Facilities & Vessels
Great Lakes Campus and Harbor
The Great Lakes Maritime Academy was founded in 1969 to train and educate the finest mates (pilots) and engineers available to the commercial shipping industry. Located on the shore of Grand Traverse Bay, the Academy has seen numerous improvements in technology, facilities and training ships through the years. A new facility opened on the site in 2003, followed in 2005 with a renovated and expanded harbor to better accommodate the T/S State of Michigan and our smaller vessels. The Academy now had a new home with the stern of its training ship only 150 feet from the building.
Located to the immediate east and west of our harbor are parks with recreational equipment and swimming beaches that are open to the public. The Academy is located in one of the most desirable tourist destinations in the country, and the outdoor recreation opportunities offer four-season possibilities for everyone.
T/S State of Michigan
The Maritime Academy is home to the 224-foot former Navy submarine surveillance ship Persistent, which is now T/S State of Michigan. The vessel is relatively new, having been built in 1986 as part of a series of 18 Stalwart-class T-AGOS vessels designed to tow highly sensitive sonar arrays for the tracking of Soviet submarines. As the Soviet threat diminished in the 1990s, the Navy decided to decommission the T-AGOS fleet, and in 1998 Persistent and sister ship Vindicator were transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard for primary use in drug interdiction.
While under Coast Guard ownership, the Persistent was overhauled and repowered, but eventually deemed too slow for offshore drug enforcement and made available to other government agencies. Working through the U.S. Maritime Administration, the Maritime Academy negotiated the transfer of the vessel to our harbor in Traverse City. The training ship supplements other training vessels and allows our cadets to put into practice the theory and skill sets taught in the classroom. Cadets take great pride in the State of Michigan and value the sea time underway prior to their commercial sea projects.
The Academy utilizes a fleet of smaller vessels in training cadets in addition to the T/S State of Michigan. These vessels, operated and maintained by the cadets, provide an essential training component and hands-on learning experience in small boat handling and operations. The academic curriculum of the classroom is integrated with lab time spent underway on our smaller vessels. These vessels include (other than sailboats):
The 41-Foot Utility Boat
As a former USCG Utility Boat, the 41' UTB is fast and handles heavy seas with ease. With an aluminum hull and twin Cummins Diesel engines of 340 shaft horsepower, this 41' vessel cruises at 22 knots. Her utility boat design offers tremendous flexibility in regards to operations. The Academy utilizes this vessel for twin engine training, towing, personnel transfer, navigation and a variety of other tasks. The all-weather capability of the "41" combined with its long range, allows joint operations with the T/S State of Michigan while underway. Technical specifications »
The Northwestern is a 56-foot, aluminum hull, twin-engine research vessel. With a 14-foot beam and a large salon, she is ideal for shorter trips within Grand Traverse Bay or a longer voyage if desired. The engines are 318 horsepower 8V71 Detroit Diesel plants which provide both power and good fuel economy. The Northwestern runs on bio-diesel and cruises at a speed of 10 knots while comfortably handling up to 20 passengers on day trips.
The Anchor Bay
The Anchor Bay began its life as a tug boat for the Army Corps of Engineers. At an overall length of 45 feet and a beam of 14 feet, the Anchor Bay has always been a Cadet favorite. With a single screw and Detroit Diesel power, she is the first vessel cadets operate upon entering the Academy. The mechanical systems aboard are straightforward in design, providing excellent understanding of how the vessel functions. The Anchor Bay is the ideal platform to teach single engine boat handling along with vessel maintenance and repair.