A WELD ABOVE THE REST

Welding (verb): to join pieces of metal together by heating the edges until they begin to melt and then pressing them together (merriam-webster.com).

Such a simple definition, yet a concept that is utterly important in our organization. Take two pieces of aluminum and bring them together to create a masterpiece of strength and durability that let’s our customers enjoy the waterfront to the fullest. At ShoreMaster, welding isn’t just a process with heat and metal it’s an art form and diligent practice. Our welders – all 19 of them – take great care to ensure that the docks and boat lifts that leave our facility are built to last, built to enjoy and built beautifully. They have a passion for the waterfront and a pride in their craft that is unmatched.

 

Danny Kugler, our welding supervisor, has been with ShoreMaster since 1986 and a welder since 1987. “I got into welding because it was opportunity to get to work with my hands but also to get to create something that I knew people would love to use. I got to be a part of this unique process of creation and manufacturing.” 

 

Kugler has seen many changes and advancements in welding technology and systems; like the introduction of ShoreMaster’s robotic welder in 2001. Danny actually programed the current robot we currently use on the ShoreMaster, LLC production floor. “It was a big change for us. It was exciting, but a big change. I didn’t really know what to expect but I knew that it had the potential to be really great for us.”

 

The robotic welder – which welds a variety of parts including Infinity RS4 frames, foot pads, leg posts are more – automates the welding process and allows for consistent, efficient, repetitive welding. Kugler says, “It’s great for a lot of our team, it brings a lot of efficiency to some of the smaller parts and frames so that our guys can focus on the larger frames and materials. On a truss frame there is not replacement for two sets of hands and welders special touch, but for a lot of our stuff Hal does just great.” Hal is the name the guys gave the robot.

 

Kugler isn’t sure what the next big change is going to be, but he does know that one thing is for sure “No matter what comes next for us welders, it’s going to be fun, it always is.”


Proud Sponsor of Fishing the Midwest’s – School of Fish

School of FishSchool of Fish, the leaders in fishing education, recently completed their third year of hosting fishing classes for kids and their parents/other adults. School of Fish taught 27 open-water Schools in 2015 graduating 657 “water ready“ kids and 206 adults.

Started in Alexandria, MN in 2013 as an open-water fishing class, School of Fish was very well received and, due to requests, added School of Fish ON ICE that fall. The program has now taught 84 Schools and ON ICE Schools across Minnesota and in Wisconsin and South Dakota and has graduated over 1,800 kids in its brief existence.

“We had our biggest year in terms of Schools and graduates in 2015,“ stated Mike Frisch, one of the program’s founders. “Our goal continues to be to provide kids with the knowledge, skills, and equipment they need to get their fishing careers started,“ he continued.

“This past year, we invited a parent or other adult to accompany their child to several schools and that was a huge success. Fishing is a great family sport and  it is only natural that fishing education be done in a family setting as well. We hope to make all of our upcoming classes open to adults,“ Frisch said.

Frisch also lauded the program’s sponsors in helping grow School of Fish.  “We are able to offer kids a great fishing equipment package in addition to the knowledge and skills they learn and, our sponsor support makes that possible,“ Frisch concluded.

Northland Fishing Tackle, Soderholm Insurance, KLN Family Brands, Shakespeare Fishing, Larson FX Boats, Cabela’s, ShoreMaster, Whiskey Creek Media, and Fish On Kids Books were 2015 open-water School of Fish sponsors.

To learn more about School of Fish visit www.fishingthemidwest.com and select the School of Fish icon to be directed to the webpage. Once there, visitors can see the upcoming schedule as well as view an information video to learn more about the program.

School of Fish is currently adding ON ICE classes for this fall and winter and, is also scheduling 2016 open-water classes.  Contact schooloffish@outlook.com for more information.

ShoreMaster LLC is a proud sponsor of Fishing the Midwest’s – School of Fish. ShoreMaster LLC recently has the opportunity to hold our very own class of School of Fish at the ShoreMaster headquarters. ShoreMaster is the premium choice for waterfront equipment making it easy for all ages to get on the water, quickly and safely, to enjoy the sport of fishing. It is your passion that fuels ours. To learn more about ShoreMaster’s premium products or to locate the nearest dealer visit www.shoremaster.com.


