• Automotive upholstery trends

    Published On: May 1, 2024Categories: Features

    According to Gloria Mei, regional manager for Sileather® North American Division, a growing trend since COVID-19 is in van conversions, such as this Sprinter van. Its popularity provides a booming market for automotive upholsterers. Photo: Outside Van The textiles on floors, walls and windows in homes and commercial buildings often catch people’s attention. Now, automotive [...]

  • Choosing automated marine fabrication systems

    Published On: May 1, 2024Categories: Features

    Autometrix, which makes automatic cutting machines in Grass Valley, Calif., says its equipment is capable of enabling the highest production efficiencies. The key? “You need to set yourself up for success,” says product manager Gary Unitt. Photo: Autometrix Inc. Perhaps someday, thanks to artificial intelligence and who knows what else, marine fabricators will just need [...]

  • Fabricator focus: Coming full circle

    Published On: May 1, 2024Categories: Features

    This Yachtsman’s Canvas project, which included a full canvas redesign and installation of a dodger, with frame, bimini and connector for a classic 1988 36-foot Sabre sailboat, won a 2023 MFA Fabrication Excellence Outstanding Achievement Award in the Sailboat Dodgers & Biminis category. When Keri Ames discusses her unlikely career path in the marine fabric [...]

  • Successful multigenerational workplaces

    Published On: March 1, 2024Categories: Features

    In today’s workforce, and particularly in the specialty fabrics industry, it’s difficult to bring in new, younger workers and make them feel engaged and productive. And with older workers delaying retirement, companies now must grapple with adapting to multigenerational workforces.  Engaging a new generation of workers For the younger generation, being aware of their expectations [...]

  • 2024 Marine Fabrication Excellence Awards

    Published On: March 1, 2024Categories: Features, MFA Excellence Awards

    Sponsored by the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA), the Fabrication Excellence Awards contest is designed to recognize excellence in marine fabrication. The entries are judged by a panel of certified marine professionals. Awards of Excellence and Outstanding Achievement Awards are given in each category. The MFA recognizes two Awards of Distinction, chosen from the Award of [...]

  • Selling your marine business successfully

    Published On: January 1, 2024Categories: Features

      If selling a residence can be an angst-filled undertaking, how much more unsettling is the thought of selling a business, especially one you’ve poured heart, soul, money and reputation into? But as potentially nerve-wracking as the prospect may be, there are measures shop owners can take to lessen the stress and achieve their [...]

  • 2024 Time Standards Manual Excerpt

    Published On: January 1, 2024Categories: Features, MFA Time Standards, Resources

      The Time Standards Manual was developed in 1996 by the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA), a division of the Advanced Textiles Association, to serve as a benchmark that shop owners can use to set fabrication times, with which they can generate competitive labor costs. The manual is an ongoing project that continues to grow [...]

  • Networking builds confidence and long-term success

    Published On: January 1, 2024Categories: Features, News

    The owner of this custom-built 30-foot Thames River slipper launch asked Faith Roberts to fabricate an exacting and attractive custom cover to protect it (with matching pillows). Photos by Dani Werner Photography   Although Faith Roberts’ business has been mostly a one-woman show for almost 40 years, she has always been a firm believer [...]

  • Safety practices at the marina and in the shop

    Published On: August 31, 2023Categories: Features

    It was late in the day, rain was threatening, and Edward Skrzynski needed to cover a boat that was on an elevator lift before the storm hit. All the available workers were out, so telling no one he was leaving, he headed out to handle the task alone. Just as he arrived, it started drizzling. [...]

  • Ten business lessons in 10 years for Southern Stitch

    Published On: August 31, 2023Categories: Features

    The owner of this 2003 Chaparral 232 Sunesta had a simple request of Southern Stitch Canvas & Upholstery—make it new. Shown here is part of the one-of-a-kind interior. Photo: Southern Stitch Canvas & Upholstery LLC There’s a saying that chance favors the prepared. Sometimes that preparation can take some surprising forms. Just ask Steven Wayne, [...]