• Choosing seating materials and finishes

    Published On: September 1, 2019Categories: Interior, Shop Techniques

    By Terri Madden I moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1995 with a degree in textile design and experience in custom fabrication for residential spaces, leather bags and apparel. Fortunately, my brother-in-law had a fledgling canvas business specializing in exterior marine fabrication that desperately needed skilled employees. I was fascinated to learn about materials that [...]

  • Portuguese bridge cushions

    Published On: July 1, 2019Categories: Interior, Shop Techniques

    By Terri Madden Recently, Sand Sea and Air welcomed a 134-foot luxury motor yacht built in 1988 to San Juan, Puerto Rico. It was designed to cruise in lavish comfort and classic elegance. The large exterior deck cushions below the bridge were located in an ideal space for lounging while cruising, yet over time, some [...]

  • Installing headboards and wall panels

    Published On: May 1, 2019Categories: Interior, Shop Techniques

    By Terri Madden A headboard or wall panel is the focal point of a cabin. It can be configured in any shape or size and can be easily made by selecting a material and stretching and stapling it over foam and PVC.  A headboard or wall panel is the focal point of a cabin. Selecting [...]

  • Seam finishing for cushions and covers

    Published On: March 1, 2019Categories: Interior, Shop Techniques

    This MFA Outstanding Achievement Award-winner has “Chestnut” Silvertex™ Vinyl enhanced by the double-stitching accent stitched on a single needle machine. Unique patterning and stitching were required for the seat sides and face, as the frame components are a continuous unit of three sections assembled into one continuous unit. When you plan your projects, [...]

  • Zipper basics and sewing techniques

    Published On: January 1, 2019Categories: Interior, Shop Techniques

    Photo 1: YKK’s Marine Mates® UV VISLON® zipper is designedto resist damage from sunlight, as well as corrosion. The zipper is familiar to everyone, yet the word itself came into existence less than 100 years ago. The fastener’s design was a lengthy process. An early version was invented by Elias Howe, the man [...]

  • How to find, hire and train new employees

    Published On: September 1, 2018Categories: Interior, Shop Techniques

    Hands-on training for current and new employees is invaluable. Shown here is Brian Bennett (MFC) from Custom Marine Canvas in Groton, Conn., mentoring our employees in creating forward and aft biminis on this 42-foot 990 Sea Ray. Most marine fabricators have specialized skills honed over decades. Some were privileged to grow up in [...]

  • Considering automation in your shop? Read this first

    Published On: July 1, 2018Categories: Interior, Shop Techniques

    Tecsew Ltd. uses a Blackman and White Genesis conveyor cutting system and fabric feeder. The fabric feeder moves the fabric to keep it lined up with the datum on the conveyor. This model replaced a basic flatbed cutter from Blackman and White the company used for 10 years. Photos: Tecsew Ltd. Automation continues [...]

  • Affordable cushion alternatives

    Published On: May 1, 2018Categories: Interior, Shop Techniques

    There are several cushion design options to offer a customer with a limited budget. The cushions shown here have butterfly corners, which resemble a boxed corner, but involve fewer fabrication steps, translating to a lower price point. This affordable and efficient solution allowed us to deliver a client’s project within an aggressive time frame. [...]

  • Selecting the best fabric

    Published On: March 1, 2018Categories: Interior, Shop Techniques

    Photos 1 and 2: Designer and private label textiles, such as this Ralph Lauren anchor pattern, can cost $100 or more per yard. Using a matching tone in a solid Sunbrella® fabric on the zipper bands and bottom lining can help keep a project within budget. Thank goodness for Dr. Google! When sourcing [...]

  • Preparing for disasters

    Published On: January 1, 2018Categories: Interior, Shop Techniques

    Hurricane Maria damage at a marina in San Juan. A metal roof structure collapsedon the boat of one of Sand Sea and Air’s customers. Photo: Alayna Wool. Editor’s note: Like many people who live and work in Puerto Rico, longtime contributor Terri Madden, owner of Sand Sea and Air Interiors Inc., has been [...]