“Waking or sleeping, I dream of boats…” – E.B. White

In addition to wooden boat rentals and restorations, Brightside offers modern power boat rentals, storage and winterization services, and much more!

about-us-in-waterFor his entire life, Shawn Grant, a resident of Belgrade Lakes for nearly 20 years, has recalled a love and appreciation of classic wooden boats.

From their vintage design, the low bellowing sound they make when piercing the water, and their harmonious feel as they glide along.

But it wasn’t until 2007 that Grant decided to turn his passion into a full time endeavor. He wrote his own business plan and sold some of his prized possessions in order to acquire the necessary tools, equipment and rental boats to get the business started.

It wasn’t long before Grant attached a single-bay workshop to his house; a two-bay, two story workshop on the other side of the driveway; and acquired direct shorefront on Mill Stream, which runs along Hulin Road in the Belgrade Lakes village.

Brightside Wooden Boat was born.about-us-logo

“The sides of a wooden boat are considered the brightsides,” Shawn says. “It’s a play on words and has a number of different meanings.”

Grant said he knew that he wanted three strokes of a paint brush in his logo and a transom, which is the back part of a boat or ship.

Whether the customer was looking for a boat rental for a weekend getaway, or had a snow-covered 1956 Chris Craft that required restoration – word of Brightside was beginning to spread amongst the local community, although for many outside of the Belgrade Lakes region, it still remains one of the state’s, or perhaps country’s best kept secrets. Grant admits:

1938-Chris-Craft-Model-801-17-Utility-1“There’s only a few of us in the country who rent out classic wooden boats.”

Belgrade Lake’s flock of Summer tourists make up much of Brightside’s rental side of the business, many whom are looking for the “On Golden Pond experience” – the Academy Award winning ’81 film based on pristine Great Pond.

While classic wooden boat rentals and restorations may be the foundation of Brightside, over the years, the business has found themselves spending more time in other areas – such as modern boat rentals and storage and winterization services.

Today, Brightside offers various boat rentals including modern power boats, sailboats, canoes and kayaks.about-us-jim

“We will always have a close connection to wooden boats. Heck, look at our logo! But at the end of the day, we need to give our customers what they want. Not everyone wants to rent a ’47 Chris Craft, so we need to keep up with the demand of what our customers are asking us for”.

Grant currently employs several experienced woodworkers and boat builders to keep up with the demand on the restoration side of the business; including leadman, Jim Wachter, of Belgrade Lakes.

Wachter has been working on boats since 1975.

“I’m happy to be doing this with Shawn,” Woodward said. “He really has a love of this.”