History Telling

One of Heritage Coast Sailing and Rowing’s missions is to tell the rich maritime history of our region. To accomplish this mission we: Build historically significant boats:

Our Heritage 23 is a classic Mackinaw boat constructed with modern methods and materials and its design tweaked to fit its current use. The original Mackinaws were the work horse of the Great Lakes coastal communities. They fit the economic climate of the times and were fishing boats, freight haulers and passenger boats that could sail, or be rowed. Our version is a look-alike recreational row/sail boat which fits the economic climate of our times.

We have on the drawing board an H-45 Mackinaw boat to act as an educational craft to telling local history by being an authentic recreation of a Mackinaw as well as a platform for classes on coastline history and Bay environment. The line drawings are on display in the Vessels section.

We have plans for other historically important boats such as the AuSable River boat, Huron boat, and a loggers bateau. Mackinaw Boat Symposiums: The Great Lakes Mackinaw Boat Alliance, a group of organizations and individuals with an interest in the design, conducts annual symposiums. HCS&R has been an active participant
and host.

Design Characteristics Discussion led by Clarence Swanson


The recently completed SAGA arrives for set up as a display.

School Support: We are available to and have conducted several presentations to school classes using one of the Mackinaw boats as a
training aid.

 A class of 6th grade students learns about Mackinaw boats while they wait to embark on the APPLEDORE V.

Event Support: A HCS&R Mackinaw boat is a familiar sight at events celebrating our coastal history. Insert photo: Indigenous at Sturgeon Point Lighthouse Festival.

The INDIGENOUS and her Story Boards are set up at the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse Festival.


Museum and Community Building Displays: Boats are available for display with history story boards. We have displayed them at the NOAA
and East Tawas Community Center.

The INDIGENOUS spends a busy winter on display at NOAA’s Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary Visitors Center.

Story Boards: We display history oriented story boards with our boats when tied up at the East Tawas State Dock and as stand alone displays.

Story boards being installed at State Dock.

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