Shipwatcher News was started in 2014 by Brendan Falkowski as a small handwritten news bulletin on Great Lakes freighters.  The newsletter, now called the Freighters, is a digital edition sent out bi-monthly throughout the year.

Brendan Falkowski is a Great Lakes ship enthusiast who shares his passion for the freighters through his newsletter and research. Brendan is a graduate of Bath High School, and will be attending University of Michigan’s College of Engineering this fall to begin studies in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering.  Brendan is an avid musician, and most recently served as the drum major for his high school band. He also is a competitive sailor, helping to found the Bath High School Sailing Team and serving as the Team Captain for its inaugural season. He enjoys sailing and spending time with his friends and family.

Brendan’s works can be found in the Detroit Marine Historian, the monthly newsletter of the Marine Historical Society of Detroit, Boatnerd.com, Great Lakes-Seaway Review, and more.


I would like to thank everyone who has supported and helped me with Shipwatcher News. Special thanks goes to my original subscribers, parents, family, friends, and teachers who all encouraged me in the early years of SN. I also would like to thank all of those who have helped me expand SN, with help from the teams at Sand Products Corporation, Shepler’s Mackinac Island Ferry, Bay Engineering, and Interlake Steamship Company. Thank you to my “team” of photographers, Don Detloff, Sam Hankinson, Jim Hoffman, Daniel Lindner, Roger LeLievre, Isaac Pennock, Gus & David Schauer, and Logan Vasicek, who have all allowed me to share their photos in the SN newsletters. Freighters newsletter would not look the same without their fantastic work! Thank you to Fred Miller III, who freshened up the Shipwatcher News logo for me. If you like the new logo, check out his work on Etsy at FreeEyesFM. Finally, I would like to thank the naval architects and marine engineers, Travis Martin, Fred Koller, and Nicholas Posh from Bay Engineering, Eric Helder from Interlake Steamship Company, Nick Hunter from NETSCo., and Andrew MacDonald from Port City Marine Services, who have assisted me and provided insight into the field of Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering for the In the Design articles. Working with them has continued to inspire me and excite me about the field that I someday hope to make a career. Without you all, Shipwatcher News would not be where it is today.

~Brendan Falkowski

Alpena departing Muskegon, Michigan, June 20, 2020. Photo by Brendan Falkowski

All of the images on this website are copyright Brendan Falkowski unless noted otherwise.  Nothing from this website may be republished or rewritten in any way, shape, or form.