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Great Lakes Shipwreck Preservation Society
Dedicated to Saving our Shipwrecks "From Prevention to Preservation"
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Website Updated

GLSPS Annual Fundraiser!!

UMSAT Show Website

Date and Venue for 2020 UMSAT Show!!

April 3 - 4, 2020


Fred Stonehouse

Maritime Historian and Superb Story Teller

Friday Night at the Movies
7:00 to 10:00 PM

Saturday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Main Show

(Meet and Greet Party with Food and Beverages)
At The Holiday Inn Hospitality Room
(Next Door to Jimmy's)
7:00 PM to 12:00 AM

For more information on the 2019 UMSAT show, and the upcoming 2020 UMSAT Show, please visit

If you are interested in joining the UMSAT Show Planning Committee, please email us at

Or, contact Mary Lillimo at "Show Chairperson", or Phil Kerber, "President", at

Here are the Links to Important Exhibitors Documents

2020 UMSAT Show Exhibitors Contract

UMSAT Show 2020 Exhibitors Sponsors Registration Form

  UMSAT Booth Table Layout at Jimmy's Event Center

We are always looking for speakers that would like to present a great topic about their scuba diving or adventure travel experiences.

Please let us know if you, or anyone you know, would like to be a star and speak at a future UMSAT Show!

Lake Superior Magazine Logo 2x1
Check out the most beautiful magazine ever produced in Northern Minnesota!

GLSPS Project Sponsors

Air Down There Scuba offers free air fills and special pricing on rental equipment while participating in GLSPS projects. Required to show GLSPS Membership Card! 
Thank you, Scott and Tracy!

Aquaventure Dive and Photo Center offers free air fills and special pricing on rental equipment while participating in GLSPS projects. You will be required to show your GLSPS Membership Card.  They have also loaned us a GoPro HD video camera for a few projects. Thank you, Steve and Jolene!

Videos produced by Steve at Aquaventure Dive and Photo Center filmed in Lake Michigan on a Milwaukee charter trip. Click on their above logo for information to join them on a charter to visit these shipwrecks.
Prins Willem
The Dredge 906

Jay Hanson from North Shore Scenic Cruises has helped the GLSPS on many projects. Jay has many years of experience as a Captain, dive shop owner, dive instructor and commercial diver.

Jay has taken a different path for the past few years and his scuba charters are no longer available. However, in 2012, Jay purchased the Wenonah which was previously used to transport people from Grand Portage, MN to Isle Royale, MI. He now offers day cruises on the North Shore of Lake Superior and is docked at the Silver Bay, MN Marina.

For the last two years the Wenonah has been laid up in dry dock to replace the entire steel bottom of the boat in order to pass the Coast Guard Safety Inspection. 
The Wenonah will hopefully be ready for service in 2020.

If you are interested in booking a 2 hour - day charter cruise on the North Shore of Lake Superior, please click on the logo above for information on joining him and his staff on a north shore day cruise.

HomeR/V Preservation Restoration

Our Boat - Our Biggest Project Completed

Our boat, the Preservation, formerly the Wreck Diver, is our single largest project in both work and capital invested that GLSPS has undertaken. We acquired it in September of 2001 as a donation from Jay Chester and have been working on it weekly since September 2001 to remodel it as a work boat for GLSPS. The Wreck Diver was a 28 foot steel hull excursion boat with a commercial rating. It sports a large back deck and open back cabin and is powered by two efficient diesel engines. It is a sturdy hull and should be relatively inexpensive to operate. Our plan is to use it for Lake Superior GLSPS projects such as setting moorings, carrying out our monitoring program, and supporting preservation and documentation projects. Our original hope was to install an overhead lifting frame so we could transport and place the one-ton concrete mooring blocks we use for our mooring projects. After some rough calculations we are less certain that we could maneuver blocks of that size in and out of the boat. With our newly invented mooring approach of drilling into the rock lake bottom and using anchor bolts instead of mooring blocks, we won't need the lifting frame and we will still be able to install moorings.

Preservation Deck Plan image
The work started with a new deck plan by Steve Daniel. The helm and galley are on the starboard side. Bunks/seats run lengthwise on both sides of a center aisle. The head and storage are in the bow.

After a major re-modeling and re-fitting effort and six long years of work we finally launched the Preservation in 2007. Initially we built a temporary boat house to cover the boat so we could work year around. We added a raised and extended cabin roof over the back deck so we can work in the rain and enclosed the cabin. Since most of the projects will be weekends we added sleeping accommodations for six and a simple galley for lunches underway. After two years of working on the boat we discovered there was severe pitting on the bottom of the hull so we removed and re-plated three quarters of the bottom steel. Engines and transmissions were rebuilt and overhauled. We replaced the prop shafts and seals, the marine head, the helm, some electronics, and or course stripped and repainted the hull. We then moved the boat to Spirit Lake Marina in Duluth where we continued the work. We are now done and the final product is shown in the photos below - along with photos of the work it took to get us there. We now have a busy schedule of shipwreck projects we plan to do using the newly outfitted Preservation.

