When I was younger I used to go climb and play on this little ship. Many years later (around 1982) I got a picture of it. Unfortunately, I only had a cheapo camera and the boat has since collapsed.

The SS Marin

I found the print (only 3×5 inches) and scanned it at 300 dpi optical about ten years ago. I’ve always thought she’d make a great model for a RR/Wharf scene.  

I’ve never been able to find any reference to her but she had “MARIN” faintly painted on her bow.

I think the Marin worked as a small freight and passenger ship. The main deck was very heavy construction: three layers of 2″ planking at skewed angles with asphalt and fine gravel coating on top. There was no evidence of any forward bulwark. In other photos of similar boats you see removable open rails on the forward deck.

It looked like cargo was loaded on and off the foredeck and stored as far back as the area under the main cabin. The part of the main deck covered by the upper cabin was open except for 3 or 4 support posts up the middle. One of these can be seen directly under the front of the wheelhouse.

The engine and hardware were long gone. There were indications that two cylindrical fuel tanks were mounted under the main deck on either side leaving room far a good size in-line gas/diesel engine mounted above the keel, towards the stern. She had a single screw and rudder.

There was only four feet of headroom inside the flat-bottomed hull between the frames and the deck beams under the main deck. I think she was built as a motor-boat (not converted from steam) since boilers usually had to be in the middle of the hull and there really wasn’t head room on the MARIN below the main deck.

The wheelhouse was elevated about three feet above the upper deck level. Inside, the wheelhouse had a large “shelf” across the after portion which was actually the roof of the Skipper’s cabin. The upper cabin had a small captain’s cabin forward that went full width. The remainder was undivided and had benches along the walls facing inwards.

The boat used to be about 100 feet from the water on the north shore of Bodega Bay, California. The location at Mapquest (or other map website) may be found by entering the following location: Bay Flat Rd & Whaleship Rd, Bodega Bay, CA 94923

Measurements: The yellow circle shows where I placed a story pole on the ship to aid in measuring it from the photo. It was painted white and black on the belt rail of the hull, just forward of directly below the front of the wheelhouse. It is marked in feet with the first and third feet white and the middle foot black. The middle foot also has six inches marked in alternate white/black patches (these are slightly below the resolution of the camera).

I estimate the length to be about 60 feet, beam almost 20 feet.

2 Responses to “An old boat: the Marin”

  1. Daniel Swearingen Says:

    I haven’t been out there in years but it looks like (using Google Earth) the boat is long gone now.

  2. Frank Balestreri Says:

    I too used to climb on this boat as a child back in the 70′s. I always thought that it was some sort of Sardine boat from back in the day when Sardine fishing was prevalent in the area.