For My Family, And Many Others, a ShoreMaster Is More than Just a Boat Lift or Dock

Written by: Kurt Welch, ShoreMaster LLC PolyDock Products National Sales Manager.

It is easy to think about how much enjoyment people get from using their ShoreMaster dock or boat lift to get out on the water, or even just to lounge around the shore entertaining guests and taking in the waterfront views. That’s because owning a ShoreMaster Infinity dock or fully-welded premium boat lift is, for many waterfront property owners, the pinnacle of lakeshore living.

A simple cruise around the lake by boat or pontoon is almost always accompanied by discussions of the lake’s homes and the waterfront equipment that sits in front of them. The rounded ends on ShoreMaster’s boat lift canopies are seen as a symbol of enduring quality, and it’s easy to spot a genuine ShoreMaster canopy cover by the instantly recognizable ShoreMaster logo on the canopy ends. The curved sections on ShoreMaster’s Infinity series of docks, along with the 8 decking options invite bare foot enjoyment, and the Quick Connect brackets for dock accessories leave ShoreMaster docks looking just like the day they were manufactured, with no drill holes from mounting or moving the accessories.

My family (Kurts girlsmy wife and our two young daughters) live on a small 700 acre lake just outside of Fergus Falls, Minnesota. To me, there is almost nothing better than raising your children on a lake. I suppose entertaining your grandchildren at the lake would rank right up there too. Growing up, I spent my summers at a family cabin owned by my best friend’s parents, and I always thought it would be great to just live on the lake someday with my own family. In fact, I made it a goal. When we purchased our lake home several years ago, we had a pretty strict list of requirements; large yard, great neighborhood, close to town, great fishing, and great swimming. Even then, we knew how hard it was going to be to be able to check off even half of the items on our list. We got 4.5 of our 5 requirements. Not bad, right? The shoreline just in front of our property isn’t all that great for swimming, there are some weeds, it’s pretty shallow and in some areas there is a bit of muck. However, our lake has a great sandbar so a 2 minute pontoon ride is all that’s needed to be able take a refreshing swim on a hot summer day.

“We Are Saving Up For a ShoreMaster Infinity Dock”Kurts girls2

My family doesn’t currently own a ShoreMaster dock system because a relatively new dock was included with the purchase of our home. And while I won’t mention the brand, I will say that in the several years that we’ve owned it, we’ve had a lot of problems with it including cracked welds. We will definitely need a new dock system within the next couple of years, so now we are saving up for a ShoreMaster Infinity Dock. In fact, we’ve made it a goal. We would rather save up for the quality and flexibility of a ShoreMaster dock than buy an inferior product and waste our time and money on repairs and limited configurability. We do own a ShoreMaster boat lift and there is nothing more durable or easy to use on our property. We can’t wait to be able to say the same thing about our dock system.

Even though we live on the lake, and we enjoy swimming at the sand bar, sometimes my girls and I just like to head out to the beach for an afternoon of building sandcastles. There are plenty of places to swim in Otter Tail County, after all, we do have 1,100 of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes within the county lines, but as is the case with young children, we tend to go to the beaches closest to home. For us, the nearest beach is at Pebble Lake in Fergus Falls, MN.  Sure, we go to Glendalough State Park (actually we go there a lot), but we usually combine swimming and kayaking on those excursions, and it’s usually an all-day event. We also like to hit up the beach in Maplewood State Park, but mostly during a full weekend of camping. So when it comes to a good, quick, old-fashioned afternoon at the beach, we’ll head over to Pebble Lake. This gives the kids an opportunity to play with other kids, and it gives us the chance to spend a little time at the beach digging in the sand, which is perfect because the sand bar at our lake, while awesome for wading and swimming, doesn’t really give us a true beach to enjoy.

