Industry News

Nominations Sought for Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee

November 16, 2017

NOAA Fisheries is seeking nominations to fill current and pending vacancies on the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC), which advises the Secretary of Commerce on all living marine resource matters that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. The committee draws on its members’ expertise and other sources to evaluate and make recommendations to …

Industry News

Hurricane damage to recreational boats is significant

November 14, 2017

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS), the nation’s largest advocacy, services and safety group for recreational boaters, estimates that more than 63,000 recreational boats were damaged or destroyed as a result of both Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, with a combined dollar damage estimate of $655 million (boats only). These numbers are strikingly …

Products

AllergoProtect bedding

November 9, 2017

AllergoProtect is a trio of products—mattress topper, duvet and pillow—which hold 99.5 percent of dust mite allergens inside the filling and the cover, even when shaken. This means allergens are not breathed in and no longer cause allergic reactions. The German research group Hohenstein developed a negatively-charged textile finish that attracts the positively-charged allergens like …

Industry News

NMMA seeking input on hurricane relief

November 7, 2017

In the wakes of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Congress has passed and President Trump has signed two disaster relief bills. One package signed in September provided $15.3 billion of initial funding primarily to replenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In October, a second $36.5 billion emergency package was approved by Congress that again was …

Industry News

IFAI announces co-location with CAMX for IFAI Expo 2018

November 2, 2017

IFAI Expo 2018 will take place in Dallas, Texas, October 15-18 and will be co-located with The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX). IFAI Expo has been the specialty fabrics industry’s leading event since 1918. CAMX is North America’s go-to composites event for products, solutions, networking and advanced industry thinking. “The goal of this co-location …

Editorial

2018 MFA Conference: Community and strength to meet tough challenges

November 1, 2017

It’s been a rough fall for many in the marine industry—between the hurricanes and wildfires. That’s one of the reasons I want to encourage you to register for the 2018 MFA Conference on January 25-27 in Savannah, Ga., if you haven’t yet. After attending IFAI Expo this year in New Orleans, I was struck by …

Industry News

2016 boating statistics available

October 31, 2017

The National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) 2016 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, which contains thousands of data points and insights on the boating industry, is now available for download or order. Highlights include: Annual retail sales of new boats, engines and marine accessories in the U.S. totaled $17.9 billion in 2016, up 8.1 percent from …

News

EXPO 2017 HUB winners announced

October 26, 2017

More than a hundred IFAI members took part in the daily prize drawings in the HUB at EXPO 2017. One business card was pulled out of the jar each day of the show and the winner received a $50 VISA gift card. On the last day, the lucky winner received a full registration to EXPO …

News

Roy Schweinfurth, former IFAI president, dies

October 26, 2017

Roy Schweinfurth, former IFAI board member and president, died October 8th. He served on the IFAI Board of Directors from 1977 to 1989, and as IFAI president (a position now called chairman) from 1985 to 1987. He was involved with the IFAI Awning Division, now called the Professional Awning Manufacturers Association. His obituary appeared in …

Industry News

Boat sales decline slightly in September

October 25, 2017

Boat sales grew by slightly less than 4 percent in September, according to the latest Info-Link Bellwether report. That’s down slightly from August numbers, when sales were up 4 percent. The report tracks sales of powerboats across the country based on new U.S. boat registrations on a rolling 12-month basis. The boat sales growth rate …

Feature

Keep waiting customers happy

October 17, 2017

In those parts of the country where boats get put away in the winter, the first hints of spring often bring a rush of business for marine fabricators that doesn’t slow down until the leaves start to fall. Once that work begins to back up during warm-weather months, it’s not unusual for fabricators to quote …

Feature

New marine hardware addresses tough issues

September 1, 2017

The marine environment poses many considerations for fabricators providing products like cushions, windshield covers, enclosures and the like to this industry. Not only do they have to take the sun, wind, salt air and water into account, they must also figure out how to keep these items firmly in place (while being easy to take …

Feature

New thinking about pinking

September 1, 2017

Vinyl manufacturers and marine service providers contend with discoloration caused by a bacteria. “Pink” brings to mind a little girl dressed as a princess, cotton candy at the county fair and plastic lawn flamingos. But for those in the marine industry, the word takes on a sinister connotation as a stain caused by streptoverticillium reticulum. …

Feature Members only content

Problem-solving fasteners

September 1, 2017

Using the right fastener is critical for solving problems rather than creating them. As any marine fabricator will attest, carefully constructed cushions, windshield covers, enclosures, window treatments and so on have to withstand sun, salt, wind and water as well as normal (and occasionally rough) handling by their clients. These items also need to be …

Feature

Marine business passes to next generation

September 1, 2017

In 2007, Kate Mitchell set up a 10-year plan to transition her business on the Alaskan frontier to her children. Today her children value the company’s courageous past and anticipate a bright future. We didn’t homestead like the Kilcher family from Discovery Channel’s Alaska: The Last Frontier but we were here before the roads were …

Feature

Can the Maker Movement benefit the marine industry?

