What ‘slow season’?

September 1st, 2015

Indoor work, alternative income streams help fabricators get through the off-season. Boating in many locations is seasonal, but the need for income is constant. How do marine fabricators handle that conundrum? A variety of strategies offer ways that canvas shops can use to get ready for seasonal slow-downs in business. ‘The Great Shrink-wrap Race’ “We […]

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Learn to talk the talk, then walk the walk

January 1st, 2015

Whether these are your early years as a fabricator or you are a seasoned “salty dog,” we all are walking a road with a unique language and set of skills. It’s fun to say “boating has been in my family for close to 100 years,” yet other than always having a passion for the water, […]

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How to start a custom job

September 1st, 2012

Building a custom interior in a vessel can be a challenge or an excitement. This all depends on how the project is presented to the customer, especially if in the beginning you can portray the idea of an interior that will fit what the customer is looking for. In addition to a low-maintenance or maintenance-free […]

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Bending plastic for new applications

July 1st, 2012

Custom bending and forming bolsters from Starboard and PVC board and inside corner wraps can be the coolest part of an upholstery job. We are often confronted with difficult corner pieces that require a special formed piece to give that full custom appearance. Usually I start with 6 mil poly (plastic) and lay it over […]

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How to choose interior and upholstery fabric

September 1st, 2011

Boat interior and upholstery work runs the gamut from utilitarian deck cushions on recreational boats to high-fashion staterooms on yachts with round-the-clock climate control. Regardless, fabrics used inside any boat are still in the marine environment and benefit from having the performance characteristics found in exterior fabrics, such as resistance to UV exposure, mildew and […]

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Precision is key to upholstery graphics

September 1st, 2011

Designing new graphics into an upholstery job doesn’t have to be the most dreaded portion of the job; it actually can be the most rewarding. You just need to get comfortable doing some custom work, so start with something small. The steps from start to finish are the same on a monster sunpad as they […]

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Interiors present business opportunities

May 1st, 2011

In today’s business climate, everyone is looking for growth opportunities, including marine fabricators who have felt the effects of consumers holding on to hard-earned cash. One of the most promising areas for profitable growth for marine fabricators is actually very close at hand. “Any marine fabricator who is not doing cockpit and cabin up-fits is […]

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Customer satisfaction: deciding to fix, replace or throw

May 1st, 2011

The first rule in selling a product or service is to listen to the customer’s wants and needs. Then try to figure out a way to satisfy those wants and needs. This seemed to be a much easier task before the economic hiccup that we have endured. Years ago, doing a bid for upholstery was […]

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Make inside corners look good

March 1st, 2011

The inside of a corner is one of the most difficult areas to get looking good. Here are a few tips for good-looking corners. To start, you must have a good foam base. Because of all the pulling and stretching required, soft foam will compress too much and not hold its shape. Old skins are […]

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Cabin cushion re-cover

March 1st, 2011

Project: Fabric re-cover of cabin V-berth. The customer wanted some color in the small cabin. I used a sunburst pattern to give the appearance of the space being larger than it really is. The bolsters had sew foam applied to the fabric, and were top-stitched to create a quilted look. The plastic pattern has arrows […]

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