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  The eKubator




 
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Kittiwake Economic Development Corporation

The eKubator Project

Make it 100 and counting.
June 3, 2002
{Author: eBerg Staff}



In the first week of May, Cottlesville-based manufacturing company SeaKnife Kayaks produced its 100th kayak, a testament to its growth since incorporation last summer.

The SeaKnife team considers each finished kayak a birth of sorts, owner Lindy Rideout explained.

The company has also opened a factory retail outlet in Toronto to better serve a growing global clientele. These are big steps since Mr. Rideout first dabbled with the idea of a kayak tailor-made for the rugged North Atlantic some six years ago.
In that time, SeaKnife has earned a reputation as a superb ocean-faring sea kayak through superior design and pricing. The company is now negotiating with an American distributor, and distributes its SK-17 and SK-19-2 provincially through Wiseman Sales and Service.

“Our design borrows from traditional Inuit design,” Mr. Rideout explained, adding that SeaKnife’s corporate philosophy reflects its commitment to a hands-on, detail-oriented construction process. ““We work from scratch. We design, build, manufacture, sell and ship.

“Creating a kayak is the art of compromise. You have to sacrifice agility for stability. If you want speed, you may need a narrow boat, and a narrow boat is tippy. There’s a bunch of things I simply wouldn’t compromise in the design. My boat accents stability, speed and price. This was my focus: to design an affordable, fast, safe and stable sea kayak.”

SeaKnife is one of 16 participating tenants in the KEDC's eKubator Project which aims to grow business through web marketing.

“Sea kayakers are generally characterized as upper-class, professional people who are environmentally friendly and use the web almost exclusively for purchasing. That is their mode of purchasing, and being online is the mode of selling kayaks. That’s where they buy,” he said.

SeaKnife is also diversifying its range of products. Mr. Rideout has also developed a serviceable back support belt, paddle float and rudder that he is planning to market to other manufacturers and kayakers directly.
It’s all part of a long-term business plan that seeks to place SeaKnife among North America’s top sea kayak producers.

“In five years from now, I have targets to grow to six employees and reach $1 million in sales. That’s six families who don’t have to leave the province, who are producing something to make Newfoundland famous,” he said.