MFA Awards entry now open

September 10, 2019

The deadline for submissions to the 2020 MFA Fabrication Excellence Awards is November 15, 2019. From design excellence to quality workmanship, the awards showcase projects that represent the breadth of the industry—from tops and covers to interior and exterior upholstery. Awards will be announced at the 2020 MFA Conference. To enter or for more information, …

Prepare now for a future disaster

September 1, 2019

When the worst happens to your business, it’s already too late. The time to prepare for a disaster is now. By Jeff Moravec Although extreme events such as fires, floods, hurricanes and other disasters were once considered rarities, they are becoming more common. Business owners need to ask themselves how they would survive such an …

Automation advantages

Technology solutions offer marine fabricators expanded capabilities, opportunities for greater creativity, and new project and market options. By Pamela Mills-Senn  Ask Thomas Carlson, manager of Tulsa, Okla., Carlson Design Corp., about his number one competitor and he offers up a surprising response.  “It’s a pair of scissors. Most of our customers have been cutting manually …

Focusing on quality, creativity and customer service

By building his business slowly, Carl Pellegrini keeps SeaCanvas focused on quality, creativity and customer service. by Jill C. Lafferty Each project we accept is a new chance to make a change in the current design,” says Carl Pellegrini, the owner-operator of SeaCanvas, based in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. “Let’s say an enclosure for a …

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Sustainable boating includes the john

July 4, 2019

Sustainable boating takes many forms, from solar panels to using wind or water for power, eco-friendly cleaning products, low-flow showerheads and LED lights. Joe OBrien, of Schwenksville, Pa., has been outfitting his sailboat with an earth-friendly component that is about as elemental as they come—a composting toilet. OBrien and his wife, Julie, have been renovating …

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Pros and cons of digital measuring tools

July 2, 2019

Any boater knows that the way you handle a vessel changes with the weather. The same is true with a fabricator’s measuring tools. Many fabricators now have both touchpoint 3D and touchless laser systems in their toolkits, and which one works best depends to some degree on the environment. “I use a variety of digital …

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Solar panel savvy

July 1, 2019

Improvements in solar panels give boaters more power and choices. By Jeff Moravec There may or may not be any truth to the notion that solar power wouldn’t exist on boats were it not for the desire to find an energy-efficient way to keep adult beverages cold.   But if in fact that’s a motivation, …

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Metal framework takes top billing

It’s time for metalwork and framing to move from being bit players to getting top billing. By Jeff Moravec Fabric is typically the star of the show in any fabrication project. What often gets overlooked, however, is the role supporting metal frameworks play—often behind the scenes—in fabric structures. The metal framework may frequently be an …

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No-fail boat covers

There’s more than one way to build a boat cover—but the best fabricators ask clients these critical questions before they settle on a design. by Sigrid Tornquist Fabricators agree—custom boat cover fabrication starts with a conversation with the boat owners. What canvas professionals do with the information they get, coupled with experience and innovation, can …

Workstation ergonomics saves backs and increases efficiency

May 2, 2019

Sewing machines are an integral part of the workflow at most marine fabrication shops. But while fabricators may be careful about the machines they buy, and work to keep them operating properly, there are other aspects of the sewing operation that deserve attention. Just the way a shop’s sewing workstations are set up can increase …