Category Archives: Marine Fabrication

From TACO Metals to Marine, family-run business spans nearly 60 years

In 1959, after moving from Massachusetts to Miami with his young family, Dave Kushner purchased a small business called TACO Metals – an aluminum railing company serving the pool fence market.

 

DaveKushner
TACO Metals’ founder Dave Kushner.

After installing railing aboard a boat for a local boat builder, Kushner recognized an opportunity to expand the business into the marine industry – growing TACO’s borders beyond Miami and eventually breaking ground with distribution centers, regional warehouses and manufacturing facilities in Massachusetts, Tennessee and overseas.

Like most family-run businesses, Kushner’s three sons eventually joined the TACO workforce. As youngsters, mirror twins Mike and Bill, and younger brother Jon, remember helping their father in the TACO warehouse – performing an array of tasks to meet customer needs.

“I would go in with my dad on weekends and holidays and do little odd jobs,” recalled Jon, the now-President of TACO.

Those odd jobs included punching pickets on aluminum railing – a task Bill, then 10 years old, remembers well.

“I would have a rack that was probably over a thousand pickets,” said Bill, Vice President of Manufacturing. “I’d be sitting there [at] the punch press, punching holes, flipping them, [and] punching the other end. That was my first job working at TACO.”

Together, the three brothers followed in their father’s footsteps and eventually took over the business after Dave Kushner retired in the early 90s.

Kushner Brothers and Project Boat
From left to right: Jon Kushner, President, Bill Kushner, Vice President of Manufacturing, and Mike, Vice President of Sales & Marketing.

Years later, sound advice from their father still rings true today.

“He was very fond of telling us, the three of us, that establishing close relationships with our vendors was a very critical thing,” said Jon.

In fact, Mike, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, said TACO still has some of the same relationships with vendors today that his father established more than 50 years ago.

Jon said their father also emphasized innovation – doing things new and different to avoid products becoming commoditized and never being content within the marketplace.

With this advice in mind, the Kushner brothers continue to grow TACO’s core product categories – rub rail, sport fishing, seating and marine fabrication, which is pipe, tube and hardware for tops and towers.

Two of the latest innovations from TACO are the Grand Slam 450 and 500 Outrigger Mounts, which were designed to meet the demands for larger, faster fishing boats.

As TACO continues to evolve, the Kushner’s recognize the importance of the many individuals who make up the TACO family.

Sparta Marine Fabrication Team.JPG
With more than 110 employees today, the Kushner brothers recognize the importance of the many individuals who make up the TACO family. Seen here are members of the Sparta, Tenn. marine fabrication team.

“We have a team of people who all have a lot of different skills,” said Bill. “We’ve got people who have a passion for the business. There are people who, for the most part, have been around TACO and the marine industry [for] many years. We have a team that all has pretty highly specialized skills within the market. We’re in a business where, I think, we continue to have fun and everybody enjoys and contributes.”

The brothers agree, it’s because of the TACO team, the company values instilled from their father and the philosophy to do whatever it takes to satisfy customers that make TACO successful today and for the future.

Discover more about TACO Metals by visiting tacometals.com and tacomarine.com.

Marine Market Trends Lead to Tech Advances for Higher Performance

Baby boomers, a generation of boaters who once favored luxury sport fishing cruisers, are now trending toward high-performance center console boats – trading opulence for more speed and open air on the high seas.

As the center console market continues to grow, we’re also seeing a boost in horsepower and technology – leading to larger boats with more engines, which require an outrigger pole and mount that can withstand higher speeds.

To meet these demands and exceed market expectations, TACO Marine®, a leader in innovative sport fishing products, developed two new Grand Slam outrigger mounts designed for poles up to 30-feet in length.

Introducing the GS-450 and GS-500 – allowing sport fishing diehards with high-performance center console boats to level the playing field against larger sport fishing boats.

 

 

 

 

 

“We did significant testing on the GS-380,” said Jose Chao, TACO Marine strategic product category manager. “Those testing results gave us the information we needed to develop the new 400 and 500 series. The center consoles today are having technology features where they can fish with longer poles, which was the idea to creating the GS-500.”

Both the 450 and 500 mounts have increased surface area and plate thickness, a larger top tube with extended bearing, a stainless lever grip for additional lifting strength, a waterproof sealed design and much more. Additionally, the GS-500 has a larger ergonomic crank handle assembly for vertical movement with new locking positions.

“If you’re the type of off-shore fishing team that likes to run and gun, and you have a high-performance boat, the GS-450 or the GS-500 is the mount of choice,” Chao said.

Each of these mounts also requires the new TACO Marine heavy duty poles – light weight swivel roller carbon fiber outrigger poles with a patent-pending proprietary twist-and-lock mechanism for easy installation and removal. These were built specifically for the 450 and 500.

To get the latest TACO Marine outrigger mounts and poles, contact your local boat dealer or manufacturer, and visit tacomarine.com for the best marine sport fishing products.

TACO Products to see at METSTRADE!

TACO Marine® to feature longer Command Ratchet Hinge, easy-to-install Rub Rail kits and more at METSTRADE, Nov. 14-16, in Brunger Export Stand 12.408, Amsterdam RA.

