Every boater has been faced, at one time or another, with the problem of securing his vessel at the dock, knowing she is safe from damage due to high winds, tidal changes, storms and surges. Despite taking every known precaution, one fact remains, Mother Nature will have her way.
We were sitting in the cockpit of Irv and Sally Drost's Island Packet 31, when the boat began listing to port as the tide came in. He eased the port stern line, which was caught on the piling and the boat immediately righted herself. His slip was too narrow to tie lines high on the pilings or to crisscross them at the stern. "These frayed lines will need replacing soon. They often snag on the pilings if I'm not here to adjust them." We both agreed there must be a better way.
So we started our company, Go with the Flow Solutions, LLC, with one goal in mind: to develop the most dependable, yet simplest and least expensive solution to this time-worn problem of safe and secure docking.
Within a few weeks, we sent Irv two sets of lines fitted with roller blade wheels, hollow plastic axles, spacers and hose clamps; and his thorough testing and analysis of this prototype revealed that a rolling apparatus of some kind could be the best solution.
A patent search produced dozens of "solutions," the majority of which were too complicated and costly to ever reach the market place. We seemed to be on the right track. Being fully committed to this project, we were led to producing solid plastic balls with very smooth tunnels that allowed the line to ride up and down the pilings with complete freedom, yet total control. We named them, TideMinders®.
A year of testing in all weather-related situations, along with consumer demand, convinced us to modify our "string of pearls." They now come in several colors, they're easy to install - and they float! The Patent pending TideMinders® also come with a ten-year warranty making them truly affordable. (Refer to the "Congrat's Skipper!" letter.)
During that same year, we were building a great team of collaborators: Larry Gray, Owner/Inventor; Judy Gray, Member; Courtney Gust, President of Camcar Plastics, Inc., product improvement and production; Mike Stenberg, President of Dr. Shrink, Inc., distribution and world-wide advertising; and Dan Girdwood, Patent Attorney; and Paul Yuen, web design and development, specializing in e-marketing. We also appreciate the support from several boating retailers, including Torresen Marine, West Marine and Boater's World. We are grateful for this team and for the input from our many customers!