Many of the paraglider pilots across the US, Canada, and areas of Central and South America are likely familiar with Stuart Caruk. He's the guy who typically is at the towing end of the towline driving Nightmare. He custom designed and built this aluminum hulled boat with 2 independently controlled hydraulic winches so that he could tow 2 tandem paragliders at the same time. He's also responsible for the final assembly of each of the well over 600 TowMeUp Hydraulic Winch systems that are in use worldwide.
Some of you may know that Stu suffered from a bout of Kidney cancer in 2007, and underwent a nephrectomy to remove the cancer tumors from his kidney. Stu managed with around 24% of a normal persons kidney function until he went into Hepatic Renal failure last August. He received a Liver and Kidney from an anonymous donor Feb 11, 2017 and he is recovering well, and back working with us. We have a huge backlog of winches to fill, with several frames in the queue. As such, we are still not taking orders with guaranteed delivery dates. Our CNC shop is producing production runs of the key components required.
Typically Stu starts a run of winches every 6 - 8 weeks. With his surgery he had cancelled all the production runs until after his transplant. There are winch frames and parts to build several dozen winches at the shop, so if you need a part you should still be able to get it. If you need direct help and support from Stu for an existing winch, you can fire off an email to Anita@TowMeUp.com. She will make sure that the message gets through to him, but she also acts like a gatekeeper during this somewhat hectic time.
Many people have asked if there is anything they can do to help out. Stuart pretty much has the same never say quit attitude he's always had. He would prefer that you tow up, work on your favorite maneuver to waste altitude frivolously on the way down, and go back and do it again. If you've never seen your glider deflated, He would love it if you would get with a competent SIV coach and at the very least tow up and learn asymmetric collapses, full frontals, and pitch oscillations big enough to give you a collapse.