H25-0023 topIntroducing the TACO Marine® Command Ratchet Hinge 18-1/2-in. long – a high-grade stainless steel and brass hinge ideal for sun pads, bolsters and lounge backrests.

This longer ratchet hinge allows for one locking position at 61.5 degrees that is 2-in. tall and 2-1/4-in. wide.

The Command Ratchet Hinge mounts above deck and can be used for seat backs up to 22 in. – perfect for single- or double-seat capacity and tested up to 500-ft. pounds of torque per pair and 600-pounds of vertical load on a 22-in. seat back.

 

Flexible Vinyl RRK NEW

 

We will also feature easy-to-install TACO Marine® Rub Rail kits. While rub rail is primarily designed to protect a boat, it is also a great way to upgrade its value and appearance with a bright new look and accent.

We offer a full product line of rub rail kits for all sizes of boats, in a convenient and easy carry box that’s also easy to ship. Each kit includes all items needed for full replacement of rub rail, including stainless steel fasteners, end caps and, in some profiles, the insert.

 

Interior: Part 19 – Taco Marine Project Boat on Ship Shape TV.

Taco Marine Project Boat

Changing out the headliner or interior walls of your boat? 

Part 19 of the Taco Marine Project Boat provides 3 time-saving tips for installing headliners and wall coverings.

1. Scrap the scraper for removing old glue or contact cement – we have a couple of time-saving tips for you. 2. Use a fabric track to hide uneven surfaces. 3. Fabric tips: Learn about what kind of interior fabrics work best for wear and tear, even a fabric that is bleach resistant. Watch Part 19 of the Taco Marine Project Boat Here. 

Installing the Hard Top: Part 18 – Taco Marine Project Boat on Ship Shape TV.

Boat Restoration: Taco Marine and Ship Shape TV offer tips on how to install the new hard top for the Taco Marine Project Boat. Just click here or the image below to go to the blog and watch the two-minute video on attaching the frame and a couple helpful tips about sealant and backing plates for attaching the frame to the boat’s fiberglass shell.

Boat renovation on Ship Shape TV

Making the Hard Top: Part 17 – Taco Marine Project Boat on Ship Shape TV.

Taco Marine and Ship Shape TVThe latest Taco Marine Project Boat blog is about making a new hard top for the boat. Initially Ship Shape TV decided to repair the original hard top, but when they started patching the holes in the fiberglass top, the bottom and top sections of the top were delaminating.

=> From a Cad Cam design, to cutting a mold, to resin infusing – watch the latest Ship Shape TV video on the Taco Marine Project Boat’s blog that provides fascinating insight into creating a new hard top for the Taco Marine Project Boat.

=> Learn about the best types of bonding agents and processes of adhering the two components of the fiberglass hard top. Watch how the two components are fitted, glued together and weighted for maximizing the adhering ability of the bonding agents. Here’s a link to go to the Taco Marine Project Boat blog.

Ship Shape TV

Hard Top of the Taco Marine Project Boat – Check Out Part 14

Ship Shape TV hard top
Measuring and fitting the frame of the hard top

In Part 14 of the Taco Marine Project Boat, we had to make a decision on the boat’s hard top – repair or replace. The boat’s hard top had close to a hundred holes that needed to be filled. The Taco Marine Project Boatprocess to repair and fill the holes in the top was to drill larger counter sink holes and then fill them with an epoxy resin mixed with milled fibers. See what happened at the end of the video at the Taco Marine Project Boat blog at: https://tacomarineprojectboat.com

Companionway Repair & Replacement on the Ship Shape TV and Taco Marine Project Boat Blog

Do it yourself companionwayThe latest Taco Marine Project Boat blog is all about what to do with that old-looking companionway. From redoing the glide rails, to replacing the doors, to selecting the best materials and hardware, the latest Taco Marine Project Boat blog provides helpful topic insights. To check out the latest DIY helpful blog go to: Taco Marine Project Boat.

Companionway
We cover the latest materials being used for companionway replacement.

Taco Marine Project Boat part 7 Updated – Transom Replacement Video

Replacing a boat transomCheck out the informational video just posted on the Taco Marine Project Boat Blog: Replacing the Transom, Part 7. The video shows what you need to do if the inside of your transom has rotted and no longer provides sturdy support. We demonstrate how to cut out the old transom and Boat Outfitters cuts out for us a transom that is stronger and lighter than plywood, composed of Coosa Composite material.

Coming Soon, a New Episode of the Taco Marine Project Boat

Designing the fuel tank
Discussing the fuel tank design for proper function of filling and venting the fuel.

Because of the harsh marine environment, fuel tanks may corrode and cause tiny pin holes that create fuel leak problems –  problems that you may never see, but ones you’re able to smell. To help prevent that corrosion, the Taco Marine Project Boat’s fuel tanks were also upgraded with a powder coated exterior surface. Watch how a high-end boat fuel tank is made by TNT Custom Boatworks, one of our industry partners.

Stay tuned for the next episode of the Taco Marine Project Boat; Fuel Tanks.