Skipjack Nautical Wares Banner

Friday, June 25, 2010

Nautical Themed Bathroom Designed Like the Finely Fitted Yacht

A copper  tub with nickel-plated liner sits in an alcove with ship's brass portholes and windows above and behind.
Every once in a while we have the opportunity to supply great nautical furnishings to a residential project that is beyond comparison. This private residence in the Florida Keys is one of them.  The owners have created the ultimate nautical themed home that rivals most finely fitted yachts.  So we were compelled to share a few pictures with you from the master bathroom and dressing room suite.

The picture above shows a nickel-lined copper bathtub in the center of an alcove with three antique brass port windows mounted onto a teak frieze above and a large brass ship's window behind fronted with teak vertical slat blinds. Notice the large antique brass onion globe ship's lantern that now hangs as a bathroom light fixture.

Antique teak binnacle pedestal now adorns a giant clam shell style sink.
The master bathroom sink was custom designed and created from the teak pedestal of an antique ship's binnacle stripped of its hardware and now fitted with a fiberglass giant clam shell  sink. The interior of the binnacle pedestal contains the plumbing and a single hinged door opens for storage.

An antique brass ship's porthole converted into the bathroom medicine cabinet.
The owners have used authentic shipboard items completely throughout the house. Here they have taken a WWII era brass ship's porthole and turned it into a built-in medicine cabinet. The porthole glass is lined with a frosted glass window film to semi-opaque the view. For authentic portholes and ship's windows of varying sizes click here.

Antique brass 90 degree lights with ribbed glass covers.
The sink area is lighted by a pair of antique brass 90 degree lights that retain their original ribbed explosion-proof glass covers and brass wire cages.  For 90 degree lights, click here

Teak ship's skylight lights the room.
A skylight similar to those that adorn vintage yachts has been custom built using teak and frosted glass to allow plenty of natural lighting into the main bathroom area and also privacy from above.

Laminated sailboat tillers were used as closet pole braces.
The walk-in closet adjacent to the bathroom was designed like a finely adorned yacht. Here they have used laminated wood tillers to brace the brass clothes pole.  The ceiling above is paneled and fitted with inset lights.

A teak ladder is the perfect way to reach a series of fitted cabinets.
The dressing room was designed with a rolling teak ladder that is affixed to a brass rod to circumnavigate the room making the upper cabinets accessible. Notice the white painted wood paneled ceiling. Live the Life you Love, Love the Life you Live. For more interesting insights to nautical design, go to Skipjack's Nautical Living home page.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Schooner Virginia Now at Nauticus

Virginia Maritime Heritage Foundation and Nauticus Foundation have partnered bringing schooner VIRGINIA to the downtown Norfolk waterfront for summer education programs, visitation and special events as fund raising efforts to get VIRGINIA sailing intensify.

Schooner Virginia's new location at Nauticus.
The Virginia Maritime Heritage Foundation, owner and operator of schooner Virginia, and the Nauticus Foundation have partnered bringing schooner Virginia pier side at Nauticus, offering public visitation, education programs and special events during the busy summer season. The joint venture of the two foundations is a great fit that takes advantage of the synergy and missions of both organizations – specifically youth education. While the VMHF continues to seek the support that will sustain Virginia into the future, the move to Nauticus will place Virginia back in the public view and provide a platform for Nauticus to launch a new externally focused maritime program.

For the community, the move provides an opportunity to explore a piece of the living history of Hampton Roads, a re-creation vessel of a Chesapeake Bay Pilot Schooner. It will also be a part of the ongoing educational programs already in place at Nauticus, adding value to the visitor experience.

Schooner Virginia under sail.
Like the Virginia Maritime Heritage Foundation, The Nauticus Foundation, also a non-profit 501(c) 3 foundation, receives donations from individuals, corporations, and other foundations in the form of grants to support educational and outreach programs affiliated with Nauticus. Through this public support, the Nauticus Foundation is able to provide funding for additional educational outreach after-school science clubs, in-class workshops, and additional field trips that inspire and teach over 100,000 school children each year.

As part of the move, Virginia won’t be sailing this summer, as it is still not financially feasible to hire the full complement of crew necessary to sail.

