GLM Logo
About Us
Contact Us
Our Mission
Career Opportunities

Vendor Links

Dealer Locators

Dealer Portal

GLM Logo-Hrz


Great Lakes Marine was brought into existence in 1979 and has been involved in the marine industry ever since. We are part of the KMW Group, Inc., a group of businesses that were started by Dave Mehney. Although diverse in nature and product line, each division of the KMW Group is built on strong work ethic and a dedication to our dealers.

The Early Years. Our story really begins in 1968, when Dave Mehney started a small business selling Kawasaki motorcycles. Within a few years, Kawasaki Midwest was created, having the rights to distribute Kawasaki motorcycles across five states. As the motorcycle industry grew during the early 70's, we consistently led all U.S. regions in both market share and dealer satisfaction. This was accomplished by heavily weighing every decision made on the needs of our dealers. Dealer profitability was as important as dealer development, while our quality products and fair programs allowed everyone a chance to succeed.

The success of the motorcycle division allowed our 'Group' to consider expansion. Skytron, distributor of surgical lights and tables, started in 1972, but really began to grow in 1977. Great Lakes Marine was created in 1979, to distribute Glastron boats. In 1981, our motorcycle business was sold to Kawasaki Heavy Industries--this event stimulated many changes for our 'Group'. Just as it was becoming clear that there was no future for us in selling boats, we earned the right from Midwest Industries to distribute Shoreland'r boat trailers and ShoreStation boat hoists to the west side of Michigan.

Expansion. Ken Pechumer was put in charge of the Marine division in 1983. The immediate focus was to get out of the boat distribution business and fully concentrate our efforts on the development of our territory for Shoreland'r and ShoreStation. By the mid 1980's, we had opened a second warehouse in Gaylord. The concept of trailer 'packaging' evolved in the late 1980's and we lost 6 of our top 10 Shoreland'r dealers to this new method of shipping boats with trailers. This significant loss of business affected everyone, and the distributor for the east side of Michigan did not survive. In 1990 that territory was 'turned over’ to Great Lakes Marine.

The new territory was a good addition for us and it only took one season before the East side of the state knew what all of our other dealers knew. If we say we are going to do something, we do it! With the new area it made sense to consider other expansions. In the early 1990's we added the distribution of Lakeshore Products and expanded our distribution of Hoosier pontoon trailers. With the huge growth of the PWC market, Midwest provided a trailer that was "spot on" and at a very competitive price. Lakeshore Products provided the Jet Lifts and our business expanded dramatically overnight.

In 1999, just as the PWC expansion was slowing, Midwest Industries introduced their new ShoreStation Dock System. The success was immediate. In 2002, Karavan trailers offered the distribution rights for their products to us for the State of Michigan. Karavan had always been a tough competitor so we were excited about the prospects of being able to distribute their products. We knew our dealers needed a quality snow trailer, which Karavan had, as well as having a low cost PWC trailer, fish trailer and ATV trailer.

Continued Growth. In 2005, Bryant Hutchinson took over as president at GLM, leading us to the first of many record setting sales years. So, in 2010 when Floe International approached us to take over the distribution of their products in Michigan and northern Indiana and Ohio, we responded enthusiastically. The addition made an immediate impact on our organization and in 2014 we had a series of meetings with Floe to forge an even stronger partnership and to take our relationship to the next level. This combined with the decision made by Midwest during this time to use a different distributor for Michigan, and we completely made Floe our main product line. In 2015 we then worked out a major distribution agreement with MAX Manufacturing to sell their lifts and dock in Michigan and northern Indiana and Ohio, giving us 3 lines of lifts and dock to offer to our dealers.

Present Day Operations. Jim Mehney came to Great Lakes Marine in 2015 just as Great Lakes Marine was transitioning away from ShoreStation and into a new era of rapid growth. In 2019 Jim moved into the leadership role as CEO at Great Lakes Marine and the goals and strengths at Great Lakes Marine have still remained the same. We strive to stock and deliver quality products at a reasonable price to our dealers. Our ultimate goal is to meet the needs of our dealers in the ever-changing marine market.

We feel that having two warehouses is an important asset to our dealers, providing quick and easy product availability. Our Grand Rapids warehouse is the location of our main headquarters and has typically serviced our largest trailer dealers, as well as many hoist & dock dealers. We try to maintain a ready supply of our active units and our main parts inventory, plus we maintain a 'back-up' inventory for our Gaylord warehouse. Our Gaylord warehouse services some of our largest hoist and dock dealers. Gaylord's annual volume is typically between 45% - 50% of our total annual sales. Our focus on service created this warehouse--many dealers in Northern Michigan can place their order in the morning and pick-up product that same day.

Our current product offering includes: Lakeshore Products dock and hoists (1991), Karavan trailers (2002), Lift Tech hoist motors (2009), Floe International dock and hoists (2010), Max Manufacturing lifts and dock (2015), Hydro Sweep (2015), Bio-Health Pods (2019), LC Covers (2020), Lift Boss hoist motors (2021), GLM branded aluminum dock (2021), Liftco PWC lifts (2021), and Varatti boats (2023).

Throughout the years, we have consistently tried to provide the innovative products demanded by our changing industry. Just how changing our industry has been can be evidenced by a list of the products we no longer distribute: ShoreLand'r trailers (started in 1981), ShoreStation hoist and dock (1981), Hoosier pontoon trailers (1987), Lakeside (Demco) hydraulic lifts (1994), Stingray and Landau and Yarcraft boats (1994), CharKan snow trailers (1996), Magneta PWC trailers (1996), Marine Mooring snow accessories (1996), Cozy Cove fish/PWC trailers (1998), Great Lakes Lift PWC lifts (1998), Magic Tilt aluminum trailers (2000), Prestige custom trailers (2000), Rance snow trailers (2000), Bear Cat snow trailers (2001), Elete custom trailers (2001), Toy Carrier snow accessories (2002), B&D dock and hoists (2003), Connect-A-Dock floating dock (2005), Zieman pontoon trailers (2005), Commander Products hoist motors (2006), Summit Marine hoists (2006), Forest River snow trailers (2007), Northern Lights roll-in dock (2007), Shoretex Fabrics canopy covers (2008), Future Beach kayaks (2009), Lift Tech canopy covers (2015), Paradise Pad (2015), Lake Lounger (2017), and Ultra Legs (2017).

We will continue to examine every opportunity to expand the product lines we offer and always try to offer you products of exceeding value, while delivering exceptional customer service. We will remain focused on long term goals, partnering closely with both our vendors and our dealers and we fully expect to be serving you for many years to come.

Thank you to all of our dealers for being an integral part of our team!