Fans who know Cobe “The Mikker” Mikacich as a wakeboarding pioneer and award-winning coach may be surprised to learn that he is also an inventor. A few years back, he created HANGTYTE, the only patented boat cover suspension device. Next, he figured out a way to simplify fueling ski boats. After he developed the DROP N FiLL concept, he began the six-year process of patenting the device and finding the right company to manufacture it.
“The first thing I look for in a partnership is a person or organization who shares our values,” Cobe explains. “I knew from the start that I wanted to work with Moeller. I’m familiar with their products and I like the way they do business.”
Cobe and Tarah Mikacich traveled to the Moeller plant in Sparta, Tennessee, to check out the first production run of the new DROP N FiLL. “As soon as we walked in the door, I could tell that Moeller was right for us,” Tarah recalls. “As we toured the plant, it became clear that teamwork is a way of life. And I loved seeing so many strong women!”
Like most of his ideas, Cobe designed the DROP N FiLL to solve a problem. “Tarah and I spend a lot of time on the water and burn a lot of fuel. When she’s not competing, Tarah trains at Freedom Wake Park every day, or we’re out with our friends and students. We found ourselves wasting a lot of time trying to access the fuel fill and refuel with jerry cans without making a mess.”
Cobe named the patented fueling device the DROP N FiLL. “It’s the DROP N FiLL because the name describes a very simple process: you drop in a jerry can and fill your tank.” To use, the boater sets the DROP N FiLL on any surface which is higher than the fuel cap. The DROP N FiLL holds an upside-down 5 gallon jerry can; the fuel from the can discharges directly into the main compartment of the unit. To minimize mess, the molded-in cones keep the can above the discharged fuel level. The hose, which attaches to the outlet spout, connects directly to the boat fill. “It’s a simple solution to a messy problem,” Cobe sums up. To see a DROP N FiLL in action, check out the video. HERE
Bill Brackney, who heads up Moeller product development, is excited about the fueling device and the collaboration. “We’re proud to be working with Cobe and Tarah. They understand innovation. Lots of people have ideas but making them happen is what counts. And making them happen is the essence of innovation.”
Being innovators is just one thing that Cobe and Tarah share with the Moeller Team. “It’s easy for people to assume that wakeboarding is an individual sport, because it’s pretty exciting to see a boarder in the air. But it takes a team to make it happen. At Freedom Wake Park, we take teamwork seriously, and we know it when we see it,” Tarah says.
Another Mikacich/Moeller point in common is a healthy attitude toward winning. Both as riders and coaches, Tarah and Cobe focus on enjoying the experience. “We play to our riders' singular strengths, teach them how to gain a better understanding of each move, and help them become stronger. Not everyone can be a champion all the time—what counts is growing as an individual.”
Moeller Division President Doug Linder agrees. “We are thrilled to be working with Cobe and Tarah. When some people talk about winning attitude, they focus on winning. At Moeller, we focus on attitude. We are the best we can be, day in and day out. To the Moeller Team, that’s success. That’s winning.”
About Cobe and Tarah Mikacich, and Freedom Wake Park
Cobe and Tarah Mikacich, widely recognized as an “awesome couple,” are icons in the watersports industry. Tarah is the 2016 World Wakeboard Council Female Rider of the Year, and Cobe is one of ten
recipients of the Legend Award in Wakeboard. In 2012, they established Freedom Wake Park: a safe, encouraging environment to help others advance their riding and learn about the wakeboarding industry. Recently, the Water Sports Industry Association named Freedom Wake Park the 2017 School/Camp of the Year. For more information, phone 407-257-4325 or Click Here.
About Moeller Marine Products
Moeller furnishes custom and off-the-shelf fuel systems or components for vessels which range from bass and ski boats to offshore saltwater fishing craft. The company is ISO 9001:2008 certified, and all Moeller products meet or exceed applicable USCG and ABYC requirements. Moeller offers a line of open stock portable, topside, aluminum, and permanent tanks, as well as delivery systems, livewells, water and waste tanks, seat substrates, and interior components for boaters and builders. For more information, phone 931-738-8090 or Click Here.