COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

May 20, 2020

To our Irish Boat Shop family & friends,

Governor Whitmer’s most recent Executive Orders (EO 2020-91 & 2020-92) allow for the reopening of retail businesses, office work that cannot be done remotely, and restaurants and bars in our area effective Friday, May 22.  Of course, all businesses that will reopen must adopt the safety measures outlined in Executive Order 2020-91.  This allows us to begin opening to the public on Friday, which is great news.  In order to open on such short notice we need your cooperation to continue keeping everyone safe, and there will be some limitations, at least initially.

We are modifying our hours of operation allowing us the extra time we need to clean facilities and monitor worker health as required under the state’s Executive Orders and current guidelines.

Sales, Service and our retail stores will be open for your convenience as follows:

Monday – Saturday    10:00am – 2:00pm
Sunday                        Closed
We will expand our hours as future guidance allows.

Email continues to be best method to reach us; if you prefer to call please use:

231-526-6225 (Harbor Springs)
231-547-9967 (Charlevoix)
231-242-1922 (Traverse City)

Call volume is extremely heavy right now, so please be patient as we work through emails, calls, and phone messages.

We will be following the guidelines outlined in Executive Order 2020-91. Masks or face coverings must be worn inside offices and stores, social distancing must be maintained, and we will limit the number of people inside the stores, showrooms and offices.  Your cooperation is important for the safety of all.

Boating is a great activity and a great way to spend time with your household members and family.  We want to do everything possible to make this season special.  Please adhere to social distancing guidelines while at the Boat Shop including our outside and dock areas.

  • Please limit your boating activities to your immediate household members.
  • Please wear a mask until you have departed on your boat and are out on the water.
  • Make every effort to go directly to your boat so we can keep the docks clear for the next person.
  • Please respect social distancing allowing 6 feet from your fellow boaters and Irish staff.

I want to thank you for your support, understanding, and loyalty to Irish Boat Shop. We are looking forward to greeting you in person once restrictions allow.

Thank you,

Michael Esposito and the Irish Crew
President
Irish Boat Shop, Inc.

May 16, 2020

To our Irish Boat Shop family & friends,

Governor Whitmer’s most recent Executive Order (EO 2020-77) loosened restrictions on certain outdoor activities (including boating) and allowed some types of work to resume, it did not change how Irish Boat Shop must operate beyond extending the timeframe to May 28, 2020.

The current order still limits us to doing the minimum required to prepare and deliver your boats from storage to you; our buildings and interior spaces (showrooms, restrooms, retail stores, and service offices) must remain closed to the public.

The good news – as summer rapidly approaches, we can provide you with almost everything you need to prepare for a wonderful summer on the water.

  • Access to your boat – You can come onsite to pick up or access your boat on our docks while adhering to the appropriate social distancing guidelines. If you need access to your boat either inside or outside, please contact the service office to make an appointment before you plan on arriving.
  • Service – If there is something you need to get you out on the water we can get things scheduled, whether it is now or a few weeks from now when we are able to provide a wider range of services. Please contact departments between 9:00am – 4:00pm for scheduling.
  • Parts, accessories and cool gear – Please take advantage of curbside pick-up, we are happy to help you with any parts, accessories or gear. Email or call and we can help you select what you need (or want), arrange for pre-payment and have your items ready for curbside pickup, shipped to you or delivered to your boat in one of our marina slips.
  • Boat sales – Our sales team is working remotely, but contacting them is easy with someone available seven days a week. With boat sale activity, both buying and selling have been brisk; if this is something we can help with, please give us a call.

Email continues to be best method of reaching us, buy if you prefer to call, you can reach us seven days a week:

231-526-6225 (Harbor Springs)
231-547-9967 (Charlevoix)
231-242-1922 (Traverse City)

Boating is a great activity and a great way to spend time with your household members and family.  We want to do everything possible to make this season special.  What we ask is that you adhere to social distancing guidelines while at the Boat Shop:

  • Please limit your boating activities to your immediate household members.
  • Please wear a mask until you have departed on your boat and are out on the water.
  • Make every effort to reach your boat, let’s keep the docks clear for the next person.
  • Please respect social distancing allowing 6 feet from your fellow boaters and Irish staff.

