Imagine this scenario:
It’s early in the boating season. You are enjoying what’s been, up to this point, a beautiful lake cruise. Let’s say you are a mile offshore halfway between Cleveland and Conneaut. Your engine begins to overheat in a big way. A quick look in the direction of the exhaust port confirms your suspicions. You suddenly remember that you’re out of spare impellers.
You’re in luck. Help is just a phone call away now that Great Lakes Boat Works, LLC has opened in Fairport Harbor. The independent marine supply shop is a short walk up the hill from the Fairport Harbor Port Authority Boat Access and Fairport Harbor Lakefront Park. All you have to do is get your boat docked or anchor close enough to wade in to shore, and you will have that impeller in your hands — and your engine purring — in no time.
“We will have everything that a boater needs to get a boat in the water and keep it maintained,” says Great Lakes Boat Works owner, Chuck Duer.
The shop is the brainchild of father and son business partners, Chuck and Jon Duer, who are well-known locally for Great Lakes Rigging & Supply and the Doyle Sailmakers Cleveland loft in Grand River.
“Our hope is to be a one-stop shop,” says Chuck. “The location is fantastic!”
Chuck’s referring, of course, to the Port Authority launch ramps, the public docks, and the numerous yacht clubs in the immediate area of Fairport and Grand River. The shop is walking distance from the public beach and fishing piers, too.
The Duer’s plan for a “one-stop boating shop” is long overdue for this locale. The convenience of a marine supply store within minutes of the dock cannot be overstated! The shop will be stocked with items you need to get started in spring and to help you maintain your boat all through the season. Expect to find everything from life vests and other boating safety equipment to electronics, small parts and oil change kits for inboards, outboards, and jet skis. They’ll even carry sunscreen for beachgoers, inflatable water toys and fishing tackle. If they don’t have what you want, order it and they’ll have it for you the next day.
Jon says he and his dad had been buying up display shelves and hoarding them, awaiting the day when they could literally set up shop. Now they are busily ordering merchandise to fill those shelves, preparing to open the 1000 square-foot retail space at 217 High Street next month. They also plan to be the local office for watercraft registration.
The Duers exemplify entrepreneurial spirit, energy and good business sense that builds momentum. It’s folks like these who bring additional commerce and attention to sleepy towns like Fairport and Grand River. When you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to stop by and say hello. Stay tuned for news of their grand opening and further updates. Reach the store at 440-354-BOAT (2628).