UFO Parasail is a company that started on Maui in 1985, bringing new and exciting ocean experiences to the island’s many visitors. The company is owned and operated by Greg VanderLaan, a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He holds a BS degree in Nautical Engineering and US Coast Guard 3rd Mate Unlimited and 1600-ton Captain’s License.
Today UFO Parasail/UFO Adventures operates six boats on Maui and also has two boats on the Big Island, as well as sister companies in Bay of Islands and Taupo, New Zealand. Moreover, the company has invented much of the technology that makes the UFO Parasail winch boats among the most popular and best in the world. The company manufactures and sells these boats, contributing more than 550 winch boats that are in operation in 35 countries around the world.
Recognized For Excellence
Greg VanderLaan, owner of UFO Parasail, was honored at the annual Parasail Operators Symposium held by the Water Sports Industry Association on Nov. 7-8 in Ruskin, Florida with a WSIA Lifetime Achievement Award for the advent of the winch parasail industry…
In 2019 Greg VanderLaan was awarded the Alumni Outstanding Professional Achievement Award by the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, N.Y. featured here
The Premium 28 Parasail boat has been in active service since 1988. The hull and winch system has gone though many refinements over time to improve the in-service workability of the entire system. The wide chine beam of the Premium 28 Parasail hull carries further forward than similar hulls providing, an extremely stable and comfortable ride in most sea conditions. All deck hardware and fastenings meet commercial workboat standards.
During parasailing flight operations, the Premium 28 Parasail outperforms all other boats in its class. The hull’s high degree of transverse stability helps keep the boat properly trimmed, even in high wind conditions. When the weather picks up, the crew doesn’t have to spend half of their time scrambling for a handhold. A crewman that is trying to work the “flyer” while on their hands and knees is not what we consider a safe operation.
The quality of construction found in our boats speaks for itself. Premium Boat Co. is known throughout the parasailing industry as a quality builder who takes great pride in the finished product. They continuously research the market for new materials and boat building methods to improve the quality of their product.
UFO has recently taken a bold environmental initiative and voluntarily switched its fleet to ultra low sulfur diesel fuel. This move to a more expensive greener fuel will mean a significant reduction in the amount of particulate matter and other pollutants released into the environment by its fleet and comes 5 years ahead of a EPA requirement for marine diesel engines to use ULSDF. Also, our entire fleet was re-powered to Volvo D6 engines which meet or exceed all EPA federal requirements.
Performance and Handling
The hull stability in the Premium 28 is especially important in locations that are subject to shifting wind conditions. As the wind clocks, the helmsman’s job of keeping the “flyer” aloft and under control becomes more difficult. If the hull is bouncing around in an active seaway, passenger and crew safety can be compromised. Hull stability is even more important in locations where heavy sea conditions are encountered in and around inlets exposed to the open ocean.