Company News

Eight promotions announced at Glen Raven

August 7, 2020

Glen Raven Inc., has announced the promotion of eight executives in its Technical Fabrics operating division. The moves will support the continued growth of its diverse business segments, particularly its GlenGuard brand of high-performance flame-resistant fabric. Glen Raven Technical Fabrics creates technical solutions that help keep people safe from military and protective work wear to …

Industry News

Congress advances boating safety measures

August 6, 2020

Prior to the August recess, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Elijah E. Cummings Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2020 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The bill includes key provisions that would improve the safety of the millions of Americans who take to the water each year. It would mandate the …

Industry News

President Trump signs historic access and conservation bill

August 5, 2020

President Donald Trump signed the bipartisan Great American Outdoors Act this week, which is the single largest investment in America’s public lands and waters in decades. The Act addresses two long-standing priorities of the outdoor recreation community. First, it fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF)–a go-to program for conserving and maximizing outdoor …

Industry News

Congress moves to reauthorize Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund

August 4, 2020

Just ahead of the August recess, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (Trust Fund)—a program that supports about $650 million annually in fishery restoration and conservation efforts, boating access and infrastructure, as well as fish stocking programs important to recreational anglers. In addition …

Industry News

NMMA, MRAA form strategic partnership

July 30, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) today announced the merger of Grow Boating Inc., the parent company to the Discover Boating consumer brand, into NMMA as part of a redefined strategic partnership between the two organizations. In addition, NMMA in Canada will work with the U.S.-based …

Events

IFAI Expo Going Virtual for 2020

July 29, 2020

Given the continuing uncertainty with the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of the health and safety of the entire textile community, IFAI has made the difficult, yet unavoidable decision to transition IFAI Expo 2020, set for Nov. 3-6, 2020, in Indianapolis, IN USA to an online only virtual event. IFAI Virtual Expo will take place …

Conference

Norwalk Boat Show canceled

July 29, 2020

With COVID-19 cases increasing around the country, widespread reports of inventory supply issues and Connecticut’s travel restrictions impacting residents from more than 30 states, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has canceled this year’s Progressive® Insurance Norwalk Boat Show at Norwalk Cove Marina, which was scheduled to be held from September 24-27, 2020. Looking ahead …

Industry News

Congress approves historic boating access and conservation bill

July 28, 2020

In a bipartisan vote, Congress passed the Great American Outdoors Act–legislation that will stimulate the recreational boating industry and create more safe and sustainable recreation access for all Americans. The bill is expected to be signed by President Trump and addresses two long-standing priorities of the outdoor recreation community. First, it fully funds the Land …

Industry News

New workbook for schools teaching marine tech

July 23, 2020

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) announced the publication of a new student workbook to bolster the ABYC Fundamentals of Marine Service Technology textbook and curriculum package for high schools and technical colleges. The workbook will help teachers implement classroom and distance learning with a variety of homework exercises, hands-on job assignments, and links …

Industry News

Record boat sales in May

July 22, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports new boat sales rebounded sharply in May, up 59% compared to April and up 9% from pre-pandemic levels on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total sales in May were the highest they’ve been in a decade with upticks across all segments. Leading the growth were personal watercraft (PWCs), saltwater fishing …

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

Congress moves to reauthorize Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund

August 4, 2020

Just ahead of the August recess, the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation approved the Sport Fish Restoration and Boating Trust Fund (Trust Fund)—a program that supports about $650 million annually in fishery restoration and conservation efforts, boating access and infrastructure, as well as fish stocking programs important to recreational anglers. In addition …

Industry News

NMMA, MRAA form strategic partnership

July 30, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA) today announced the merger of Grow Boating Inc., the parent company to the Discover Boating consumer brand, into NMMA as part of a redefined strategic partnership between the two organizations. In addition, NMMA in Canada will work with the U.S.-based …

Conference

Norwalk Boat Show canceled

July 29, 2020

With COVID-19 cases increasing around the country, widespread reports of inventory supply issues and Connecticut’s travel restrictions impacting residents from more than 30 states, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has canceled this year’s Progressive® Insurance Norwalk Boat Show at Norwalk Cove Marina, which was scheduled to be held from September 24-27, 2020. Looking ahead …

Industry News

Congress approves historic boating access and conservation bill

July 28, 2020

In a bipartisan vote, Congress passed the Great American Outdoors Act–legislation that will stimulate the recreational boating industry and create more safe and sustainable recreation access for all Americans. The bill is expected to be signed by President Trump and addresses two long-standing priorities of the outdoor recreation community. First, it fully funds the Land …

Industry News

New workbook for schools teaching marine tech

July 23, 2020

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) announced the publication of a new student workbook to bolster the ABYC Fundamentals of Marine Service Technology textbook and curriculum package for high schools and technical colleges. The workbook will help teachers implement classroom and distance learning with a variety of homework exercises, hands-on job assignments, and links …

Industry News

Record boat sales in May

July 22, 2020

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) reports new boat sales rebounded sharply in May, up 59% compared to April and up 9% from pre-pandemic levels on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Total sales in May were the highest they’ve been in a decade with upticks across all segments. Leading the growth were personal watercraft (PWCs), saltwater fishing …

Industry News

Makers Division member CustomFab USA recognizes the soft goods industry by founding National Contract Sewing Month

July 17, 2020

Soft goods manufacturers are encouraged to celebrate National Contract Sewing Month in July, recognizing the millions of U.S. workers involved in the industry.  The founder of National Contract Sewing Month is Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) Makers Division member CustomFab USA, of Garden Grove, Calif., a contract sewing company involved in the manufacturing of soft …

COVID-19

IBEX 2020 will be a virtual event

July 16, 2020

The 30th International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX), scheduled for September 29 – October 1, 2020, is transitioning to a virtual-only event. This decision was made to pivot the in-person show to a virtual event due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The marine industry will still be able to connect online with all the experts …

Events

Tampa boat show canceled

July 14, 2020

With COVID-19 cases increasing around the country, particularly in the Tampa area, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has canceled this year’s Progressive® Insurance Tampa Boat Show at the Tampa Convention Center, which was scheduled to be held from September 11-13, 2020. “While we remained hopeful that the show would proceed amid the evolving coronavirus …

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, …

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 …