The idea of NoWakie came from co-founder James "Jim" Butler in Perry, Michigan. After moving into a no wake waterfront community, he started searching for an affordable boat. It would need to be light enough to be powered by a trolling motor since gas motors are not allowed in most communities like this.
Jim struggled finding a boat that he liked and at the same time could afford. He began thinking about building a boat that was large enough to walk around on and stable enough for older people to feel safe riding on. The final design became a tri-pontoon boat that was small and easy to maneuver for practically anyone.
The first prototypes came out of Jim's basement and were fully assembled in the family driveway. It drew attention immediately and the neighbor who at first said the boat wouldn't float was surprised to see that first prototype sit high up in the water. It sat high up due to the material that Jim decided to use for the pontoons.
Aluminum pontoons are very heavy. Fiberglass is susceptible damage and not easy to work with. Jim has worked in the welding industry for over 40 years and knew that there was room in the market for a new type of pontoon. He was working for a company that used polypropylene on a daily basis so he was aware of its strength, buoyancy, and light weight. Polypropylene is a remarkably hard, engineered resin developed by the aerospace industry.
The excitement and interest level from his small community was so overwhelming that Jim decided to share this idea with his oldest son Jamie who lives in Florida. Jamie saw the opportunity immediately and proposed a company to Jim and a long time friend and business partner Martin "Martino" Rosanova.
In January 2011, they applied for a patent, trade marked a name and began working on getting "NoWakie" certified and into production.
NoWakie opened their doors and began production in June of 2011.