Shade Solution Evolution

September 1, 2020

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

Industry News

Certified marine technician numbers increase with online learning

April 7, 2021

Over the past year, 1,100 students have passed online courses to earn their professional-level marine technician certifications through the interactive online education course hosted by the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), the nonprofit organization that provides standards-based technical education for the marine industry. Additionally, 54 marine technicians have become ABYC Master Technicians, which is …

Industry News

Water Sports Foundation launches National Boating Safety Media Center

April 6, 2021

As part of a U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Outreach Grant, the Water Sports Foundation (WSF) is launching a new National Boating Safety Media Center, designed to facilitate and support the work of journalists assigned to cover boating safety topics. Housed within a dedicated section on WaterSportsFoundation.com/Media/, the National Boating Safety Media Center includes nearly …

Industry News

U.S. Coast Guard to require engine cut-off switch

March 23, 2021

The U.S. Coast Guard will require operators of recreational vessels less than 26 feet in length to use an engine cut-off switch (ECOS) and associated ECOS link (ECOSL), effective April 1, 2021. The new requirement, reported on the National Marine Manufacturers Association website, is mandated by Section 8316 of the National Defense Authorization Act of …

Industry News

2020 was record year for Canadian outboard engine sales

March 12, 2021

2020 was a record-breaking year in Canada for outboard engine retail sales as Canadians took to the water in unprecedented numbers, according to data from the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada. Outboard engine retail sales in 2020 reached a total of 44,000 units, up 17% over 2019, marking both the highest annual sales volume …

Industry News

Boat builders face hurdles filling backorders

March 11, 2021

According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) December Monthly Shipment Report, wholesale shipments of new powerboats during December gained momentum compared to November to close out 2020 down 15% for the year compared to 2019. The report notes that manufacturing of personal watercraft, outboard boats, jet boats and sterndrive boats ramped up in December, …

Industry News

South Carolina vaccinations now open to manufacturing employees

March 10, 2021

Governor Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced that South Carolina will advance to Phase 1b of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination plan beginning March 8. Among those included in Phase 1b is all South Carolina manufacturing workers. “South Carolina remains focused on protecting the lives and health of …

Industry News

Nearly 320,000 new boats sold in 2020

March 5, 2021

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) December New Powerboat Registrations Report shows that retail unit sales of new boats reached nearly 320,000 units in 2020, up 13% compared to 2019—levels the recreational boating industry hasn’t seen since 2008. New data show all powerboat segments saw growth in 2020, ranging between 8% and 22%. “New boat …

Industry News

Feds send $1 billion to state wildlife agencies

March 3, 2021

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is distributing $1 billion to state wildlife agencies through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program (WSFR). Generated by the hunting and angling industries, these funds support regional conservation projects across the country. The 2021 WSFR apportionment is $121 million higher than the 2020 apportionment due to increases …

Events

2021 Atlantic City Boat Show canceled

February 24, 2021

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has decided to cancel this year’s Progressive Insurance Atlantic City Boat Show. After exploring all avenues to move ahead with a 2021 event (originally postponed from Feb. to April 2021), and continuing to follow guidance from state/local authorities and the Atlantic City Convention Center, canceling the 2021 boat show …

Industry News

2020 Outboard Engine Sales Trends Report available

February 18, 2021

The first section of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) 2020 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, Outboard Engine Sales Trends, is now available. Outboard engine retail sales rose for the ninth consecutive year in 2020 to a total of 330,000 units, the highest annual sales volume in 20 years and up 18% compared to 2019. …

Fabric & Film

Horizon marine upholstery collection expands

April 5, 2021

Sunbrella® announces two new colorways for Horizon™, the brand’s signature marine vinyl fabric that offers industry-leading protection against microbial pinking. Capriccio Salt is a clean and crisp shade that provides a versatile base to coordinate against any palette, from neutrals to brights to warm and cool tones. Capriccio Pacific Blue is a bright and sophisticated …

Products

Weather-resistant,antimicrobial upholstery

March 1, 2021

Sol-Out® has launched a new collection of 100% acrylic antimicrobial outdoor upholstery fabrics that combine two specialty fibers: Durashine™, a high-performance solution-dyed acrylic fiber that provides excellent colorfastness and UV resistance; and Amicor™, which provides permanent antimicrobial qualities by incorporating additives into the core of the fiber. Color brilliancy, durability and microbial protection suitable for …

Products

New marine vinyl, cooler seating

March 1, 2021

Utilizing a change in the pigment, OMNOVA’s CoolComfort™ technology allows heat and light to reflect more optimally off of seating upholstery, creating up to a 15-degree F cooler seating experience. This technology can be added as an upgrade to the company’s broad portfolio of marine and transportation vinyl upholstery including Beacon, the newest addition to …

Products

Next-gen marine and awning fabric

March 1, 2021

Available in three different product categories; SolarShade, SolarShade FR, and SolarShade Plus FR offer breathability, high water repellency, mildew resistance, and outstanding strength and durability. Crafted from advanced staple fiber and spun 100% solution-dyed polyester yarns, these products provide exceptional value at their price point, and after being tried and tested in the field, have …

Products

Tougher threads

March 1, 2021

Sunguard+ UVR bonded polyester thread goes through a state-of-the-art twisting, bonding and dying process to ensure the highest quality of colorfastness and performance. It provides protection against cleaning chemicals, UV rays and seam leakage. It is resistant to mold, mildew, chlorine and bromine. Added nanotechnology prolongs the life of the thread outdoors and helps meet …

Products

Triple-layer protection

March 1, 2021

TRIO® by Sattler has applications for furniture, boat and car covers with a durable top coat of 100% solution-dyed acrylic, a middle construction of a microporous breathable waterproof membrane and a bottom layer of soft knit tricot headliner that won’t scratch or damage the covered surface. Available in six popular colors, it is water, oil …

Products

Speedier digital patterning

March 1, 2021

ExactFlat’s new Scan to Pattern product bundle makes digital patterning faster, easier and more accurate using a simple workflow process to scan in 3D, convert the scan to a 3D CAD model and turn the 3D CAD model into a finished 2D flat pattern file in minutes. The bundle includes a 3D Scanner with 0.1 …

Products

Clever upholstery designs

January 1, 2021

The Clever Collection from Knoll includes four upholstery styles, all durable to 100,000 double rubs and all celebrating the clever geometry of spider webs. Created with an innovative and proprietary process, In Step’s graphic pattern is a translation of dew drops balancing on a spider web. Tempest is a dimensional texture with a mixture of …

Products

Wider patterning fabric

January 1, 2021

Polyfab USA has added 4-meter-wide (157-inch-wide) rolls to its line of Patternpro™ Ultra Stable Patterning Fabric, a clear HDPE woven scrim that is coated on both sides. It is also available in 2-meter-wide (78.7-inch-wide) rolls, and has applications for marine canvas and awning patterning, with excellent stability and good “lay-flat” properties. The material resists wind …

Products

Quilted mattress panels

January 1, 2021

The Luxe Collection is a line of premium fibers for quilted mattress panels that enhance the feel of a sleep surface with a luxurious layer of support and a high-end silky texture that foam cannot achieve on its own. The collection includes Luxe Bliss, the lightest at 12.5 ounces per square yard (osy), Luxe Plush …

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 …