For a lot of businesses with tight bottom lines, switching to imported marine grade vinyl fabric can seem like a great money-saving measure. Often, however, selecting a lower-grade import can end up costing business owners more, both in the long and short run. How is that?
For starters, the fabric or textile you import may not be produced with the same quality standards as domestic options. Marine fabrics require special production techniques, and leading marine fabric manufacturers keep a close watch on their production and operations. Keeping up with quality standards becomes more difficult when those practices are done overseas.
Other issues related to imported marine grade vinyl fabric include:
- Quality control is a big issue. Goods or materials that are produced offshore are not held to the same health and safety standards as U.S.-made products. In many cases, that means imported fabrics are less sturdy, but it can also mean they are treated with unsafe chemicals. Often, specialty coatings and other add-on features are not applied using the same standards as fabrics produced stateside either. All this translates to product that wears out quickly (and may be bad for your health!)
- Shipment Time. Saving on the sticker price means little when shipping costs come into play. Shipping from overseas can take weeks. Your product may get caught up by inclement weather during transit or get snagged in customs. During transit, your fabric can also get damaged. Between delays and shipping cost overages, you could end up paying more and waiting longer for your “cheaper” goods.
- Environmental Impact. Environmentally-conscious business owners need to account for the impact production and shipping has on the biosphere, too. Each freighter transporting goods across the Pacific consumes hundreds of gallons in fuel. Mass scale shipping releases enormous amounts of pollution in the air and water. Additionally, many countries that rely heavily on exported industrial production enforce emissions standards poorly, which adds to the carbon footprint of your fabric.Boating enthusiasts are exactly the kind of people who love a challenge. Taking on the high seas isn’t for the timid or faint of heart, after all. However, it’s usually best to pick your battles, especially when it comes to replacing your full enclosure top. At the end of the day, the amount of money you could save building your own boat top doesn’t stack up to the time and toil you’ll expend in the process.
Finally, customers know when you offer them high quality goods. They also quickly become aware when you do not. Marine fabrics need to resist fading, fraying, and tearing in order to protect boats and their occupants on the open sea. When put up against the elements, cheap imported fabrics tend to degrade quickly. This reflects poorly on your company, leading to angry customers and lost revenue.
Choose a brand that takes pride in their products. American-made Hercuite boat fabrics are backed by industry-leading warranties from a trusted brand in the marine industry. High quality fabric, like one of Herculite Inc.'s industry-leading marine vinyl fabrics, will come with all the necessary protective coatings to keep it looking great for years to come.