Are you familiar with the term “crossover skills”? The idea is to leverage the skills you learn at one job and use them on the next, even though that job may not be exactly the same. For marine fabricators, applying their canvas and upholstery skills to the furniture and transportation industries can be an excellent source of new business opportunities; however, it’s not without challenges.
Sewing skills are critical no matter which market your latest project is for, but without the right needles and thread, all the skill in the world won’t ensure a successful, long-lasting project. Learning how to choose the right needles and thread for specific fabrics, projects and budgets is crucial to keeping things from falling apart at the seams.
Mark Hood, of Hood Marine Canvas Training, gives us the benefit of his considerable skills in his step-by-step article “Bimini backstay cutouts fabrication” which is about how to fabricate a single backstay bimini and a larger dual backstay bimini. Terri Madden, the owner of Sun, Sea and Air Interiors, gives us her perspective on how to cope with something almost nobody is skilled enough to deal with —a natural disaster. Writing in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Terri discusses what fabricators can do to prepare for the unthinkable in “Preparing for disasters.”
And one of the most important crossover skills a marine fabricator can learn is how to be efficient. This issue includes our Time Standards Manual, developed by the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA). Not only does this year’s manual serve as a reliable benchmark for quoting labor estimates, it includes a new look, changes to the names of projects and times, and a new section on Track.
Finally, if you’re attending the 2018 Marine Fabricators Conference in Savannah, Ga., on Jan. 25-27, please stop by and introduce yourself. I’ll be the one skillfully balancing my notebook, shaking hands and asking for your ideas about what you’d like to see in upcoming issues of Marine Fabricator magazine.