Back in July of 2014, as a thank you to the City of Fergus Falls for letting ShoreMaster use Pebble Lake beach for a photo shoot, and also as a way to “give back” to the community and promote waterfront recreation in the lakes area, ShoreMaster donated a TS9 dock system to the city of Fergus Falls. At the start of the 2015 swimming season, the city reconfigured the dock, installed it at Pebble Lake Beach and opened it up for public use at the start of the season.  To the people who swim at Pebble Lake, that ShoreMaster dock is like their own dock system, and Pebble Lake is just like their own piece of waterfront property. After watching people, including my own children, play around the ShoreMaster dock at Pebble Lake, I think I’m right, it is pretty easy to imagine how much enjoyment people get from using their ShoreMaster dock or boat lift to get out on the water. In fact, you don’t really need to imagine it at all, you simply need to get out there and experience it for yourself.


Employee Activites

 Being a ShoreMaster employee is about more than just coming to work every day – its about being a part of the ShoreMaster Family. It is about a passion for the waterfront, the outdoors, and our community. It is about the ShoreMaster Way. ShoreMaster, LLC is proud to sponsor our employees in activities outside of the workplace.

Softball Team2For the past two summers, ShoreMaster has had a softball team of employees who play every Friday night in the City of Fergus Falls Men’s League Division. Not only is it fun for employees, but their family and friends also have a good time watching, and cheering on the team. Plastics manager, and coach, David King says, “The guys all show up ready to play, we have a lot of fun as a team.” As playoffs are right around the corner, we wish our softball team the best of luck!Mike Shooting

While softball might not be for everyone ShoreMaster also has a sporting clay team. Employees get to shoot once every month in the summer at Viking Valley Hunt Club in Ashby, MN. Sporting clays is a type of clay pigeon shooting where the target usually simulates the flight path of different game species. Every station is sure to keep the shooter on their toes. While Viking Valley is home to one of the finest fully automated sporting clays  courses in the upper Midwest, employees are able to have fun at the competitive sport!

To learn about how to join the ShoreMaster team visit our career opportunities page, we are always looking for hardworking, energetic team members.


CHRIS WINTER TAKES ON DIRECTOR ROLE

Chris WinterFERGUS FALLS, MINNESOTA – July 7, 2015 – ShoreMaster, LLC a leading manufacturer of docks and lifts, is excited to announce the promotion of Chris Winter to Director of Operations and Engineering.

Winter has been with ShoreMaster since 2003 and brings more than 12 year of operational and engineering experience to this position. Early in his career at ShoreMaster he did design work, and estimates for marina’s and also worked as project manager in the commercial department.  Most recently working as the Design Team and Production Support Supervisor, Chris has a great amount of knowledge with all ShoreMaster LLC products, employee safety, and has well developed relationships with the operations team and employees.

“We are excited he has accepted this offer and the challenge. Chris has many years of experience throughout the operation and his direct interaction on the floor along with his engineering perspective makes this a great opportunity and fit,” says Don Hurley, President and CEO.

ShoreMaster continues to enjoy strong growth across all segments of its business, in part due to the Competitive Unification Strategy it implemented two years ago as a way to drive sustainable growth with an increased focus on competitiveness in distribution, product quality, customer service, and industry-leading operational facilities.

Winter will report to Rob Katzenmeyer, Vice President of Operation; the duties of his position will include oversight management of all areas of manufacturing and engineering to design and produce products and direct activities so that approved products are manufactured on schedule with quality standards.


INDEPENDENCE DAY

By: Nate Noland, ShoreMaster CFO

Nate Dock SystemAs I get back to work after Independence Day, I reflect on my favorite holiday. This year I was able to spend it with family and friends on a lake in northern Minnesota. It was filled with fireworks, boat rides, yard games, and some good BBQ – as I am sure many people were able to do the same.

This Fourth of July we had our own yard game Olympics down by the lake. The National Anthem played while everyone saluted the American flag that was at the end of the ShoreMaster dock. For those of you who are wondering, my team did not win, maybe next year.

Nate FamilyOver the last couple years, my family has grown and it was nice to get away from the stress and spend some time with my kids at the lake – the ShoreMaster dock enabled this more than ever.  We replaced an old steel roll-in dock with a new aluminum dock with a bench, flagpole, and stairs. It was interesting to see more and more people gathering and enjoying their time on the dock. I never realized before that your dock can be so much more than just a gateway to the lake if you want it to be. It is now a huge part of our lake experience. Over the years I hope to spend a lot more time with my kids right there on the lake. Hopefully when they are 16 they will still want to spend some time with their old man.

