• 2018 Premier Product Showcase

    Published On: May 1, 2018Categories: News

    High-quality products help you create durable, attractive and successful projects. For this feature, we asked our contributors to send us information about their high-performing products. The product information was submitted by the participating manufacturers and suppliers by the established deadline. The products are organized into four categories: Equipment and Tools; Fabric, Film and Foam; Hardware [...]

  • Marine industry growth continues

    Published On: May 1, 2018Categories: News

    IFAI’s market research shows that economic growth in 2017 increased in key advanced economies such as the United States, Canada, Japan and Europe. Worldwide growth in GDP came in at 3.6 percent in 2017—well ahead of the 3.2 percent growth experienced in 2016; it is expected to recover to 3.7 percent in 2018. Several developments [...]

  • Liz Diaz creates marine interiors and homeless shelters

    Published On: May 1, 2018Categories: Features

    Liz Diaz designs inspired boat interiors—and is applying that expertise to bring shelter to the homeless. Having a really good life is not financially driven. It’s inspiration driven,” says Liz Diaz, MFC, owner of North Beach Marine Canvas in San Francisco, Calif. “Working on and around the water is a singularly lovely employment. I am [...]

  • Savvy cash management helps your bottom line

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

    Cash flow—the amount of money flowing into and out of your shop—is an easy concept to understand, yet not always well managed. Not every owner is aware of the impact skillful cash management has on net income, probably because the importance of managing revenue is far easier to recognize in some types of businesses than [...]

  • Diversifying beyond marine

    Published On: May 1, 2018Categories: Features

    This awning from Lowitz Custom Shoppe was built and installed by the company for a client whose store is located on the main street of town, where many of Lowitz’s awning customers are located. Photo: Lowitz Custom Shoppe. There’s value in diversifying beyond boats for marine fabricators, like steadier work and income flow, [...]

  • 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. [...]

  • A family tradition of fabrication

    Published On: May 1, 2018Categories: Fabricator Focus

    Dave Lowitz, owner of Lowitz Custom Shoppe (shown here with his wife Melanie), says manyof his customers own several boats—a ski/wakeboard boat, a pontoon boat and a fishing boat. The framework of the boat top set for this fishing boat was made using 1-inch heavy-walled stainless steel tubing and has a double rear bow [...]

  • Designing the Proper Enclosure

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

    At Lake Shore Boat Top Co. Inc., in St. Clair Shores, Mich., we fabricate custom marine canvas year-round. Our customers come to us for high-quality marine fabrication and we depend on our staff to help provide new ideas to make every boat truly a work of art. When designing a new enclosure, here are some [...]

  • Innovation and growth

    Published On: May 1, 2018Categories: Editorial

    Each year, IFAI publishes a state of the industry report that factors in numerous market realities. This year’s report shows that growth was strong in the marine fabric market in 2017, and this growth is expected to continue into 2018, despite higher oil and gas prices. During this busy time of year, marine fabricators might [...]