Wednesday, Jan. 25

9 am - 3 pm Pre-Conference Technology Workshop

Technology Workshop: Beginner
Adam Penner, AP Consulting and Technical Services, Jeff Newkirk, Precision Custom Canvas and Tim Akes, MPanel
limit 30
An entry class based mostly on 2D CAD and digitizing patterns. We will be working with the patterns we create, and then digitizing the patterns with software like Photomodeler or a Proliner device. We will also discuss how to manipulate that data in a CAD software package like Rhino.

*Seperate registration required, not part of the conference registration.

Technology Workshop: Advanced
Darren Arthur, Nautitech Solutions and Tim Akes, MPanel
limit 20
An advanced class for those who are proficient the 2D world. We will explore 3D measurement using a device like a Proliner or other digital measurement devices. We will then discuss the different software packages to manipulate the data and dive deeper in 3D CAD surfacing and creating meshes.

*Seperate registration required, not part of the conference registration.

noon - 5 pm Registration Open
8 - 10 pm

Join fellow attendees on this two-hour walking tour with stops at 3 seedy haunted bars where spirits and spirits meet. This is a great opportunity to explore a bit of New Orleans and have some fun! Carry your drink along the streets to each location while listening to various twisted tales of debauchery in NOLA.
Note: this tour is 21-and up only and will depart from the Sheraton New Orleans hotel. Drinks are not included in the tour price but will be available for purchase at each stop.

*Seperate registration required, not part of the conference registration.

Thursday, Jan. 26

7 am – 6 pm Registration Open
7:30 - 8:30 am

Stop by and grab a cup of coffee and chat with the MFA Chairman Keith Purves, Vice-Chair Charlene Clark and the whole MFA Ambassador volunteer team. This is a great chance for new attendees to learn about the best ways to take advantage of being at the conference and make some new friends!

7:30 - 8:30 am

Try your hand at the Fabricator Olympics. Round one is a speed test featuring zippers! Fabricators with the top 16 times will move on to round two.

8:30 – 10 am

Team Growth and Retention
Clint Halladay, Sewlong Custom Covers
Turnover prevents traction, slows growth, and erodes culture. How can you keep the team you have, and also attract like-minded people? Clint Halladay will share SewLong’s story of the ups and downs of their teammate retention and how they turned a declining culture into a uniquely engaged family that is dedicated to service and delivering innovative craftsmanship.
You will learn how to:
-Maximize and organize onboarding
-Transform positions in your organization into career paths
-Inspire your team with a shared vision

10:15 - 11:45 am

Virtual Shop Tours
View a variety of video tours of shops of all sizes from across the country. Representatives from the featured shops will be onhand to discuss their shop layout and answer questions.

Shops include:
Canvas Designers
Great Lakes Boat
Rick’s Custom Marine
Yachtsman’s Canvas

Would you like to share your shop at future events? Contact for more details.

noon – 1 pm

Grab a hearty lunch with friends and help cheer on the top 16 competitors in a cutting skills contest! Fabricators with the top for times move on to compete for big prizes Round Three – held during the Costume Party.

1 – 3 pm

Intro to Digital: 2D vs 3D
Jamie Marozzi, Bayview Canvas and Carl Peligrini, SeaCanvas LLC
Wondering what the difference between digital and traditional patterning really is? Find out during this practical comparison and gain insight into the pros and cons that affect cost, time, accuracy etc. Jamie and Carl will be patterning the same job, one traditionally with plastic and one digitally with a pro liner and sharing the process and end results.

3:15 - 5 pm

Canvas and Upholstery Product Showcase
Moderator: Vince Innocenzi, Chicago Marine Canvas
This product showcase features a variety of fabricators showing off the projects they do best! Learn new ways to approach these projects and get tips and pointers from the craftspeople who created them.

6:30 – 8:30 pm

Kick off your week in style with music, dancing, and refreshments during the Annual Costume Party. The 2023 theme is Sailors and Sea Creatures – let your creativity go wild! Heavy appetizers and refreshments will be provided.

Friday, Jan. 27

7:30 am – 5:30 pm Registration Open
8:30 – 10:15 am

Soft Vinyl vs Polycarb vs Acrylic
John Cavendar, Boat Canvas University and Greg Keeler, Oyster Creek Canvas Co.
Take a deep dive into the differences between these materials and identify best uses for each type.

10:30 - 11:30 am

Community Boat Project
Rick Berkey, Rick’s Custom Marine Canvas; Steven Wayne, Southern Stitch Canvas & Upholstery LLC; Lee Brayton, BC Marine Canvas and Alex Patterson, Weaver Canvas
Moderator: Derek Robinson, Fabric Tattoo / Eqodry
This annual event returns with new projects! Once again, a team of fabricators will work together to take on a variety of projects and give a boat a canvas facelift – offering a great opportunity for the students in the Boat Building program at the Beaufort County Community College (BCCC) to see real world canvas applications. Case studies for the various projects will be presented with design, fabrication and workflow considerations. The finished boat will be onsite for attendees to view. Special thanks to Mike Charpentier, Paul’s Custom Canvas. He is not able to join us but was an important part of the project.






Materials Donated by:

Ennis Fabrics
Eqodry USA
Fabric Tattoo
Keyston Bros
Marine Mat
Piedmont Plastics
Port Town Marine
SunPatch Products

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Learn more about the Marine Fabricators Association. Hear a recap of the past year’s events and look to the future while networking with other attendees.

12:30 – 5:30 pm Exhibit Floor Open
4:30 – 5:30 pm

Located on the show floor.

Saturday, Jan. 28

7:30 am - 4:30 pm Registration
8:30 - 10 am

The Devil is in the Details
Vorei and Jason Reeves, In Stitches Customs
This interactive forum features the answers to your questions! Submit your upholstery-related questions when you register for the conference and help guide the discussion.

10 - 11:15 am Brunch
11:30 am - 12:30 pm

Tools, Tips and Tricks
MCs – Keri Ames, Yachtsman’s Canvas and Steven Wayne, Southern Stitch Upholstery
This interactive discussion explores the newest tools, clever tips and tricks to make your job faster and easier. Vote for your favorites onsite.
Submit your tools, tips and tricks submissions here.

12:30 - 1:30 pm

Taking Your Small Shop to the Next Level
Jess Flegel, Oyster Creek Canvas
Whether you’re new to the industry or you’ve been at it awhile and you feel stuck in a loop, progress can seem daunting. Small changes can make a big impact. The goal of this session is that you will be encouraged and empowered to start taking steps to:
– Identify issues and areas for improvement at your shop.
– Take simple actions and begin making changes
– See positive change and keep going!

1:45 - 3:30 pm

Patterning Center Console Enclosures
Mike Charlton, Charlton’s Marine Canvas
Mike will be sharing special patterning techniques that can be applied to all styles of enclosures along with how to come up with the design to best function on the boat.

3:45 - 4:45 pm

Marine Flooring
Rob Kotowski and Mark Durecki, Lake Shore Boat Top
Carpeting, woven vinyl and foam eva flooring.

6 - 6:30 pm Cocktail Reception
6:30 - 9 pm

Gather together one last time and celebrate award-winning projects, industry achievements, and the announcement of the welcome party theme for Marine Fabricators Conference 2024. Dinner and refreshments are provided at this commemorative closing event.

*Schedule/speakers are in development and subject to change.