Dave Irish Student Sponsorship Award

GLBBS is proud to announce the Dave Irish Student Sponsorship Award, available to students enrolled at GLBBS for 2024-25. One student will be chosen, enrolled in either the Marine Service Technology program or the Comprehensive Career Boat Building program, for a $15,000 award.  Upon graduation, the student agrees to work for Irish Boat Shop for a minimum period of one year for pay and benefits.

Students must be admitted into either the Marine Service Technology program or the Comprehensive Career Boat Building program at GLBBS by June 9th, have earned a minimum high school or college GPA of 2.5 (transcripts required), must be willing to sign an employment contract for one year of employment with Irish Boat Shop after graduation, and must submit two letters of reference (online through the Sponsorship Core Application or sent directly to GLBBS by June 9th).

Complete both the Sponsorship Core Application form and the Dave Irish Student Sponsorship Application form, and submit two letters of reference by June 9, 2024.

The top three students will be notified, and the students will be interviewed by the Selection Committee in August. The winner will receive 1/3 of the $15,000 award each semester, beginning Fall 2024, then Spring 2025 and Summer 2025.


  • Student will sign a Pre-Employment Agreement with Irish Boat Shop upon acceptance of the Sponsorship Award, and must agree to work for a minimum of one year at Irish Boat Shop in Harbor Springs, MI.
  • Student must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) each semester while attending GLBBS (attend a minimum of 90% of courses and earn a minimum GPA of 2.0).
  • Student must visit Irish Boat Shop before the end of the fall semester to see the facility and meet the staff (Irish Boat Shop will assist with the student’s travel and lodging expenses).
  • Spring and Summer semester awards may be cancelled if the student indicates need to cancel pre-employment contract, fails to meet SAP, or is unable to fulfill the work commitment of the award.


  • Provide full-time, year-round employment
  • Provide up to $20 per hour starting wage if graduate is deemed exempted of the Irish Apprenticeship Program, $16 per hour or more starting wage if graduate is deemed eligible for the Irish Apprenticeship Program
  • Provide full benefits – health insurance, retirement program, paid vacation and personal time off, employee discounts
  • Housing assistance
  • Tool Allowance Program
  • Uniform – Logo Program
  • Continued training and certifications
  • Mentoring Program
  • SmartDollar Program by Dave Ramsey


Dave Irish and the Irish Boat Shop have provided service for recreational boaters in Harbor Springs since 1961, on Lake Charlevoix since 1971, and in Traverse City since 2018. Their modern, comprehensive facilities in the communities offer a wide range of services, sales, and strength of experience. The business of Irish Boat Shop is to promote recreational boating by delivering quality and value in boats and services while meeting their obligations to their customers, their employees, their communities, and the environment.

From an early age, Dave Irish was in his element in the water. His early jobs included teaching sailing and working on boats in what was then his family’s sideline business. He entered the Air Force in 1958 and left military service in 1960 to return to Harbor Springs and care for his ailing father.

Dave was widely known in the sailing community, and with the help of family and the encouragement of boating friends, he founded the Irish Boat Shop. Over the following 61 years he built it into a successful, thriving business with almost 100 employees staffing their three locations. Dave Irish passed away on November 30, 2020.

Dave liked messing around with boats, and he particulary enjoyed the company of people who owned and played with boats. It is in this spirit that Irish Boat Shop founded this sponsorship award in 2023.