Hometown Tourist: The Pointer

Harbor Springs has some of the most beautiful homes and views in all of Northern Michigan.

For this week’s Hometown Tourist, David and Erin take us on Stafford’s Pointer boat to give us a new perspective of this picturesque town.

“The Pointer boat was built in 1934 up in the Upper Peninsula. It was originally built for Coast Guard duty,” said Dudley Marvin, president of Stafford’s Hospitality.

The Pointer boat was originally used by the Coast Guard until it was repurposed as a water taxi to carry passengers between the car-free Harbor Point and Harbor Springs.

“Harbor Point in 1962 decided to discontinue that service. It laid dormant in a lot in Harbor Springs and a local realtor came to Stafford and you really need to restore this as a part of Harbor Spring’s history,” said Marvin. 

With the boat restored and docked outside the Pointer Room Restaurant where passengers used to catch the service, customers can now climb on for a cruise around the harbor and a lesson in history.

“We have two captains that do a great job. They’re well versed in the history of the area and important points to look at throughout the harbor. You see the historic resort community of Harbor Springs. Harbor was not always the pristine resort. It was actually a working harbor years ago so we’ll talk a little about that, come out to the edge of Harbor Point, you’ll see and go around the point, get up close and personal to the a lot of the cottages,” noted Marvin.

A ride on the Pointer cruises by other resort communities where you can sit back, enjoy lunch or a cocktail and soak in the fresh air sweeping off Little Traverse Bay.

“This is one of the few vehicles that you can use to get out on the water and that feeling that they have when they get out and say, oh wow, I didn’t know that was there and get up and personal with the boats, it’s a great learning experience,” said Marvin. 

And most of all it’s a memory for visitors or even locals to learn about what’s in their own back yard.

“To be able to get out and really experience history first hand, that’s what the boat is all about for us. Once they’re on there, you get the smiles, go out, they’re happy and they really enjoy it. They feel like they had their up north experience,” said Marvin.

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