Started in 1983 as Michigan’s only full time charter operation, Great Lakes Sailing Co. has grown to become a reputable and reliable charter fleet and sailing school.

Our charter fleet is the largest on Lake Michigan and offers meticulously maintained sail and power yachts. Many Great Lakes Sailing Co. sailing school instructors have been named “ASA’s (American Sailing Association) Outstanding Instructor” and Great Lakes Sailing Co. has twice been named “School of the Year”.

Great Lakes Sailing Co. continues to offer outstanding sail education and provides a top-notch fleet of charter vessels for the more experienced sailors.It was a natural step to start selling boats as we have managed and maintained all different brands for so many years. Great Lakes Sailing is proud to represent  Jeanneau sailboats and  Gemini Catamarans in the Great Lakes region.

Dave & Kristen Conrad

Dave and Kristen are the owners of Great Lakes Sailing Co. Dave was General Manager at Bay Breeze before purchasing the company in June of 2008.

Dave has been sailing the Great Lakes, Caribbean, Gulf Coast and beyond for about 20 years. He has extensive experience in captaining charter vessels 50 to 90 feet and managing charter companies in the Caribbean and the Great Lakes. He holds a USCG Masters 100 ton Captain’s license and is an American Sailing Association Instructor certified for levels 101, 103, 104 and 105.

Kristen has a masters degree in social work but put her social work plans on hold to play a key role in the start-up and success of Great Lakes Sailing. For the first eight years Kristen helped Dave paint bottoms, rig boats, manage the office, work the boat shows and was the morale booster for the staff. In 2017 Kristen moved on to pursue her passion for working with disabled children but still helps out keeping the rest of us in line!

Paul Davis

Paul Davis is the General Manager here at GLSC, he also handles the Parts and Service for new boats as well as existing boats in our management fleet. Paul is an avid racer sailor and has delivered vessels all over the Great Lakes and from Manzanillo, Mexico to LA.

He’s a veteran of numerous Port Huron to Mac and Chicago to Mac races and on his home waters of Traverse City, Paul sails his Lightning and races on Capt. Dan’s Cal 40. Paul has a 50 ton USCG Captain’s License and is certified to teach ASA classes 101, 103, 104, and 105.

Joanie Leppek

Joanie Leppek is our Operations Manager, handling day to day business management. In addition to her business and accounting background, she’s pretty darn creative. A past upholsterer and pattern maker, Joanie operated a marine canvas business in Seattle before moving back to Traverse City.

Joanie grew up boating on Grand Traverse Bay and thinks a day isn’t complete without a view of the bay. She learned to sail on a boat docked at “Black Mountain Yacht Club” and spent most of a decade racing sailboats in the Puget Sound.