Beaver Island Boat Company

Ride the Boat!

Beaver Island...
America's Emerald Isle

Vehicle Reservations

We will begin taking reservations for the 2023 season on January 23rd, 2023. Our new system has enhanced security, allows us to provide better customer service, and provides more accurate information to our crew.  

Please be patient with our staff as it will take us a little longer to initially make your reservations. For existing customers, we will still have your address and email information.

It is very important that you have the following information available when making your reservation: 

  • Departure Dates (see schedule for boat times)
  • Mailing Address, phone number (email if available)
  • Make of the vehicle
  • Model of vehicle
  • Year of vehicle 
  • Exact length and height of the vehicle/trailer if there is anything attached to vehicle making it longer or taller (car topper, bike rack, etc.)

Vehicle reservations are required for all vehicles. 

Please call our office to book your vehicle reservation! 

  • Charlevoix office is open all year call 231-547-2311
  • Beaver Island Office (April-December) at 231-448-2210.
Passenger fare is not included in the price of the vehicle.

Stand-by Reservations:

There is limited space on our ferry boats, and many dates become booked up quickly for vehicle reservations. When trying to schedule a reservation, you may find that the boat is fully booked on the day you wanted to ferry your vehicle. In this case we do not have a cancelation list. Instead we have something called stand-by. 

Our stand-by reservations have similar policies as our confirmed reservations whereas you must have your vehicle checked in at least as hour and a half before the boat is scheduled to depart. 

Once you arrive and check in your stand-by vehicle, you will park your vehicle down on the dock with the rest of the confirmed vehicles. The crew will load all the confirmed vehicles on board and then determine if there is room to take any of the vehicles on stand-by. With this in mind we will not know if stand-by vehicles will make it on the ferry until they are actually loaded on, and there is no guarantee the vehicle will make it on the ferry with a stand-by reservation.

In order to make a stand-by reservation you must also have a confirmed reservation. EXAMPLE: You would like to take your vehicle on Monday at 8:30am, but the boat is booked full. The next available space is Tuesday at 2:30pm, so what we can do is put you on stand-by for Monday at 8:30am and confirm your space on Tuesday at 2:30pm. As a stand-by, your vehicle will be considered for loading if there is space left over after confirmed vehicles and freight are loaded. Most times in the summer, multiple stand-by vehicles can be loaded. If your vehicle doesn’t fit as a stand-by on the Monday 8:30am departure, then it will automatically be placed as a stand-by on the next departure (whichever boat is next), until your confirmed departure of Tuesday at 2:30pm.

Canceling or missing a stand-by reservation will result in the same penalties as missing a confirmed booking. You do not need to travel on the same boat as your vehicle, but are responsible for removing your vehicle from our dock immediately following its arrival. IMPORTANT: The difference between a wait list and our stand-by system is a stand-by vehicle will not require a notification call when a space is available on the boat, it will be included on the boat if space is available. I.e., you may arrive expecting to be a stand-by and find out your vehicle has a confirmed space. Remember you must show up for a Stand-By reservation.

Vehicle Reservation Policy:

  • For security purposes, only make reservation for your own vehicle.
  • Passenger Fare not included.
  • Vehicles must be checked in 1 ½ hours before departure time, under penalty of forfeiture. Being overloaded, leaking or having low exhaust may prohibit loading of vehicles.
  • Keys to vehicles and trailers must be left on dock with BIBCO personnel. We reserve the right to inspect the contents of all vehicles and trailers.
  • You will be charged accordingly if any items on the outside of vehicles exceed allotted/reserved space. Items may need to be moved.
  • We will be applying the emergency brake on your vehicle to safely transport it. Please point out any mechanical issues that may prohibit us from doing so and we will take additional measures to secure your vehicle during transport. BIBCO will not be responsible for any parking brake Issues if we are not alerted to the non-working condition prior to travel. 
  • No portable containers containing gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, etc. in any quantity can be brought aboard our ferry vessels. If you arrive with fuel in a non-approved container you may be charged a disposal fee or storage fee. Propane tanks must be checked in at our dock.
  • Any damage to automobiles due to transport, loading or unloading shall be reported to the captain prior to leaving the dock at destination in order for claims to be heard.
  • There is a surcharge for all trailers requiring electrical power while waiting on the dock overnight.
  • We do not unload full box trucks of household goods IE (U-Haul, Budget, Penske) as freight they must be shipped as a vehicle and reserved in advance.

