• 2023 MFA Time Standards Manual

    Published On: January 1, 2023Categories: Features, MFA Time Standards

    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 that 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 [...]

  • Fabricating metal frames

    Published On: January 1, 2023Categories: Features

    Metal work on a boat is both a functional and an aesthetic decision. Here, Lakeside Marine Canvas of Buford, Ga., installed a “hoop back” frame on a cruiser to extend the bimini past what the manufacturer offers. Photo: Lakeside Marine Canvas Inc. Fabricating frames, tubing, hardware and other items can present a quandary for marine [...]

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  • Pros and cons of mobile marine shops

    Published On: January 1, 2023Categories: Features

    Photo: Dreamstime. When you’re a marine fabricator with a mobile unit, you’re often at a competitive advantage. Not only can you offer customers fast, convenient repairs and service, but you’re often able to recruit business from other boat owners who notice you at their marinas. Vendors who are fully mobile can save money on brick-and-mortar [...]

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  • Creative Connections

    Published On: January 1, 2023Categories: Editorial

    As a writer and editor, I prefer to do most of my work alone in the quiet of my home office. But during the dark days of a Minnesota winter, working alone gets lonely and my ideas feel thin and uninspired.  That’s why I attend literary conferences and classes each winter. The creative spark that [...]

  • Still time to register for 2023 MFA Conference

    Published On: January 1, 2023Categories: News

    As shown in this photo from the 2022 MFA Conference, attendees at the 2023 conference will find plenty of opportunities for hands-on education. Don’t wait to register for the annual Marine Fabricators Conference being held Jan. 26-28, 2023, at the Sheraton New Orleans in New Orleans, La. The conference features three full days of education [...]

  • New members join MFA

    Published On: January 1, 2023Categories: News

    The Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) provides resources and programs for marine fabricators and establishes standards of excellence for business practices, products and craftsmanship. The MFA is a division of the Advanced Textiles Association, formerly known as IFAI. Join the only trade association today that represents the entire specialty fabrics and advanced textiles industry in the [...]

  • Industry Events

    Published On: January 1, 2023Categories: Events

    Jan. 26–28, 2023 MFA Conference 2023  Sheraton New Orleans New Orleans, La. textiles.org/marineconference Feb. 20–21, 2023 Fabricators Conference and Showcase 2023 Manufacturing Solutions Center II Conover, N.C. textiles.org/event/fabricators-conference-and-showcase-2023 Jan. 19–21, 2023 NECPA Expo 2023 Sheraton Monarch Place Springfield, Mass. necpa.org Feb. 15–19, 2023 Miami International Boat Show Miami Beach and Downtown Miami Miami, Fla. miamiboatshow.com

  • Horizontal and cantilever frames

    Published On: January 1, 2023Categories: Exterior and Cover, Projects

    Photo 1. Clients were initially reluctant to accept the horizontal frame because it was a drastic change from the standard ‘K’ frame. However, the added square footage of usable deck area overcame these doubts, and the demand for horizontal frame systems and cantilever support systems is strong. Following the typical 10-to-20-year delay that “new ideas” [...]

  • Tricky client design challenges

    Published On: January 1, 2023Categories: Interiors & Upholstery, Projects

    Photo 1. A photo of the original boat interior of a 70-foot Hatteras. The clients initially wanted to replicate the color and pattern of these Wayfair pillows in the main salon; something that proved especially challenging. For most fabricators, long-term success doesn’t come from the easy jobs, but from the challenging projects. Using two case [...]

  • Marketing old and new

    Published On: January 1, 2023Categories: Business

    I majored in marketing in college. I thought I was great at “packaging an idea” and running with it. Now that I have owned Onboard Interiors LLC in Marblehead, Mass., for almost 20 years, I understand that marketing changes with the world, and the marine world is a unique market for sure. Are boat shows [...]