In 1972, Richard Nixon entered his second term as president, the Dow Jones hit 1,000 for the first time, and Don McLean's song "American Pie" reached number one. On rivers, surplus military rafts ruled the waves. They were heavy. They were unresponsive to the hard pull of an oar. And they were, well, ugly. Inventor Gordon Holcombe founded Maravia, spurred on by local river runners to use his expertise and knowledge of new, high-performance materials to build a better boat. It was the start of a partnership with customers and the beginning of a 25-year river trip.

In 1975, moviegoers watched Jack Nicholson in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," Jimmy Hoffa disappeared, and Maravia initiated development of a new "concept," a self-bailing floor with drop-stitch construction. No more wet, cold feet soaking in a bilge full of water, but perhaps more importantly, the beginning of a far better performing raft with outstanding maneuverability. The '70s also mark the beginning of Maravia's work for the Navy Seal Teams and the U.S. Special Operations Command with development of a fast, combat-rubber, raiding craft.

In 1986, Microsoft went public, the Space Shuttle Challenger tragedy claimed seven lives, and Greg Lemond became the first American to win the Tour de France. All the while, we busied ourselves by solving a long-time rafting problem: glued seams. This was the year Maravia pioneered Thermofused™ seam construction, which simply eliminated the problem. No more nasty glued seam failures!

In 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground, the most destructive North American earthquake since 1906 rocked California's Bay Area, and we created some industry tremors of our own by combining Thermofused™ Seam Construction with Urethane Seamless Encapsulation for unsurpassed durability.

In 1995, actress Meryl Streep took to the whitewater and piloted one of our rafts in the major motion picture, "The River Wild." Not content to rest on our co-starring laurels, Maravia introduced new Class VI fabric as the industry's toughest benchmark and developed top-secret stealth rafts for the Navy Seals. Following its pioneering spirit, Maravia moved into a new, expanded manufacturing facility and showroom located along the Oregon Trail and the banks of the Boise River.

These strokes of the oars bring us back to the current. It's been a river trip 30 years in the making, and we still haven't reached take-out. Maravia rafts of today are as much yours as they are ours because they are in large part designed by YOU.

If you're ever in Idaho, visit our headquarters and showroom. The river's just out the front door and we're always looking for an excuse to put a boat on the water.