Behold the Outcome of our Toil in 2007

The Preservation ready for launch in 2007

Preservation side view -- ready for launch 2007

The Preservation at its slip at Spirit Lake Marina

Interior view of the galley, a bunk, and the freshly overhauled engines (engine covers opened, of course)

Interior with final upholstery and all the trimmings

Ken Knutson installing bow winch

2005 Season


2004, the Home Stretch

The Preservation sitting in her new Home Port of Spirit Lake Marina, Duluth

The overhauled Port engine nearing completion in Phil's Quality Automotive Service Center

The completed engine ready to be transported to Duluth for installation

2003 Work

Bob Nelson finishes the welding on extending the main cabin

Bob Olson shows the progress made on the back deck and main cabin to Jay Cole

The engine compartment with the engine removed and clean down to the coupling

The before shot of the helm and old helm wiring

Phil Kerber ready to remove and overhaul the diesel engine

Ron Johnson redesigns the helm

The framework which is the start of the new engine cover/ bunk/seat

Dick Giese meticulously machines our new prop shafts

2002 Work

The Wreck Diver before work began showing the open back cabin and back deck

Bob Olson and Ron Johnson built a custom engine hoist and Tom Brueshaber works on removing the engines

The Wreck Diver sits in Bob Olson's yard where we gutted the cabins before building the boat house to cover it

Ken Merryman laid out the roof from Steve's drawings with Tom's help; Bob Olson and Bob Nelson did the lion's share of the welding

Need a new battery box mount? Bob Olson can weld it up

Each roof support was cut and ground to fit the curvature

Todd Olson and Ken M. welding the forward supports for the new cabin roof

Steve Daniel redesigned and remodeled the forward cabin to add storage and improve the looks; it was the first cabin to be completed in the project

And the finished product; the porthole and top of storage cabinet in the forward cabin which was the first cabin to be completed

The anchor rode locker in the forward cabin after Steve's remodeling effort

Preservation Restoration Status - unknown date

Much has been accomplished in renovating the new GLSPS workboat, Preservation. Volunteer work commenced as soon as the winter holidays passed and the weather warmed up a bit. Steve Daniel provided a drawing to help the crews design and engineer an extension to the cabin.

Ken Merryman and Bob Olson removed the rudders, propellers and prop shafts to enable removal of the engines. Bob Olson crafted a custom hoist to lift the engines for examination and refurbishment. He removed the transmission from the starboard engine and is replacing some of the gears. The port engine will undergo needed work to bring it back to smooth operating condition. New stainless steel shafts and new coupling boxes will be purchased to help reduce leaking that occurred during previous operation of the boat. Bob also welded reinforcement on the starboard rudder steering structure.

Ken Merryman and Bob Nelson enrolled in welding classes to learn skills that will help in the construction of the steel cabin extension. Ken fabricated the curved sidepieces from 12-inch pipe and fitted them in place to match the contour of the original cabin roof. Ken, Tom Brueshaber, Todd Olson and Bob Olson positioned the roof cross ribs and tack-welded them in place. The next step will be to weld the thin wide steel sheets to form the roof covering. A dinghy donated by RLT Divers will later be placed on top prior to launch.

Ron Johnson and Todd Olson removed the old bulkhead and small storage compartment from the forward cabin. They removed the toilet for cleaning and refurbishment. They also cleaned out the watertight compartments of debris that had accumulated over the years. Floor supports and planks will be added to the center of each compartment for easy inspection during future operations of the boat.

Steve Daniel is coordinating the redesign of the head and forward storage compartments. A new bulkhead for the anchor line locker was measured, and fitted to the hull. Metal bracing for the floor and storage cabinets was added or reinforced to secure new woodwork by Bob Olson. Bob also welded a new step in place for easier egress in and out of the forward cabin.

A new floor was cut from 5/4 plywood and fitted to provide a firm base. The floor is removable to allow access to the bilge pump below. Steve cut and fitted various sections of plywood to form new storage cabinets on the port and starboard sides of the forward cabin. A door opening to the anchor line locker was made for easy access in addition to the hatch in the deck above. Sliding doors will be made to fit the front of both storage areas. Plastic containers were purchased and donated for use in keeping items neatly stowed. Tom Brueshaber provided helpful suggestions for fit and finish of the cabinets. Ron Johnson used a sandblaster to remove rust from several areas of the forward cabin. Bob Olson primed the metal areas and the wood sections of the storage cabinets.

