This past weekend Sailrite president and vice-president Hallie and Matt Grant went to the 2015 Fort Lauderdale International 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.
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 Waverly 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.
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 awning track 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 SNADs. 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 Sailrite.com.
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!