Industry News

Minnesota governor signs boater safety legislation

June 8, 2023

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed the Environment Budget bill (MN H.F. 2310) into law on May 24. The legislation contains a boater safety education provision that promotes responsible and safe boating practices. The bill reinforces the state’s commitment to promote safe and responsible boating practices and has long been supported by the recreational boating and …

Industry News

2023 National Boating Safety Awards submissions now open

June 6, 2023

The Sea Tow Foundation’s Boating Safety Advisory Council announced the call for entries for the 2023 National Boating Safety Awards. There is no cost to enter, and applications take less than 10 minutes to complete. The Awards recognize efforts to promote boating safety within the for-profit sector of the boating industry, and two new award …

Industry News

Recreational boating’s economic impact climbs to $230 billion

June 1, 2023

New data released by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) found that the annual national economic impact of recreational boating increased 36% from $170B in 2018 to $230B in 2023. The industry’s contributions to the U.S. workforce grew as well with a 14% increase in jobs supported, from 691,000 in 2018 to more than 812,000 …

Industry News

Georgia legislation promotes boater safety and access for towed watersports

May 31, 2023

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed towed watersports legislation that included strengthening safety and access opportunities for wakesurfing and wakeboarding. The new law followed bordering states, South Carolina and Tennessee, in proactively keeping boaters and towed water sports enthusiasts safe on the water. Introduced by Representative Victor Anderson and sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore John …

Events

IBEX to be held in refreshed Tampa Convention Center

May 30, 2023

Construction on the Tampa Convention Center (TCC) will be completed in time for the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) 2023, to be held October 3 – 5, 2023, in Tampa, Florida. The renovation project is the largest ever for the TCC and will result in an expanded third floor exhibit hall and additional fourth …

Industry News

IMEA expands scholarship program

May 25, 2023

The International Marine Electronics Alliance (IMEA), a 501 (c)(3) supporting organization of the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA), is expanding its scholarship program to encourage and support students interested in a career in marine electronics. The goal is to alleviate the marine electronics industry worker shortage through education of students to become technical installers of …

Events

ATA Talking Textiles podcast features marine industry veterans

May 24, 2023

The newest Talking Textiles podcast from the Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) features marine industry veterans discussing the topic “Balancing the Marine Canvas Business and Life.” The episode is hosted by Kyle Van Damme, co-owner of Marine Tops Unlimited Inc. in Omro, Wis. Van Damme interviews Chandler and Charlene Clark, owners of Signature CanvasMakers in Hampton, …

Industry News

ABYC 2024 Standards Week date announced

May 23, 2023

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) annual Standards Week will be Jan. 7-11, 2024, in Annapolis, Md. ABYC Standards Week is a marine industry gathering with daily Project Technical Committees (PTCs) meetings scheduled to discuss updates to Supplement 64 of the Standards and Technical Information Reports for Small Craft, set for publication in July …

Industry News

Sea Tow Foundation collaborates with Onyx/Absolute Outdoor

May 18, 2023

The Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Program is the largest of its kind in the world, operating more than 1,300 stands throughout the country at boat ramps, marinas, parks and other locations where boaters have easy access to borrow the life jackets. The Foundation’s primary objective is to prevent drowning by providing life jackets, …

Events

ATA offers management excellence webinar

May 17, 2023

The Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) is presenting a management excellence webinar May 24, 2023, from 1–2 pm EDT. The webinar is free for ATA members and $39 for nonmembers. Webinar speaker Madeleine MacRae, founder of MM MacRae Coaching & Consulting and Homepro Toolbox, will discuss how nobody is born with management skills and even the …

Events

Advanced Textiles Expo 2023 registration opens

May 10, 2023

Registration is now open for Advanced Textiles Expo 2023 (formerly IFAI Expo.) This year’s show takes place Nov. 1–3, 2023, with education from happening from Oct. 31–Nov. 3, at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. This event brings together more than 4,000 decisions makers in the advanced textiles, specialty fabrics and shade and …

Events

Call for speakers for ATA Expo 2023

February 3, 2023

The call for presentations is open for Advanced Textiles Expo 2023. Interested speakers can share their expertise, cultivate valuable new connections and give helpful advice to their markets by presenting at Advanced Textiles Expo Oct. 31–Nov. 3, 2023, in Orlando, Fla. Advanced Textiles Expo, formerly known as IFAI Expo, has been regarded as the premier …

Awards

2022 IFAI Expo Show Stopper winners list includes marine entry

October 24, 2022

Bainbridge International’s Nauti Carbon Pole™ won a 2022 IFAI Expo Show Stopper Award in the Hardware, Findings and Accessories category. The new telescoping pole is made from black carbon fiber and is an excellent solution for lightweight shade supports. The pole can be used for marine awnings, shade sails, bow shades, etc. Its simplistic design …

Expo News

Flexibility is key to navigating changing marine market

October 17, 2022

When Rick Berkey’s marine shop was closed for three months due to COVID-19 restrictions, “it became clear we couldn’t rely on marine work alone to sustain us and our employees during the ebbs and flows of market changes,” he says. Berkey is the owner of Rick’s Custom Marine Canvas and Sail Repair, based in Cornelius, …

Events

ATA hosts webinar on IFAI Expo 2022

August 15, 2022

The Advanced Textiles Association (ATA, formerly IFAI) is hosting the webinar “IFAI Expo 2022 Overview” to present the latest information on IFAI Expo 2022 being held in Charlotte, N.C., October 12-14, 2022. The webinar will take place on August 17, 2022, 1:00–2:00 EDT, and will include information about: •Schedule of events and education •Show floor …

Events

Registration for IFAI Expo 2022 opens with early bird pricing

May 5, 2022

Registration is now open for IFAI Expo 2022, taking place October 12–14 with education happening from October 11–14 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C. IFAI Expo is known as the specialty textile industry’s flagship show for sourcing, networking and education. It’s an opportunity to join thousands of industry stakeholders and leaders who are …

Events

IFAI Expo 2022 speaker submissions due March 31

March 22, 2022

The deadline to submit speaker presentations for IFAI Expo 2022 in Charlotte, N.C. on Oct. 12–14, 2022, is March 31. Speaking at IFAI Expo gives individuals a chance to connect with a wide variety of attendees in diverse markets, share their expertise and boost their credibility. For more than a century, IFAI Expo has been …

Expo News

IFAI Expo 2022 call for presentations

December 20, 2021

The Industrial Fabrics Association International is now accepting proposals for presentations at IFAI Expo 2022. IFAI Expo will take place Oct. 12-14, 2022, at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C., with education Oct. 11-14. IFAI is accepting proposals for 50-minute classroom sessions in several categories: Advanced Textiles Shade & Weather Protection Specialty Fabrics Marine …

Expo News

IFAI Expo: Shade sail dos and don’ts

November 3, 2021

Shade sails offer a great business opportunity for fabricators, but it’s important to keep some key “dos and don’ts” in mind. That was the message from Shazeebo owner and founder Patrick Howe during his presentation “Shade Sails Dos and Don’ts—A Deep Dive,” presented at the IFAI Expo in Nashville. There are several considerations for those …

Awards

IAA Awards deadline approaching

July 22, 2021

The deadline to submit a project for the 2021 International Achievement Awards (IAA) is July 30. The IAA awards recognize the best projects across the specialty fabrics industry. The awards are an opportunity to showcase your technical skills and talents to the entire industry. Awards are given in seven major categories and 42 subcategories and …

Features

Choosing the right window materials

May 1, 2023

Selecting boat windows for customers might be the hardest thing a fabricator can do—or the easiest. Most customers have two primary concerns: cost and longevity. Make them something that’ll last and that doesn’t break the bank, and they’ll be happy. Easy, right? Not necessarily, because achieving that involves finding the right balance of clarity, scratch …

Features

Pricing, costing and estimating

May 1, 2023

Expertise plays an important role in a successful marine business. However, a fabricator might be highly skilled, with lines of customers and a backlog of projects, and that’s still no assurance the business will remain viable in the long run. If pricing is at odds with costs, the effect on the bottom line could be …

Features

2023 Premier Product Showcase

May 1, 2023

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 & Foam; Equipment, Tools & Miscellaneous; and Hardware & Findings. You can see the 2023 Premier …

