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Northern Michigan in Focus: Schooner Huron Jewel

Who hasn’t dreamed of hopping on a boat and sailing away?

For a couple on Drummond Island, they made their dream a reality when they built their very own two-mast schooner.

“Why such a masterpiece? He’s pretty humble. He’s been sailing since he’s been four. He’s been boat building since he’s been four. When we met, we discussed bucket list items and we said we’re not getting any younger, so let’s empty out the bank accounts, let’s empty out the retirement accounts, let’s just do it. So we now have our own schooner,” explained Julie Covert.

When you meet Hugh and Julie Covert you can feel their passion for sailing. It’s something that’s in their soul. They called their new vessel “” and she was worth the sacrifice.

“When we christened her we had a big party here at Yacht Haven, and it kind of felt like we we’re getting married again but also to a schooner, committing our life to it,” said Julie.

The “Huron Jewel” took them two and a half years to build. 

“We did all the building with the help of 40 to 50 volunteers. Friends, family, some of them that are here on the island, some summer residents. It’s been a huge community project, we’ve gotten a lot of great support from the community,” explained Julie.

The waters around Drummond Island are stunning. They’re now doing charters, day trips and many other types of cruises. They have a saying in their logo, “Sailing the dream in the Great Lakes.”

“There’s a sign in our house that says ‘Work is for those who don’t know how to sail,’ and up here, this is optimal sailing conditions. This is protected waters, beautiful scenery, so it’s ideal, dreamy sailing. So we’re sailing in the dream on the Great Lakes,” explained Julie. “People also talk about how quiet it is, we turn the engine off and we’ve hoisted the sail and they get to help hoist sails.”

And why the name “Huron Jewel”?

“Drummond being the Gem of Huron, the name should have something like a jewel or gem in it. We wanted to reference the location of the boat because it’s from a particular location, Lake Huron. We also wanted to reference us being together so Huron for Hugh and Julie being Jewel. And when that all came together, it all fits together. And once we thought of that, we thought that’s got to be it,” explained Hugh.

Julie added, “It’s definitely a different way to experience Drummond being out on the water, sailing the dream.”