The Crew

Geoffrey Hamilton, General Manager

Shelley Koster, Vice President

Brad Koster, President

Who We Are

Since it's establishment almost 100 years ago, Mertaugh Boat Works has grown its facilities and knowledge of all things boat.  Not only can you come to the Les Cheneaux Islands and see many of our award winning wooden restorations driving through the beautiful waters, but many of our repaired and restored fiberglass beauties as well.  As the boating world expands to include more and more types of materials to float in, we expand our knowledge and expertise to keep you floating.


We offer service, repair, and storage to boats up to 72 feet.  Our marine travel lift has a 60-ton capacity to put large boats down with ease onto our 60-ton Hostar hydraulic trailer.  Both travel lift and trailer can accomodate power as well as sail boats.  We offer heated and unheated inside storage as well as outside spar-up storage for sailboats, shrink wrap service, and a deep water fuel dock.


During the summer time if you are looking for dockage we have seasonal slips available for rent in our deep water slips.  They are located on our private docks that come with a key to our private bathing facilities as well as a parking space. 

Shelley and Brad Koster own Mertaugh Boat works in Hessel, Michigan, and have run the business since 2000. The boatyard has been in existence since 1925 when the original owner built a boathouse out of scrap lumber and signed up to be the very first Chris Craft dealer in the world.  Brand new wooden Chris Crafts were navigated up Lake Huron with the aid of only a compass, and many of these woodies have remained with their original families in the Les Cheneaux Islands throughout many generations of summer boaters.


Mertaugh Boat Works employees have many years' experience in maintaining and restoring wooden boats of all kinds.  We employ experts in varnishing techniques and boat building as well as antique motor and engine rebuilding.  At the peak of each summer season, Mertaugh Boat Works is the site of the Les Cheneaux Antique Wooden Boat Show (always the second Saturday in August), a unique event that offers wooden boat enthusiasts the opportunity to come together to show off their prize wooden boats. 

About Our Company

E. J. Mertaugh Boat Works

"Great people and a great Marina! Highly recommend them for all your boating needs! Visit Hessel in the U.P. And E.J. Mertaugh Boat Works will take care of you and your watercraft!"

- Herb Swiger, Ohio