Features

2023 MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards

March 1, 2023

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

Features

Made for the shade

March 1, 2023

Changing consumer trends, evolving boat designs, and fabric and materials advancements are giving marine fabricators ample opportunity to exercise their creative muscles. Interestingly, the pandemic’s supply shortages also forced some fabricators to juice up their innovation with excellent results. For Tov and Kelsey Renna, co-owners of MarineRennavators LLC, located in Belfast, Maine, supply chain issues …

Features

Creative control

March 1, 2023

Mike Charlton begins most weekdays with a leisurely cup of coffee on his back porch with his wife and business partner, Rachel Charlton, in Yorktown, Va. They typically leave for work by 9 a.m., where they fabricate custom marine canvas projects until 5 p.m.—at the latest.  If they’re a few minutes late, no employee (or …

Features Members only content

Pros and cons of mobile marine shops

January 1, 2023

When you’re a marine fabricator with a mobile unit, you’re often at a competitive advantage. Not only can you offer customers fast, convenient repairs and service, but you’re often able to recruit business from other boat owners who notice you at their marinas. Vendors who are fully mobile can save money on brick-and-mortar mortgages or …

Features

2023 MFA Time Standards Manual

January 1, 2023

The Time Standards Manual was developed in 1996 by the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA), a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, to serve as a benchmark that shop owners can use to set fabrication times, with which they can generate competitive labor costs. The manual is an ongoing project that will grow and change …

Features Members only content

Fabricating metal frames

January 1, 2023

Fabricating frames, tubing, hardware and other items can present a quandary for marine fabricators. It’s a job that customers need, but it’s not easy work, and it can take a pretty penny to have all the necessary equipment on hand.  But as is usually the case with fabricators, where there’s a will, there’s a way. …

Awards

Marine Fabrication Excellence Awards deadline approaching

October 26, 2022

The 2023 MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards deadline is Nov 1, 2022. Fabrication Excellence Award Winners receive: •A featured spot in Marine Fabricator magazine •A personalized plaque and press release •Recognition on the MFA website New this year: A new category called Transformations (Before & After) is meant for two or more jobs on one boat. …

Industry News

Minnesota governor signs boater safety legislation

June 8, 2023

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed the Environment Budget bill (MN H.F. 2310) into law on May 24. The legislation contains a boater safety education provision that promotes responsible and safe boating practices. The bill reinforces the state’s commitment to promote safe and responsible boating practices and has long been supported by the recreational boating and …

Industry News

2023 National Boating Safety Awards submissions now open

June 6, 2023

The Sea Tow Foundation’s Boating Safety Advisory Council announced the call for entries for the 2023 National Boating Safety Awards. There is no cost to enter, and applications take less than 10 minutes to complete. The Awards recognize efforts to promote boating safety within the for-profit sector of the boating industry, and two new award …

Industry News

Recreational boating’s economic impact climbs to $230 billion

June 1, 2023

New data released by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) found that the annual national economic impact of recreational boating increased 36% from $170B in 2018 to $230B in 2023. The industry’s contributions to the U.S. workforce grew as well with a 14% increase in jobs supported, from 691,000 in 2018 to more than 812,000 …

Industry News

Georgia legislation promotes boater safety and access for towed watersports

May 31, 2023

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed towed watersports legislation that included strengthening safety and access opportunities for wakesurfing and wakeboarding. The new law followed bordering states, South Carolina and Tennessee, in proactively keeping boaters and towed water sports enthusiasts safe on the water. Introduced by Representative Victor Anderson and sponsored by Senate President Pro Tempore John …

Events

IBEX to be held in refreshed Tampa Convention Center

May 30, 2023

Construction on the Tampa Convention Center (TCC) will be completed in time for the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition and Conference (IBEX) 2023, to be held October 3 – 5, 2023, in Tampa, Florida. The renovation project is the largest ever for the TCC and will result in an expanded third floor exhibit hall and additional fourth …

Industry News

IMEA expands scholarship program

May 25, 2023

The International Marine Electronics Alliance (IMEA), a 501 (c)(3) supporting organization of the National Marine Electronics Association (NMEA), is expanding its scholarship program to encourage and support students interested in a career in marine electronics. The goal is to alleviate the marine electronics industry worker shortage through education of students to become technical installers of …

Industry News

ABYC 2024 Standards Week date announced

May 23, 2023

The American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) annual Standards Week will be Jan. 7-11, 2024, in Annapolis, Md. ABYC Standards Week is a marine industry gathering with daily Project Technical Committees (PTCs) meetings scheduled to discuss updates to Supplement 64 of the Standards and Technical Information Reports for Small Craft, set for publication in July …

Industry News

Sea Tow Foundation collaborates with Onyx/Absolute Outdoor

May 18, 2023

The Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Program is the largest of its kind in the world, operating more than 1,300 stands throughout the country at boat ramps, marinas, parks and other locations where boaters have easy access to borrow the life jackets. The Foundation’s primary objective is to prevent drowning by providing life jackets, …

Industry News

American Boating Congress wraps up in D.C.