August 1, 2017

Roombas, smart phone apps, Alexa, and cars with park assist. It seems that humans don’t have to do much of anything these days in order to vacuum the carpet, track their calories, turn on the lights or squeeze their Ford Focus between curbside SUVs. And yet, like the balance of nature, the world needs a …

Feature Members only content

Train, recruit and keep employees

July 1, 2017

Competition, especially from overseas manufacturing; increasing costs for equipment, materials and labor; the need to keep up with fast-paced technology; and the general state of the economy, which directly affects the consumer pool, rank as challenging issues for most businesses. Yet the owner of a marine fabrication shop in Portland, Ore., has a more pressing …

Feature Members only content

Why millennials don’t want manufacturing jobs

July 1, 2017

In 2014, Deloitte, in conjunction with The Manufacturing Institute, surveyed more than 450 manufacturing executives for a report titled “The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing 2015 and beyond.” “And beyond” strikes at the heart of the matter, in large part because of the “retirement exodus” of baby boomers leaving 2.7 million jobs by the year …

Feature

Shop organization tips and techniques

July 1, 2017

“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” That sage advice from American founding father Benjamin Franklin holds true for any marine fabrication business, because an organized shop can improve employee efficiency and affect the bottom line all while keeping customers coming back for more. Streamlined Processes Marine fabricators are always looking for ways …

Feature Members only content

Interior design trends 2017

July 1, 2017

Today’s interior designs of marine vessels represent a curious amalgam of styles and trends. This is a function of boat owners wanting to experiment with new looks as well as a willingness on the part of marine fabricators to take the lead in educating their clients about the broad range of options available. This balancing …

Industry News

Nominations Sought for Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee

November 16, 2017

NOAA Fisheries is seeking nominations to fill current and pending vacancies on the Marine Fisheries Advisory Committee (MAFAC), which advises the Secretary of Commerce on all living marine resource matters that are the responsibility of the Department of Commerce. The committee draws on its members’ expertise and other sources to evaluate and make recommendations to …

Industry News

NMMA seeking input on hurricane relief

November 7, 2017

In the wakes of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, Congress has passed and President Trump has signed two disaster relief bills. One package signed in September provided $15.3 billion of initial funding primarily to replenish the Federal Emergency Management Agency. In October, a second $36.5 billion emergency package was approved by Congress that again was …

Industry News

IFAI announces co-location with CAMX for IFAI Expo 2018

November 2, 2017

IFAI Expo 2018 will take place in Dallas, Texas, October 15-18 and will be co-located with The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo (CAMX). IFAI Expo has been the specialty fabrics industry’s leading event since 1918. CAMX is North America’s go-to composites event for products, solutions, networking and advanced industry thinking. “The goal of this co-location …

Industry News

2016 boating statistics available

October 31, 2017

The National Marine Manufacturers Association’s (NMMA) 2016 U.S. Recreational Boating Statistical Abstract, which contains thousands of data points and insights on the boating industry, is now available for download or order. Highlights include: Annual retail sales of new boats, engines and marine accessories in the U.S. totaled $17.9 billion in 2016, up 8.1 percent from …

Industry News

Boat sales decline slightly in September

October 25, 2017

Boat sales grew by slightly less than 4 percent in September, according to the latest Info-Link Bellwether report. That’s down slightly from August numbers, when sales were up 4 percent. The report tracks sales of powerboats across the country based on new U.S. boat registrations on a rolling 12-month basis. The boat sales growth rate …

Industry News

Marina conference registration open

October 23, 2017

Registration is now open for the International Marina & Boatyard Conference (IMBC). The IMBC is a major marina and boatyard conference geared specifically toward marina and boatyard owners; operators and managers; as well as dock masters; harbormasters; boat builders and repairers; and industry consultants. The conference is produced by the Association of Marina Industries (AMI) …

Industry News

Commerce Dept. to discuss textile industry assessment findings in October 18 Webinar

October 17, 2017

In 2016, the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) undertook its first comprehensive survey and assessment of the health and competitiveness of the U.S. textile, apparel, and footwear industry since 2003.  The BIS team is now prepared to share preliminary findings of this critically important study that will be unveiled later this …

Industry News

Spanish language boating website launched

October 16, 2017

Spanish speakers seeking information about recreational boating have a new online resource– es.discoverboating.com. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the Hispanic population in the U.S. continues to expand, reaching a record 58.6 million in 2017 and accounting for more than half of total U.S. population growth last year. The new microsite, launched by Discover Boating, …

