• image01

    August 12th, 2017

    Always The Second Saturday in August

  • image02

    Les Cheneaux Islands, Michigan

    Hessel Marina downtown Hessel, Michigan

  • image03

    Always the 2nd Saturday In August

    A Les Cheneaux Classic

  • image04

    Welcome to the Les Cheneaux Islands

    Easy to Reach, Hard to Leave

  • image05

    Festival Of Arts

    Over 70 of the midwest's finest artists

  • image06

    Since 1978

    2017 is the 40th Annual Show

  • image07

    We welcome you to the area!

    Explore all that Les Cheneaux has to offer!

2017 Boat Show winners information


The Les Cheneaux Antique Wooden Boat Show is held in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in the Village of Hessel, Michigan.
Founded in 1978, the event is held every year on the second saturday in August.

August 11, 2018

The 2018 show will be our 41st year and we will be showcasing Dodge boats.  These rare antique watercraft were produced by Horace E. Dodge Boat Works of Detroit, MI from 1922 until 1929 and the Horace E. Dodge Boat & Plane Corporation of Newport News, Virginia from 1929 until 1946.

The Les Cheneaux Islands Antique Wooden Boat Show is held each year in the beautiful Upper Peninsula town of Hessel, Michigan. Some of the country’s finest boats call our rustic Les Cheneaux Islands home.  Most of these boats are used daily during the summer months as a primary mode of transportation to and from the cottages dotting the area’s 36 sheltered islands.  Les Cheneaux has a rich heritage in boat building and repair.  Our craftsmen continue to offer some of the finest restoration and repair services available. 
Entries in the boat show arrive each August from as far as California and Florida and include dinghies, rowboats, canoes, launches, sailboats, utilities, runabouts, large cruisers, racers and classic non-wood.

42nd Annual Festival of Art, August 11th, 2018

August 11, 2018

The Festival of Arts is held in conjunction with the Antique Wooden Boat show and invites artists to display and sell a variety of artwork, including photographs, painting, pottery, stained glass, textiles and jewelry.  Around 65 of the midwest’s finest artists participate in this juried show.



The Les Cheneaux Historical Association sponsors
the Antique Wooden Boat Show.

The Antique Wooden Boat Show is sponsored by the Les Cheneaux Historical Association in cooperation with Mertaugh Boat Works, Hessel Harbor Association and Hessel Marina.  The Historical Association uses proceeds from this event as well as other contributions to maintain and enhance our Historical and Maritime Museums, both of which are located in nearby Cedarville.


History of the Les Cheneaux Islands Antique Wooden Boat Show

The Les Cheneaux Islands Antique Wooden Boat Show has been a major attraction since it began in 1978 and it continues to improve every year.   Two seasonal residents of the Islands, Chuck Letts and Ken Horsburgh each had beautiful antique wooden boats and felt there were more boats from early 1900 through the 1930’s still used in the Islands than anywhere else because of the cold water and short boating season.  Thus the boat show began in the small town of Hessel.     They formed a committee and had 30 volunteers to help.   Today we attract about 150 antique and classic boats and have more than 300 volunteers to assist with this amazing show.  It is known as one of the largest shows featuring antique and classic wooden boats.
Mertaugh Boat Works, which is included at the eastern end of the boat show, had the first Chris-Craft franchise in the United States and continues to thrive.



Spectator Admission: 
12 years to Adult: $8.00; Children under 12: free
No animals are allowed in the show.


Directions and Transportation

Hessel can be reached by car, plane or boat.  The Albert Lindberg Airport has a paved 3,700 foot runway.   If traveling via highway, take Exit 359 off I-75 and drive east on M-134 just 16 miles.


Antique & Classic Boat Corral & Auction- 8:30 am to 5 pm (Auction is at 5 pm)
See Image below for information.
Maritime Museum, M-134, Cedarville,Michigan

2018 Les Cheneaux Classic Boat Auction

Friday August 10,2018

​Boats & Coffee 9:00AM until 4:59 PM AUCTION at 5:00 PM Sharp
For more information: https://www.beachcomberauctiongroup.com/current-auctions.html

Classic Car Show - Registration, Library 10am to Noon
Awards 4:30 pm
Downtown Cedarville

Cedarville Trojans Athletic Boosters-Whitefish or Chicken Dinner
5 to 7 pm Cedarville High School



Boat Show - All events at Hessel Marina

Pancake Breakfast -7am to 11am

Opening Ceremony- 10am

Festival of Arts 10 am to 5 pm
Juried Art Show

Throughout the Day on the lawn

Food Concessions- 10 am to 5 pm

Channel Cruise exploring the beautiful Les Cheneaux Islands
Noon, and 2:30 pm departing from Hessel on
Star Line Mackinac Island Ferry .

Awards Ceremony-4 pm

Watch the Woodies as they leave the docks following the awards ceremony!

John and Diane Grenier, local artists,
will be on hand to sign their poster
commemorating the Les Cheneaux

Islands Antique Wooden Boat Show Posters

If you would like a 2017 poster sent to you, please send a check in the amount of $30.33 (includes poster, sales tax and US shipping) to LCHA, P.O. Box 301, Cedarville, MI  49719. Please include the address where you would like it shipped. US Shipping and US Dollar only.
2018 Posters available May, 2018.

Boat Show Week

Enjoy the sites and sounds of the Les Cheneaux Islands. Boat Show brings many visitors and show participants to the area. You may feel you have stepped back in time to the heyday of the wooden boat. The Channels, Bays and Boat Houses of Les Cheneaux are hosts to some of the very classic boats that you will see at the show. To fully appreciate all that Les Cheneaux has to offer....Get out and enjoy our waterways! As our local area Chamber of Commerce brochuere reads..."Les Cheneaux, easy to reach, hard to leave."

"The Best of 40 Years"

  • 2017


    “The Best of 40 Years”


    We are very proud to be celebrating “The Best of 40 Years”.  

  • The years from 1978 until 2001 the “Spectators’ Choice Best of Show” was chosen by Boat Show spectators.   

  • In 2002 to present, the “Best of Show” has been chosen by the Boat Show judges and the People’s Choice award by spectators. 

    For this milestone event we are showcasing many of the Spectators’ Choice Best of Show and Best of Show winners for the past 39 years.    

    Following are some of the past winners:






Social media, Contact & Registration






*Downloadable Dockside Traders Application for 2017


*Downloadable Boat Show Application for 2017 PDF



OnlineBoat Show Application for 2018




Contact Information:

(906) 484-2821


Lodging and Area Information: Les Cheneaux Chamber of Commerce (906) 484-3935 or