Dodger, bimini and enclosure fabrication

September 1, 2017

The big three—a dodger, bimini and enclosure combination on a Hylas 54 sailing yacht—combine a multitude of skill sets. It is one of the most challenging of all canvas projects to pull off correctly. In this article, we will examine the order of fabrication, techniques unique to this combination and pitfalls to avoid when fabricating …

Avoid pitfalls during layoffs

It’s an unwelcome responsibility, but almost every business owner and manager will eventually come face-to-face with the disagreeable task of terminating one or more employees. “Firing people is one of the toughest, most unpleasant things you do as an employer,” says James Walsh in his book Rightful Termination (Merritt Publishing 2006). “Your stomach tightens and …

Boat shows highlight new marine upholstery trends

Boat shows are a rich resource. When was the last time you attended a local or international boat show? If it’s been awhile, I recommend you put it on your agenda. To stay a notch ahead of the competition, professional marine fabricators must be aware of new concepts, designs and materials. Viewing new boats at …

Planning a 40-foot yacht cover with no snaps part two

July 1, 2017

This article is a follow-up to the one I wrote in the May/June issue of Marine Fabricator in which I discussed the project plan our team utilized to meet the customer’s request for a full boat cover for a 40-foot Andreyale yacht. The boat is the property of the Peninsula Yacht Club in Cornelius, N.C., …

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How to control workers’ comp costs

If yours is a typical manufacturing shop, workers’ compensation costs—or the threat of them—can quickly become a major expense. Almost every business in the United States that has employees must deal with the cost of workers’ compensation, so you’re not alone in this potentially damaging liability. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help …

Prevent cushion foam failures

All marine fabricators who provide products for cushions, bedding and headliners face decisions on the best foam for the application. The right decision ensures quality projects and happy customers. The wrong decision contributes to foam failures. Cheaper can cost more Less expensive foams may seem like a good deal until you realize they can deteriorate …

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Pre-employment background checks

May 1, 2017

These days every new employee brings a possible threat to your business, including theft, sexual harassment, physical violence, identity theft, fraud and drug use. The potential for ruinous legal actions is higher today than ever before. That’s why a background check before you hire an applicant could save your business. It’s essential that background checks …

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Foam: The what, when and where

Cushion foam is an important component of any marine seating project. From cockpit cushions with hull angles to bosun’s chairs and boat mattresses, choosing the best solution for cushion foam is a bit of a science. The task can feel daunting given the complexity of choices in foam types, materials, densities and compression factors, but …

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Planning the work and working the plan

I was approached by Harry Smith, marina manager of the Peninsula Yacht Club in Cornelius, N.C., to review a project that required the expertise of a custom canvas designer. The project in question was a cover for a newly acquired 40-foot Andreyale yacht designed and built by Latitude 46® in 2004. The boat would be …

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Seating solutions for reclining, storage and temperature control

March 1, 2017

When a customer requests an unusual type of seating for a boat, it’s a fabrication opportunity to begin a comfortable dialogue with that client. Instead of hesitantly saying, “I will try to do my best,” turn your response into, “I am here to help you.” That customer may have already heard a reluctant fabricator say, …