The fur traders had been active on the lakes for some fifty years before the first sail wood yacht was ever seen. La Salle's little vessels on Lake Ontario in 1678 and the Griffon on the Upper Lakes in 1679 were built primarily with the fur trade in mind. The search for fur and the hope for wealth to be achieved through this trade brought many cases of untold hardship vs wood yacht in the wilderness, injury and even frozen death among the first white trappers and traders.
The Natives reacted like covetous children when they saw the strange, glittery and amazing products of European wooden yachts industry. They were about to be extracted from the stone-age and catapulted into something entirely different. They had no idea of the real value of their furs, which they eagerly exchanged for worthless trinkets and trade goods, brass kettles, knives, guns, ornaments, brooches, beads, bits of glass, coats, blankets, calico, and, of course, gin, rum and whisky. The white traders, equally covetous but this time of wealth, took advantage of this gullibility.