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Saturday, June 30, 2007

Storm Sail

When I attended Boys State as a junior in high school at Indiana University Bloomington, the elected governor was Jim Grant from Columbia City. I was stunned coming from little Nappanee. A student politician from a neighboring city that was a sports rival had become the governor of my state. I had never given thought to such levels of competition.

Two years later we became Beta Theta Pi fraternity brothers. Although not close I continued to admire his academic talents. After college (quite a bit) we sailed a 26’ Balboa on Lake Wawasee. Through the mail I purchased a storm sail kit. Upon receiving it, the catalog gave a history of the company from California. Jim Grant founded it while living on an old wooden sailboat in a Chicago harbor while pursuing a graduate degree from University of Chicago. On that boat he started Sailrite. He moved back to Indiana and kept selling kits.

Saturday I was scraping caulk out of the 21’ SeaPearl I have traded down to and the neighbor’s weekend gardener asked if I had ever heard of Sailrite. She worked there. I said I had but couldn’t remember where. I Googled it and found a huge internet source of sailing products. The company is located in land locked Churubusco, Indiana, in its second generation of Grants. I typed in Sea Pearl 21 and a new mizzen sail kit is $279.00. I’m tempted again. Check out this amazing story of entrepreneurship.

I never finished the storm sail; in fact the masking tape outline is still half way on my basement floor.


Anonymous Gail said...

Mr. Pletcher,
I'm seeing this for the first time and I can't thank you enough for the kind words you have shared about my dad, even if it has been five years. You so accurately captured him in your posting.
Gail (Widmoyer) Alexander

1:45 PM  

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