2018 Premier Product Showcase

May 1, 2018

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

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

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

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 …

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Diversifying beyond marine

There’s value in diversifying beyond boats for marine fabricators, like steadier work and income flow, but the move may not be smooth sailing for every business; careful evaluation is critical to avoid sinking. Business owners are often given conflicting advice. On the one hand, they are cautioned about the dangers of “putting all your eggs …

Affordable cushion alternatives

It is often challenging to offer successful cushion design solutions when a customer wants a champagne look on a beer budget. Getting the answers to the following four questions during the initial client meeting can make all the difference in finding an affordable solution that leads to a satisfied customer: Who is the final decision …

A family tradition of fabrication

Dave Lowitz is the owner of Lowitz Custom Shoppe in Kalispell, Mont., which is located near Glacier National Park. The shop has been family owned and operated since 1957. Dave has spent 38 years in the business, approximately 30 of them in marine canvas and upholstery. Currently, there are four people working at Lowitz Custom …

Designing the Proper Enclosure

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

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 …