Business

SBA releases new PPP loan forgiveness applications

July 2, 2020

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, which was signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application …

Conference

Call for Women in Textiles Summit speakers

July 1, 2020

Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has issued a call for speakers for its Women in Textiles Summit being held March 3–5, 2021, in Braselton, Ga. The call for speakers is an opportunity for individuals and organizations to develop bold, valuable and worthwhile content attendees are eager to hear. The vision of the summit is to …

Products

Durable PTFE thread

July 1, 2020

Austrian-made Profilen® PTFE sewing thread is now being distributed by Polyfab USA. The thread is an excellent choice for long-lasting outdoor items such as awnings, shade sails and marine covers. It is flame retardant, resistant to highly corrosive environments, competitively priced and is covered under a factory warranty for the lifespan of the fabric onto …

Exterior

Cockpit cover fabrication tips

July 1, 2020

By Leo Pohlmann, in collaboration with Zach Pohlmann Throughout my 30 years of marine canvas experience as the owner of Uncharted Marine Canvas, I’ve seen many trends come and go. One that has emerged within the past five to 10 years is the creation of cockpit covers on sportfishing boats. Located in the Florida Panhandle, …

Business

Sales and marketing during a pandemic

July 1, 2020

By Madeleine MacRae Determining the best way to sell and, even more so, how to effectively and appropriately market your products and services at a time of such widespread uncertainty and deep market disruption can be a daunting task. As a leader during this unprecedented time, you have a lot on your plate. You have …

Products

Antimicrobial durability

July 1, 2020

EverSoft vinyl is a supple, sleek vinyl with four-way stretch. It features a Nanocide™ Silver Ion Antimicrobial Agent formulation which enables it to withstand harsh conditions and prevents the growth of mold, mildew and pink staining. Recommended for marine seating and upholstery, home decor pieces, interior upholstery, RV and auto upholstery, and commercial or hospitality …

Interior

Your business can survive this pandemic

July 1, 2020

By Terri Madden When I moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, and registered my business 23 years ago, I had only $2,000 in my pocket. It bought me the key to the door of an 800-square-foot space with a few worn-out tools and tables. I paid the lawyer who drew up the paperwork in the …

Advice

Tools, tips and tricks

July 1, 2020

These are submissions to the Marine Fabricators Conference Tools, Tips and Tricks contest.  Tip 1 : Grommet foot pedal This custom foot pedal for our pneumatic Edward Segal grommet machine allows us to maneuver large pieces of fabric with both hands in order to set grommets more quickly and accurately, instead of holding the fabric with …

Feature

Digital determination

July 1, 2020

Adding automation can prove challenging, with costs to consider, processes to change and nervous employees to reckon with. Still, fabricators who have taken the leapsay there’s no other way to go.  By Pamela Mills-Senn When Darren Arthur, owner of Nautilux Custom Canvas LLC in Hazlet, N.J., purchased a single-fly Aeronaut cutter eight years ago—his first …

Feature

NECPA: A century of survival

July 1, 2020

Lessons from three canvas companies that have survived for a century and continue to thrive. By Cathy Broberg In January 2020, the North East Canvas Products Association (NECPA), a trade organization for the canvas and outdoor fabric industry, marked its 100th anniversary. Members celebrated at its annual conference with a gala and by touring a …

Expo News

Registration opens for IFAI Expo

June 15, 2020

IFAI Expo Nov. 3–6, 2020 in Indianapolis, Ind., will mark the event’s 100th anniversary. IFAI has announced that it is moving forward as planned, and registration is now open. Safety protocols are in place and will be coordinated with host hotels and the Indiana Convention Center (ICC).  The registration area at IFAI Expo will be …

Conference

Registration now open for 100th anniversary of IFAI Expo

June 2, 2020

Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) Expo 2020 is moving forward as planned Nov. 3–6 at the Indiana Convention Center in Indianapolis, Ind. This year marks the centennial of the event, and numerous safety protocols are planned to keep participants safe including social distancing at registration, enhanced cleaning protocols for all common areas, room capacity restrictions …

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 …

Feature

Digital determination

July 1, 2020

Adding automation can prove challenging, with costs to consider, processes to change and nervous employees to reckon with. Still, fabricators who have taken the leapsay there’s no other way to go.  By Pamela Mills-Senn When Darren Arthur, owner of Nautilux Custom Canvas LLC in Hazlet, N.J., purchased a single-fly Aeronaut cutter eight years ago—his first …

Feature

NECPA: A century of survival

July 1, 2020

Lessons from three canvas companies that have survived for a century and continue to thrive. By Cathy Broberg In January 2020, the North East Canvas Products Association (NECPA), a trade organization for the canvas and outdoor fabric industry, marked its 100th anniversary. Members celebrated at its annual conference with a gala and by touring a …

