MAY 2016


"Sharing Your Passion for Boating Since 1946"




Spanning the Decades
A Historical Look into Walstrom Marine - The 1980s

Enjoy this section for the next seven months as we explore the previous seven decades of the history of Walstrom Marine with Ward Walstrom, Jr. 

     From l977 to l981, a major building project was undertaken downtown.  The original covered boathouse was torn down, new 50' treated southern yellow pine was driven for the new covered steel roof south of the office.  The old entrance from the alley between the Pier Restaurant and the office was replaced with a new entrance with overhead door to the west.  The old entrance required two 90 degree turns to get to the work slip.  Also, the old crane way with overhead electric chain falls were removed and replace with the 25 ton travel lift from the basin.  A new 30 ton travel lift was purchased for the basin.  A steel roof was built over the main floor and 4 large slips built to accommodate boats for sale.  A new sales office was also built with new showers and bathrooms to the west.
     Bob Sussman took over as outboard mechanic in l980 when "Coop" retired. Bob Mogford worked as ship's carpenter after Bob Ward.  Dave Allerding was hired in l981 as outboard and general mechanic.
     Dave Lyle sailed into Harbor Springs in l981 and hired on as part-time in service and as a captain.  He then worked full time in sales starting in l983.  Eventually, he became general manager and in 2000, he became President.      
     In l981, with keen foresight, Ward, Sr. took on Tiara.  This boat company in Holland, Michigan proved to be a most valuable franchise for Walstrom Marine.  With popularity moving toward the open cockpit, the 31' Tiara led the way for the next generation of boats in northern Michigan.  Larger open cruisers were soon added and successfully sold by Walstrom such as the 36', and 43'.  A strong partnership was forged and Walstrom Marine has been among the top 10 Tiara Dealers for many years.  Many of Walstrom's staff has attended Tiara Tech and Tiara University for training in sales and service.  The 52' Tiara became the ultimate open cruising yacht in her class.
     In May of l982, while Ward, Jr. was delivering an l977 43' Hatteras for a customer, the engine room caught on fire a mile off Charlevoix.  The customer and his family were rescued at sea and the fire was eventually put out after considerable damage.  The boat was completed gutted and restored in a record of 5 weeks and delivered to the customer who enjoyed it for several years afterward                                                                  
     In l982, it became evident that the original wood bulkhead in the basin was deteriorated beyond repair and needed replacement.  A major building project was undertaken and Fred engineered a new design for pre-cast concrete sections between steel I-beams driven every 10 feet.  By the end of the following year the new bulkhead was installed around the entire basin with a new configuration for the slips to accommodate larger boats.
     In l983, Ward Sr. left the company to start a yacht brokerage in Florida.  Walstrom Marine retired his stock and Fred became President and Ward, Jr. General Manager.  Ward, Sr. spent 37 years working in, around, and on boats doing whatever needed to make it grow.  He pumped gas, cleaned the bathrooms, cleaned boats, moved boats, ran the lift, fixed docks, planned new buildings, and sold boats.  He was the backbone of the company and lived and breathed boats seven days a week.  The marina was a success due to his hard work, his integrity, and his magnetic personality.  Boaters came back year after year to be with Ward, Sr. and the relaxing environment he created.  He always had a good story to tell.  And his love for boats and the water rubbed off on everyone around him.  Ward, Sr. was also active in local affairs.  He was chairman of the Emmet County Planning Commission for many years.  He helped build the County Building, Airport, and Care Facility.  He was a charter member of the Kiwanis Club.  He also helped start the Harbor Springs Police Boat.  He was responsible for maintaining the storm warning flags and assisted many boaters in distress in the bay.
     Charlotte Cassidy Sanford started part-time in the l960s in the office for Ward, Sr., then in l984, became full-time in accounting, and later became the Treasurer.  Sue Richards started as secretary in l988 and eventually became assistant accounting manager.    
     In l985, high water again plagued the marina.  In July, water rose 3' over the main floor. Temporary walkways were installed for the summer.  This was the fourth time that water had risen over the floor.  The shop door has the dates and still exists downtown as a permanent record. Edwin Stolt was a fine carpenter beginning in 1986 and also worked in dock construction. Charles Duray started as a mate on Louis Sudler's "Pagliacci" in the l970s.  In l986, he joined Walstrom Marine full-time and later, became assistant Service Manager.
     Terrie Meyer was administrative assistant for almost 20 years beginning in l986. Lynette Steffens took over when Terrie retired in 2005.  In 1988, Joe Kuchnicki took over for Glen Morse in specialized mechanics.  Wayne Peterson started in 1990 in parts and became a mechanical technician.  Sandy (Sarge) Hughes worked in boat detailing for many years beginning in 1991.  Lynn Dinning, Mary Coveyou, and Mary Sikkens also helped in cleaning boats.          
     Because of the need for storage for the larger Hatteras yachts sold, another location was sought.  The largest boat that Walstrom Marine could handle in Harbor Springs was the 53' Hatteras.  In l987, Walstrom Marine purchased 750' of river frontage in Cheboygan; erected 18,000 sq. ft. heated storage building, and purchased a 70 ton lift.  10 new slips were built.  The following year, one and one-half blocks were purchased on Coast Guard Drive for future storage.  In l989, the building was expanded to 30,000 sq. ft. to become the largest heated storage building in the north.  A 70' Hatteras was among the large boats in storage.  Beginning in l989, Stan Carter worked in painting and fiberglass in Cheboygan for many years.  In l988, Marian Lake assisted in sales and Heather Conaway worked in the office.  Clint Passeno worked as a technician also.
     Tom Lyle started in l987, helped re-organized the parts department in Harbor Springs and later, became its manager.  In l989, Marge Ward became the service writer for the Pro-trac Service System. Steve Murchie also started in 1989, became a lift operator and later, responsible for storage in Harbor Springs
     Doug Pressler worked for Dock and Dredge for many years starting in 1982, then later, worked in security.  Dredging became a familiar site during the years of low water in the 1990s and 2000s.  Much of the basin and downtown slips had to be dredged out during the winter of 2003.
     Mike Downey, formerly from the Coast Guard, came to work in 1989 as a mechanic and an electrical technician.  He became the only person in the world certified in all categories with American Boat Builders Association.