We do not want to forget the true reason of Independence Day. Everyone here at ShoreMaster wants to thank our veterans who fought for our freedom and who have preserved it ever since.

Be sure to like the ShoreMaster Facebook page and share your favorite Fourth of July event or memory to receive a ShoreMaster goodie package.


INFINITE POSSIBILITIES

By:  Eric Muckenhirn, ShoreMaster IT Director

Growing up I have always liked a little change in my life.  Driving from point A to point B, I was not afraid of changing up the path, taking a different road to see some different scenery or stopping by a landmark on the side of the road to learn something new.

1

Four years ago my family bought our first dock system. It was part of the Infinity Series from ShoreMaster. It is named Infinity Series because of the infinite number of configurations you can have. Your only limitation is what you can dream up. Our family’s first dock was a functional and a modest straight dock. It was made up of four standing 4’ X 10’ Infinity sections, with cedar decking straight out from shore, and a swim ladder at the end. It was good enough to get us on the pontoon and out on the lake. Simple and functional. Summer #1 configuration was complete.2

When you own a lake home, friends and family LOVE to come visit.  A lake home is a place where friends and family want to visit and congregate. If given the opportunity, people will also congregate on the dock. The following season, we bought some more 4’ X 4’ and 4’ X 10’ sections thinking we knew exactly what we wanted; a platform at the end, a new slip for the pontoon to help with boarding, and also provide access to the sailboat. Summer #2 configuration was in the books.

3.Last summer, my family purchased a Jet Ski.  The family was pretty excited about the Jet Ski, but the question came up about where we were going to park it.  We decided to use the same configuration as the previous summer, but add another slip for the sail boat and park the Jet Ski outside of the sailboat slip.  Summer #3 configuration was finished.

Last oneThis season, as in seasons past, we decided to change it up yet again. We purchased some 45° angle dock sections and completely redesigned the dock layout again. Reusing the dock pieces we had, we were able to go out a little farther and rebuild the swim deck. Minnesota had lower water levels earlier in the spring/summer, so being able to move the pontoon out helped with launching. We were able to go farther out by reconfiguring the dock setup, removing the slip for sailboat, and moving the Jet Ski over to the main part of the dock. This configuration is by far my favorite. The 45° angles really make the dock look sharp with their rounded edges. The dock furniture at the end makes you feel like you are sitting out on water. The platform out at the end acts as a relaxation area. We also have two vertical dock bumpers at the end for when friends want to moor their boat to the dock.

We really love our dock. It has provided us with the flexibility to add-on as we needed. You are not limited to one cofiguration. By redesigning the layout, you truly can come up with many different designs to suit your needs and varying lake conditions each summer. Start simple like we did, and then over the course of some seasons you can add on piece by piece. Pictured is the standing RS4 dock. The entire setup, each summer, was reconfigured and installed by my dad who is 62 (sorry for posting your age) and me (an IT guy).

You might not want to reconfigure your setup as often as we do, but next summer you might get the itch. Believe me, it is fun knowing that you are only limited by your own creativity.


BUTCH’S BOAT AND POWER SPORTS BECOMES SHOREMASTER DEALER

butchs boats

ShoreMaster is excited to announce the addition of Butch’s Boats and Power Sports to the ShoreMaster dealer network. Located in Barnesville, MN. Butch’s Boats and Power Sports has been in business since 1975.

Butch Lemke, owner and operator, has a lot of knowledge of the marine industry and a passion that ensures all of his customers are taken care of. Butch started racing snowmobiles for a boat dealership growing up and has been working in the marine industry ever since.

Besides ShoreMaster’s premium waterfront products Butch’s also sells Weeres pontoons, MirroCraft boats, outboards, and a full line of Husqvarna Lawn Care Equipment. They also has a service department to make sure that customers get the service they need to keep them happy and on the water.

Butch’s Boats and Power Sports has 3rd and 4th generations customers that keep coming back year after year. Seeing customers satisfied with their products is what makes Butch proud of his business, “I believe the person you choose to do business with is as important as the brand you choose.”

To learn more about Butch’s and their lineup of premium products, check out their website at www.butchsboats.com.

