“Necessity is the mother of invention”.
August, 2008. Pickerel River, Lost Channel Area, Ontario.
While enjoying an afternoon beverage with a good friend, on his cottage deck, I was asked if I could design a shoreline dock to increase his docking space. The area he was proposing was along an inclined rock face, covered in light scrub brush. I agreed to see if I could come up with a concept which would be environmentally friendly and easily installed.
Over the next month I designed two different bracket concepts, keeping in mind my original concept requirements. My initial concept proved to be too complicated to manufacture and not infinitely adjustable, which is required when working along a rough uneven rock face.
The second bracket design seemed to fit the concept criteria, so I began building a prototype using structural angle and channel iron. This prototype fabrication was exactly what was required to fill my friends need. After checking my design, I fabricated 4 more to this design, and on Sept 27th, 2008 - I installed four of the five units.
During the day long installation, a boat with three fishermen passed our job site numerous times. On one of these passes when we were busy and away from the site, I noticed the boat in close to the site, and one of the fishermen taking photos. In speaking to them I found they were two engineers and a marketing specialist on a fishing/working week retreat. Within the hour, I had taken dated photos of my project, loaded the last prototype into my truck, and we were heading back to the city. Early the following morning I was sitting in a patent lawyer’s office in Toronto, filling out patent application forms.
“One door closes another opens”
Two months later I was downsized in the 2008 recession, and I decided to try and make a living from my designs. In January 2009, Dock On A Rock Inc was born. .
After being constantly employed by others for 42 years it was a shock to be starting a new venture, especially by oneself. Fortunately I was eligible for government assistance in starting a business through the Self Employment Benefit Program (SEB). The course instructors were very helpful and encouraging. The yearlong mentoring was especially helpful as a sounding board for sales and marketing concepts and ideas.
My first order of business was to find a manufacturer. In discussions with many fabricators I was convinced in having the brackets manufactured from laser cut formed plate rather than the structural angle and channel iron. This change was to reduce weights, and increase the brackets overall strength. The change also had another benefit, less cost.
Dock On A Rock is now producing numerous fabrications all designed to turn a rocky unusable shoreline into an environmentally friendly living space.