St. Pete boat upholstery company converts production to PPE

The team at Island Nautical in St. Petersburg is usually hard at work making cushions and fabrics for boats and other outdoor uses, but now they're glad to be busy making gear that helps essential workers on the front lines of COVID-19.

Co-owner Tom Cody fought for his country during the Vietnam War. He’s stepping up again to help thousands have the personal protective equipment they need everywhere from restaurants to long-term care facilities.

“You could see your enemy there. You can’t see them here,” Cody pointed out. “I mean, we are trying to make a difference, not just try and stay afloat.”

Tom Cody watches a machine punch out mask patterns

The novel coronavirus pandemic all but halted the demand for their goods. Co-owner Robert Ingwall said they quickly realized they had all the materials they would need to make masks, gowns, and face shields.

“They are somewhere in between a surgical mask and an N95,” Ingwall said about the level of protection their new goods offer to healthcare workers.

So far, they’ve sold 400 masks to restaurants and they have 1,000 masks ready to go.

LINK: For more information, visit or call 727-459-1115.