May 16, 2023

The 2023 American Boating Congress (ABC) included three days of policy conversations, panel discussions, marine industry updates, conversations with members of Congress and a day spent on Capitol Hill advocating on behalf of the recreational marine industry. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and its industry partners, sponsors and co-hosts welcomed more than 250 recreational …

Industry News

USDOT gives grants to 27 small shipyards in 20 states

May 11, 2023

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced $20.8 million in grant awards to 27 small shipyards in 20 states through the Small Shipyard Grant Program. The funds will help shipyards modernize, increase productivity and expand local job opportunities while competing in the global marketplace.  Since 2008, MARAD’s Small Shipyard Grant Program has awarded …

Products

Colorfast durability

March 1, 2023

SunReal Outdoor Performance Fabrics are made using 100% solution-dyed acrylic fiber, which creates high durability. They are made with color pigments throughout the fabric instead of just on the surface, which enables the fabrics to stay true to color for a long period of time, and a colorfastness rating of 2000 hours. Bleach cleanable, fire …

Products

Rugged good looks

March 1, 2023

TVF’s SunMaster™ Plus, is a 17.1 oz., 600 denier solution-dyed polyester backed with 60mm PVC. With excellent colorfastness, waterproof backing and mold and mildew resistance, it is an excellent choice for any outdoor job that requires a rugged but rich looking fabric. It is abrasion resistant, easy to clean and works well for shade and …

Products

New Sunbrella shade offerings

March 1, 2023

The updated Sunbrella® Shade Collection includes 17 new additions designed to create calming outdoor oases by balancing soothing colors with dynamic neutrals. The new patterns include Paxton, a nuanced take on the traditional bar stripe that offers both visual and tactile texture and is available in three neutral colorways. Marco is a softer approach to …

Products

Clear vinyl cleaning kits

March 1, 2023

Continental’s Easy 1-2-3 clear vinyl cleaning kit provides care for automotive, marine and commercial clear flexible windows and enclosures. Each kit includes a non-detergent, non-abrasive true soap with a non-streaking, non-spotting formulation that rinses clear and reduces drying time. The kit also provides UV protection to enhance flexibility and an antistatic formulation to help repel …

Products

Lightweight, recyclable pattern material

March 1, 2023

Bainbridge’s Pattern X-2 is lightweight, recyclable polyurethane fabric that works great as pattern material. It is a high-density PE scrim that is coated on both sides with a low-density PE clear coating. It is extra strong and provides added resistance to tears and punctures when pulled over a frame, while translucent for use in patterning. …

Products

Tough two-sided PVC

March 1, 2023

MarineTyte® Banyan is the ultimate in yachting protection. This two-sided commercial-grade composite PVC was developed to withstand even the harshest nautical environments while providing complete protection, making it an excellent choice for cockpit enclosures, bimini tops, sprayhoods, equipment covers and more. It provides exceptional strength, cleanability and UV protection along with an industry-leading 10-year warranty. …

Products

Stay-cool vinyl

September 1, 2022

Sonar with ChromaCool™ vinyl is a marine-grade material designed to stay cool even after prolonged sun exposure. Designed to reflect sunlight and block UV rays, it keeps coated fabrics 30 degrees cooler than standard black vinyl. For use in marine, outdoor and stadium seating, golf carts and many other applications. rexpeggfabrics.com 

Products

Upholstery cleaner for synthetic leathers

September 1, 2022

Bling Sauce has added Mild Soap Sauce to its upholstery cleaning collection. Specially formulated to clean cool touch vinyl and synthetic leathers, the cleaner has been approved by leading OEM vinyl and upholstery manufacturers for specialty fabrics prohibiting the use of anything other than the use of mild soap. The cleaner repels mold, mildew and …