Featured Boats - Tiara 31 and Chris-Craft Capri 25

The Tiara lineup starts with the proven Tiara 31.  Formerly seen as the Tiara 31 Coronet, the Tiara 31 has all of the popular options that make a day on the water relaxing and complete. With plenty of cockpit seating and two teak cockpit tables, the electric grill and cockpit refrigerator, keep everyone aboard well fed and refreshed with their favorite beverages. The popular Make-Fast awning offers additional cockpit sun protection, and the bow thruster helps to make child's play out of coming back to the dock.  The Tiara 31 is the most affordable way to get into a new Tiara and continues to be one of Tiara's most popular models.

The Chris-Craft Capri 25 is our newest arrival from Chris-Craft.  The Capri 25 is the second Capri, joining the 21 and bringing a new style to the beautiful Chris-Craft lineup. Be sure to come to our Harbor Springs Showroom and check out the deep cockpit and two foldaway cockpit tables.  Complete with an aft sunpad and a cuddy cabin with a head and V-berth, the Capri 25 is ready for a day on the water in typical Chris-Craft style.

Opening Day Barbecue, Saturday May 28th

Be sure to mark your calendars for this Saturday, May 28th from 11:30-1:30 for our annual Opening Day Barbecue in our Harbor Springs Showroom.  Opening Day is always a great time to renew old acquaintances and catch up on winter boating stories from down South. And as always, the stars of the day are our latest arrivals from Tiara, Chris-Craft, and Pursuit.

New Harbor Springs Location and Bay Harbor Sidewalk Sales

Finally!  After months of planning and a surge of recent activity by Heidi, her Propellers staff and with a helping hand from the Walstrom Marine Service Department, the new Propellers location in Harbor Springs is a reality. Opening by Memorial Day weekend, the new store is located at 262 Main Street, next door to Turkey's and across the street from the new Lyric Theater.  Receive a free Gift with Purchase on Saturday, May 28th at the new store.

Not to be outdone, the Bay Harbor Propellers location will be holding their annual Memorial Day Weekend Sidewalk Sale with savings of up to 70% off on last season's collections.  Come in and check it out!

