Length: 38 ft 6 in (11.7 m)
Installed power: 230 hp each
Propulsion: Detroit Deisels
Speed: 12 knots cruise, max 14 knots
Capacity: 5 passengers
The S.S. Minnow, the boat made world famous by the show "Gilligan's Island", is setting out again as a tour boat.
Online reports state that the 37-foot 1960 Wheeler Express Cruiser, which took a fateful "three-hour tour" on the 1960s TV show, was sold to a new owner and will be back in service after a decade of dry storage.
The boat was one of four used to portray the S.S. Minnow, but the only one used for shots filmed on the water. According to the seller, offers for the boat came as far away as Australia.
Ken Schley, of Nanaimo, B.C., navigates the original S.S. Minnow of Gilligan's Island fame on Monday Sept. 8, 2008 in Nanaimo Harbor in Canada. "Gilligan's Island" fans seeking some 1960s television nostalgia may soon be able to take a three-hour tour from Vancouver Island on one of the boats that appeared as the SS Minnow. Ken Schley and John Briuolo have restored the 36-foot mahogany vessel they bought a couple of years ago for about $89,000. "We're just trying to find a skipper and a helper," Schley said.
If you want to own an icon of television history, George Schultz of Parksville, B.C. has a deal for you: the S.S. Minnow from the 1960s television series Gilligan's Island.
"There have been a couple of modifications, so it doesn't look exactly like the original," said Shultz, a boat broker who's selling the 36-foot Wheeler Express Cruiser for fellow Parksdale resident Scotty Taylor. "But it's still the original boat."
There were four Minnows used on the sitcom, Shultz said, but three others were props. This is the one they used for taking shots out on the water, he said.
"The whole cast was on board."
The cruiser, which originally cost $290,000 in the 1960s, is selling for $99,000, less than the cost of restoration.
Shultz says Taylor spent "several hundred thousand dollars" fixing the twin-diesel, because a condition of purchase was to restore it.
It required so much work because, in a case of life imitating art, the Minnow had a mishap off the coast of B.C. when the previous owner sailed south from Alaska.
"He was on his way down to the states when he ran into a reef in Hecate Strait," said Shultz.
According to the show's theme song, the mythical S.S. Minnow ran aground on a deserted island after taking off on what was supposed to be an afternoon trip: "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 boat drew its TV name from a big fish in broadcasting, Newton Minow, then chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, appointed by former president John F. Kennedy.
Originally, the boat's name was The Blue Jacket.
"Just for the show, for a stage name, it was called the S.S. Minnow," Shultz said.
Taylor didn't know the boat's history when he bought it. He found out afterward, when the previous owner told him to look for the S.S. Minnow plaque above the door.
"He just liked the boat, he wanted to restore it, it was a nice looking boat, a wooden boat, a classic and he likes classic boats," said Shultz. The hole in the hull was actually the least of the repairs -- the interior needed a lot more work.
Someone later stole the plaque, but the 46-year-old boat still has the round life preserver with S.S. Minnow emblazoned on it -- and the skipper's chair.
Bob Denver, who played the title role in the TV series, died last September at age 70.
This is indeed a historic piece of Hollywood history saved from decay.
Special Thanks to the people who saved took care of the boat for all these years.