As long time boater from when my Dad had his 16 foot wooden Lyman moored at City Island In the Bronx, and the fun of flounder fishing in Long Island Sound was great, (except for the day we almost got run over by the Fort Skyler Ferry in a fog) I was hooked on boating. There were not many times that I did not have a boat. About 15 years ago I was diagnosed with CMT, a neuro-muscular disease that made it hard for me to get on and off my boat. As my condition progressed, the thought of being out of boating was totally unacceptable. I combined some engineering and drafting skills with a need to find a way, and spent countless hours drawing, measuring and testing to develop a device that could hopefully solve my problem and perhaps those of others having various issues with boarding and disembarking.
It was then time to hire an Engineer and take the project to the next level. Having SafAshor made in the USA was the ultimate goal, however after years of trying to work with many US manufacturers, it became all too obvious that we weren’t big enough or important enough for them to make the effort. (One manufacturing company in New Jersey strung us along for two years before blowing us off!)
With going overseas being the only possibility left, we made the big trip to China and found a few willing manufacturers. After waiting more than two years for prototypes we found that we could not get the quality that we wanted. Very disappointing! (I think that I may still have some tea leaves stuck in my teeth from that one.)
Still believing in our product, we had these prototypes locally re-machined so that we could attend a major boating industry “trade only” products show to demonstrate our concept and to obtain feedback. The show resulted in getting valuable input resulting in our making some important revisions.
In the interim I was introduced; through an internet radio forum to an established OEM metals manufacturing company in South Carolina. This company has picked up the project and has demonstrated the ability to make our “SafAshor” product in the high quality way that we need it to be.
Now, over eight years in the making, and with a combination of blood sweat and tears (not to mention money) we are bringing our product to the boating community, hopefully to help many boaters board and disembark more safely and confidently, and extend the pleasure of boating to more friends and family for years to come. Our mission is to make the safest and best boat boarding safety gangplank system available anywhere.
Growing up in the Bronx (and proud of it) I attended SUNY and studied pre-engineering and drafting design, but as having relatives there, I started a career on Wall Street on the floor of the Stock Exchange eventually obtaining a series 7 and 63. After the years of the commuting from long Island to Wall Street getting old, I took advantage of an opportunity to become a partner in a friend’s growing North Jersey contract flooring business where I later became a director of both the Northern New Jersey and Rockland NY Builders Associations, winning several achievement awards.
After many years of being a flooring contractor / retailer I later became a regional sales manager for a major flooring manufacturer where I received awards for sales and operations management.
My strong belief is that we should all be good stewards of our marine environment and the all-important ecosystem needed for its survival. Take advantage of joining an organization that supports these efforts to keep our waterways clean and healthy.
We are supporters of the “Marine Cleanup Initiative”, are members of the US Power Squadron, FOSI, Boat US, and the ABYC boating organizations. We promote boating as an activity that can include all ages and keep families together.
You can find us on Twitter at @safashor and on our SafAshor Facebook page.