KENNESAW, Ga. – Fishing’s Future®, an organization that provides opportunities to reconnect with nature and learn about angling through family-oriented fishing activities, has a new official outboard sponsor, thanks to Yamaha Rightwaters™.
Through the new relationship, Yamaha Rightwaters will provide Fishing’s Future® with a Yamaha F175 outboard to power its “ICAN” vessel, a 25-foot Triton® specifically designed for families with disabilities. The “ICAN” vessel is modified with heightened railings, an open floor plan, wheelchair tie-downs and a permanently mounted lift that sits directly behind the captain’s station.
“One of the underlying missions Yamaha Rightwaters shares with Fishing’s Future® is to strengthen family bonds and teach responsible, ethical, environmentally conscious lessons,” said John O’Keefe, Senior Specialist, Government Relations, Yamaha U.S. Marine Business Unit. “Fishing’s Future® works hard to highlight positive differences and advocate for conservation. Yamaha Rightwaters proudly supports these initiatives.”
The “ICAN” initiative began during the summer of 2021 when Shane Wilson, Founder and CEO of Fishing’s Future®, met Tim Lippoldt, now captain of the “ICAN” vessel. Lippoldt grew up in Port Isabel and South Padre Island and spent most of his life on the water. An accident seven years ago left him with a severely damaged spinal cord and a new outlook on life.
“Meeting Tim Lippoldt was the final piece of the puzzle in bringing the ‘ICAN’ initiative to life,” said Wilson. “Tim is living proof that those with a disability can contribute and even become inspirational. The motto of the ‘ICAN’ is ‘I can, I did, I will again.’”
The “ICAN” vessel serves a dual purpose. It not only provides disabled families with the opportunity to go fishing on the water but also incorporates a permanent lift system to safely lower individuals into the water, allowing them to experience the freedom of being in the water once again. There is also a conveniently accessible hand shower to rinse off the saltwater before they hoist themselves back onto the boat. It’s worth noting that this vessel is uniquely equipped with these features, specifically designed for this purpose, making it the sole of its kind in America.
“Fishing’s Future® uses the ‘ICAN’ vessel to educate disabled families about fishing, then takes them out on the water to fish. We’re changing perceptions, illuminating possibilities, providing confidence and encouragement to those who once believed they couldn’t,” Wilson continued. “Yamaha Rightwaters believes that all families should have the opportunity to learn how to fish and go fishing. This partnership ensures that each time we take a family out it will be positive and enjoyable.”
Wilson started Fishing’s Future® in 2007 to strengthen family bonds and increase participation in fishing. Today, Fishing’s Future® touches 20 states, educating more than 1.1 million individuals.
To learn more about Fishing’s Future®, visit fishingsfuture.org
Yamaha Rightwaters is a national sustainability program that encompasses all of Yamaha Marine’s conservation and water quality efforts. Program initiatives include habitat restoration, support for scientific research, mitigation of invasive species, the reduction of marine debris and environmental stewardship education. Yamaha Rightwaters reinforces Yamaha’s long-standing history of natural resource conservation, support of sustainable recreational fishing and water resources and Angler Code of Ethics, which requires pro anglers to adhere to principles of stewardship for all marine resources.
Yamaha’s U.S. Marine Business Unit, based in Kennesaw, Ga., is responsible for the sales, marketing, and distribution of Yamaha Marine products in the U.S. including Yamaha Outboards, Yamaha WaveRunners®, Yamaha Boats, G3® Boats and Skeeter® Boats. Supporting 2,400 dealers and boat builders nationwide, Yamaha is the industry leader in reliability, performance, technology and customer service.