We need your help. Please consider a tax deductable donation to VIRGINIA today! Schooner Virginia website.
Click here to go to Skipjack's Nautical Living home page.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Nautical Bedroom-"The Sail Loft"

A vintage ships pennant flag "second substitute"
The concept for this third story bedroom began with a single item- a replica merchant sign titled "SAIL LOFT- 1879- CAPE COD." The sign was the inspiration behind this recently created nautical themed bedroom using a vintage ships pennant flag as a focal point on the center wall above blue and white striped pillows on the bed.

corner view of sail loft bedroom
Like many successfully designed rooms, the direction is developed around a specific theme. This corner of the bedroom adorns the "SAIL LOFT" sign above a 19th century New England pine sea chest with custom made wood buoy lamp made from a used buoy from Nova Scotia together with a collection of nautical themed books, an early 20th century painted tin starboard boat light and an antique sailboat winch mounted on to a round wooden base. 
A group of three painted wood buoys.
Custom made buoy lamp with brass fish finial
"SAIL LOFT" trade sign

All of the nautical products used in this bedroom were purchased at Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery, Olde Towne Portsmouth, VA.
For more information, write Skipjack at  or call the showroom at (757) 399-5012. Showroom hours 10-5 Monday thru Saturday eastern time. Click here to go to Skipjack's Nautical Living home page.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Jack Tar Magazine

Written by Kim Carver
 Jack Tar Magazine

Fourteen years ago I began working in the tour industry as a way to avoid the 9-5 routine and actually live in the places that I wanted to visit. How can one truly understand the history and culture of an area when they spend only a few weeks there? It's impossible. Every new place was home to born-and-raised natives who were passionate about their culture and educating me in all things local. Every new place was also full of transient workers like myself. We formed temporary communities and remained friends long after our time together concluded.

After reservations jobs, guide jobs, and jobs aboard ferries and whale watching boats, traditional sailing tour boats became my preferred workplace. Here workers were dedicated to a joint mission and advancing their seamanship skills. The benefits and challenges of bonding with coworkers from whom one could not escape for weeks at a time was inevitably a character-building experience for everyone. Physically and mentally strong women and men became for me the standard, not the exception. My appreciation for my coworkers became more important than any exotic destination. The boats we traveled on were platforms for maritime culture and because of that became equally important to me. Preserving the boats, people and lifestyle, while promoting a progressive mindset in regards to women in the industry and the love of traditional seamanship amongst modern mariners are the goals of Jack Tar Magazine.

Untitled watercolor painting by Cold is the Sea

For five years I've been working primarily alone when it comes to collecting content, designing and promoting Jack Tar. It is by and for mariners - I am not professionally trained in writing, publishing or photography - I love to journal but rarely write anything for the magazine. My love for the poor transient traditional sailor inspired me to offer it free to those who couldn't afford it, accepting donations from those who could. The first issue contained simple descriptions of the Jones Act and mariner rights by a previous shipmate - human rights activist Samantha Levens. Right off I felt like I had done something important for my community, and didn't care if future issues were printed. But people liked that I was following up on my promise to print, and donations were coming in. Operating on donations alone has been hard, though. Especially in the last two years. Volunteers are helping with the facebook page and at, and I'm working with NOAA Survey Tech Colleen Peters on new layout, distribution, and website ideas. Advertising and sponsorship is now a necessity. We now publish primarily online with one annual print publication. I also publish the Women of Maritime Calendar for Jack Tar.

Kim Carver in the rigging aboard the Tall Ship Lynx

Anyone interested should follow us online. I understand that not everyone is into social networking but facebook has proved invaluable to many sailors around the world. Yesterday I asked if any of the Jack Tar readers were working on the BP spill and received firsthand accounts from the Gulf. Many chimed in with questions which the sailors onsite answered. Jack Tar readers on facebook discuss sailing the Great Lakes, fishing in Alaska, cruising in Mexico, drilling the Mississippi, and driving container ships out of Singapore. If you have a passion for modern maritime culture coupled with traditional seamanship, Jack Tar is an ideal way to get your maritime "fix."

Click here to go to Skipjack's Nautical Living home page.