Products

Coated fabric line adds new colors

September 1, 2022

Trivantage’s Hydrofend®, an exclusive solution-dyed polyester with a proprietary high-performance back coating, is now available in mahogany brown and hunter green colorways. The new additions were created based on customer feedback and will be offered with matching binding. The fabric is designed to balance high water resistance with breathability. Its multipurpose applications include boat covers, …

Products

New shade fabrics collection

September 1, 2022

The Sunbrella® Emerge Collection is a versatile and vibrant collection that highlights a host of new yarns from calming blues to muted earth tones that pairs classic colors with modern hues. With 11 patterns and 35 colors, the collection is suitable for a variety of indoor and outdoor upholstery applications, from sofa covers to patio …

Exterior and Cover

Center Console Enclosures

May 1, 2023

Center console boats are a popular style of boat in my area, Yorktown, Va., along with sportfish, cruisers, trawlers and sailboats. In my opinion, center console enclosures are some of the most complicated enclosures to design. This style of boat usually has many challenges to overcome in order to get the job done cleanly and …

Interiors & Upholstery

Choosing the right fabrics

May 1, 2023

There are many suppliers of fabrics in the marine industry. Upon researching just one of our suppliers, I discovered more than 4,000 fabrics, spanning 11 application categories, and each fabric was uniquely created for both the marine and other crossover industries. To cover even a portion of them would require a volume of publications. For …

Exterior and Cover

Elegant rigid solar panel installation made easy

March 1, 2023

An increasing number of jobs at Gemini Marine Canvas & Marine Products (GMP) in Rockland, Maine, begin with clients bringing in rigid solar panels. Rigid panels remain a firm favorite among boaters looking to augment their onboard electricity supply due to their higher efficiency, longer life span, greater durability and lower cost than their flexible …

Interiors & Upholstery

The wonderful (confusing) world of foam

March 1, 2023

The marine industry needs foam, and a lot of it, as do a hundred other industries that provide comfort and support. From exercise equipment to airplanes, cars and furniture in our homes, there is foam available for nearly every use.  Jumping into the world of foam has been a wondrous adventure, yet a bit overwhelming …

Exterior and Cover

Horizontal and cantilever frames

January 1, 2023

Following the typical 10-to-20-year delay that “new ideas” seem to take to catch on in the canvas industry, the popularity and demand for horizontal frame systems and cantilever support systems has finally arrived everywhere. Sea Ray actually offered a horizontal aft frame option in 1999 on its newly released 460 Sundancer. Some brave canvas shops …

Interiors & Upholstery

Tricky client design challenges

January 1, 2023

For most fabricators, long-term success doesn’t come from the easy jobs, but from the challenging projects. Using two case studies, I’ll present a few design challenges I’ve encountered in the hope that my experiences will help you work more smoothly with clients and shorten your learning curve. Case study 1: Agree on the design vision …

Awards

Inspiration

January 1, 2023

The clients wanted to make adjustments and add to their current stainless steel dodger and bimini frames to create a more functional cockpit area for cruising. They asked that strong, high-quality materials be used so the final result would be suitable for offshore cruising. A significant challenge was using, adjusting and adding to the existing …

Exterior and Cover

Thinking outside the box

September 1, 2022

Thinking outside the box by Russ Griffin Our company, Northcoast Marine Specialties LLC, has had two decades of great success due to our unfamiliarity with the outdated and unimaginative techniques many canvas shops fall into the habit of re-creating endlessly. Many people entering this trade have a vision of creativity. Often, however, the day-to-day operations …

Interiors & Upholstery

Tools and tips for better cushions

September 1, 2022

At Custom Marine Canvas, we are always looking for ways to improve our work. After 38 years, we’re still finding new ways to do things. In this article, we share some of our favorite tools and tips for improving your cushions. Zipper jig Nothing is worse than making a pile of cushions and spending a …

Interiors & Upholstery

Adjusting to a bigger shop

July 1, 2022

In 2019, I moved Chicago Marine Canvas into a new 2,500-square-foot space, and by the summer of 2021, customer projects were piling up on top of one another. An additional sewing table had been made under a low storage loft, we were constantly moving projects in the middle of production to complete everyday tasks, and …