The dog days of summer are nearly over and as back to school looms for many. You might be sitting there wondering what can be done on a budget, close enough to home that would be fun for the whole family, or maybe a group of friends. Well, a short drive to Saugatuck is all it will take and when you get there, you'll be able to step back in time and enjoy a really great cruise on a vintage fiberglass boat for an hour and a half from Retro Boat Rentals!
The idea came to life as Lauren Stanton and her boyfriend John were hammering out what to do with their "spare time". Lauren is of course the morning news anchor at WZZM and John works for Airgas, so as you can imagine, there's plenty of "spare time". But like most..when there's a dream involved, the time is found and the passion can come to life. As they kept eyeing an old building in Saugatuck which was primarily used to gut fish, the idea come to be that it might be cool to find some vintage boats and rent them out! Thus...the birth of Retro Boat Rentals and The Old Boat House which you'll find right on the first turn as you head down Water Street in Saugatuck.
The boats are remarkably charming. They are clean, restored and best of all, what looks like a classic engine.. it's actually a shell encasing a silent, eco friendly electric motor that will provide you a very relaxing site seeing cruise on the Kalamazoo River and out to Lake Michigan. The boats too, are all named. You'll find "Stella" and "Jane" along with "Dottie" and "Ruby" and a host of other boats currently under restoration in The Old Boat House awaiting their grand debut.
I hopped in the car and headed south to see Lauren and turn the tables on her some. In my career, I have found no one more willing to help me on things, no bigger advocate for Muskegon and in all honesty there are not many with a kinder heart than Lauren....so without further adieu....
I have to admit, it's been YEARS since I have been to Saugatuck. The last time I was there, all I really remember about it was getting stung in the eyelid by a bee that wanted the cotton candy I had. Your first thought might be "that was probably last week" but I think I was more along the lines of 7 or 8. It's remarkably charming, it's a beautiful setting and I wish I had more time to have seen more, but fear not.... Mrs. O got one look at this and is not planning a trip so we'll be back soon.
It's my sincere wish to Lauren and John that their business is a hit for years to come and that the people that take them up on the chance for a spin in a Retro Boat enjoy the scenic beauty as well as the relaxing atmosphere provided. What a fun day to be had and what a great way to wrap up the summer! For more, click on the image below to visit the Retro Boat Rentals website and reserve your ride!