Bob Shapton – Michigan Boat & Engine

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Bob Shapton

If you are a comment reader you will no doubt recognize longtime fellow Woody Boater Bob Shapton. Bob is passion, and drive all bundled up in a very fun and kind human being. And one more reason to smile that our community is strong and will keep going like one of Bobs amazing outboard restorations.

Some of Bobs work

You may also remember Bob from this short film about him.

Bob has also fixed up a cool space to keep the gestalt of our lifestyle palpable.  Ya, another whopper of a sentence. I have no idea where they come from either. But seem to hit me around 4 AM, when some of my left over brain cells seem to gasp for life.

Showroom.. Timeless


Michigan good

That was it, I wasted all my morning energy on that line. Not kidding, I am just starring at the computer and thinking about breakfast. BACON.. Dam it, and now M-fine. Which is not a vision I want to see this early. AHHHH, hold on, I am going to click on Bob Shaptons website.. HERE..

The shop truck is insane!


Oh Okay, I am back, and just basking in Bobs cool continuance of the timeless aspects of.. OH DAM IT, here I go again. JUST CLICK ON THE WEBSITE LINK. Thanks Bob for being a great guy, a true WoodyBoater and email pen pal.

Craftsman, artist, and charmed with the nuttiness we all possess.



22 replies
  1. NR
    NR says:

    Here is one of his boats in the water. Bob lives close to my son in GR. This was taken 9/24 at Reeds Lake. In East GR.

  2. RH in NY
    RH in NY says:

    M-fine, I just heard that Hormel is making a bacon scented face mask. You have to register to win one on

    • m-fine
      m-fine says:

      Thanks for the tip!!! That might turn me into one of the crazy people who wears a mask even when alone in their car.

  3. steve bunda
    steve bunda says:

    Excellence , Great Work, Story, and Film that nails the passion of doing something that one loves . Talent on loan from God!
    Hope to meet Bob some day.

  4. Frank@Falmouth
    Frank@Falmouth says:

    Gestalt….. seeing all those cool “parts” that become the greater “whole”…. kinda deep before coffee,… but yes!!! Each of those parts on the shelves have a story and when put together form the new whole…
    My ideal “shop” would be a period correct space, with period correct tools, parts and supplies…. and then a shop next door with modern tools and equipment to do the messy work safely ..
    great film. and story.. .

  5. Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P )
    Mark in Ohio (sometimes da U P ) says:

    What a great article, and video. I am an outboard guy fort the most part. This article just made my morning. “If I had more money i’d just have more boats” Is that not true for all of us. BTW is that a Penn Yan swift that built Merc is on in the picture?

    • Bob Shapton
      Bob Shapton says:

      In fact that Penn Yan belonged to Jon Culver. His father was President at Mercury in the early days for Carl and was practically family. Jon raced the Albany to Ny races in ‘47 with a Wagemaker Hurricane and won his class, boat was called Yankee Doodle Jr and his father ran YD senior.
      He asked if I would buy his entire collection, which I did, and his only request was that I give young folks engines if they’re serious about rebuilding them, I think I’m up to 6 that have left. A very neat fellow!

    • Bob Shapton
      Bob Shapton says:

      Oh, and you mention the UP.
      Ive been working with the US Forest Service on an old fishing boat they would like to save. While doing research I got distracted with my drone and made this little clip of the gorgeous water falls up there. Its another world!

  6. Murdock
    Murdock says:

    More Michigan goodness comes in all size packages around here.
    Bob is one of the best there is and we’ve got a LOT of them around this neck of the woods.
    In fact, it would be a GREAT WoodyBoater Michigan road trip next summer to visit them all!!!!!
    We’ll make sure you’ve got a weeks full list of everyone too!

  7. Dennis Hansen
    Dennis Hansen says:

    Great to see Bob featured here.. I visited his shop on several occasions and see something new every time. He is an all round nice guy. Willing to share his knowledge and his shop (and his wife’s business conference room) for Water Wonderland Chapter meetings from time to time. Kudo’s

  8. Jeffrey Martinson
    Jeffrey Martinson says:

    That was GREAT video. Could be a calling card for myself and so many people I know in response to the inevitable question, “Why do you have so many (fill-in-the-blank)?”

    I do wonder, though: does Tekton sell safety glasses? Milling swarf in the ol’ eyeball sucks donkey knots.

    • Bob Shapton
      Bob Shapton says:

      Nailed me on that!
      The production crew caught it too late in process. Shit I even had a vintage ww2 pair right there on the mill, didn’t even occur to me and I wear eye and ear protection religiously.
      We never caught any grief on it much to our surprise.

  9. Greg Seibold
    Greg Seibold says:

    Bob’s building us a Merc 58 this fall… similar to one of his previously builds shown in picture…can’t wait to get it.

  10. B Baar
    B Baar says:

    I could hang out in Bob’s shop all day and talk to him about everything hanging on the walls and the bourbon collection, I almost went there today after reading this! He has been a huge help to me with advice on my boat paint, varnish, engine, trailer…so yeah pretty everything! Thanks Bob!

  11. Bob Shapton
    Bob Shapton says:

    This is a surprise. Love you all!
    Fellow Woodyboater Rob Benard tuned me into this fabulous feature. I’m up in a Lake Leelanau, fishing for salmon, working on a few client projects and using the Powerwagon to pull boat lifts out. Right now we have lightning, rain, snow and ice mix.
    There’s some interesting things moving into the shop next week, one is a Feathercraft/Paragon Meteor, one of 12 built. They were inboards.
    I’m hoping we get back to some normalcy so we can celebrate our interests. Thanks to my many clients and visitors. I’ll get more pics up, a lot has come and gone since, even OMC stuff.
    Mary and I are empty nesters now, so I’m stepping on the gas!!
    Hope to see some of you soon, please be careful out there and stay safe so we can get to show season this coming summer!
    Many Many thanks to Matt and the fine folks at Woodyboater.

    Talk soon.

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