Our On Water Fleet

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Any on-water operation requires a fleet of durable and safe vessels to make sure things run smoothly and guests are safe.

Our current fleet includes:

  • The Ahab is a 126 vessel formerly out of Venezuela will serve as our primary feeding vessel and supply ship.  On August 30, 2014 we arranged financing through the commercial division of Express Cash PayDay Lending LLC.  On September 4 our lead maritime captain Jordan Brookside departed from Venezuela on their way to bring our new ship to its home port.  As of today, the vessel is being held in Toronto, Ontario.   She was seized by Toronto officials on a trumped up charges after the crew came too close to the Canadian shore while blaring the Star Spangled Banner over the ship’s PA system.  Apparently this was seen as an act of aggression.

    We have hired former Toronto mayor Rob Ford as a liaison in our negotiations to get the ship released.  Things are going fairly smoothly in the negotiations.  While the ship will be home based out of Grand Haven, Michigan, we plan to flag the vessel out of Iceland for tax purposes.

    In addition to its role as a feeding and supply vessel, The Ahab will also will be used for larger group excursions.    Our plans for this vessel include:

    • Paining our logo on the sides
    • Creating a 10 X 40′ hole with glass bottom for up-close viewing
    • Adding 200 deck chairs to the main deck
    • Adding on-deck tie-downs so scout troops and church youth groups can install pup-tents for overnight excursions
    • When funding allows, it is our hope to convert the vessel to coal power using parts removed from the SS Badger car ferry as part of that vessel’s current retrofit.  Coal makes good sense since we are building fueling partnerships with both the Grand Haven Board of Light and Power as well as Consumer Energy’s Campbell plant in Port Sheldon.

She is a beautiful vessel.  Take a look at the pictures that were originally posted on Craig’s List where we found her.  You may click on any of these images to see a full-size view.

ahab1 ahab2 ahab3 ahab4 ahab5 ahab6 ahab7

  • The Guppy is our smallest vessel and your best way to have an intimate experience with the whales of Grand Haven.  At just under 10′ in length,  The Guppy provides the ultimate in adventure and thrill.

    While not officially approved by the US Coast

    SSFresh

    The Guppy as she looked on land after a fresh paint job sometime around 1972.

    Guard for commercial use, the long history of this vessel makes her a worthy girl of the lake.   We are currently seeking placement on the national registry of historic boats in hope that we can get the Coast Guard approval waived.   Be sure to read the rest of her story and lend your support to getting this vessel placed on the historic registry.

    She was originally put in to service as part of the Spring Lake Yacht Club Junior Sailing Program.   After competing under the direction of 8 year old sailors from around 1965 – 1975, she had seen better days.

    Originally christened as the SS Fresh, by 1975 she was not so fresh anymore.

    The complete history is a bit hard to figure out, we have been able to piece together some of the story.  Around 1975 the SS Fresh was mothballed at the Spring Lake Yacht Club and then donated to new  Millhouse Bayou Yacht Club that was planning to start a sailing program in celebration of the US bicentennial celebration.  The sad fact is that the Millhouse Bayou Yacht Club never really got off the ground because of a rent dispute with Grand Haven Public School district related to the use of the historic of Bignell School as a club house.

    Some time around 1980 some junior high kids found the SS Fresh in a horrible state behind Mangelson’s Store and Gas Station (now the Mercury Drive Wesco).  The store owners let the kids have the boat and these adventuresome adolescents worked with Felix’s Boat, Gun and Bait shop to restore the boat.  Felix gave the kids two quarts of marine paint, a fiberglass repair kit and a spare paddle in exchange for a World War II machine gun owned by one of the kid’s parents, a hunting knife and the Felix’s logo printed on the sail.

    They converted the vessel to duck boat by painting it in camouflage colors and covering it in cattails.  While there seems to be a lot of embellishment in the boys’ stories, apparently this boat allowed the boys to bag dozens of ducks over the two years they used it.  When the boys turned 16 they found girlfriends and things went downhill for the SS Fresh.  They found that while the boat easily fit the three of them, six people (including the girlfriends) was beyond her capacity.  It was at that point the boat essentially fell apart and was never used again.

    Now decades later, the boat was again “discovered”.  This time it was in a wooded area behind the former home of one of the boy’s parents.   Mary (our founder) tells the story of re-discovering this vessel after chasing her dog in to her neighbor’s yard.  As she tells the story her eyes well up and her voice gets emotional.  “I just knew that this vessel had a story to tell and that it was my job to give this vessel a voice to tell its story.”

    Restoration is well under way.  We are looking for donations of wood, epoxy, two small outboard motors, two oars and a gallon of premium marine paint in either blue, yellow or light grey.

    Because of this vessels small size and historic nature, very limited tickets will be available and no discounts will be applied to excursions on this vessel.  Seating is limited to 3 passengers, a cruise director and captain.   All passengers on this vessel are required to wear a life preserver and post a security bond as well as signing our standard indemnification waiver.

    You can be part of history by sailing with The Guppy.

  • We are looking for additional vessels to add to our fleet.  If you know of a good ship that could suit our needs, let us know.   You can contact us at: ships@grandhavenwhalewatching.com
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