New members join MFA

January 1, 2019

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 Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Join the only trade association today that represents the entire specialty fabrics and advanced textiles industry in the world. To …

New products

Waterproof shade on land and sea Recognized in the marine market for its weather resistance and durability, Sunbrella® SeaMark® is now available in a wider selection of colors and has expanded from marine applications into the commercial shade market. Fabricated from durable Sunbrella performance fabric and 100 percent impervious waterproof backing, SeaMark is available in …

2019 MFA Time Standards Manual

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 …

Tips for new employees

One of the trickiest things facing the sewing industry is finding qualified workers. Many new employees may be unfamiliar with the basics of sewing machine operation, says Faith Roberts, owner of Banner Canvas in Ham Lake, Minn. During a presentation at IFAI Expo this past October, Roberts pointed out that many young people neither grow …

New Years Lesson

Do you wake up raring to go, or are you a reluctant riser? For most of us, the answer is “it depends on the day.” Keeping yourself energized takes more than another cup of coffee; it requires staying challenged and curious. A good way of accomplishing this is to continually think of yourself as both …

How to streamline shop processes

There are common processes that are a part of every business. These include marketing, sales, estimating, quoting, work orders, scheduling, production, delivery, invoicing and reporting. Whether small or large, every business needs to consider how these tasks flow together in order to effectively deliver its products or services. Streamlining your shop requires you to identify …

Outside patterning techniques

When you’re re-covering built-in boat furniture, you can never have too many techniques tucked into your upholstery toolbox. Many fabricators use the same techniques every time, while others enjoy adapting and changing things up a bit. During the first half of my career, I patterned built-in boat upholstery either by creating new patterns from steamed …

Dynamic window materials

Fabricators and boat owners have a world of choices in windows. When it comes to choosing their windows, most boat owners don’t want to make it too complicated—they want a quality product that will last at a reasonable price. As fabricators know, however, it’s not quite that simple. In fact, according to Zach Grant, marketing …

Industry Events

January 10–12, 2019 Marine Fabricator Conference Queen Mary Long Beach, Calif. marine.ifai.com/marine-fabricators-conference March 6–8, 2019 IFAI Women in Textiles Summit 2019 Hyatt Regency Savannah, Ga. www.ifai.com/women   January 23–27, 2019 Progressive® Insurance New York Boat Show Javits Center New York, N.Y. www.nyboatshow.com   January 24–27, 2019 Progressive® Insurance Minneapolis Boat Show Minneapolis Convention Center Minneapolis, …

How to rebuild a business

Rob Kotowski rebuilds the family business with his father’s guidance and a commitment to quality and communication. We don’t anticipate that the completion of a project is the last time we talk with our clients,” says Rob Kotowski, owner and president of Lake Shore Boat Top Co. Inc., Saint Clair Shores, Mich. “We typically follow …