Belle Isle Boat Show

Belle Isle Boat Show

The Belle Isle Boat Show will be on hiatus for this boating season. We hope to bring the Belle Isle Boat Show back to our calendar in the future.

August 6, 2017: Belle Isle Post Show Report

On Sunday, August 6th, the Michigan Chapter held the first ever classic boat show at the Detroit Boat Club on Belle Isle, the “Jewel of the Detroit River”. The event was conceived by the “Friends of Detroit Rowing” group – a non-profit dedicated to saving the historic Detroit Boat Club who run an active rowing club out of the building. Our boat show was just one part of an event designed to invite people to experience the renaissance that is happening on the island and with the boat club. The island was also playing host to a large art show and dozens of family gatherings in the many historic pavilions and sandy beaches located throughout the park. The variety of events brought new people to our show and gave show participants more activities to enjoy during the day.

The first ever Belle Isle Boat Show was a complete success and a memorable experience for all who attended.  This collaboration between the Detroit Boat Club and Michigan Chapter of ACBS made for a perfect day with something for everyone.  Historic architecture, historic Detroit, historic boats, and friendly people - who could ask for more?  The island was a buzz of activity playing host not only to our event but to an art show and dozens of family events in the various pavilions situated throughout the park.  It was impossible to walk through the Boat Club without feeling the history of the place while also feeling its future as the passionate volunteers spoke of restoration plans with enthusiasm.  For $5, guests were treated to a delightful "Michigan Made" lunch by Golden Spice Catering - featuring local favorites such as Towne Club and Faygo soda, Kowalski sausage, Better Made chips, McClure's chips and pickles, and Brown's Buns.  Participants were also encouraged to fill our their Belle Isle Passport by visiting various destinations on the island such as the Aquarium, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, and Nature Center.  Belle Isle has so much to offer!


The docks and land displays were full of boats from all over representing all the great boating areas in the Detroit metropolitan area.  Black Beauty arrived by water all the way from Port Huron, Lena Estelle and Easy Rider joined us from Algonac, Old Geezer from the Clinton River, Sea Legs and the "Logan's Lyman" trailered out from Waterford, Water Lily took the interstate route from the northwestern suburbs and many boats idled over from various local ports such as Klenk Island, Gross Pointe and Jefferson Marina.  We met members and enjoyed boats we have never seen before in a setting that felt so perfect for our classic boats.


Awards were given for People's Choice, Farthest Traveled, President's Choice, and Oldest Boat.


This event could not have happened without the time and effort of many volunteers.  Special thanks to Tim O'Brien (Past Commodore of ACBS Michigan Chapter), Jim Rogers from the Friends of Detroit Rowing, Brad Guldemond for transporting the Ship's Store, all the boat owners for bringing their boats, and the Detroit Rowing Club.


Please enjoy the photos at the link below and share this post with your friends.  Detroit is alive and well and will continue its upward trajectory with the help of more events like this that encourage people to enjoy all she has to offer.

Prior activities:

10:00 A.M.: Mayor's Cup Rowing Race between the Detroit Boat Club Crew and the Canadian team. Boats will race from the Detroit Yacht Club to the Detroit Boat Club

10:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M.: Belle Isle Family Fun Passport (more info below)


The Michigan Chapter is teaming up with the Friends of Detroit Rowing to host a boat show at the historic 1902 Detroit Boat Club building on Belle Isle, currently under restoration. The public will have the opportunity to enjoy the day viewing antique and classic boats, as well as watching a rowing race between the Detroit and Canadian rowing teams.

The Detroit Boat Club will open for tours displaying many interesting items, including pictures of rowing activity from past years, and the building’s stunning woodwork. There will be picnic grounds with a spectacular water view. Picnic food will also be available.

Boat docks have recently been redone. Dockage will be available for boats coming by water, and there will be a large land display of antique and classic boats located in front of the DBC building for all visitors to see and partake in the events. Of special interest, there will be a Field of Dreams with boats for sale. Awards will be given at 3pm for the following three categories: President's Award, People's Choice, and Oldest Boat.

Pick up your "Belle Isle Family Fun Passport" from the Detroit Boat Club beginning at 10AM. Continue the journey around Belle Isle to witness the revitalization efforts of the DNR. Make a stop at The Dossin Museum, the Aquarium, the Nature Zoo, and/or the Conservatory. Each visit will garner a stamp in your passport. Submit your passport for review at the Detroit Boat Club and earn a special prize. Families may participate in a hands on miniature wood boat building craft and wooden boat race. Belle Isle Family Fun Passport Fee is $5/person or $15/group of four. This fee includes: Belle Isle Family Fun Passport, all activities, picnic lunch, and prize. *First 200 people*

A flyer will be mailed with additional details including a registration form.

If you have questions, contact Tim O’Brien at 586‐978‐7105.