white pointer boat with American flag on the back and staff

Thank You For An Amazing 2023 Season!

We cannot believe it’s the end of our 2023 season already. And what a season it was.  For all of those who were able to ride with us, we thank you so much. For those who were not able to ride this year, we hope to see you in 2024. Please keep Pointer Boat tickets in mind for holiday or birthday gifts, as we will be starting pre-sale tickets for 2024 in December of this year. Special thanks to Fred and Dave at the Harbor Springs Chamber for championing sales every day for us!

Best Wishes,
The Captains, First Mates and Stafford’s Pier Management.


Wooden design with Pointer written in the middle of the design

History Of Stafford's 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 blue 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.

See the Pointer Boat in the News!

Pointer Boat Experience

“My family and I had a tremendous Pointer Boat experience recently, thanks to the kindness and professionalism of the boat's staff. My mother, who has mobility issues, was treated with care and dignity as staff members helped us get her safely on and off the boat on Tuesday, Aug. 23. Thank you very, very much for just being so doggone nice. Your organization embodies the word "hospitality."”
-Eric M. Cox