Unaccompanied Vehicle Policy

  • Unaccompanied Passenger Vehicle is subject to a $25.00 valet fee if a vehicle is not picked up from dock location upon arrival of ferry.

Valet Policy

Passenger Vehicle Valet Policy

  • We offer a one way valet service from our dock locations to our designated Parking areas for $25.00.
  • During passenger Check-in a customer that request the valet service will receive a Valet tag and a Parking permit for the lot they are being parked in.
  • Valets will be tagged with the location of the parking lot the vehicle will be parked in, along with any special instructions on where the keys should be left until claimed by the vehicle owner.
  • Vehicle must be in safe operating condition and in a state of cleanliness that allows for safe operation of the vehicle to the parking area.
  • Vehicles that do not meet the above requirement maybe refused Valet service.

Unaccompanied Vehicle Valet Policy

*Applies during Peak season only*

  • If your vehicle is shipped unaccompanied, a customer has 1 hour from the time their vehicle has arrived at the dock to remove their vehicle from the vehicle unloading area.
  • After this hour has expired the vehicle maybe valeted to one of our parking areas. The $25.00 valet fee would need to paid by the customer prior to them retrieving their keys.

Vehicle Restrictions


  • Weight restrictions call for no more than 50 tons GVW and no more than 4,500 lbs per tire.
  • Height restriction of 13 feet 6 inches
  • Length restriction of 46 feet, forward of that 46 feet the height restriction drops down to a maximum of 7’6”.


  • Weight restrictions call for no more than 50 tons GVW and no more than 4,500 lbs per tire.
  • Height restrictions is 7’6″ in a small area and 6’4″ is all other areas.
  • Trailers are not allowed on vessel.

High Water Policy

Some seasons we have faced higher water levels than normal. Please see the below policy for those occasions. 

  • Bike racks, luggage carriers, and other devices hooked to the rear of a vehicle will need to be removed in order to transport the vehicle on the Beaver Islander. The same items may need to be removed on the Emerald Isle on a case by case basis.
    • Please arrive 1 hour and 45 minutes prior to your departure time to allow you to remove such items from your vehicle.
    • The overall length of the vehicle will be measured prior to you unloading those items to establish a vehicle cost. There will be no additional cost beyond the overall length charge. 
  • Trailers are not allowed on the Beaver Islander. Trailers on the Emerald Isle may have to be unhooked from the vehicle in order to facilitate loading of the trailer via forklift. 
    • The tongue weight of the trailer must be no more than 4300 lbs.
    • The overall weight of the trailer cannot be more than 10,000 lbs or it may be impossible to load the trailer onto the vessel. Please inform us if your trailer is over the weight restriction. 
    • Commercial trailers and fifth wheels must be hooked to a vehicle in order to be transported. 
    • Any trailers with air brakes MUST be hooked to a vehicle to be transported. 
  • Towing of vehicles on and off the vessels
    • We are unable at this time to tow vehicles on or off that do not have a working brake system since the ramps are steep due to the high water level. 
    • Special arrangements can be made for vehicles to be towed on and off by a tow truck at the owner’s expense. 
      • These special circumstances will need to be arranged with the Dock Managers to ensure space and that it doesn’t occur during peak passenger times. 
  • Low hanging exhaust
    • Vehicles with low hanging exhausts may be denied transportation if we can not safely load them onto the vessel. 

The Captain will have the final say on refusing any low vehicles or trailers for transportation. This is for your safety and the safety of your vehicle and items. As water levels decrease, we may reduce the high water restrictions. View the High Water Notice here

Cancellation Policy

  • A $100 forfeit fee is charged if you cancel or reschedule less than 72 hours before departure. $150 forfeited for oversized vehicles.
  • There is a $20 processing for all cancelled vehicles more than 72 hours before departure.