Much remains to be done on the cabin interior. A drawing was made by Steve Daniel to assist the work crews in refitting the interior of the boat. A new plywood wall will be added to the rear of the cabin extension. A door with windows on each side will be included. Bunks will be added with storage bins underneath for personal gear. Materials to reduce sound and vibration from the engines were donated by 3M Company. These will help the captain hear the marine radio more easily as well as provide a more comfortable interior for the crew.

Volunteers are needed as the weather warms to help remove paint from the hull. Supplies consisting of respirators, safety goggles, paint removal disks, sanding disks and other materials were donated by 3M to the GLSPS to help with this task. Marine paint will be purchased to prime and seal the metal surfaces. Please contact Bob Olson to schedule a time that you are interested in helping.

Boat Job List as of 09/09/2005

The following is the list of jobs that must be completed before launch. The boat is coming together rapidly now. Members, if you see something you can do to help, we will resume boat work in the spring. The engine and transmission work will be done over the winter. Jump in and give a hand.
Job Status & Dates being done
Hull Bottom Replacement Complete 11/16/03 Major Milestone
Clean & Paint Bilge Done 11/16/03
Install tanks Done 11/15/03 - 
Install Roof Handrail Done 4/22/03
Hull strip, fill,  sand, & prime Done 4/27/03
Cabin Inside & out strip, sand & prime Done 9/17/03
Install Cutlass Bearing (Strut Bearings), Shafts & Shaft Log Seals Done 5/9/04
Rudders clean paint, install. Done 06/05/04
Repair & Install Steering Tie Rods Done 06/05/04
Finish Engines, Transmissions, & Injectors Done 04/19/04
Install Engines Done & Tested 07/10/05
Fabricate & Install fuel lines Done 06/04/05
Rebuild & Wire Helm Nearly done 11/22/03
Build helm seat Nearly done 07/30/05
Install Vertical Pipe Stanchion Done 10/01/03
Paint Outer Hull & Bottom Done 7/01/05
Paint Cabin Interior Done - 10/30/03
110 VAC Wiring  
12 VDC Cabin, Bilge Pump, Running Lights Wiring Done 08/30/05
Install & Test Bilge Pumps In progress 09/01/05
Install bunks Done 08/01/05
Fix Broken Port Windshield Done 11/19/03
Build Back Wall, Door, & Window Wall and door done 11/23/03
Build & Install Radar Mast Done 08/01/05
Install Electronics In progress 08/01/05
Fix Bow Pulpit Done 08/01/05
Install Toilet In Progress 08/01/05
Galley Cabinetry In Progress 08/01/05

Boat Job List as of 04/19/2006

The following is the list of jobs that must be completed before launch. The boat is coming together rapidly now. Members, if you see something you can do to help, we will resume boat work in the spring. Jump in and give a hand.


