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Pier Restaurant 102 E. Bay Street Harbor Springs, Michigan 49740

The Pointer Boat

The Pointer Boat

In honor of the Pointer’s 80th Summer, we decided to do some major updates and renovations. It has taken a bit longer than we hoped, but we wanted to do it right!

We still have a number of tests, inspections, and certifications, but are well under way to becoming fully licensed by the Coast Guard to operate as a commercial vessel.

Thanks to all those at Irish Boat Shop, Inc. for their hard work, and also to the United States Coast Guard for their assistance in the certification of an 80 year old wooden vessel.

Our hope is that we will be selling tickets soon! Stay tuned and keep in touch by following Stafford's Pier Restaurant on facebook.

History of The Pointer Boat


The area which is now The Pointer Room at Stafford’s Pier Restaurant in Harbor Springs, Michigan is literally “on the water.” Until 1962 it was the boat house for the Harbor Point Association’s water taxi, The Pointer, which ran between Harbor Point and the Village of Harbor Springs.

As there were no cars allowed on Harbor Point, The Pointer provided a vital link for the residents of the association during the summer months. There were a total of three different vessels, all named The Pointer, which ran from 1930 until 1962. In May of 1990, Stafford C. Smith, founder of Stafford’s Hospitality had the last of these gracious yachts relaunched. The completely restored Pointer is now on display outside Stafford’s Pier Restaurant, in the exact location where residents and visitors formerly caught the boat for service to the Harbor Point Hotel.

Using vintage photographs by Virgil Haynes, Harbor Springs boat builder Steve Van Dam spent seven months creating an authentic restoration of The Pointer, including the green upholstered interior seating and side curtains. He added a beautifully designed compass rose table, ice storage area and sink to make the vessel a bit more yacht like.

As close as Mr. Van Dam can figure, The Pointer was a work boat built in Chessel, Michigan in 1934, with painted wood construction typical of Scandinavian design.