McGregor, MN (NNCNOW.com) –As part of the Governor’s Fishing Opener, which kicks off tomorrow, Governor Mark Dayton is scheduled to visit several McGregor-based companies, including Floe International.The dock and boat lift company was started in McGregor and has been making products since 1983.
At 19 years old, Wayne Floe, CEO, designed his first boat lift. It allowed customers to drive boats up and out of the water, a product unique for its time.
Floe says he never expected that invention to lead to an international company.
“I had a vision to make like 1,000 docks a year. Something like that. I didn’t think all of this would happen,” said Floe.
33 years later, Floe International makes over 100,000 products a year, ranging from boat lifts and docks, to vehicle trailers.
But as Floe says, one thing that has remained the same since 1983 is the company’s innovation.
“We create what normally becomes a standard. That’s our biggest difference,” said Floe.
“We just don’t just come out with a product if it isn’t really easy to differentiate from other products,” said Don VanderMey, Floe International President.
Floe is about to release perhaps its best invention yet: the Floe Craft. Set to hit the market in the next few months, it will feature electric windows, roofs, and heating systems so customers can continue to boat in the winter months.
“That boat is going to change the boating world. We are going to be able to offer a product so people can boat comfortably at any time,” said Floe.
“Once you understand what it does, you go ‘Wow! Why hasn’t this been out there before?” said VanderMey.
Floe International is one of the title sponsors for the Governor’s Fishing Opener and will be offering boat tours on their Floe Craft prototypes tomorrow afternoon.