Feature Members only content

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 …

Industry News

New Biscayne National Park fishing regulations effective July 1

June 30, 2020

Several regulatory changes aimed at achieving fishery management goals in Biscayne National Park go into effect starting July 1. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) will return in five years to provide an update on monitoring and progress toward management goals and to evaluate the effectiveness of these changes. Changes effective July 1, …

Industry News

Great American Outdoors Act allocates billions to recreation

June 23, 2020

The Great American Outdoors Act, which passed the Senate recently, allocates billions to support outdoor recreation in two separate ways. The first is by providing $9.5 billion over the next five years to help the National Park Service and other federal land-management agencies address their maintenance backlogs. Federal public lands are suffering from $20 billion …

Industry News

Study shows $10.5 billion impact from recreational fishing

June 17, 2020

The National Marine Fisheries Service, an office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration within the Department of Commerce, also called the NOAA Fisheries, confirms marine recreational fishing is a far greater economic force in the United States than previous evaluations had indicated. In its report, 2017 Economic Contribution of Marine Angler Expenditures on Fishing …

Industry News

Marine economy in 2018 grew faster than US overall

June 10, 2020

America’s marine economy, including goods and services, contributed about $373 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product in 2018 and grew faster than the nation’s economy as a whole, according to the marine economy statistics released last week by two Department of Commerce agencies. “These statistics are the first-of-its-kind estimate of the U.S. marine economy, …

Industry News

US and Canada release 2019 Great Lakes report

June 9, 2020

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) recently released the 2019 State of the Great Lakes (SOGL) report, which provides an overview of the status and trends of the Great Lakes ecosystem. “The Great Lakes is home to one of the world’s greatest bodies of fresh water and while …

Events

Free virtual Capitol Hill Ocean Week takes place June 9th

June 8, 2020

Registration is free to Capitol Hill Ocean Week (CHOW), the nation’s premier ocean and Great Lakes policy conference hosted annually by the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, which will be virtual this year and take place on June 9th. CHOW 2020 will focus on the global issue of protecting biodiversity. CHOW will offer a full day …

Industry News

Sara Anghel elected first female ICOMIA president

June 3, 2020

National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Canada President, Sara Anghel, was elected the new International Council of Marine Industry Associations (ICOMIA) President. Anghel has led NMMA Canada for more than 12 years and has nearly 25 years of government relations experience. ICOMIA is the international trade association that has represented the global marine industry since 1966. …

COVID-19

IBEX 2020 still scheduled to open Sept. 29 in Tampa

June 2, 2020

International BoatBuilder Exhibition & Conference Show (IBEX) director Anne Dunbar announced that IBEX 2020 is still planned to open as scheduled on Sept. 29 this fall. “As the worldwide COVID-19 crisis continues, we understand that there are questions and concerns for IBEX 2020 in Tampa, Florida this September.” Dunbar says show planners will be working …

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 …

Products

Durable PTFE thread

July 1, 2020

Austrian-made Profilen® PTFE sewing thread is now being distributed by Polyfab USA. The thread is an excellent choice for long-lasting outdoor items such as awnings, shade sails and marine covers. It is flame retardant, resistant to highly corrosive environments, competitively priced and is covered under a factory warranty for the lifespan of the fabric onto …

Products

Antimicrobial durability

July 1, 2020

EverSoft vinyl is a supple, sleek vinyl with four-way stretch. It features a Nanocide™ Silver Ion Antimicrobial Agent formulation which enables it to withstand harsh conditions and prevents the growth of mold, mildew and pink staining. Recommended for marine seating and upholstery, home decor pieces, interior upholstery, RV and auto upholstery, and commercial or hospitality …

Products

Durable beauty

July 1, 2020

A linebacker and beauty queen all rolled into one, ULTRA™2500 is a coated vinyl fabric lacquered on both sides with a high-gloss finish making this product “easy on the eyes” and a breeze to clean. Durability at an affordable price. Extremely versatile with translucent and blackout options and in weights from 19 oz to 43 …

Products

Fabric collection brilliance

July 1, 2020

High-performance solution-dyed acrylic outdoor fabric collection Sol-Out is offered in solids, stripes and jacquard designs. Made with 100% Durashine™ fiber, the fabrics are suitable for applications including furniture, carpets, marine exteriors and awnings. Manufactured to resist weather and UV rays, color brilliancy, durability and performance characteristics remain unchanged year after year. The fabrics have water …

Products

Elemental protection

July 1, 2020

Weathertyte® Canopy is a versatile, year-round shade structure fabric that can be used as a canopy, awning or side curtain application in virtually any setting needing protection from sun, rain, wind or snow. Easy to handle and easy to clean, it is FR certified, colorfast and UV-resistant while still offering excellent light transmission. Waterproof and …

Products

Flexible shade poles

July 1, 2020

Tele-Sun Boat Shade Poles are adjustable, removable boat shade poles made to last through demanding marine conditions. Lightweight, durable, UV-resistant and strong, the poles are made from flexible carbon fiber. Easy to install to the front or rear of the boat, users slip them into the rod holders, secure the shade sail fabric to the …

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 …

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 …