I want to thank you for your support, understanding, and loyalty to Irish Boat Shop. We are looking forward to greeting you in person once restrictions allow.

Thank you,

Michael Esposito and the Irish Crew
President
Irish Boat Shop, Inc.

April 29, 2020

To our Irish Boat Shop family & friends,

Governor Whitmer’s most recent Executive Order (2020-59) loosened restrictions on certain outdoor activities including boating. It has taken a few days for the dust to settle on what this Order means for boatyards and marinas to resume operations.

We will continue to focus on the health and safety of our employees, our customers, and our community. We are doing our best to adhere to both the letter and spirit of the Governor Whitmer’s Executive Orders. Operating a business is very different today than it was just a few weeks ago. We started this week by bringing back limited staff to get our facilities and equipment ready to launch and commission your boats.

On Monday, May 4, we will begin launching and commissioning boats. Please continue to communicate with our service department via email and telephone 7 days a week 9:00am – 4:00pm for scheduling.

It is our understanding that the Order allows for preparation, delivery, launching or curbside pickup of boats in storage, provided the business and employees adhere to the enhanced social distancing guidelines. This is a very limited scope of work, so our priority will be to get as many boats as possible in the water and operating safely. Non-essential work such as gelcoat, paint repairs, buff & wax, even work we had committed to doing this winter that has not been started is not allowed and will be scheduled as we are able going forward.

Our teams will be working split shifts to minimize unnecessary contact. Each employee will complete a health screening every morning prior to their shift, and anyone with symptoms will be required to stay home.

Please understand we are still not open to the public. Our work is limited to commissioning, launching and delivering boats. All of our buildings and interior spaces (showrooms, restroom, retail stores, and service offices) will remain closed to customers and visitors. Access to your boat, whether inside or outside, is also not possible while we work under the Order. With our priority of protecting our employees and the fact that the Order is a Stay-at-home order, working on your boat will have to take place after May 15.

Customers are only able to come onsite to pick up their boat or access their boat on our docks, while adhering to the appropriate social distancing guidelines. If you wish to be present at launch, please schedule after May 15.

If you do not have a seasonal slip at Irish, please confirm that your dock, mooring or shore station is installed and ready for your boat before you schedule your boat’s launch. “Holding’ your boat while dock and shore stations are installed just isn’t an option this season.

There is time to make this all work. Historically very few boats, if any, are launched in April; so please schedule your launch for when you will truly use your boat. “Getting in early” is like stocking up on toilet paper . . . .

With a little patience and understanding, we will all be boating soon. Sunsets, sandbars and cocktail cruises with family are not far off.

I want to thank you for your support, understanding and loyalty to Irish Boat Shop.

Michael Esposito and the Irish Crew
President
Irish Boat Shop, Inc.

April 16, 2020

To Irish Boat Shop customers and friends –

In response to the Executive Order of Governor Whitmer directing all Michiganders to stay at home, we suspended most of our business activities on March 23.  Things have been changing rapidly for all of us, and change generates questions – some of which don’t yet have answers.  Meanwhile, we are planning for when we can get back to work and start launching boats. We do not know exactly what launch season will look like this year, but it will be different from past years. Through all of this uncertainty, for us these principles remain constant:

  • The health and safety of our employees, our customers, and our community is our number one priority.
  • Irish Boat Shop is adhering to both the letter and spirit of the Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order.  We are following the recommended guidelines set forth by the CDC, State and local health experts and we will continue to do so as we return to work.

As much as we all want to get back to work and start launching boats, we cannot do that right now. The current order runs through the end of April which takes six weeks from our launch and commissioning season.