1 Fine tune Engines 5/06 Test and tune engines before launch Phil
1 Hull compartments vents 5/06 Battery compartment intake and outlet vents need finishing. Try plastic pipe? Ken Knutson
1 2 Round deck hatches covers 5/06 Need new rubber seals, 1/8 to 3/16” rubber O-ring Bob Nelson
1 Main cabin floor hatch 5/06 Build and install hatch Olson, Daniel
1 Front Cabin windows 5/06 Install 2 more closing hasps, permanent gaskets, and water seal over hinges, 42” long. Bob Nelson
1 Windshield wipers - Have one to install, need 2nd 6/06 Design, purchase, and install wipers on both front windows. Mount on window top frame? Bob Nelson
1 Helm cabinetry 5/06 Build cabinetry for helm Steve Daniel
1 Helm seat 5/06 Design and build seat and foot rest. Build as part of cabinets? Fabricate cushion seat & back Tom Brueshaber Steve Daniel
1 Helm wiring 5/06 Complete wiring of instruments, switches, securing, etc.. Bob Nelson Ken Knutson
Helm Engine and transmission controls
Engine & Transmission Installation.
5/06 Install speed and shift controls in helm and linkage to engines and transmissions Bob N, Ken K, Phil K
 Wire Engine Bilge
Run all new Fuel lines, dual filter systems
 Run all new wiring in bilge, run all new fuel lines and dual filtering systems, all engine, transmission and heat exchanger cooling system plumbing and anode system, prop seal system, anything in the Engine bilge.
 Phil Kerber
1 Helm switches 5/06 Need 12 switches purchased and installed in helm: Dash lights/dimmer, Running & anchor lights, 4 bulge pump w/leds, 2 windshield wipers, 2 rear deck spot lights, stern deck light on inside wall Ken Knutson Bob Nelson
1 Navigation instruments 6/06 Install depth finder transducer and screen, need cable extension. radar, marine radios, compass, purchase GPS/plotter Ken Knutson Bob Nelson
1 Engine covers 6/06 Needs internal sound proofing Steve Daniel
1 Stern cabin wall 5/06 Seal floor and edges. Install door seal (SBD to provide 3M Weatherstrip material) Steve Daniel Paul Imsland
1 Bulge pumps 5/06 Need 4 installed and wired, install switches Ken Knutson
1 Running lights 5/06 Install running lights and wiring, Stern light on radar mast Bob Nelson
1 Anchor light 5/06 install on radar mask and wire. Ken Knutson
1 Check on boat insurance and if survey is needed 5/06 Do Bob Nelson
1 Survey 5/06 Plan survey, needs & schedual   Phil Kerber
1 Prop nuts and steering linkage pins 5/06 Find and install, check all Bob Nelson
1 Deck drain flaps 5/06 Design, purchase and install rear deck drain flaps to stop the lake from flooding in Ken Knutson  
2 Main 12v power switch guards 7/06 Could use switch guards Bob Nelson
1 Oil drip pans 5/06 Design, buy/build, install Bill Wallace
1 Rubber grommets 5/06 for 1 1/4”, ½”, ¾” holes, auger to enlarge holes Ken Knutson
1 Deck drain scabbard flaps 5/06 Determine design, get parts, install Ken Knutson
1 Vent blowers and air ducks 5/06 Design and install Ken K and Bob N
1 Motor housing insulation 6/06 Decide, purchase, install Ken K Tom B
2 Upper bunks/back rest 7/06 Paint, install, design and build hinges and supports Steve Daniel
1 Head 6/05 Install and plumb Ken Knutson
1 Waste tank 6/05 Secure and plumb Ken Knutson
1 Brass port holes 6/05 Install Tom B
1 Steering wheel 5/05 Install Bob Nelson
2 Interior installation trim and finishing 6/05 Fasten 3M Thinsulate Insulation to cabin ceiling w/ headliner adhesive. Staple marine vinyl to wood runners. Fabricate and install metal venting along outside edges above windows. Cut, fit & screw Trim Battens over staples. Steve Daniel
13 Exhaust tunneled under water 6/06 Design, build, purchase transom exhaust extensions to tunnel exhaust under water Ken Knutson
2 Rear deck lights 7/06 Buy and install Florescent light on back wall, 2 spot lights on roof, have. Wire to switches. Inside and outside switch for florescent. Ken Knutson Bob Nelson
3 New Bunk cushions   Purchase and cover Emma Wallace
2 Radar unit 7/06 Install radar dome, wiring and monitor. Need main radar wire harness installed through roof Ken Knutson Bob Nelson
2 Remote controlled Spot light   Need to purchase and install on radar mask and wire and install remote control Ken Knutson May have
3 Galley cabinetry   Build & install forward port side cabinet. Build & install galley cabinet with countertop & backsplash (factor in refrigerator). Fabricate SS covering for both. Build helmsman’s seat with cabinet below and backrest with backsplash Tom Brueshaber
3 Sink   Install & plumb sink with faucet in galley cabinet (start w/ cold water only). Tom Brueshaber
2 Life boat   Decide on which to use, if rubber one do repairs needed Bill Wallace
2 Life boat cradle and securing mounts   Take Measurements for dimensions (raft will rest upside down) - SBD. Fabricate out of steel pipe with flanges to bolt to roof of cabin extension - RCO. Strap dinghy in place. Later consider installing roller at rear for lowering dinghy Bill Wallace
2 Water tank   Secure and plumb Ken Knutson
2 Boat Ops Manual Engine Maintenance Manual   Draft Operations Procedures manual & Engine Maintenance manual & place near helm Phil Kerber
3 110 VAC: Wiring Dock power Battery chargers Inverter 12v to 110v Controls/switching/fuses   6-08
Install marine grade strand wiring, Shore Plug-in, Breaker Box, Battery Charger, 20 amp Galley Receptacles (Microwave & Griddle), Fridge Outlet, Electric Tools, VHS TV (Nice but not required this year)
Ken Knutson
Bob Olson
1 Graphics 6/05 Apply appliqués for “PRESERVATION” to transom & hull, & Logo to cabin sides. Apply required Coast Guard decals to cabin interior near helm. Fabricate & install Hull Number plate (3” high numbers) to engine room bulkhead near hatch opening. Steve Daniel