After a 'bucket list' vacation to China, where my wife and I enjoyed a 'river raft' excursion down the Li river near Guilin, I decided to build a raft to use on the Erie Canal.
Here is a video using local slave labor (neighbor's children) located at The Oxbow in Fairport.
It was a huge success, and very popular, turning many a head when we cruised into Fairport.
One of my accomplices, Max Kreckel, who was about fourteen at the time, made the following video of our raft.
Brendon Lyons was the elder boy and 'captain' of the raft. We were considering making a little business of giving rides, but the insurance and bureaucracy made it difficult.
We all learned so much from this adventure, and the sourcing the engine turned into a phenomenal business opportunity. mud-skipper.com turned into being the major supplier of outboard engines for duck hunters and fishermen for all of North America.
We attribute this success to actually living on The Erie Canal at The Oxbow in Fairport, and running our business alongside the canal in Lyons. Without the wonderful location and view from our canal-side home, and our great neighbors kids, this business would never have even been thought of.
The Erie Canal Corridor is a fantastic place to spawn ideas, and for mud-skipper it's been the best location to test our products.
Watch this space for our latest project, floating docks!
Re-imagine the Erie Canal - everyone should do it.