Lindy Lou and Other On-Water Experiences


The Lindy Lou, our electric powered river launch, is ready for boarding.

This attraction provides passengers with a chance to recapture those days from the late 1890s through the 1930s when launches plied the Black River, delivering guests to resorts, taking picnickers to up-river parks and pavilions, and generally helping fill the lazy hours of summer with relaxing diversions.

The Lindy Lou makes daily cruises on the Black River (five per day, seven days a week in high season), boarding at the Museum and cruising first downstream to the river clock at the foot of North Shore Drive, then traveling upstream to the covered bridge on the North Branch of the river and finally returning to the Orley Dock at the Museum. Each cruise will cover about six miles and last an hour. The craft will also be available for groups and families to charter and a curriculum is currently taking shape that will use the launch to provide an educational experience for area students.

The Lindy Lou provides a second 'on water' experience for Museum visitors. While the Museum offers historical sails on Lake Michigan with the tall ship Friends Good Will, and the new launch cruises offer a totally different experience exploring the rich history of the Black River.

The hull of the launch was constructed in the winter of 2010 in Slocum, Rhode Island, by the Beckmann Boatshop. Made of fiberglass, it was formed on a mold taken from an original Truscott River Launch. Truscott Launches were made in St. Joseph, Michigan and could be found on lakes and rivers throughout the United States at the turn of the century. Like many launches of that period, the Lindy Lou is powered by an electric motor. All the finishing work on the launch, including cutting and installing cherry wood decking and building a structure to support the craft's canvas top, was done by Museum staff and volunteers in the Padnos Boat Shed on the Museum's campus.

Friends Good Will

Friends Good WillThe Friends Good Will is a replica of a sloop built in Michigan in 1810.  The ship sailed the Great Lakes as a merchant vessel, a Royal Navy vessel, and a United States Navy vessel over the course of her life.  We are proud to be home to the Friends Good Will and be able to provide our visitors with a unique on-water experience aboard this historic tall ship.  For more information about the ship and tickets, please visit our webpages regarding the Friends Good Will.



Berinda does not replicate history.  She is history.

Designed by Geo. Owen and built by Lawley, giants within and during the golden years of American yachting, Bernida was launched in 1921 and sailed from the Corinthian Yacht Club of Marblehead, Massachusetts, itself an icon of yacht racing history.

Bernida is a Universal Rule R Class Sloop and a thoroughbred racing yacht.  She made her way to the Great Lakes in 1925 and won the inaugural Bayview-Port Huron Mackinac Race later that summer.  She won again in 1927.

After spending some seasons in Holland and Pentwater, she was lost for a time and later discovered in a barn near Frankfort, Michigan.  After refurbishment in 2010, she entered the Bayview-Port Huron to Mackinac Race in 2012 and repeated her victory of 87 years before.

She was donated to the Michigan Maritime Museum within weeks of her triumph and sails exclusively with volunteer captains and crew.

She is fast and elegant; like the 1920’s.  She can carry up to four passengers at a time. Come join the Museum and the crew to experience the Bernida yourself!


Bernida Charters

By appointment only; call the Museum for directions on booking directly with a Bernida captain. Tickets are $50 per person for a 2-hour sail.* Children are welcome on the Bernida and must be at least 12 years old to sail.

*Payment due at time of sail.

United States Coast Guard Motor Lifeboat - Coming Soon!

Lightning Class Boat: The Flashback