Once we are back to work, our priority will be to get as many boats as possible in the water and operating safely, and we will prioritize service that moves us toward that goal. Non-critical work such as gelcoat, paint repairs, buff & wax, even work we had committed to doing this winter that hasn’t been started, will be handled after service priorities are met.

Our launch schedule will change too.  In the past, we asked you when you would like your boat ready and we scheduled around those requests. There will be less flexibility this year. We will have to use every hour we have launching and commissioning to keep boats moving toward the water.

Until we know what workplace guidelines will be in place, we can only anticipate other possible changes in our service. For example, we might not be able to deliver boats to your dock or home. We may need to have the boat ready at our docks and schedule for you to pick it up. We just do not know.

The COVID-19 challenges also affect four major projects we have underway:

Harbor Springs Waterfront Building has been underway since last fall, but work has been suspended while Michigan is under the Governor’s Executive Order. Construction is set to start back up when the Executive Order is no longer in effect. As construction continues through the summer, there will be almost no parking on the waterfront for employees, customers or guests. We have alternative parking plans, but social distancing guidelines may complicate, or preclude our plans. It might be a great summer to ride bicycles!

Charlevoix Yacht Club building at Ferry Avenue – Work is suspended on this project due to the State’s pandemic response. As with Harbor Springs, Ferry Avenue will be a construction site this summer, which will limit onsite parking. There will be brand new mobile restrooms & showers onsite to serve our Ferry Avenue dockage customers.

Stover Marina South Bank Erosion – Due to high water levels, the south bank and walkway at Stover serving C, D & E docks is now mostly underwater.  In response we will raise the bank and sidewalk to the same elevation as the concrete pad, reinforce the marina side of the bank with rubble rock., and move the electrical transformer and disconnect boxes.  Now delayed, this work will be ongoing as we launch and commission boats in Charlevoix.

Harbor Springs East Dock High Water Project – Also due to high water, the East dock in Harbor Springs is almost underwater. This dock is being raised 24” with a steel framework and new decking.  As with Stover Marina, this work requires us to relocate the electrical service and given the age of the electrical pedestals, we will be replacing those as well. Work that was scheduled for March and April will now take place in May and early June.

These projects would challenge our ability to get boats in the water even in normal circumstances. With an abbreviated Spring launch season this year, the challenge is far greater.  Summer is on its way, and we genuinely look forward to seeing you again in Harbor Springs, Charlevoix or Traverse City. We will do all we can to get you out on your boat and enjoying our beautiful lakes.

As always, we will be available to you by phone; however, because we are working from home and on varied schedules, the most effective means of communication is email.

We appreciate your patience during this challenging period.

Michael Esposito and the Irish Crew
President
Irish Boat Shop, Inc.

March 23, 2020

To Irish Boat Shop customers and friends —

In response to the Executive Order of Governor Whitmer directing all Michiganders to stay at home, we have suspended most of our business activities.  The health and safety of our employees, our customers, and our community continue to be our number one priority.

We will continue to be available to you in a limited capacity, using telephone, email, our website and a number of virtual platforms.  However, the most effective means of communication will be email.  Otherwise the following are available to you:

 

Info@IrishBoatShop.com – our general mailbox is being monitored daily; your email will be distributed to the person best able to assist you.

231-526-6225 & 231-547-9967 – our primary Harbor Springs and Charlevoix phone numbers are being monitored daily; your message will be forwarded to the person best able to assist you.

 

We are here to help, or simply talk about your boat and planning for the upcoming season.  There are many unanswered questions, especially about scheduling, but please know we are preparing for when we can get back to work.  The current “heavy weather” will pass, our goal is to be ready to “raise sail” on the other side and get us all back on the water!

We appreciate your patience during this difficult period.

Sincerely,

 

Michael Esposito and the Irish Crew
President
Irish Boat Shop, Inc.