There is a ritual (some would say a bad habit) where each generation complains about the generation that comes after it. “Young people today are (lazy, selfish, self-involved, distracted, demanding, impatient…fill in the blank).” Some young people are sometimes those things. And some older folks are sometimes those things too. But young or old, the marine fabricators I know are none of those things. (At least not most of the time.)
This issue shines a spotlight on young fabricators who are bringing their energy, curiosity and innovation to the marine fabrication industry as a whole. It also celebrates industry veterans who enthusiastically share their skills and wisdom with other fabricators while also being lifelong learners themselves.
Along with excellent stories about how to choose the right needles and thread and creating stellar boat covers, the feature “Fabricators 40 and under” recognizes nine young fabricators who are doing outstanding work in the U.S., while “Our industry is in good hands,” by Neil Hancock, MFC, Nolan Group, focuses on energetic young marine fabricators in Australia. Veteran fabricator Katie Bradford, MFC, IFM, Custom Marine Canvas, shares some of her favorite tips for creating better cushions, and longtime marine educator Russ Griffin, Northcoast Marine Specialties LLC, discusses how fabricators of any age can up their design game by thinking outside the box.
Young or old, learning or teaching, we are, hopefully, always open to broadening our skillsets. Complaining about the way others do things can be a hard habit to kick but remaining open to both teaching and learning “new tricks” ensures success at every stage of your career. As filmmaker Steven Spielberg says, “The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but in giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”