By late 80’s, after the first few Skyrider equipped Winchboats were in operation, the print and Television media was non-stop for the next three
(3) years. The new “Winchboat” and “Skyrider” inventions were hot topics. From 1985 to 1990, there was over 150 Print and TV Media
articles/coverage related to these two parasail system. Listed below are just a few from our archives.
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In 1987, after the previous years of the Para-Nautique’s commercial success. A number of parasail operators and equipment manufacturers
began production of there own version of Winchboats looking to save money. The first of these “copycats” to emerge was John Palmer, who
introduced the “Inflatable Aquatic Vessel” aka (UFO). The first UFO Parasail boat was sold to Greg and Rich Vanderlaan of Maui Hawaii. The
Vanderlaans soon after became partners with John Palmer and assisted him with marketing his product.
In 1987, Greg and Rich VanderLaan broke of their partnership with Palmer citing his inflatable was unreliable. They then created their own
Winchboat using Palmers Winch System and Parasail Canopy Launch Technology mounted to a Spencer 28’ fishing/dive boat built in the Florida,
Keys. They later named their Winchboat “Premium 28”. The Premium 28 was a popular alternative to the Nordic Ascender because of its wider
beam, simple parasail inflation system and work boat features. Eventually Premium sold there business, which later closed due for lack of sales.
In 1987, McCulloh granted Commercial Parasail Corporation of America (CPCOA) of Lake Havasu, Arizona an exclusive patent license under his
original 1976 Winchboat patent on the Nordic Ascender Winchboat which was priced under 30K. This allowed McCulloh to continue promoting
the Skyrider Gondola and sell his Para-Nautique 30. The Nordic Winchboat was manufactured by the Nordic boat company in Lake Havasu AZ
an was distributed to a world-nationwide market. Aside from the price tag and size, the Nordic was sold with the body harness style passenger
support system while McCulloh’s Para-Nautique 30 was equipped with the new Skyrider.
The original Spencer 28’
The 90’s Premium 28’
In 1987, Brian Gasken, original designer of the 16-gore parasail and owner of WaterBird offered introduced his own Winchboat version called
"ParaCraft". The para-craft never gained much success in the USA , yet remains a popular brand in Europe.
The original Para-craft 25’
The 90’s Para-craft 28’
In 1987, Mark McCulloh partnered with Al Copeland founder of Popeye’s Fried Chicken franchise to build the World’s First Mega Yacht equipped
with a customized Skyrider parasail system complete with a waterproof stereo sound system, flood lights for night parasailing and a back rest
that folded down hydraulically to look at the stars above. Many of Al’s celebrities friends enjoyed the parasailing experience..
In Memory of Al Copeland
February 2, 1944 – March 23, 2008
Al Copeland was a larger than life all
American Entrepreneur !
I will never forget meeting with Al in new
Orleans to discuss building the worlds
parasail system on a Mega Yacht. We spent
the first few hours talking about our humble
beginnings and soon after he invited me to
join him in Miami on Fisher Island to take a
ride is his newest Raceboat. I did, and it
was fast, fun and scary !
Al was a mentor and a good friend.. He
will be missed Mark McCulloh
Kurt Russell - Chuck Norris and Don Johnson