Since the return of the 1923 Motor Lifeboat House to Whitefish Point in 2013, we have slowly (but surely) been restoring the building and preparing it to become our next theater and events building. Going along with the exhibits in this structure will be another piece of history; Motor Lifeboat CG 36381.


Much like Whitefish Point’s original 36’ Motor Lifeboat, CG 36371, this overbuilt boat was a formidable presence and used for offshore rescues…much like the dramatic events depicted in the 2016 film, The Finest Hours. While many of these old Coast Guard boats were either burned, or simply allowed to disintegrate over the years, we were fortunate to find this one (thank you Jeff Shook and Glen Cather’s) in Maryland. It is just 10 hull numbers from Whitefish Point’s original Type TR Motor Lifeboat, both of which were built at Curtis Bay, Maryland.

While our Motor Lifeboat will not go back into Lake Superior, it is being extensively restored to its original appearance by the experts at Mertaugh Boat Works, in Hessel, MI.

Also being restored is the carriage, which allowed this venerable boat to “ride the rails” down into lake, and on to the rescue! Special thanks to the Marquette Maritime Museum for donating the carriage, and again to Mertaugh Boat Works for their work on CG 36381. With all of this being said, it is a slow process to cosmetically restore this boat, and it is an ongoing project. A donation to this project will help to speed up the return of this piece of USCG history to Whitefish Point!

The 1923 Motor Lifeboat House, the future home of Motor Lifeboat CG36381.

Thanks to the generous support from our Friends of GLSHS, the 1923 Motor Lifeboat House has been restored and and placed at Whitefish Point, and is the future home of the Motor Lifeboat CG36381 exhibit.