From cushions to masks: Boat manufacturer shifts production to meet hospitals’ coronavirus needs

Correct Craft employees make masks, help with 3D printing face shields

A big part of fighting the coronavirus is making sure people on the front lines have the supplies they need during the pandemic.

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – A big part of fighting the coronavirus is making sure people on the front lines have the supplies they need during the pandemic.

Aida Claudio is one of several employees at the Nautique boat factory in East Orange County, where they have shifted their work from upholstery for boats to sewing masks that can be used by hospital workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

"We just try to help wherever we can," she said. "[The process is] really different because the material is a lot lighter."


The company, which is owned by Correct Craft, brought in smaller sewing machines in order to handle making masks.

Nautique President Greg Meloon said the factory is preparing to take in a special kind of fabric so they can make masks that can handle what health care workers in Central Florida need day in and day out.

"They're staying local, right here," he said. "Once we can get those masks out to people, we'll be ready to refocus when the world is ready to get back on boats."

Boat manufacturer Correct Craft also owns Watershed Innovations, where employees have shifted their efforts from assembling electric motors to cutting down pounds and pounds of plastic, making it easier for people to 3D print at home.

“We’re basically taking this 1,700-pound rolls into 80-pound rolls,” Watershed Innovation President Sean Marrero said.

On Tuesday, News 6 showcased how The Maker Foundation created a list of needed supplies for health care workers that could be produced by at-home 3D Printers.

Ian Cole, with the Maker Foundation, teamed up with Watershed Innovation, to make it easier for people at home to acquire the plastic they need to produce products like face shields.

“In this case, we have capabilities not everyone has, so we’re happy to share those for the greater good and hopefully make a difference,” Marrero added.

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About the Author:

It has been an absolute pleasure for Clay LePard living and working in Orlando since he joined News 6 in July 2017. Previously, Clay worked at WNEP TV in Scranton, Pennsylvania, where he brought viewers along to witness everything from unprecedented access to the Tobyhanna Army Depot to an interview with convicted double-murderer Hugo Selenski.