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A business inspired by a hurricane

January 1, 2017

Kathryn J. Maisto, MFC, the owner and managing member of Fairwinds Canvas LLC and Canvas Training Center, says her commitment to continuous learning has kept her business moving forward. Fairwinds Canvas, based in Racine, Wis., was founded in 2000, and Maisto has 22 years of marine fabrication experience. Her business has four employees who stay …

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In praise of grit

July 1, 2016

Many readers of Marine Fabricator are business owners. Whether you own a business or work for someone, you regularly encounter obstacles that need to be solved to meet your obligations. Problem solving often requires great persistence or a quality known as grit—the resourcefulness and mental toughness to complete a task, despite frustrations and setbacks. Speaking …

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Marine fabrication: Working with rigid enclosures

February 9, 2016

Canvas Designers CEO Mike Erickson, MFC, gives IFAI Expo attendees training and tips on crafting a quality enclosure for customers. “Working with Rigid Enclosures,” presented Oct. 7th at IFAI Expo 2015 in Anaheim, gave attendees an opportunity to learn some tips from the owner of Canvas Designers Inc., Riviera Beach, Fla., the largest custom marine …

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2016 MFA Time Standards Manual

January 1, 2016

The Time Standards Manual was developed in 1996 by the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA), a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, to serve as a benchmark shop owners can use to set fabrication times, with which they can generate competitive labor costs. The manual is an ongoing project that will grow and change organically …

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Liability insurance

September 1, 2010

Compiled by Juli Case Question: I let my liability insurance lapse and now I need it before a marina will let me do any jobs there. Where do I start and how much should I get? Answer: Since you had liability insurance previously, the best place to start might be your former insurance company. With …

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Gold Line straps

Compiled by Juli Case Question: Who makes Gold Line straps? I see them everywhere, but I want to know who makes them. Answer: Gold Line is a trade name and, you’re right, the rubber straps are distributed through a number of different channels. The holder of the trade name is Universal Polymer & Rubber. SOURCE …

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Product barcodes

Compiled by Juli Case Question: We have the opportunity to sell some of our cushions through a local retailer, but we need to have a barcode. Where do we get one? Answer: Many retailers and other entities that sell use barcodes, a Universal Product Code that appears as bars of black and white. These are …

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Plush carpet in a boat?

May 1, 2010

Compiled by Juli Case Question:We have a customer who wants padding underneath the carpet in his bass boat because he wants something soft to stand on. Do they make padding for underneath boat carpets? Answer:We contacted several boat carpet manufacturers and all of them said that they don’t supply underpads for carpet because of concerns …

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Preventing mildew build-up

March 1, 2010

Compiled by Juli Case Question:How can I prevent mildew build-up under the mattresses I’ve installed in boat berths? I’ve heard there are some products you can put under the mattress. Answer:Because boats exist in an environment that’s already moist, condensation between the mattress and the surface it rests on creates problems. There are a number …

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Finding data on potential customers

Compiled by Juli Case Question:I’m applying for a loan and the lender wants me to submit a business plan for my marine shop. How do I find out how many boats are registered in New Jersey so I can provide data on potential customers? Answer:Boat owners are usually required to register with a state’s Department …