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  • Writer's pictureBill Holmes

Can it be no one has done this?

As I searched the internet for a different solution to securing valuables in boats and RV’s while underway, the first challenge was to figure out was what to search under! Lisa’s idea was to have a decorative clasp secured the picture frame that would then mount to a flat surface to hold it securely. At this point we hadn’t given much thought to the exact mechanics of it, we were just trying to see if there was a solution to the problem already in production.

I did multiple Google and Bing searches using a variety of different search criteria like “marine picture frame”, “how to secure a picture while in transit” and “securing your valuables while under sail”. Nothing. I then went to the big Marine and RV retail sites and tried to find a similar product. Nothing.

Then we went to the boat shows. The Bay Bridge boat show is one of the smaller ones in the area, but it is very close to our home so that was our first stop. We made a point of visiting every vendor and sponsor of the boat show to determine if someone had already solved this problem. None had! We also went on every boat that was equipped for an overnight trip. We did this because the retailers like to “stage” the boats like people do with homes, including decorative items and pictures. All the pictures and displays were free standing. Looking good!

The next event was the Annapolis Boat Show. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this event, it is huge! It occurs over two weekends in the fall, with the first being the devoted to sailboats and second weekend is focused on powerboats. We decided to attend both shows by water and took our boat, a 453 Silverton, to Annapolis. The cruise over was one of those amazing trips that you only seem to get in the fall when the days are warm, the nights are cool, and the marina’s fees are all reduced!

By this time, I was certain the idea had commercial viability. I had no idea what steps were needed to bring an idea to reality, but I instinctively knew that it would have significant cost and we had to be fully committed to the idea. The Annapolis Boat Show was where the final piece fell into place.

We had tied up to a mooring buoy for the weekend and took our launch in check out the show. The Annapolis show is huge, and it took us hours to go through every vendors and sponsors displays. We had a bit of lunch and a beverage, then we started looking at the display boats.

To accommodate all the boats, they build out temporary floating piers into Spa Creek where they are exposed to the wind and waves coming off the Severn River and the Chesapeake Bay. The display boats tend to rock! We were on board a three-stateroom yacht and walked into the master. It was beautiful! Next to the bed was a shelf with a picture of an obviously wealthy and well-kept family in a beautiful picture frame. I looked a bit closer and noticed that the vendor obviously didn’t want the picture to fall over, so they had taken putty and stuck it to the bottom of the picture. Putty to hold up a picture on a million-dollar yacht! I looked at Lisa and said, “we are doing this!”


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