New vendor "Bowfin Cruisers" and new 80 series roof rack option

dogfishlake

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Bowfin_logo_FINAL_2017 (1).jpg


Hello all,

I have been on MUD for some time, but this is my first thread as a supporting vendor. So not only do I want to introduce my new business and the first of several products that are getting developed, also I want to say thank you all for the great community and for helping to inspire me to push this passion forward. I have had my own finishing company for 24 years now and it has been a great experience, but I really wanted to get back to something more focused on what I enjoy the most, and Land Cruisers are definitely my passion. My company is called Bowfin Cruisers LLC, located in Greenville MI. The name for the company is derived from the place I live and my MUD username dogfishlake, as Bowfin is the proper name for a Dogfish.

There are several things in the works and I will roll them out as time permits as this effort will still be my second career, with the hope of making it the only one in the years ahead, time will tell. I hope to keep a real and transparent communication open to all so it will be easy to check on how products are coming along as well as timing, pricing and availability.

So, to move on, the first item I am planning to offer is a roof rack for the 80 series Cruiser. It is an aluminum side rail type with T slot cross bars like others that have been shown here. I have had quite a few of my own ideas on how to make a rack like this and finally decided to go after my own design. I felt the need for a better design in a few areas and began putting them together until getting to the near final product I have here. The rack consists of aluminum side rails made of 3/16” laser cut aluminum, a front wind deflector of 1/8” aluminum, and T-slot style cross bars. The real gem of the rack is the attachment system. I worked on many different concepts until coming up with a modified latch that snaps on and stays retained with a hex drive bolt for strength and safety. The rack is very easy to put on and remove and the latch system gives it a really nice clean look.

The T-slot is black anodized and the sides, latches, and front panel are powder coated in a super durable satin black polyester powder coating. Fasteners are currently zinc coated black but a more weather resistant fastener is in the works.

Here are some photos of what I have thus far, as well as a youtube link to how the latch functions.

I will keep adding to the thread as this moves along and I am happy to answer questions you may have about it too, either on this thread or by sending me a PM. I do not have a website yet so MUD will be my means of communication for now or if you prefer, email me at dogfishlake@bowfincruisers.com
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dogfishlake

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I have just a few more things to sort out and I should be ready to produce racks for sale. Pricing is not set yet, but it will be comparable to other racks of this style. Also, I will likely do an "initial start up" kind of discount to get things moving. Soon to follow will be some optional accessories for hauling different cargoes. There is a 60 series rack in the works too but the 80 rack is first up and will get the bulk of my attention till it is moving smoothly (if that ever happens!).
 

dogfishlake

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Looks great! I need a new rack, but I need to move out of my current parking garage first! Ha
I will get right to work on one that retracts for low overhead like the powered step bars for pickups!
 

dogfishlake

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Those latch mounts are nothing less than awesome.

I have been drinking a little, but damn, I stared at this for like 5 mins scratching my head wondering why on earth you made it out of tinted Lexan :lol:

View attachment 1555030
That's funny. I got soaked getting those pics but decided I couldn't wait another day to get this going. I only put one lock down bolt on each side, and you can see in that pic there isn't one in that latch. The lock downs evolved because the first latch I had didn't fit so well and I got out of the truck and it was unhooked. That's when the idea came to me. The new latches fit awesome but the lock down bolt makes it even more rigid and makes it so someone can't just come along and unlatch it to be (not so) funny, or worse, easily steal it . The upside is the whole rack comes off really quick to clean the roof if need be. That is especially true if you have a helper to just carry it off the back as it is pretty light.
 

dogfishlake

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I should have a solid plan next week. Hopefully early in the week vs later. I am waiting for some info on supply timing for pieces as I don't want this to become a problem on turnaround. So far it looks good. The laser cutter is set to roll on demand so it depends on crossbar supply and waiting to hear about better quality fasteners. I do the powder coating in my other business so that part is covered. Still some packaging and shipping questions to solve, but not bad. Lastly, the latch is off the shelf, but I have to modify and coat it for this use, and I am looking at getting the bottom catch custom made.
 
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That looks awesome. I will be in Muskegon for Thanksgiving, I wouuld love to pick one up then! And to meet up with you; I have enjoyed your posts and advise for a while. Good luck with your new venture I will gladly test drive one and give feedback for a discounted price!:beer:
 
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I should have a solid plan next week. Hopefully early in the week vs later. I am waiting for some info on supply timing for pieces as I don't want this to become a problem on turnaround. So far it looks good. The laser cutter is set to roll on demand so it depends on crossbar supply and waiting to hear about better quality fasteners. I do the powder coating in my other business so that part is covered. Still some packaging and shipping questions to solve, but not bad. Lastly, the latch is off the shelf, but I have to modify and coat it for this use, and I am looking at getting the bottom catch custom made.
Sounds good. I'm excited to see how it rolls out. Provided pricing is in line with similar offerings I will plan to order one.

From a timeline standpoint, at this point I am 6 months into a front bumper order and 8 months into a certain electrical accessory order from the left coast ;), so if you can beat those lead times I'll be happy :).
 

dogfishlake

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Looks like an excellent rack. I've liked everything you've done in the past with your rigs. While this isn't my cup of tea I'm glad to see an active Mud member come out with something in this style! Good luck!
Thanks! I am really excited to jump in to this venture. I have been telling people for years that I still don't know what I want to do for a living when I grow up, and while I still try not to grow up, I think I finally know what I want to do! (might not exactly make a living but, meh :meh:)
 

dogfishlake

"Go on a living spree"
Supporting Vendor
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greenville mi
That looks awesome. I will be in Muskegon for Thanksgiving, I wouuld love to pick one up then! And to meet up with you; I have enjoyed your posts and advise for a while. Good luck with your new venture I will gladly test drive one and give feedback for a discounted price!:beer:
Should be rolling full steam by then. Looking forward to meeting up! I do need some feedback so hmmmmm...
 
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