The weather sure is crazy – yesterday morning it was 50º, last night it was 18º. Right now the yards are covered with snow and it looks like winter is going to hang on. We don’t need that stupid little woodchuck to tell us so. But, the sun is shining, and I’m choosing to think ahead to summer and paddling here in the Finger Lakes.
Christmas Day was good.
A few years back for Christmas, Tim brought me to the window that faces our backyard, and opened the curtains. Surprise!! My very own, brand new, shiny red, fiberglass kayak! I have a boat!! There it sat, smiling in the snow on Talic SeaHorses, just begging to be put in the water. And that’s just what we did! On Christmas Day, we took our boats out for a short paddle on Skaneateles Lake. I was ecstatic! I have a new boat!! The people in the village and on shore were not. Kids sledding down the hills stopped to stare, and one woman stood on shore and watched us until we came back. I’m sure she had 911 dialed into her phone, ready to push the button. My paddle sliced through the arctic water and the bow of my new boat split the waves, each splashing – and immediately freezing into thin sheets of ice – on the deck. When we returned home, my boat was gently laid back on the SeaHorses – perfectly cushioned, “floating” still. Perfect day, perfect storage.
Creating the perfect system
Are you familiar with the Talic SeaHorse? Tim designed these over 15 years ago. He holds a US Patent on the design. We make them ourselves – from the cutting of the anodized aluminum to the finished product.
The SeaHorse is a great, versatile product. Weighing in at under 5 pounds for a pair, you can take them with you wherever you paddle. No more setting your prized kayak (like my new shiny red one!) on a rocky beach, asphalt, etc. Unfold the SeaHorse – instant, tender cradling. And sturdy! They can easily support weights up to 100 lbs, and the legs adjust to the ground.
We have the airplane-grade aluminum made to our specifications and then anodized at a company in North Carolina. Once it is shipped to us, we begin by cutting the tubes into specific lengths and drill the holes. All of this is done on a one-of-a-kind custom pneumatic jig that Tim also designed and created. Next step – sanding and deburring the tubes on another custom jig. It’s amazing to me how many steps need to be taken before the finished product is ready! Really makes me look at and appreciate other crafted products. The SeaHorse truly is custom made. Nothing is outsourced overseas. When we say Made in America, we mean really Made in America.
The Seahorse ‘legs’ are now rolled into the assembly room to be flared and labeled with our Talic Patent number. Finally, Tim begins assembling each one – you guessed it! – on another custom jig. This is American ingenuity at its best. You could easily be standing in a shop of 100 years ago – you have an idea, you create a jig, and just like our forefathers, you produce a product to take care of a need.
The SeaHorse is bagged (bags cut and sealed on yup! another jig) and ready for shipping. We make them in two sizes – 21”, perfect for storage, and the 31”, great for working on your boat. My favorite is the 31” – like the ones holding my new shiny red kayak 🙂
Taking it on the road
I was lucky enough to be able to participate in C anoecopia in Madison, Wisconsin, last year. The largest PaddleFest of its kind, it’s an amazing experience. And was I ever surprised when I walked into the main showroom, which is HUGE!, and saw Talic SeaHorses all over the place! Boat manufacturers of all kinds of kayaks and canoes were using the Talic SeaHorses to showcase their boats. As the masses wandered the Coliseum and admired the boats, I stood silently back and admired the SeaHorses. I smiled.
Some 15 years ago, Tim had an idea. He designed and created the first ever kayak stand. And here I was, at the largest paddle show in the world, standing amongst them. Talic SeaHorses. The American dream is alive and well.