Some marine fabricators prefer to stay within their market. Others have branched out, or are exploring doing so. Ameritex Fabric Systems, headquartered in Bradenton, Fla., now provides golf cart enclosures, says Don Zirkelbach, company president. About two years ago, seeing a need for better golf cart enclosures, the company decided to go after this market. Now it’s an OEM supplier to a golf cart manufacturer.
Katie Bradford, owner of Custom Marine Canvas in Noank, Conn., has ventured into residential and commercial work. The first residential project was the result of collaboration between her and a local awning builder. Since that initial foray in 2006, she has done a few others, mainly at the request of existing boat customers. Residential work comprises a minimal part of the business, and Bradford doesnâ€™t see this changing.
Her commercial work involved providing shade structures last year for four local restaurants. “I wasn’t looking for the work,” Bradford says. “It’s a whole other set of requirements that I’m taking on a job-by-job basis. It’s not a shift I’m looking to make for the company, although the new Shade Sail structures may send us in that direction.”
TUUCI Inc. started out in the marine arena, but now the Miami, Fla.-based company provides custom shade construction for residential and commercial settings, says Dougan Clarke, CEO and chief product architect. The company’s products are placed in seaside resorts, food service venues and exclusive residential settings.
“We’re in the business of creating innovative shade structures and extending comfort and accessibility to beautiful environments,” says Clarke. “We love the outdoors. We love comfort. And most of all, we love shade.”