Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry is excited to have one of our vessels returning to the Straits of Mackinac after receiving a makeover! All of our vessels receive a full repaint every few years and after being lengthened several feet in 2007, it was time for Capt. Shepler to receive a much-needed makeover.


Cap Shepler, or William Howard Shepler’s original Name Tag and Captains Bars

The Capt. Shepler was pulled into the Marine Service shop where our team began sandblasting and stripping the old paint away,leaving a bare aluminum canvas for a fresh new paint job. During this process, the cabin seats and top deck chairs were removed,along with the carpet, windows, and any other creature comforts guests are used to when enjoying a ride on one of our ferries. Finally, new carpet was laid, new sound-dampening paint in the cabin, LED navigational lights were added, a complete engine rebuild, and seven layers of primer and paint were applied to the vessel’s exterior to obtain our signature bright Shepler’s blue before being placed into the water.


Here’s some history on the Capt. Shepler. The Capt. Shepler was originally built in 1986 – the fifth vessel in our fleet. The name paystribute to co-founder of Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry, William H. Shepler – Cap, to all who knew him – making Capt. Shepler a perfect fit for the vessel. In the spring of 1945, after returning to his birthplace, Cap and his wife, Margret, founded the Shepler’sFerry Service you see today!


Ready to set sail, the Capt. Shepler was dropped into the bay on Tuesday, June 15 in the late afternoon. Stop by today to see her gliding through the turquoise waters of the Great Lakes boasting her shiny new paint job.