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Our Captain

Roger LeLievre


Roger, who readily agrees he is the luckiest Boatnerd in the world, comes by his interest in Great Lakes ships naturally – he grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, just blocks from the Soo Locks and remembers watching the boats go by during summers spent at his grandparent's cottage on the St. Marys River shoreline, where he still spends much of his time. During high school, he worked as a tour guide on the Museum Ship Valley Camp and shipped out on the Ford Motor Co. ore boat Ernest R. Breech as soon as he turned 18. However, rather than making a career out of working on the boats, he wound up writing about them instead.


He has been editor and publisher of Know Your Ships since 1994, following the passing of book founder and his mentor Thomas Manse, but has been involved in its publication much longer than that: He was 14 when his first boat picture was published in the 1968 edition of the book. He spent 30 years in the newspaper business in Michigan as a writer and editor, most of them at the Ann Arbor News, where he learned many of the skills needed to publish Know Your Ships.


The long-time president of The Marine Historical Society of Detroit and editor of its monthly publication The Detroit Marine Historian, Roger was recipient of the group's Historian of the Year Award in 2006. He is also involved with Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping On-line Inc., the non-profit Web site more commonly known as, and is an associate member of the International Shipmasters' Association's Port Huron lodge. He is also on the board of the Soo Locks Visitor Center Association and enjoys talking about his hometown to passengers on shore excursions from several of the cruise ships now calling at Sault Ste. Marie.

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Meet our team

If you like our design, credit William Soleau. His 15 years in the printing business helped prepare him for the challenge of keeping Know Your Ships looking fresh. Thanks, Will!

Thank you to our friends Andrea GuerrieroGraham Grattan and John Philbin, who handle our mailings in Canada. Without their volunteer efforts, it would be much more difficult – and much more expensive – to sell books north of the border.

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