About Grand Portage Yachts

The first sailing vessel on record built on the Great Lakes was the 70 foot 'galliot' Griffon. Built in 1679, that vessel inaugurated sailing on the great lakes.

From that time up until the last commercial vessels plied the waters in the 1930s, more than 25,000 sailing vessels had been constructed for commerce on The Great Lakes. Most of these vessels were schooners.

While these vessels followed standard naval design and construction techniques, Aesthetically, there isn't anything that is particular that defines the 'look' of a Great Lakes sailing vessel.

I have seen photos and models(below) of certain vessels which may be viewed as 'typical'. By establishing Grand Portage Yachts, my goal with the Great Lakes line of sailing vessels is an attempt to establish a 'Great Lakes Style'. I've transferred certain characteristics to the Great Lakes line of sailing vessels. Most noticeable is the 'whale stripe' treatment. In addition, I've incorporated functional characteristics such as large fore decks and cockpits. The owner of a Grand Portage Great Lakes boat is one who also spends more time on deck than down below. All Great Lakes models include a 'hard dodger' that can be fully enclosed. This facilitates further enjoyment of the outdoors while allowing a respite from certain unique Great Lakes 'features' such as black flies and mosquitos.

I've also incororated hull design features that provide comfort and stability in the rapidly changing Great Lakes climate. The hull has generous rocker with a deep, narrow forefoot. This helps the hull navigate through short, choppy seas without pounding. In addition, the vessel is cutter rigged. A cutter rig provides a great deal of flexibility with headsail arrangements which can easily and quickly be configured to accommodate the varying conditions that are typical for The Great Lakes.

I am pleased with the results of these efforts. I hope you are too. If you are interested in having a Grand Portage Great Lakes yacht built for you, please do not hesitate to drop us a line!