Industry News

2019 Statistical Abstract: sales trends and trade sections available

May 28, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is continuing to release final 2019 data from the annual Statistical Abstract. The following sections have just been made available on NMMA.org: Powerboat Sales Trends; Cruiser, Watersport, Fishing Boat & Trailer Sales Trends; and Boat & Engine Exports and Imports. Data from the sales trends reports show more than …

COVID-19

New NMMA COVID-19 resource on states’ reopening plans

May 27, 2020

As states across the country continue to reopen their economies, many states have outlined phased plans for businesses to protect the health of workers and citizens. In response, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is releasing a new state tracking document, which serves as a quick guide to these reopening plans, benchmarks and task forces. …

COVID-19

Labor department adopts revised COVID-19 reporting requirements

May 26, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has adopted revised policies for enforcing OSHA’s requirements with respect to coronavirus as economies reopen in states throughout the country. First, OSHA is increasing in-person inspections at all types of workplaces. The new enforcement guidance reflects changing circumstances in which many non-critical businesses have …

COVID-19

Everglades National Park increases recreational access

May 21, 2020

Following guidance from the White House, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and state and local public health authorities, Everglades National Park is increasing recreational access. The National Park Service (NPS) is working service wide with federal, state and local public health authorities to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and using a phased approach …

COVID-19

Free guides helps marine businesses operate safely

May 19, 2020

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas, along with trade association partners from across the marine industry, recently released a free 58-page publication aimed at helping marine dealers operate safely in a new marketplace concerned with the COVID-19 health crisis. The publication, titled “Guide to Operating Your Boat Business Safely,” provides a manual for running …

COVID-19

Report results: March retail sales, shipments and production amid COVID-19

May 14, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) March 2020 New Powerboat Registration Report and Monthly Shipment Report, as well as the quarterly Forecast on U.S. Boat Building Production from ITR Economics, are now available and illustrate how the recreational boating industry was impacted at the start of the COVID-19 public health crisis. While data shows solid …

Conference

Call for 2021 MFA Conference speakers closes Friday

May 12, 2020

Friday, May 15, is the deadline to apply to be a speaker at the 2021 MFA Conference being held Jan. 7-9, 2021, in New Orleans, La. Speakers share their expertise with industry colleagues and receive a complimentary registration to the conference. Proposals must be free of commercial content and will be reviewed by the 2021 …

COVID-19

MRAA offers dealer best practices, consumer boating tools

May 7, 2020

The Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) recently launched a series of resources to help marine industry dealers get back to work in a safe and effective manner.  Noting that dealerships around North America have remained only partially open in most areas—only 15 percent were “open for business as normal” at the end of …

COVID-19

Survey reports marine CEOs Q1 sentiments, impact of COVID-19 on business

May 6, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Q1 2020 Marine CEO Sentiment Report, a quarterly survey to assess the state and needs of U.S. marine manufacturing, is now available. As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new section of the Survey was added to capture specific feedback relating to business impacts–from supply chain disruptions …

COVID-19

Boating and fishing industry launch marketing campaign

May 5, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the non-profit Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) will launch an industry-wide marketing campaign in June that will share the restorative power of recreational boating and fishing at a time when the well-being of Americans is front and center. “Consumer insights show people are longing for a return …

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

Succession planning 101

May 1, 2020

A seamless transfer of leadership in a family business requires hard conversations and a detailed road map to avoid the worst potholes and ensure a successful journey. By Jeff Moravec A family business can offer great rewards—personally and professionally—for its founders and their descendants. But a family business also presents unique challenges and requires careful …

Feature

2020 Premier Product Showcase

May 1, 2020

High-quality products to help you create durable, attractive and successful projects. For this feature, we asked our contributors to send us information about their high-performing products. The product information was submitted by the participating manufacturers and suppliers by the established deadline. The products are organized into three categories: Fabric, Film, and Flooring; Equipment, Tools & …

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 …

COVID-19

Labor department adopts revised COVID-19 reporting requirements

May 26, 2020

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has adopted revised policies for enforcing OSHA’s requirements with respect to coronavirus as economies reopen in states throughout the country. First, OSHA is increasing in-person inspections at all types of workplaces. The new enforcement guidance reflects changing circumstances in which many non-critical businesses have …

COVID-19

Report results: March retail sales, shipments and production amid COVID-19

May 14, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) March 2020 New Powerboat Registration Report and Monthly Shipment Report, as well as the quarterly Forecast on U.S. Boat Building Production from ITR Economics, are now available and illustrate how the recreational boating industry was impacted at the start of the COVID-19 public health crisis. While data shows solid …

COVID-19

Survey reports marine CEOs Q1 sentiments, impact of COVID-19 on business

May 6, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Q1 2020 Marine CEO Sentiment Report, a quarterly survey to assess the state and needs of U.S. marine manufacturing, is now available. As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new section of the Survey was added to capture specific feedback relating to business impacts–from supply chain disruptions …

COVID-19

Boating and fishing industry launch marketing campaign

May 5, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the non-profit Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation (RBFF) will launch an industry-wide marketing campaign in June that will share the restorative power of recreational boating and fishing at a time when the well-being of Americans is front and center. “Consumer insights show people are longing for a return …

COVID-19

Several states lift COVID-19 restrictions

May 4, 2020

Across the country, a number of COVID-19 related executive orders restricting commerce expired this week. Many of these states have implemented phase in plans and economic task forces to advise the government on the best course of action for safely reopening their economies. Here are updates on states where COVID-19 restrictions were recently lifted: Alabama …

COVID-19

Michigan lifts restrictions on motorized boating

April 27, 2020

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed new executive order 2020-59, which extends her “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through May 15. The new order also removes some restrictions on outdoor activities like motorized boating. Leading up to the decision, the National Marine Manufacturers Association worked with members of Michigan’s congressional delegation, along with state level officials, …

COVID-19

Miami-Dade county has phased plan to reopen public boat ramps and marinas

April 23, 2020

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced a three-phase plan for reopening the county’s recreation spaces, including public boat ramps and marinas. While an exact date is yet to be determined, phase one will begin with limited access to green spaces and waterways, among other areas. Boating will be allowed from public marinas. Boat ramps will …

Conference

Call for 2021 MFA Conference speakers

April 22, 2020

The Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) is looking for speakers for its 2021 MFA Conference being held Jan. 7-9, 2021, in New Orleans, La. Speakers share their expertise with industry colleagues and receive a complimentary registration to the conference. Proposals must be free of commercial content and will be reviewed by the 2021 MFA Conference committee …

COVID-19

Study shows boating and fishing provide respite during COVID-19

April 22, 2020

Left Brain Marketing recently released a new study titled, The Impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on Anticipated Boating and Fishing Activity in 2020. The survey was conducted between March 22–31 and received 150 responses from boaters across the country. While the COVID-19 crisis will curtail boating for some, many boaters intend to remain active. The …

COVID-19

Governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut reopen marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers for personal use

April 20, 2020

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, and Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont recently announced marinas, boatyards and marine manufacturers will be allowed to open for personal use as long as strict social distancing and sanitization protocols are followed. Chartered watercraft services or rentals will not be allowed, and restaurant activity at …

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 …