A couple of summers ago I launched a kayak in Cedarville, a tiny harbor in the Les Cheneaux Archipelago, to go on a three-day island camping trip with my son Wyatt. Then, minutes later, another wood boat motored by, this one even more striking—long, slim and low in the water, a sleek rounded rear deck (that I’ve since learned is called a barrel-back), three cockpits, one with grocery bags visible. Wyatt and I experienced a bounty of nature that weekend, paddling and camping around the intricate shores of this 32-island archipelago, but the manmade sight and sound of wood boats passing this way and that through the channels was something that stuck, too. I’d heard many times about the wood boats of Les Cheneaux, and I knew about the annual wood boat show—one of the biggest anywhere, despite its remote location.
I was so surprised, then, that this place, so naturally alluring with its multitude of low islands and intimate bays and maze of passages, also had this other component, like a wood boat museum escaped, got loose, gone wild.
Eventually I came to view Les Cheneaux not as a beautiful place that had some wood boats, but more as an expansive and beguiling refuge where the thing being protected was wood boats, and there was an entire community conspiring to keep the boats not just preserved, but actually alive on the water. This article first ran in the August, 2010 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Providing boat repair for Lansing, Flint, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Oakland, Livingston County, and all areas in between.
From antique wooden boats and classic fiberglass boats, to the most modern runabouts and bass fishing boats, Ben has the knowledge and ability to get the job done right the first time, every time.


We weren’t on the water but a few minutes when a beautiful wooden powerboat cruised by, its throaty rumble rolling across the waves, the varnished mahogany glowing a red-brown in the afternoon sun, the wake v-ing out behind—leaving us, of course, bobbing in the roll of it. But I’d always assumed the boats were driven the way people drive antique cars—kept in the garage and putt-putted in the 4th of July parade, hauled out buffed and polished for a big show (Don’t Touch!), used to give guests a cautious and boring ride, and only when it’s sunny.
Hundreds of America’s most lovely boats, many from the 1920’s and 1930’s, roaming around one of America’s most alluring water landscapes and often employed for the most mundane of tasks—of course fishing and water skiing, but even more often carrying a lady to get a hairdo, fetching groceries from the mainland, hauling garbage, of all things. Find out where cruisers, sailboats, fishing and pontoon boats, personal watercraft, kayaks, canoes and paddle boards can be rented by the week, day or hour. Shortly, another and another, and well, you get the idea, all weekend long we shared the water with some of the most beautiful boats I’d ever seen. Other people had the skill to take a rotting boat apart one plank at a time and put it back together better than new—finished with 15 coats of flawless varnish. If you don't feel like playing skipper, you can also find regularly scheduled cruises and crewed charters. To help find a rental near you, we've arranged our listing by town running from south to north along the lake, so make sure to check out possibilities in nearby towns.NEW BUFFALOOselka Marina514 W. Others had pr and events skills and could launch a multi-day wood boat show, the Annual Wooden Boat Show and Festival of Arts, one of the largest wooden boat shows in the world.


M-152Benton Harbor, MI 49022269-944-5577Rental of personal watercraft, pontoons, ski boats and paddle boats.
Overnight stays for up to four guests can be booked in two staterooms, each with own bathroom.Please let us know if there are other things you'd like to see added to our Camping page that might help to make your trip more enjoyable by using the 'Contact Me' link at the bottom of this page.
And make sure to let local merchants know that you found them on Lake Effect Living.Unless otherwise indicated, all Lake Effect Living photographs are the work and property of Sharon Pisacreta.
Serving Saugatuck, Douglas, Fennville, Hutchins Lake, Kalamazoo River and surrounding areas. SUP sales, too.DOUGLASJust Add Water450 West Center StreetDouglas, MI 49406 269-455-5376Beach supplies shop on the way to Douglas Beach and Oval Beach.



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