NMMA spearheads new efforts to combat Asian carp

July 12, 2018

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is redoubling its efforts in the fight against Asian carp infiltrating the Great Lakes – an aquatic invasive species (AIS) that can damage native ecosystems. Last week, NMMA held meetings with Congressional officials and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) regarding the status of the Brandon Road Study, …

Boating industry says it will take a hit from tariffs

July 10, 2018

After a blockbuster year, industry sources say a trade war could put the brakes on the U.S. boating industry. Several boat dealers in Minnesota have already reported higher prices on 2019 orders and wonder if more increases are on the way, according to an article in the Minneapolis StarTribune newspaper. U.S. boat sales were at …

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High-tech tools for high-tech marine covers

July 5, 2018

Tim James, co-owner of digiShapes™ LLC in Kent, Wash., is a software developer with an interest in marine canvas. His company takes 3-D measurements of entire boats, which are then converted into automatic boat covers. Its SwiftShield™ system consists of a hydraulic mechanism and a tight-fitting fabric cover that is lifted up and over the …

Tips for keeping marine fabrics clean and protected

July 3, 2018

Care and maintenance of clear vinyl products, especially those like Strataglass® that are coated to be scratch-resistant, requires cleaning methods using specific cleaning and protection products, according to Craig R. Zola, vice president for marketing and distribution at Herculite® Products Inc., parent company of Strataglass, based in Emigsville, Pa. In the harsh marine environment, it’s …

The busy season

July 1, 2018

Welcome to midsummer! Tis the season of abundant sunshine, early and late days and lots of hard work. The busy season can make or break a business. The requests come in fast and furious, and the tricky bit is making sure the finished projects meet your standards and your clients’ expectations. The fast pace makes …

Recommended fabric cleaning products

Fabricators play an important role in teaching customers to keep their boats in shape. It’s pretty simple. People buy boats because they want to have fun. The reality, however, is that work—the opposite of fun—is required to keep any watercraft in tip-top condition. Therein lies the rub. “A lot of boaters don’t want to do …

MFA Pacific Northwest Regional workshop, Sept. 15

The MFA Pacific Northwest Regional workshop is being held on Sept. 15 at Oyster Creek Canvas Co. in Bellingham, Wash. This one-day workshop features marine education on full enclosures, rigid windows, solar panels and tips on streamlining your shop. It also offers a variety of networking opportunities. “MFA regional workshops provide the opportunity to see …

Lightweight durability

For marine applications, gazebo covers, patio furniture covers, tarps, canopies and campers, Top Notch 1S is a 100 percent solution-dyed polyester fabric with a clear urethane back coat. At 60 inches wide, 7.4 oz. per sq. yd., it offers exceptional strength, durability, water resistance, tear resistance, abrasion resistance and UV- and mildew-resistance. Because it is …

Finding affordable tax and accounting help

How to find affordable, professional help when you need it. While most owners of small- and medium-size businesses know the details of their companies intimately, there are often highly technical matters of law, accounting, management and marketing that are best handled by outside experts. Attorneys, accountants, and management and marketing advisers have specialized knowledge about …

Quality canvas from the heart and heartland

William Miller is the owner, manager and fabricator of Colonville Canvas, a Clare, Mich.-based company that specializes in marine covers, enclosures, bimini tops and upholstery. Miller grew up learning about the industry in his father’s shop. He opened his own shop in 2014 and just finished doubling its size to approximately 3,000 square feet to …