Rae retires after almost 50 years with Irish Boat Shop


PELLSTON – When you love your job, you stick with it, and that’s exactly what Carl Rae of Pellston has been doing for nearly 50 years after he started working at the Irish Boat Shop in 1971.

Rae officially retired from the Irish Boat Shop, a northern Michigan store specializing in boat sales, service, docks, storage and other boat-related services, with multiple locations in the area, August 1st. He had worked there for 49 and a half years.

“Forty-nine years have passed quickly and I’ve enjoyed it,” Rae said.

He got his start with the Irish Boat Shop after one of his high school teachers, who worked for the boat shop, took him for an interview in 1971. Rae began working with the boat shop a week later and never looked back.

While working at the Irish Boat Shop, Rae specialized in paint and varnish. This was before there was a duty drafter at the boat shop, so employees had to choose their work from a board.

Then, around 2000, Rae started driving the Irish Boat Shop semi-trailer, hailing boats from their yard and strategically storing them for the various customers.

“It’s great to be independent, you don’t have to be told there’s work to be done, you see that,” he said.

Now that he’s retired, Rae hopes that whoever comes in to do the job he was doing has the same proactive philosophy he had about the job, as well as his organizational skills.

“Keeping things as organized as possible makes it easier for you and the service department,” Rae said.

Rae left a lasting impression on those he worked with, as well as those he worked for.

“Although Carl has spent his entire working life with Irish Boat Shop, he has been an example of a great employee and friend. Carl is more than reliable, he is always there ready and willing to do what needs to be done “Throughout his career, Carl has adapted, learning new skills to keep up with the endless changes around the boat shop. Carl’s presence will be missed, but he’s deserved a long and healthy retirement. Thank you Carl” said Michael Esposito, Chairman of Irish Boat Shop.

Now that he is retired, Rae’s family is asking everyone to join in wishing Rae a fun, safe and happy retirement, congratulating him on his many years working for the same company.

Now enjoying his retirement, Rae lives in Pellston with his wife, Kim. They have three children, Eric and Haylee in Petoskey, Abigail and Matt who also live in Petoskey and Alex, Susan, Mark and JoJo from Gladstone, Missouri.

“He’s enjoying his free time,” Kim Rae said.

Previous A giant swallowtail photo, families and charters, sales of new boats and the first yellow jackets are among the notes of Chicago outdoors.
Next Rising tide in boat sales observed in St. Johns County