Welcome Aboard The SS Maggie


The “S.S.” in her name stands for Steam Schooner. “Schooner” because the hull was originally designed in the 1870’s to designate a class of sail powered work boats, however when Maggie was build by Lauritzen Shipyards in 1889, small steam engines were available and the Maggie was fitted with one. Thus the second term “Steam”

As a working vessel, Maggie plied the Bay and coastal waters from Montery to Ft Bragg, carrying light cargo. Crew quarters were below in the stern, where the Master bedroom is now. Her steam engine was just forward of the crew quarters. Cargo was stowed forward and on deck.

Maggie “retired” sometime in the 1930’s becoming a home instead of a work boat. We don’t know a lot about her early residents, but after World War II she hosted the likes of Jack LaLanne and later, Saturday Evening Post/New Yorker cartoonist Herb Williams.

By the time Williams died in the mid 1980’s, Maggies’ hull was rotting from lack of attention. Holed by worms, the rising tide would gradually fill her until she settled on the bottom of the Bay. In an attempt to postpone the inevitable, neighbors helper pour concrete to seal the cracks. But it was no use, Maggie’s hull was finished.

But Maggie was not.

Restoration began in 1990. She was taken to the middle of Richardson Bay and placed in dry dock. Chain saws were used to remove the bottom of the rotted wine-stem hull. Then she was lifted with cranes above a concrete hull built to her original shape and gently placed inside it.Concrete barge for SS Maggie

1n 2009 the latest remodel happened. This time to bring the old girl back to life. Port holes replaced the round glass windows and hardwood flooring replaced the wall to wall carpet installed in the 90’s. Drywall was taken off to expose the beams beneath and the Maggie was breathing life again.

Today, Jack Lalanne would hardly recognize her. The bow room has been renovated to a guest room, the engine room converted to a luxurious master bedroom and the wheel house into a breathtaking dining room.

The original Maggie is still here though. In the Bow, the original hull, built with old-growth fir over oak frames is still visible as are the wooden pegs used in lieu of spikes and bolts, the cotton batting used to seal the deck and the original Coast Guard documentation numbers carved on the aft cross beam. Although the steam engine and crew quarters are no longer aft, traces remain. Note for example, the inscription on the ft side of the cross beam at the foot of the bed and the cast iron pulleys, still visible in the ceiling which were used to control the rudder.