Trends from the 2015 Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show

Fort Lauderdale Boat Show -- Show

Fort Lauderdale Boat Show — Show

This past weekend Sailrite president and vice-president Hallie and Matt Grant went to the 2015 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. This show is one of the largest in the country and there were a large range of boats on display. However, Matt and Hallie found that it was mostly focused on powerboats big and small from super yachts to speedboats.

Walking around and touring boats, Matt and Hallie noticed a few trends starting to appear. So today we’re sharing the top trends they saw at the Fort Lauderdale boat show that you can incorporate on your boat.

Below Deck


Interior on an Astondoa 52 

Making your boat cabin feel more like home is always a goal and there was even more of this at the show. Familiar materials are being used in new ways along with incorporation of textures and colors in the cabins. Genuine leather and faux leather materials like Ultraleather® were popular choices for cabin seating. Additionally, boat interiors weren’t just white, as many powerboats have been previously. They had pops of color with throw pillows and accents made from bright Sunbrella colors or even patio fabrics like Wavily® Sun N Shade or P/Kaufmann Outdoor fabrics.

One look that really surprised Matt was seeing Phifertex used as a wall covering. It looked great and we think it’s is a really cool idea for DIYers to explore. There were also several boats with Ultrasuede® as a headliner, which brought a beautiful, subtle texture to the ceiling.

On Deck

 60 Cantius with Retractable Awning - Source

60 Cantius with Retractable Awning 

There were many ingenious ideas being used on deck that, like in the cabins, were using common materials in exciting new ways. Sunbrella® fabric, for one, was everywhere. It was above and below deck on all types of boats at the show. An interesting Sunbrella use that Matt and Hallie saw was in retractable awnings covering aft decks. Just like on a patio, these were small-sized retractable awnings for a boat. We thought this was a really cool idea!

They also saw Flex-A-Rail being used for awnings and tops on many boats. This is a Sailrite product we really like because it can be bent and it easily fits on narrow areas of your boat. We’ve used Flex-a-Rail at Sailrite on a radar arch to attach aft enclosure panels and this use for it was seen again and again at the show.

Flat, snap-on covers seemed to be a new popular trend that utilized Sunbrella fabric and YKK® SNAD®. These covers are used to protect sections of the boat. For example, covers drape over deck chairs and then snap to SNADs on the deck. SNADs are a neat product because they stick right to your deck so you don’t have to drill holes and they have a domed top so they won’t hurt if you step on them.

All in all we’re really excited about the new trends Matt and Hallie saw on the powerboats at the show and we definitely have new ideas to test out and share with you!

Try out some of these trends for yourself! You can find Sunbrella fabric, Ultraleather, Flex-a-Rail, SNADs and much more at

Would you try any of these ideas on your boat? Have you already? Have you noticed any other trends in boating recently? Share your ideas, opinions and experiences with us in the comments!

  1. John said:

    Please start to carry the retractable awning hardware. I have been ask by a few customers for this. Having a hard time finding suppliers for it. Also I have been using phifertex on wall for sometime now and the ultrasuade for wall and headliner. Sailrite has been one of my favorite supplier for material. Thanks
    V.P Marineoutfitters

  2. I have had lots of trouble with these sands. They do not stick very well especially after a little time.

    Regards, George


  3. Janet said:

    Hmmm…Phifertex as a wall covering…interesting! Any pictures of that? What would the backing be?

    PS: LOVE Sailrite! You guys keep getting better and better!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: