How Summer Days With my Father on Fox Lake Led to Founding Boatsetter

Written by Mariah Hoefle
June 10, 2020

Last Updated on January 13, 2022 by Boatsetter Team

My father had his 78th birthday about two weeks ago. I was a bit sad he wasn’t here in Fort Lauderdale with me for us to celebrate it together. He actually had just flown home a little over a week earlier after having spent two months with us. I had been hoping for us to all get out on a boat together to celebrate his special day, but he felt he was long overdue to get home and take care of his dogs and his house. We got him safely back to Nevada and he promised to celebrate with us out on the water when he gets back here later this year.

Boating with my father has always been a magical experience for me. My best childhood memories with him were when he, my brothers and I were all out on a boat together. Those wonderful childhood summer days out on the water were the times when the rest of the world disappeared and it was just us, with our dad.  No worries, just sunshine and water, and us all together.

My father was our family’s sole breadwinner and he worked very hard to provide a good life for my mom and us four kids. He worked long hours and came home late, tired. In the financial crisis of 1988, his business collapsed and we moved out to a little apartment in the California desert. My dad lived and worked five days a week in Los Angeles to pay the bills, only coming home on the weekends. It wasn’t an easy time, but throughout my whole childhood, every summer for two weeks we would go back to Illinois, borrow a boat from a relative and spend endless, glorious, sunny days together on Fox Lake without a care in the world, swimming, fishing, and having Dad completely to ourselves.

To be honest, it was the beauty of these summer days with my dad that inspired me to create what is now Boatsetter – thousands of boats across North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe that anyone can go out on any time they want. My family was lucky back then because we had someone to lend us their boat, but that’s rare. I want everyone to have the opportunity to experience the beauty, the tranquility, the fun, the excitement, the togetherness that boating brings, and that’s exactly what Boatsetter makes possible.

So, in the spirit of Father’s Day, I want to say thank you, Dad.  Thank you for raising me, for protecting me, and for inspiring me. Thank you for giving me those beautiful childhood summer days out on the water that have grown into Boatsetter, and that will, over the years, hopefully provide the opportunity for millions of other fathers to create wonderful lifelong memories of sunny days out on the water with their families.

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