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Team Building on the River

With founder Jeff Bezos debuting his new $500M sailing yacht, Koru, and its support vessel, Aboena, we at Pre Compliance thought we should make a comparison of our founders’ nautical fleet. What better way to do that than to dust off our vessels (only to get them dusty again) and float 44 miles down a desert river in Central Oregon. Although more modest than Mr. Bezos’ fleet, the Pre fleet is more suited to river travel without bridge removal.

The destination was the John Day River, from 30 Mile Boat Launch to Cottonwood State Park. The first step was to load our 16-ft aluminum drift boat support vessel “Willie”, a multi-year veteran of the John Day River that has been in the Braman family for decades. What the Willie lacks in comfort, it makes up for it in its capacity to transport cold beverages and gear.

Support vessel “Willie”, primarily for transport of cold beverages and gear


The newest addition to the fleet, with many modern amenities such as padded swivel seats, fly rod holders, and splash proof cup holders, is the Reid’s 15-ft inflatable frame raft, “Big Blue”. The coveted seat on Big Blue is dedicated to the passenger holding the fly rod. On the most recent trip, dozens and dozens of smallmouth bass were caught from this perch.

Frame raft “Big Blue”, outfitted for comfort and flyfishing


For swift navigation between the two boats, the Coughlin’s tandem inflatable kayak, “Chelan”, measuring 15 feet, can overcome strong upstream winds, land at the smallest gravel bar, and bring people and gear up and downriver with speed. Though extremely navigable, in high waters, the Chelan is prone to tipping and can easily be swamped with water, requiring secure tiedowns and a manual bilge pump for dewatering. The Chelan is known for holding at the best bass spots and then catching up quickly with the rest of the party.


Swift kayak “Chelan” navigating small rapids and taking on water


We at Pre Compliance hope you can join us with your craft on next year’s trip in early June. One permit can allow up to eight boat and sixteen people so we have plenty of room for more. But now we have to get back to work, giving our clients the best services in manufacturer-focused structural engineering.

Come join the float in early June 2024

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