ShoreMaster, LLC is a premier manufacturer of waterfront equipment, specifically docks and boat lifts. ShoreMaster, LLC continues to grow their dealer network –working to provide their customers with the very best waterfront experience available.


MY SHOREMASTER SYSTEM AND MY LIONEL TRAIN

By: Don Hurley, ShoreMaster President/CEO

 

Don's Dock 2

Before video games and cell phones, there were toys and games.  I was fortunate enough to have a Lionel train set as a kid.  I received the original beginner’s set for Christmas one year and I was hooked!  That original set only had six train cars including the engine which came with a light and pills that were dropped down the stack to make it smoke.  That set also included just enough track to construct a small oblong oval.  And finally, it had a small electric control called a transformer (which means something totally different to today’s kids) that powered it but only to minor speeds. In the box was a catalog with all of the accessories to make your train system larger, faster and better.

You can see where this is going.

The first thing I got to upgrade was a larger powered electric transformer.  That was great, except the oval was too small, and the train kept flying off the track due to the increased speed.  So, I begged for more track and on my birthday I got more track.  Then I got some large sheets of plywood so I could permanently affix the track which prevented it from coming undone when it just was loosely put together as stock.

That lasted until three months later when I started mowing lawns and could buy a crossing station signal. The next Christmas I got more track and set up a complicated layout that included switches, a water tower, trees, and a dump station.  I then added another entire train and was running two trains on my elaborate system.

I eventually had to grow up and put my train system away.  I missed that feeling of excitement of continually adding and changing the layout of my train set.

Until I got my ShoreMaster dock and lift system.  Oh my!  As with my train set, I started out with some dock and a pre-laid out design by my helpful colleagues in our call center.  I decided to put every piece together and to install the dock myself.  That’s when I really got hooked!

I started fiddling with the layout as I realized that because of the QC system, I could configure my dock anyway I wanted.  Guess that’s why it’s named the Infinity Dock, dah! (It takes some of us longer than others.  Or as my daughter says to me, “Light bulb!”)  So I drew up small to scale sections and started to reconfigure.

I kept coming back to the office and ordering more accessories.  Adding cleats, dock bumpers, and solar chargers for my boat lift motor.  There was so much to add.

That was great until my wife butted in.  She started reconfiguring to set up the dock furniture on an island of its own with a quarter turn offshoot.  She was thinking of relaxation, while I was trying to set up my fishing boat.  You can see where this is going!

So next year, we are going to have one dock system, but she will have her part of the system, and I will have mine.  We both have a Christmas list going of what each of us wants to add to our part of the dock.

I can’t wait!


SHOREMASTER MAKES A SPLASH

Dunk Tank - Press Release

FERGUS FALLS, MINNESOTA, June 15, 2015 – ShoreMaster, LLC employees recently raised over $650 in donations for the Fergus Falls Community Food Shelf.

ShoreMaster held a fundraising event – Dunk for A Cause – during the month of May which raised the majority of the funds. Throughout the month employees were able to donate pocket change to nominate members of the executive team into the dunk tank that would be present during the June quarterly meeting. At the end of the month, the employees had raised over $525 dollars which put three members of the executive team – Ashley Bruggeman, Eric Muckenhirn, and Nate Noland – into the Dunk Tank. ShoreMaster employees also raised money by donating money to throw pitches during the dunk tank event. In total, over $650 dollars was raised for the local food shelf. Mike Shol, board member of the Fergus Falls Community Food Shelf, was on hand at the event.

“Thank you so much. This contribution means the world to our organization, especially this time of year. With these funds we can help to continue to support our local families. Thank you.” said Mike Shol.

“We have such great people here at ShoreMaster, and I am so proud of the way they step up each and every time we do a fundraiser. They are always eager and happy to help this community.” says Don Hurley, ShoreMaster President/CEO. “We wanted to do something fun but meaningful at the same time, and I definitely think that this event was a home run on both.”

ShoreMaster, LLC is a premier manufacturer of waterfront equipment, specifically docks and boat lifts. The ShoreMaster team includes welders, fabricators, engineers, mechanics, developers, designers, problem solvers and more–working together to provide their customers with the very best waterfront experience available. Visit ShoreMaster at www.shoremaster.com for more information.