This $250 runner up grant is sponsored (and chosen!) by The Workshop Brewing Co. Thank you Workshop for not only being our host, but for the good work you do in our community and sticking to your manifesto of “Nature, Community, Craft” in all you do!
– NAME: Casey Petz
– THE BIG IDEA: To connect those that feel a calling to the majestic inland sea that we know as Grand Traverse Bay with a safe, approachable, and fun way to enjoy sailing. My big idea is to refurbish a used sailboat and make it available to members of the community that wish to go sailing – to make sailing accessible to any and all that want to feel the power of the wind pushing them around the lake.
– HOW IS IT PERSONALLY FULFILLING? Sailing has been a passion of mine since a very young age. Before I knew how to swim my father taught me how to sail, and over the next 35 years we shared many of the most meaningful moments of my life on the Great Lakes together. His love of the lakes and for me is something that I treasure…and I want to share that with anyone that has an open mind and passion for water. For many years, sailing was the only way I could truly experience freedom in my life. It breathed life into my soul and helped me to become a better person each time I returned back to the dock. Sharing the power of the wind with others is something that fills me with energy.
– HOW DOES IT MAKE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON THE COMMUNITY? During the summer, Northern Michigan is filled with thousands of boats. The problem I’m trying to resolve is that boats can be expensive to purchase, difficult to maintain, and cumbersome to store – so all those thousands of boats don’t do the average person living in the community much good if they don’t have the means to afford and care for a sailboat of their own. The positive impact that this idea has on the community is that people who wish to go sailing on Grand Traverse Bay will have access to a sailboat without having to invest money they may need for life’s necessities.
– WHAT WILL BE “PHASE ONE” OF YOUR BUSINESS PLAN, GETTING IT OFF THE GROUND? Phase One is all about finding the right boat. I’m looking for a used, safe, and reasonably comfortable sailing vessel between 18 and 22 ft long. If the boat is not in the best condition, no worries – I’m more than happy to help get an old veteran sailboat fixed up and back on the water so it can enjoy years of use by the community. The word’s “FREE BOAT” come to mind…I know there are plenty out there.
– WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR “PHASE 2” AS YOU MOVE IT AHEAD? Phase Two is getting the boat in proper working order and back on the water. My plan would be to raise awareness of this project by documenting the updates with an online blog and “asking politely” for help when I need to it in order to make this idea happen.
– HOW WILL YOU USE THE $500? The money would be used to purchase whatever is needed to get the sailboat working properly, sailing safely, and equipped to handle whatever Grand Traverse Bay might throw at her.
– WHEN DO YOU THINK THIS THING WILL LAUNCH? I love that you have used the word launch here…it’s perfect. The sailing season can be a short one, so time is of the essence. The goal would be to have the boat on the water and ready to be used by July 4th, 2017. This would allow for several months of use by the community.
– HOW CAN WE (THE AUDIENCE) GET INVOLVED OR SUPPORT? 3 things – (1) I need to find someone with a boat that needs some TLC and a new purpose in life. (2) The boat is likely to need some work, I’ll need a hand with some of the repairs along with some help in setting up the proper entity to own/manage the sailing vessel to make sure this idea can live beyond a maiden voyage on the bay. (3) In order for this idea to truly be successful, we need people to want to come sail her. I’ll need some help raising awareness around this idea so that it can attract the right people to go sailing. Get in touch!!