Covering canvas repairs

May 1, 2015

Editor’s note: Don Racine, a longtime Marine Fabricators Association member and supporter, died on April 18 as the result of a heart attack. He was 61. View Don Racine’s full obituary. This article is about canvas repairs: We will discuss bimini tops, cockpit covers and full-boat travel covers. When we look at some of the …

Upholstered wall panels

By Terri Madden Most likely, you will be reading this article as warmer weather streams across your state and your customers delight in contacting your marine-fabrication business with new challenges. If you have never had the opportunity to fabricate wall panels, consider a customer request as an opportunity to add to your skill set, your …

Ship Wrecked

March 1, 2015

Total boat restorations can be a lucrative, if laborious, project in the wake of fires, storms and water-borne debris.

Building a dream shop

Your new, ‘ideal’ shop should not fit your needs like a glove.
Two things you should know about the ideal canvas shop: 1. It’s a myth. 2. Shop owners are into mythology.

Cushion styles—design and function

As you read this, I hope you’ve written down and are applying the goals you targeted for 2015.

Unique fasteners and fittings for tops

January 1, 2015

During the past few years, there have been a large number of new fasteners and fittings made available in the industry. I have found a number of them very applicable to the marine fabrication industry. With the import items from New Zealand, Australia, Germany and Holland, to name just a few, the U.S. market has …

Learn to talk the talk, then walk the walk

Whether these are your early years as a fabricator or you are a seasoned “salty dog,” we all are walking a road with a unique language and set of skills. It’s fun to say “boating has been in my family for close to 100 years,” yet other than always having a passion for the water, …

Sitting pretty

July 1, 2014

With access to better fabrics and accessories, fabricators are crafting boat cushions that look great and perform well. Boat cushion design is leaving the Dark Ages, where basic vinyls, color and patterns have reigned supreme. “Over the past 10 years, fashion and design have become more prevalent in the marine industry,” says Patty Mastrandrea, a …

The science of vinyl discoloration

May 1, 2014

How it happens & how to prevent it Look around a typical marina during the summer months and you will see dozens of vessels—some new, some old, some big, some small, and perhaps a few that show signs of transient color changes in the PVC fabrics being used. For more than 50 years, PVC discoloration, …

Retro sport top fabrication

March 1, 2014

Years ago, sport tops with tails were considered the norm. In those days, we fabricated them with vinyl that had a denim backing. Most of the frames were vinyl-covered galvanized pipe, not stainless as is standard today. Navy tops made with acrylics are now the accepted standard. When we were asked to make a sport …