Darren Arthur runs his marine canvas shop and he’s about to venture into automation.
Dave Elliot distinguishes his business from the competition by slowing down and keeping strict standards.
Evanston Awning Co. assisted in the restoration of the USS Iowa by replicating the ship's bucklers.
The NMMA reported a 10.7 percent increase in retail sales of new power boats and sailboats in 2012.
Designer creates custom sail with ripstop nylon.
Upselling works with marine fabrication skills that transfer to other applications.
Clear vinyl pyramids are proving to be a valuable tool for checking reef health.
Replicates the look of real tweed fabric and has soft and supple hand.
Advanced fabrics from Soyang resist harsh conditions.
100 percent solution-dyed acrylic for awning and marine applications.
Sand Sea and Air Interiors tackle a total replacement of this boat's exterior upholstery.
Cindy Boersema takes an unexpected partnership dissolution and builds a sound sole proprietorship.
A tall client wanted a redesign of a cockpit enclosure to provide maximum visibility.
A completely customized power boat with a distinctive Dragon logo.
An avid fisherman wanted to be able to travel in the comfort of an air-conditioned helm.
Fabric suppliers see the marine market in a severe downturn because of the weakening U.S. and world economy, as well as cautious customer purchasing for the remainder of 2009. Until the economy does rebound, the OEM market segment will be sluggish. Price-conscious marine fabricators will continue to seek less expensive imported fabrics. This continued influx of imports (not just from Asia) will erode market shares for the market leaders. If the weather is warmer and sunnier in 2009, the marine fabric market may still face decreases, but not as much as in 2008.
Marine fabricators see the market slowly coming back if the economy begins to improve in 2009. The current slump in boat sales will change how they market their products and services. There will be more use of the Internet, discounting of prices, increasing advertising budgets, and increasing product features as they relate to sustainability trends. Technology will continue to improve, particularly in stitching and hot and dielectric welding. Fabricators see raw material prices remaining high compared to the past (before 2007). Like fabric manufacturers, they see more fabric being sourced outside of the U.S. They also feel that their industry will continue to have a hard time finding skilled craftspeople for custom work.
From the 2009 State of the Industry Report. Purchase a complete report at the IFAI Bookstore.