Company values that increase a company’s value

September 1, 2020

Your shop can be loaded with employees having outstanding skills, but without a supportive, positive environment, low morale and turmoil can thwart all efforts to succeed.  by Pamela Mills-Senn Pre-pandemic, SewLong Custom Covers in Salt Lake City, Utah, focused on interior and exterior marine textiles and boat covers. But when the pandemic hit and the …

Shade Solution Evolution

Design tips for removable shade structures that bring value to clients and profit to fabricators. by Sigrid Tornquist Boat enthusiasts have always sought shade solutions. It’s a matter of survival and comfort. And it’s also a matter of aesthetics. It’s been 30 years since Mike Erickson, CEO and owner of Canvas Designers® Inc. in Riviera …

Imagining new ways to create shade

August 31, 2020

Whitney Carman relies on lateral thinking and relationship building to create innovative shade solutions. By Sigrid Tornquist “I think one of the reasons my projects are unique has to do with the ability for lateral thinking, which means seeing a variety of solutions to a problem or uses for an object, and not necessarily just …

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Digital determination

July 1, 2020

Adding automation can prove challenging, with costs to consider, processes to change and nervous employees to reckon with. Still, fabricators who have taken the leapsay there’s no other way to go.  By Pamela Mills-Senn When Darren Arthur, owner of Nautilux Custom Canvas LLC in Hazlet, N.J., purchased a single-fly Aeronaut cutter eight years ago—his first …

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NECPA: A century of survival

Lessons from three canvas companies that have survived for a century and continue to thrive. By Cathy Broberg In January 2020, the North East Canvas Products Association (NECPA), a trade organization for the canvas and outdoor fabric industry, marked its 100th anniversary. Members celebrated at its annual conference with a gala and by touring a …

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Succession planning 101

May 1, 2020

A seamless transfer of leadership in a family business requires hard conversations and a detailed road map to avoid the worst potholes and ensure a successful journey. By Jeff Moravec A family business can offer great rewards—personally and professionally—for its founders and their descendants. But a family business also presents unique challenges and requires careful …

2020 Premier Product Showcase

High-quality products to help you create durable, attractive and successful projects. For this feature, we asked our contributors to send us information about their high-performing products. The product information was submitted by the participating manufacturers and suppliers by the established deadline. The products are organized into three categories: Fabric, Film, and Flooring; Equipment, Tools & …

IFAI member long-distance case study

March 19, 2020

During the 2019 boating season, IFAI member Tecsew, located in Gosport, United Kingdom, took on a challenging project for a customer located in the United States. Due to the distance between fabricator and customer, questions and answers were exchanged via emails and a few long-distance telephone calls. The customer provided the fabricator with access to …

Jumping on the design trend bandwagon

March 3, 2020

Embrace new design materials with knowledge and caution. by Sigrid Tornquist “Customers are always looking to us, the materials manufacturers, to guide them on trends while bringing new innovation,” says Warren J. McCrickard, executive vice president, sales and marketing for Dothan, Ala.-based Infinity Luxury Woven Vinyl™. “If it is cool to the touch, easy to …

2020 fabric and flooring trends

March 1, 2020

Fabric and flooring trends for the upcoming season—and beyond.  by Sigrid Tornquist Maybe it’s because boats are so special to their owners, or because boat owners are people who love to show off their latest acquisitions. Whatever the reason, most boat owners crave a vessel that showcases statement-making flooring and fabric trends. “If the boat …