The 2023 Marine Fabricators Conference Is A Win-Win Event

ROSEVILLE, Minn. — February 7, 2023 — The 2023 Marine Fabricators Conference that took place January 26-28 in New Orleans was bustling with energy, creativity and goodwill. With a total of 273 registrants, 68 first-time participants and 51 exhibitors, veterans and newcomers alike enjoyed the buzzing show floor, well-attended education sessions and special networking events that included a Fabricator Olympics and an over-the-top costume party.

First-time attendee Rosemary Taugher, co-owner of Two Roses Canvas in San Diego, Calif., said that after a decade in business she decided to join the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) and attend the conference, and she wasn’t disappointed.

“Our business has gotten to the point where we need to downsize or go to the next level,” Taugher said. “That’s why I’m here. It’s so painful to learn the business by yourself, and I came hoping to smooth my learning curve and help decide what’s next for our business.”

Taugher says she found the education sessions extremely helpful because of the knowledgeable speakers and the give and take from other attendees. She especially appreciated “Intro to Digital: 2D vs. 3D” because it helped her understand the next steps for her business. “Being at the conference has given us more belief in ourselves. It’s helped us realize we can offer information to others and also receive it. I really value that.”

Veteran fabricator Mark Peterson, owner of SugarHouse Industries in Salt Lake City, Utah, echoes many of Taugher’s sentiments. He remembers his first conferences more than a decade ago. “At first, I kept to myself, and then I realized there’s not only a lot I can benefit from here but there’s a chance others can benefit from what I know too.”

Peterson was part of the 2023 MFA Ambassador Committee, which welcomed new attendees at a variety of events. “Newcomers quickly see the MFA is unique in how willing everyone is to share knowledge,” says Peterson. “Newcomers from a few years ago are now actively participating and benefiting more from all they have to offer the MFA and from all the MFA has to offer them. It’s a win-win situation.

New Attendee Choice Awards

Two new awards were handed out at this year’s MFA Conference, and the winners received the most votes of the attendees who participated in the voting:

Rookie of the Year (first-time award submission) – Diamond in the Rough, Tangi’s Custom Creations (Marine Exterior)

Attendee’s Choice (most popular award submission) – Unicorn, In Stitches Customs (Uniquely Different)

Tools, Tricks and Tips winners

The 2023 Tools, Tricks and Tips contest included more video entries than ever. The point of the competition is to suggest winning ideas to make the fabrication process faster and easier. Charlton’s Marine Canvas, Yorktown, Va., won the first-place Don Racine Award and a full registration to the 2024 MFA Conference in St. Pete Beach, Fla., for its 3D-Printed Keder Welt Cutter. The second-place award, winner of a three-sheet drum of 40 gauge O’Sea or Regalite supplied by Continental, went to Boatman Marine Canvas, Oklahoma City, Okla., for its 20-Volt 2-in-1 Switch Driver. The third-place award, winner of a Press-n-Snap Tool from Action Upholstery Supply Inc., went to In Stitches Customs, Lake Havasu City, Ariz., for its Customized BendARC tip.

MFA Peer Group launches on CONNECT by ATA

The Advanced Textiles Association (ATA) recently launched the MFA Peer Group on CONNECT by ATA exclusively for members of the Marine Division. This new group offers an opportunity for MFA members to share resources, find answers and network with industry peers.

The Peer Group includes:

  • Discussions — Participants can communicate and learn from others about important industry topics.
  • Resource Sharing — All attachments posted to discussions are archived in a dedicated Resource Library. Participants can also add documents to share helpful information.
  • Member Directory Search — Participants can search for members to help solve their most challenging problems by name, location, company or area of interest.

To join the group and participate in discussions, visit

Posted: February 9, 2023

Source: Advanced Textiles Association (ATA)