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The KYS Legacy

When Tom Manse began selling his first 44-page staple-bound booklet in 1959, not even he could envision the impact and influence Know Your Ships would have on the Great Lakes shipping community. Today, Know Your Ships is both a hobbyist’s guide to Great Lakes shipping and a valuable industry resource. Know Your Ships can be found in nearly every waterfront community from Duluth to Montreal – even in places far removed from the Great Lakes. Our fans keep their copies in cars, boats, and at home for easy reference. They can be found tucked in camera bags and in the pilothouses of the very lake freighters featured on the book's colorful pages.

The vessels that appear in Know Your Ships show the powerful economic engine of Great Lakes shipping. The book also explains how saltwater vessels sail across the oceans directly into the heart of North America. Recently, we have focused on an important aspect of industry that is just as important as the ships - our people. Hardworking men and women make our industry go, and we’ve barely scratched the surface.

Our mission is to spark interest in Great Lakes shipping and connect fans to the industry.

Our vision is to become a diversified maritime transportation resource and create a platform for fans and industry professionals to share their stories.

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