Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 52

FOCUS

MARKETS

Aft deck entertaining is at its
finest on the upper level of this
Viking Yacht Co.'s 93' Motor
Yacht. The Lloyd Flanders
furniture is covered in fabric by
Sunbrella® and Crown barstools
are upholstered in Ultrafabrics®
Ultraleather®. Project by WBC
Design. Photo: Forrest Johnson.

From classic to showy
Marine fabric and flooring trends, for 2020 and beyond.
BY SIGRID TORNQUIST

M
Reopening safely
The Marine Retailers Association of the
Americas (MRAA) recently launched
a series of resources to help marine
industry dealers reopen safely. Noting
that dealerships around North America
were only partially open in most areas in
the early months of the pandemic, and
that nearly 30 percent had temporarily
closed, reopening businesses will
require bringing staff back inside the
walls of their physical location and
adapting to the new normal of retail,
where sales, service, deliveries and
sea trials must consider new methods
for keeping employees and customers
safe. For more, go to www.mraa.com/
page/getbacktowork.

aybe it's because boats are so special to their owners, or because boat owners are
people who love to show off their latest acquisitions. Whatever the reason, most boat
owners crave a vessel that showcases statement-making flooring and fabric trends.
"If the boat next to you has something, chances are you're going to want it too-and so it
feels itself all the way down the dock," says Faith Roberts, owner of Banner Canvas in Ham
Lake, Minn. "Once one boat has installed something new, everyone sees it and says, 'Wow.
I've got to have that.'"
Beyond neighbors at the harbor, Roberts says the industry itself drives these trends. "In
other words, the OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] are the ones who start using a
new product, and then it catches on in the aftermarket," she says.
BEYOND CARPET
The economic downturn of 2008 played a part in opening up the flooring market, according to
Roberts. "A lot of carpet manufacturers went out of business, and we couldn't get carpet," she
remembers. "I think that opened up the industry for something new-such as foam-backed vinyls."
Roberts points to Infinity Luxury Woven Vinyl™ as an example, which she says "splashed
onto the market" at about that time-a product she values for its cleanability and the way it
binds. The product touts soil and stain resistance, mold and mildew resistance, UV stability,
cleanability and resistance to heavy commercial traffic.
Indeed, durability and cleanability are top considerations when it comes to marine flooring-
not to mention breakthroughs in aesthetics. "Flooring is a fashion statement, so whoever in the
family determines the 'look' of the boat is typically the one who determines the flooring," says
Warren J. McCrickard, executive vice president, sales and marketing for Dothan, Ala.-based
Infinity Luxury Woven Vinyl. "Wood grain-with and without teak caulk lines-has been a
growing trend, as are pearlescent yarns that help give a sheen or metallic 'pop.' Both the natural
wood look and added textured feel are exciting to customers."
McCrickard says that sustainability is one reason woven vinyl flooring has gained popularity:
"It carries a longer UV/fade warranty, so it requires less frequent replacement and has a better
resale value to the customer."
However, some customers are wary of woven vinyl due to the heat that PVC absorbs. In
response, in 2018 Infinity launched low-heat-buildup yarns in its flooring that reduce surface
heat up to 20 percent, McCrickard says.

52 REVIEW AUGUST 2020

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7/21/20 4:49 PM


http://www.mraa.com/

Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020

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Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 1
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Specialty Fabrics Review August 2020 - 3
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