Published in Finance
Grand Bay Marine has locations in Traverse City and Charlevoix. Grand Bay Marine has locations in Traverse City and Charlevoix. COURTESY PHOTO

DeVos-backed Walstrom Marine acquires Northern Michigan boat dealer, marina

BY Wednesday, November 16, 2022 03:46pm

TRAVERSE CITY — Walstrom Marine Inc., a Harbor Springs-based yacht sales and service company and marina operator acquired last year by Continuum Ventures LLC in Grand Rapids, acquired Grand Bay Marine in Traverse City.

The deal expands the marine holdings for Continuum Ventures, the family office for Doug and Maria DeVos that invested in Walstrom Marine in 2021. Continuum Ventures later bought Algonac Harbour Club LLC, a full-service deep-water marina located in Algonac on the St. Clair River, this past summer.

Acquiring Grand Bay Marine, a full-service marine dealership that has locations in Traverse City and Charlevoix, aligns with “Continuum’s efforts to build the leading premium boat dealer and marina operator in the Great Lakes region, starting with Michigan,” according to an announcement on the deal.

“It’s expanding geography, it’s expanding brands, it’s expanding resources and we think that is a step forward in creating value,” Doug DeVos told MiBiz. “We think we can do that for their customers and use it for Walstrom’s customers as well.”

Terms of the deal were undisclosed. Grand Bay Marine’s 38 employees will remain with the company.

Grand Rapids-based Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cummiskey PLC served as legal adviser to the buyers on the deal. 

Grand Bay Marine, founded in 1997 and previously owned and operated by Liz Carney and her family, is the country’s largest retailer of the Regal Boat brand. The company also carries other boat brands including StarCraft, Godfrey, Bayliner, Robalo and Berkshire. Grand Bay Marine also offers heated and cold indoor and outside storage during the winter months.

“Grand Bay Marine has built a strong customer base and a leading position in the Traverse City market. Grand Bay Marine’s dedicated staff and expertise in the marine industry will be an asset to Walstrom Marine and all our Northern Michigan clients,” Walstrom Marine President Tom Ervin said in a statement. “With the addition of the Regal brand to the broader Walstrom Marine business, we continue to build our offering and drive our long-term strategy to be the premier Marine operator across the Great Lakes.” 

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