Wooden boats have always been an important part of Mike Green's life. Born just outside Algonac, Michigan in 1964, some of Mike's first memories including boating with his grandparents, Irene and Jack Green, in their 32' custom built Chris Craft Cruiser on the St. Claire River. Not far from there, the Chris Craft factory stood as a testament to generations of expert craftsmanship, passion and a genuine love for being out on the water.
Mike's great, great grandfather, Christopher Columbus Smith, built his first boat at the age of 13 in 1874 and later founded Chris Craft Corporation in 1910, which would become the world’s largest wooden boat manufacturer. Although the company was sold shortly before Mike was born, there was and continues to be a genuine passion and pride for these historical works of art throughout the family.
As a child, Mike didn't dream of one day becoming a renowned boat restorer; working with boats was simply a beloved hobby for him and his grandfather. When he was just 14 years old, Mike remembers convincing his grandfather to purchase an old, wooden row boat off the side of the road for them to repair together. Some of Mike's fondest memories included occasional visits to the Chris Craft factory and spending the summers on Lake Charlevoix with his siblings and grandparents. Little did Mike know, these experiences would be what would fuel his passion for antique wooden boats for the rest of his life.
After graduating high school, Mike enlisted in the army and served overseas as a power generation equipment repair specialist. Once his tour was over, Mike returned to the states and tried his hand at a few occupations that did not fully satisfy his love for wooden boats and desire to continue his lineage. Returning to the wooden boat world, Mike found himself in Portland, Oregon, in an apprenticeship under Al Thompson, one of the finest shipwrights in the country, and Dave Jerome, a multi-award-winning antique boat restorer.
In 1997, Mike made the decision to begin his own antique boat restoration and repair company, Maritime Classics. These early years were new and exciting as a young craftsman. He worked out of his garage and did everything - business and woodworking - himself. From there, the business only grew, and so did his family. That year, Mike met Karen in Portland, Oregon and the pair hit it off. In 1998, Mike and Karen welcomed their first daughter, Andrea, into the world. And in 2001, Miranda was born into the family. Mike continued to work for a variety of clients over the next 7 years, but as projects wrapped up, the Greens felt the need for a change. In 2008, the family of 4 moved to Traverse City, Michigan to be closer to family and open up new opportunities for Maritime Classics.
Today, Mike and his family still reside in Traverse City. Both of his daughters are attending college and love coming home for the summer to spend time on the water. Karen works with special education students and loves joining her family for boating trips in Grand Traverse Bay. Mike is grateful for all the opportunities, experiences and friendships that his profession have given him over the years. His passion lies with preserving and sharing, not only his family history, but the history of all antique wooden boats so that they can be enjoyed for generations to come. He hopes to continue to do so for years for many years.
Maritime Classics LLC
6782A East Traverse Highway Traverse City, Michigan 49684