A Little History…

 

Did you know there were four different boats used at various times during the hit TV series Gilligan’s Island? This version, to the best of our knowledge, is the only remaining S.S.Minnow in service.

 

It could be seen in the opening credits transporting the crew and passengers as they set out on their famous three-hour tour. The resulting adventures have been a part of North American pop culture ever since; in fact most people can still recall the words to the show’s theme song, even though the last episode was filmed over forty years ago!

 

The boat had been quietly moored at Schooner Cove marina for a number of years, when the owner decided it was time to sell.

 

That’s where Quality Foods' Ken Schley came in, undertaking the task of placing the wooden-hulled Wheeler back in the limelight once more. A pair of skilled Nanaimo craftsmen spent more than two years restoring and beautifying the craft, and as you can see, the results are nothing short of state-of-the-art  - and spectacular!

 

The restoring craftsmen, Jimmy Clark and his father-in-law Mike Kent, are the unofficial caretakers of this stunning piece of floating memorabilia.

 

 

How did the S.S.Minnow get its name?

 

The popular story is that a U.S. television industry executive, Newton N. Minow, once described 1960’s television as “a vast wasteland”. Gilligan’s Island creator Sherwood Schwartz named the marooned vessel after him.

 

Incidentally, the "S.S." is neither for Steam Ship nor Sailing Ship, but are the initials of the show's executive producer.

If the boat was named using proper naming protocol, it likely would have been M.V. S.S.Minnow (motor vessel) or M.Y. S.S.Minnow (motor yacht)

 

 

S.S.Minnow specs:

 

1964 Wheeler Playmate, 38 foot Express Bridge.

Engine: Detroit dual 165 horsepower inboard

Woodwork: wooden hull, mahogany

Navigation: RayMarine

Capacity: 2 crew, 6 passengers

Original registered name:  The Bluejacket

 

You may have noticed that the S.S.Minnow looks somewhat different than when it was on the show. Here's why:The second owner hired the Wheeler Yacht Company to convert the boat to a Salon Bridge in 1971.

 

The Ballad of Gilligan's Isle

by Sherwood Schwartz and George Wyle

 

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale

A tale of a fateful trip

That started from this tropic port

Aboard this tiny ship

 

The Mate was a mighty sailor man

The Skipper brave and sure

Five passengers set sail that day

For a three-hour tour, a three-hour tour

 

The weather started getting rough

The tiny ship was tossed

If not for the courage of the fearless crew

The Minnow would be lost,

the Minnow would be lost

 

The ship's aground on the shore of this

Uncharted desert isle

With Gilligan, the Skipper too

A millionaire, and his wife

A movie star

The Professor and Mary Ann

Here on Gilligan's Isle

 

So this is the tale of our castaways

They're here for a long, long time

They'll have to make the best of things

It's an uphill climb

 

The First Mate and his Skipper, too

Will do their very best

To make the others comfortable

In their tropic island nest

 

No phones, no lights, no motor cars

Not a single luxury

Like Robinson Ca-rusoe

It's primitive as can be

 

So join us here each week, my friends

You're sure to get a smile

From seven stranded castaways

Here on Gilligan's Isle