Made in Michigan: Grand Craft mahogany boats

5:03 PM, Oct 23, 2013   |    comments
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HOLLAND, Mich. (WZZM) -- Famous actors, rock stars, and even political leaders they've all bought custom made boats from a Holland-based company.

If only we could all stay young looking like a Grand Craft boat.

"Grand Craft boats outlast all other wood and the beauty of the finish we're able to get," says president Jeff Cavanagh. The 20 coats of varnish alone take a full month. "We buy the varnish in the Netherlands and coincidentally here in Holland, Michigan is where we're applying it."

Grand Craft boats began in 1979. Cavanaugh says no one else in Michigan still builds boats completely out of Mahogany. Long plants of the tropical wood is delivered from the Philippines and Africa.

"It's 30 percent lighter and 30 percent stronger than comparable fiber glass," explains Cavanaugh.

The finished products are sold around the country. "A lot of boats in Tennessee, Alabama, we have them in Florida, all the way up the East Coast to New York," said Cavanaugh.

All of Grand Craft boats are custom made, ranging in price from about $100,000 to $1.6 million, and in recent years they've had a number of famous people order them, like Kid Rock

"Kid Rock bought a 20 footer that's in one of his music videos," saus Cavanaugh. "Tim Allen has one of our boats."

The company employees 12 people who also happen to be some of Holland's finest craftsmen. "Out of the boat building business in Holland and the furniture building business in the area, we're very lucky to have these good craftsmen because the boat is only as good as the people who build it," says Cavanaugh.

Some boats take more than a year to complete. "You get attached to the product and it's hard to see it go after you put a few hours in on it, but nice to be a part of it," says employee Tim Adamski.

Grand Craft boats says Governor Snyder also owns one of their boats, a smaller, less expensive boat priced at around $100,000.

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