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 …

Innovation and growth

May 1, 2018

Each year, IFAI publishes a state of the industry report that factors in numerous market realities. This year’s report shows that growth was strong in the marine fabric market in 2017, and this growth is expected to continue into 2018, despite higher oil and gas prices. During this busy time of year, marine fabricators might …

Craft and art

March 1, 2018

Merriam-Webster’s defines craft as: “an occupation or trade requiring manual dexterity or artistic skill.” As this relates to marine fabricators, I would tweak this sentence to read: “requiring manual dexterity and artistic skill.” The finest efforts by marine fabricators are works of art, as anyone can see by looking at The MFA Fabrication Awards. Here …

Crossover skills

January 1, 2018

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 …

2018 MFA Conference: Community and strength to meet tough challenges

November 1, 2017

It’s been a rough fall for many in the marine industry—between the hurricanes and wildfires. That’s one of the reasons I want to encourage you to register for the 2018 MFA Conference on January 25-27 in Savannah, Ga., if you haven’t yet. After attending IFAI Expo this year in New Orleans, I was struck by …

Details that impress

September 1, 2017

Typically, it’s the “wow” factor of something that most impresses an audience. In the marine industry, it might be a gorgeous new canvas sail or a striking custom upholstered sofa with decorative topstitching. The clients’ reactions to the finished product are not only gratifying, but those oohs and aahs are critical to drumming up more …

New editor comes onboard

July 1, 2017

By way of introduction, let me say right up front I’m a Minnesota girl. My earliest experiences with aquatic life involved a lake, a fishing pole, a Styrofoam container of worms and a long summer morning of catching sunnies off a dock (they also like bacon). I have sailed, paddled, rowed, motored and floated on …

Positive projections

May 1, 2017

Every year, a state of the industry report is published by Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Jeffrey Rasmussen, IFAI’s market research director, writes the report, factoring in numerous market realities. Growth in the United States specialty fabrics industry was approximately 2.3 percent in 2016 and is expected to reach 2.6 percent in 2017. For marine …