About The Film

Boblo Boats: A Detroit Ferry Tale is an award-winning feature length documentary narrated by Motown Legend Martha Reeves.



Boblo Boats trailer

Click Here to Watch the Official Trailer



When Ste. Claire and SS Columbia sounded their whistles, every Detroit kid knew it heralded the coming of summer and the magic of ferrying over to nearby Boblo Island Amusement Park. After 85 years of operation, these two sister steamships – the oldest in America - awaken from a deep slumber to find a devoted team of enthusiasts have set out to rescue them from their deteriorating state. SS Columbia has been whisked away to New York while Claire's fate rests in the hands of an unlikely band of heroes: a doctor, a psychic, and an amusement park fanatic. Martha Reeves, the Motown legend with a lilting voice, narrates this revelatory fable-doc that’s full of heart and hard truths about a challenging restoration, the iconic amusement park’s exciting yet whitewashed history, and the intoxicating ways that nostalgia can inspire and blur memories.



"BEAUTIFUL AND SURREAL...You don't have to be a boat guy, gal, or gull to enjoy Schillinger's magical mystery boat ride of a film and, frankly, the documentary is even more fantastical if you aren't a former Boblo-goer."

—Jerilyn Jordan, Detroit Metrotimes

"Funny, fresh, and a little heartbreaking.”

—Marshall Curry, Oscar winning filmmaker

“The TIGER KING of boat stories.”

—Erin Vermeulen, WWJ Detroit

“Wonderfully filmed with great characters - this is important history. Not only for Detroiters but for the world.”

—Sam Green, Academy Award-nominated director

“A fantastic work of magical realism…a rich, nostalgic historical document that is entertaining at every turn.”

—Matthew St. Amand, Drive Magazine