IFAI member company Alameda Canvas & Coverings

When I go to the Marine Fabricators Association (MFA) events sponsored by IFAI, I gain confidence that I’m learning from those who do the very best state-of-the-art work in our industry. A couple of years ago I saw a demonstration on installing a bimini. At the time I thought it was interesting, although I also thought it wasn’t the way I would necessarily do it. The next week we got an emergency call from one of our best dealers asking us to manufacture and install a large bimini top in 48 hours, and there was just no way we could have done it how we normally would—there were too many steps involved and the weather was bad—so we switched to the approach that I had just learned at the MFA event. It turned out well, and we met the deadline. If I hadn’t been at that event I wouldn’t have seen how to do it in that way and been able to deliver what my client needed at that time. Being a part of IFAI gives me the confidence of knowing that I’m exposed to the latest and greatest, as well as the tried and true techniques, so I can speak to customers with a lifetime of knowledge accessed from across the country.

Jeff Viehmeyer is owner of Alameda Canvas & Coverings, Alameda, Calif.