Michigan makes boats... lots of boats

6:18 PM, Feb 15, 2013   |    comments
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  • A Manitou Pontoon boat courtesy of Manitou
  • A Four Winns boat made in Michigan at the boat show

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Michigan is known for its cars, but there are also many world-renowned boat manufacturers that are creating a full range of Made in Michigan watercraft and they have gathered at the Grand Rapids Boat show this weekend.

"Certainly there are manufacturers all over the place, but some of the most highly respected names such as Chris-Craft, Tiara, and Four Winns," said Henri Bocher, the producer of the Grand Rapids Boat Show.  "Many of them are made right here in Michigan.

The boating industry employs, either directly or indirectly, about 150,000 people in Michigan, from the builders to the salespeople to the part manufactures.

"It is certainly always nice to buy a product your neighbor is working on so that he has a job," explains Bocher. "The boating industry is so much a part of our life."

Michigan manufacturers don't just produce one style of boat. They offer a full range of products from canoes on up.

"The 36 Cornet is made by Tiara right over in Holland," says Bocher. "This will be the most expense boat Made in Michigan at the Grand Rapids boat show this year. They don't leave anything out in this boat."

While Tiara is known as one of the finest boats made in the world, Bocher explains that Manitou in Lansing makes some fantastic pontoon boats.

"Today's pontoons are not your grandfathers pontoons," says Bocher. "Manitou is innovative with a third sponson which allows you to put a bigger engine on them and more power."

And a boat you will see on a lot of lakes.

"A 20ft open bow runabout is the classic family boat. This is a Four Winns made up in Cadillac, Michigan," explains Bocher, "and has been for a long time. Many of the new features you are seeing in boats these days you in see here."

If you would like to see Made in Michigan boats head to the boat show at DeVos Place this weekend.

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