 14th Annual Bay Harbor In-Water Boat Show
June 17-19, Father's Day Weekend

Women in Boating Course - June 25th

Walstrom Marine's exclusive Women in Boating courses are designed to get women behind the helm and enjoying the boating lifestyle.  The classes are taught by Walstrom Marine instructors who have extensive Great Lakes boating expertise.  Over 700 women have already experienced this fun class.

These small group seminars, for women only, are designed to build confidence by presenting information in an active, fun, and supportive environment. Each four to five-hour class is split in two parts: a classroom session and a practical, on-water session. The laid- back approach we take to educating female boaters helps to build confidence that they can be the captain of their own ship - no matter how large or small their boat may be.

Women in Boating classes cover a variety of important and practical areas of the boating experience, including:
* Boat terminology and anatomy
* Line handling
* Knot tying
* Docking
* Boat operation and handling
* Safety
* Rules on the water
* Hands-on experience on the water
* Much more!

Whether you are new to boating or have been on the water for a while and are now ready to take the helm, Walstrom Marine's Women in Boating classes can help you gain confidence on the water and even make some friends in the process.

Our first Women in Boating class is scheduled for Saturday, June 25th, at 9am at our Harbor Springs Showroom.  Space is limited so please reserve your spot early.  Contact Lynn Steffens in our Harbor Springs office, 231-526-2141, or lsteffens@walstrom.com for registration and additional details.

4th Annual Blessing of The Fleet - Harbor Springs

Harbor Springs is ready to celebrate traditions old and new again this summer! Join the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society for the Fourth Annual Blessing of the Fleet and Summer's Launch Celebration on Wednesday, June 29, 2016. The fun kicks off at 6:00 pm with the Blessing of the Fleet, a delightful boat parade on the harbor. Whether by paddle, by oar, by sail or by motor, everyone is welcome to participate. Spectators are invited to watch the parade from the city docks or along Harbor Springs' historic waterfront while enjoying live entertainment.

After the blessing, everyone is invited to the Summer's Launch Celebration at the Boathouse of Harbor Springs. The party begins at 7:00 pm and features a strolling supper by Vernales, local beers and wines, cocktails, a silent auction, music, dancing and more. Tickets for the Summer's Launch party are $75 per person in advance with proceeds benefitting the Harbor Springs Area Historical Society. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Historical Society at (231) 526-9771 or online at www.HarborSpringsHistory.org.

Seasonal and Transient Dockage available in Harbor Springs

We welcome you to join us in The Basin at Walstrom Marine for the 2016 boating season.  Docks are available from just overnight to the entire season.  Come and enjoy the newly renovated Basin Yachting Center or relax and BBQ on our just-completed waterside patio.  Cable TV, hi speed WI-FI, dockside pump out, and concierge service are just a few of the premier amenities offered.   Slip space is limited, so please act fast and secure your slip in The Basin at Walstrom Marine.  Contact our Dockmaster, Joel Shoemaker at 231.526.2141 or dockmaster@walstrom.com.  

Cheboygan Seasonal and Transient Dockage

There are seasonal and transient slips available at our facility on the Cheboygan River. We are located just downriver of the State Street drawbridge, near the entrance to Lake Huron.  Downtown shopping, dining, movie theaters, The Opera House, and Festival Square are a short walk away.   For more information, contact Heather at (231) 627-7105 or via email at hconaway@walstrom.com .

Save the Date:  The Tiara Great Lakes Rendezvous, August 3-5

Save the date for the upcoming Tiara Great Lakes Rendezvous to Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin on August 3-5, 2016.  

Keep checking this link for the latest details, Tiara Great Lakes Rendezvous 2016





**!!Only one remaining Membership available!!**


The Boathouse

105 Bay Street

Harbor Springs, MI  49740

Phone (231) 526-0800
Fax (231) 526-0802

Mystery Photo
Your Clue: Somewhere in Time....

And, now for a special bonus mystery photo......

Your Clue:  Now this is a bridge deck!
If you think you know where this marina is located, e-mail your answer to us at: 
                                              And remember - speed counts!


April 2016
Hammond Bay

Winner: A.John Lobbezoo and our only correct 
response.  Thank you John!










Harbor Springs   |   501 East Bay Street, Harbor Springs, MI   |   (231) 526-2141
Cheboygan   |   113 East State Street, Cheboygan, MI 49721   |   (231) 627-7105
Bay Harbor   |   801 Front Street, Bay Harbor, MI 49770   |   (231) 439-2741



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