Industry News

Glen Raven solar array debuts

October 10, 2017

Glen Raven Inc. has launched a $2 million solar farm at its Anderson, S.C.-based manufacturing plant. The 1-million-square-foot facility previously received natural gas and nuclear power from Duke Energy. But now the company’s 3,076-panel solar farm will power 100 percent of the facility’s lights. “We have culturally always had a great interest and responsibility to …

Industry News

Gant retires as Glen Raven CEO

October 9, 2017

Allen Gant Jr. has retired as CEO of textile manufacturer Glen Raven Inc., with C.G. “Leib” Oehmig IV, a 28-year veteran of Glen Raven, stepping in as his successor. Gant will remain chairman of the company’s operating board. Gant joined Glen Raven in 1971 and was named CEO in 1996. Gant announced in 2013 that …

Products

AllergoProtect bedding

November 9, 2017

AllergoProtect is a trio of products—mattress topper, duvet and pillow—which hold 99.5 percent of dust mite allergens inside the filling and the cover, even when shaken. This means allergens are not breathed in and no longer cause allergic reactions. The German research group Hohenstein developed a negatively-charged textile finish that attracts the positively-charged allergens like …

Expo

This year’s Show Stopper winners

September 28, 2017

All the best from New Orleans: Thursday morning at IFAI Expo led off with lists of winners for the year, including the most popular products on the show floor. The sixth annual Show Stopper competition was designed to showcase the best of the best in the industry, from fabrics, equipment and chemicals to services and …

Products

SADIRA Marine Products launches new teak shampoo

September 8, 2017

SADIRA Marine Products will be launching SADIRA Teak Shampoo. The company says it removes tough stains from teak and exotic woods including coffee, wine, blood and oil. The 100 percent biodegradable shampoo is safe and gentle enough for regular use on boat decks and wood furniture. Despite its ability to clean tough stains, the company …

Hardware & Findings

Sew-in boat vent

September 1, 2017

Precision-Sew Vents are unique UV-stabilized polyurethane sew-in boat vents. They feature a large sewing flange surface area that eliminates the need for additional fabric reinforcement. This is an effective way to circulate air and keep mold from growing in boat covers. Compatible with 3/4 inch and 7/8 inch boat poles. www.rochfordsupply.com

Hardware & Findings

Modular hand-drive setting tools

September 1, 2017

Providing a high-quality and affordable option to set multiple sizes of grommets and washers, Stimpson’s versatile collection of modular hand-drive setting tools means that a single handle and bolster will accommodate a wide variety of Stimpson setting tools. Tools are available for sheet metal grommets sizes #00–#5 and rolled rim grommet sizes #0–#4. The complete …

Hardware & Findings

Corrosion-resistant LED light

September 1, 2017

Larson Electronics’ HALP-48-2L-LED-DNMS Hazardous Area LED Light Fixture features both a motion sensor and a day/night sensor and is specifically designed to handle the rigors of saltwater marine environments. The fixture is constructed of noncorrosive materials including a polyester housing reinforced with glass fiber, a poured in place gasket for reliable sealing and an impact-resistant …

Hardware & Findings

316 stainless steel snaps

September 1, 2017

Durable DOT® 316 is the dot snap fastener to use when superior snap action and holding strength are required. The fastener’s heavy-duty construction assures a firm grip that will remain secure through years of use. DOT Durable sockets are constructed to narrow tolerances that provide consistent snap action snap after snap. The design of the …

Hardware & Findings

Waterproof hardware lube

September 1, 2017

After outdoor storage wreaks havoc on snaps, zippers and hinges, Iosso Products’ E-Z Snap gets hardware working again. E-Z Snap lubricates, waterproofs and reduces friction. It won’t melt away in hot weather, so it doesn’t have to be constantly reapplied throughout the season. Beyond its uses on outdoor canvas hardware, it also works on drawer …

Hardware & Findings

Heavy-duty shears

September 1, 2017

Wolff Industries’ Premium KAI series multipurpose shears are made from high-quality Japanese steel. With steel throughout the handles, the soft Santoprene insert cushions the user’s hands for increased comfort. The shears are made from A-8 High Carbon stainless steel with a Rockwell hardness rating of approximately 60, one of the hardest and smoothest available. These …

Hardware & Findings

Perfect sized zipper

September 1, 2017

The LENZIP No. 12 Marine Grade UV Zipper is a new zipper for tough marine applications that is larger than the industry standard No. 10, yet smaller than Lenzip’s BIGZIP® No. 15 gauge. The No. 12 gauge is available with 316 stainless steel sliders in auto lock single or double pull, and non-locking sliders. Standard …

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 Members only content

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 Members only content

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 …

Interiors & Upholstery

Elegant performance in stripes

March 1, 2016

Stripes come in every color, shape and size. A two-color stripe can even be juxtaposed to form an eye-catching pattern. Striking stripe patterns can be matched or combined with solid colors to provide dramatic effects for your next project. Stripes are more popular than ever. Sunbrella likes them so much, subtle as well as dramatic …