Unfortunately, we aren't going to host Project Best Idea Ever in 2011.
If you came along last year, you'll remember our little run-in with the marine police where they prevented any PBIE participants from passing the Mass Ave bridge.
Turns out in order to prevent that sort of foolishness this year, we'd have to either scale the project way, way back or get a ton of liability insurance and permits. With all of the organizers busy with other pursuits, we didn't have the time, money, or will to really do things right this year, so we're calling it off.
That sucks! What can I do?
Believe me, I know! We're not happy about it either. If anyone's interested in taking over the project in the future, let us know and we can help you get set up with the people and resources you need to make it legit.
But I can do it myself, right?
For sure! PBIE started out seven years ago as a half-baked idea and a trip to Target.
You can still rock the spirit of PBIE this year by buying your own rafts and rocking out DIY style. Hit up the links below to snag the same equipment we've used in the past:
Gear up and get out there! And who knows, you might see some of us there -- if you see an inflatable raft with grills strapped to it, come by and say hi. We'll save you a hot dog.
Boston's Fourth of July fireworks display is second to none in the United States - almost certainly making it the best in the world. There's only one problem: if you want a good view, you have to get there early or sit behind medium to large sized groups of people. People that are probably taller than you.
Six years ago, we had an idea. What about boats? Hundreds of intrepid individuals take to the Charles River in their motorboats, canoes, and kayaks every year. Why couldn't we be one of them? Rental boats command a price of $100+ for just a couple people and require a $1000+ deposit - you also need to drive them around or return them late at night. Ugh!
What about inflatable rafts? They're cheap, durable, wacky, and cheap. You can't go wrong. Basically, it's the best idea ever.
Q: I bought a raft last year and left it there, or my friend took it, or something. Can I have it back?
Sadly, no. Many rafts that were left behind were damaged somehow, lost, or left in various places. Furthermore, many more of them are missing oars.
Q: Do I get to keep the equipment?
Absolutely! You get to keep everything you buy, including the raft, American flag(s), life vest (with Project Best Idea Ever branding!) and the lighting.
Q: Aren't you making tons of money off this?
No, not really. Our profit margins are around 5-8%, which covers the costs of Paypal and ensures we don't lose money if we have to, say, buy an extra 12 pack of hot dogs when only one more person needs some.
If you shop around, you'll find that it would likely cost more to buy everything included in the package on your own - we're going to order online and in bulk.
Also, the more uniform everybody's equipment is, the easier and smoother things go.
Q: Do I really need a life jacket? Can I pay less and not get one?
Well, yes and no. Two years ago, several boats got pulled by the Coast Guard for not having life vests. Massachusetts law actually states that rafts don't need to wear life vests, but ultimately it comes down to the individual Coast Guard officers, who have the right to pull anyone they think is being unsafe off the water.
Last year when most people bought life vests we had no issues, and we're looking forward to another incident-free year.
Q: If I already have everthing, can I tag along?
Of course! We don't own the Charles. You can meet us down by the water, but the mission briefing, food and drink, and the afterparty are open to official Project Best Idea Ever signups only.