Where it all started
We love to fish. Having a top-notch tool that enables you to get the results you expect in a wide variety of conditions is very rewarding. It's not just about what you catch: having a relaxing and comfortable experience is just as important.
My fishing story started as a young kid fishing from the bank. My first boat was a 12' V-bottom boat on a trailer and trolling motor. I used it on a few small ponds and lakes-I never got used to dealing with busy boat launches and wrestling the boat into a pond without a launch was a real pain.
This led me to buy a kayak. I dumped it on my first trip, and really struggled to fish out of it at first, but with practice I was able to get accustomed to it. When conditions were perfect, it was fun, but with any wind, fun turned to frustration. Sitting locked into one position for more than a few hours also was untenable.
I considered alternative kayaks most notably with pedal drives, but I couldn't justify the expense knowing that I would constantly worry about destroying it on obstructions as well as getting wrapped up with weeds. After one particularly frustrating day on what was a perfect day other than a 10 mph breeze, I decided to consider making a boat that blended the trade-offs in a new way.
I had 25+ years of product design experience to leverage and conceptualization is something I consider fun, so I figured I'd see what I could come-up with. Below I'll show some of the steps taken through the process of development. The evolution was driven by experimentation and feedback from industry experts, kind strangers, retail stores, and so on.
What if we designed a watercraft that was ideally suited to support fishing?
Stability that allows you to stand with confidence
Comfort that allows you to stay out as long as you want
Fish effectively in wind and current
Transport and setup simplified
Ample storage that accessible while on the water
Designs were created, prototyped, tested and researched with end users, dealers and manufacturers to refine
Prototypes were built by creating a solid model, plotting 1:1's, cutting-out foam sheets, layering the foam and then shaping the foam to the final form.
First test - how do you test a watercraft during the Midwestern Winter? In a pool of course!
& Flat Bottom Hull
Experimenting with changes to the shape of pontoons and modifying balance point to improve stability. Tried a flat bottom hull to understand how much benefit tri-hull was providing: A LOT!
Taking what was learned, a new shape was formed, wrapped with fiberglass and painted to take to various locations for feedback
At this point, the product name was The Fisherman's Edge. It was entered into a entrepreneurship contest called Entrfest (similar to Shark Tank) and won third place in the state of Iowa!
This is the final pre-production prototype. After the unit was finished, functional improvements were proven, but market research made it clear that aesthetic improvements were needed.
Final Design Rendering
Hull Mold under construction
The Coast Guard classifies the Trident Explorer in the same way as a kayak, so testing at an accredited lab wasn't required, however we performed relevant tests per ABYC standards to validate the safety of the boat.
400lb Load Testing of the chair
First time on the water!
Tested with 600lb
There's safety foam in the outer pontoons to ensure the hull will float even if it is somehow completely compromised in some way.
There are a lot of options available, but none of them deliver a more flexible, easy to use, comfortable and effective fishing platform than the Trident Explorer
Learn more about the features & benefits of The Trident Explorer
2022 was a great year! Thank you to the great customers we worked with to deliver a boat that exactly met their needs. Building a boat specialized to catfishing was really fun as was building a 2-seat variant. Also a special thanks goes out to our suppliers who partnered with us to work through the headwinds that all businesses had to deal with. We look forward to 2023 being another great year!