Nautical Antiques & Tropical Decor
2202 Ship Mechanic Row Galveston, TX 77550

Annual buying trips...
Each year in November, we travel to the overseas breaking yards of India, Turkey and
Bangladesh in search of more nautical salvage.  We also visit areas in Indonesia every
other year for our custom, hand carved figureheads and boatwood furniture.

Most of the salvaged pieces pictured below are as we find them before we have them reconditioned, polished
and shipped back to our shop which takes about 6-9 months (and sometimes longer).

Our buying trips are a lot of work but a lot of fun!





Buying Trip November 2017:
Turkey - India - Indonesia - Japan
Planning has begun for the 2017 buying trip and we will have a LOT of ground to cover...
Watch this space for pics of our finds after our return!
Turkey 2017

at the breaking yard in Turkey; lots of salvaged line

brass Robinson telegraph receiver amid other salvage

piles of salvaged teak ship's grates in the foreground of
a salvaged ship's bridge/wheelhouse

salvaged aluminum portholes
India 2017

Indonesia 2017
Japan 2017
Buying Trip November 2016:
India - <Turkey> - France
This year's trip was initially supposed to include Turkey, but due to the tumultuous state of the government there following the military coup in July,
we had to scrap that plan at the last minute.  Luckily, there was a lot of great salvage at the India ship breaking yard and we had extra time to do a personal
vessel inspection on board the Thor Energy, IMO 9074781, a Singapore registered bulk carrier 185 meters long (over 600').  The ship was only built in 1994
and already at the scrap yard which shows how quickly the lifespan of ships continues to shorten.

at the breaking yard plot where Thor Energy was beached
the week before our arrival - they had already begun the
process of removing the diesel fuel, oil, hazmat substances, etc...

a container ship with only 1/4 left to dismantle

this container ship was nearly finished and the
dismantle process had just reached the ship's funnel

the MSC Manu next in line to be scrapped -
the Manu was built in 1989, a Panamanian registered container ship, IMO# 8613322

a vessel with a double hull had the outside hull removed
and scrapped first - then they moved on to the inner shell...

a rig being dismantled and the parts scrapped -
we got a lot of great wood salvage off the rigs

from the starboard deck of the Thor Energy, you can see the tide is out, exposing the muddy beach... the red pipe is labeled "steering gear"

next to the anchor chain of the Thor Energy before boarding

before boarding the vessel, at low tide next to the hull -
these are some big ships!

not the typical way to board, but this is how we do it in India - a rickety ladder propped against a hole cut in the hull about 30' up in the air

Michael inspecting one of the holes made to release ballast water... he wanted to see if he could crawl under the ship to the other side but was voted down...

from inside one of the cargo holds looking up to the
main deck

climbing out of the cargo hold up to the main deck

Finally! Inside the bridge and you can see the instrument panel above the center window, the aluminum deadlight windows which are fixed, though the one to the left of the center is a porthole and opens/closes to let in air...  All the wiring and instruments are first to be stripped out.

inspecting the engine room - it was pitch black
in there and pretty eerie

next to the bridge under the name board of the Thor Energy - see the rectangular hole behind us as they already started ripping out the aluminum porthole windows... Everything you see in this picture will be recycled... (Except for us!)

Emergency Steering Operation (Failure of Gyro/Auto Pilot System) Instructions in the aft most section of the engine room

Michael getting some air next to the repeater
compass on the port side bridge wing

one of the crew's cabins - this lucky mariner had 3 windows in his cabin

many customers inquire about how the exterior side of a porthole is finished on a ship when they intend to use one on their homes.  As you can see here, it's pretty plain.

exiting onto the main deck

stern lights on the Thor Energy

walking back toward the bow - note the Jacob's ladder just behind the steel hatch (which each weigh about 40kg)

always watch your step on deck

back to the breaking yard - picking some good
 rope fenders/bumpers

and we found some nice wood and metal fenders...

a good batch of ship doors - these will arrive around April/May...

great anchor chain - it's a nice small manageable size

some beautiful mahogany deck railing from a passenger/cruise ship - we bought a lot of this stuff and are having some gorgeous brass end caps custom made to fit

lifering from the "Island Of Luck", registered in Panama
- this vessel has some shady history

the name boards from the Huasteco, a work vessel built in 1960 registered in Mexico.  The backsides of these boards were even cooler and they read "Sea Lion I" which appears to be an active Chemical Tanker registered in the Marshall Islands...

Some awesome huge brass deadlights with safety bars - largest we've seen around 22" OD

brass Oceanic 90 degree curved passageway lights as
 they were salvaged from the ship before being
stripped and polished

XL salvaged aluminum deadlights

crockery! we found some great pieces on this trip which was a surprise as this stuff is very hard to find anymore

cutting some fish netting to size... with an axe...

Capacity Plan from the M.V. True Brothers, IMO #8316522
built 1985, bulk carrier registered in Belize, scrapped in July

a good batch of salvaged mahogany ship doors we'll have refinished - this one reminds those on board of the requirement "Helmets beyond this point"

a beautiful large brass deadlight - we'll have this one stripped, polished and made into a coffee table

some nice lifeboat oars in the original wood finish

some more salvaged aluminum 4 bar lights - these polish
up very nicely

large brass portholes - these were salvaged from a Greek (Piraeus) passenger ferry in the Aegean Sea (Hellenic Seaways); we'll have them stripped and polished

aluminum portholes; about 40-60 come off each vessel 

salvaged aluminum search light - we picked out a pair of these large lights

Yes!  More salvaged wheels... So hard to find...

picking through more ship doors...

Michael made a friend wandering around the yards...

And I was pretty excited to find a Charlie Brown
Christmas tree among the piles...
Italy/France 2016

Elvis sighting at the airport!

In Savona, Italy a resourceful fisherman uses inflated soccer balls as bumpers and fishing floats

shrimpers in the Savona harbor

we couldn't pass this place up and commend them
on their decor

a bronze mermaid statue on the dock

this vessel was docked at the harbor in Marseilles - no scrap yards in its future

also docked in Marseilles was this interesting vessel which had some good examples of items we salvage including doors, passageway lights, liferings and porthole windows

obligatory picture after bicycling to the top of
Mont Boron in Nice, France
Buying Trip November 2015:
Bangladesh - India - Indonesia
This year's visit to the ship breaking yards of Bangladesh and India,
then to Indonesia for custom wood carvings and decor.

Bangladesh 2015

At one of the slips at the breaking yard - note the red circle behind us is a worker to give an idea of scale.

big anchors

medium sized copper and brass foxlights

double stacked Masthead copper running light

galvanized onion lantern

digging to find old grates

brass ship's bell

large sized brass, copper and steel foxlights


ship grates

more workers at the breaking yard

anchor chain

modern steering station

plastic fishing floats

pneumatic foghorn

modern steering station
brass ship's bell  from the Maersk Poplar

this ship is almost finished being scrapped
India 2015

eureka - some good wood wheels

aluminum "to boats" placards

aluminum escape hatches

brass 4 bar lights

1900 kg anchor = 4188 lbs

different style anchor

iron cowls/air vents/ air scoops

railing and wood decking; most of this is teak or mahogany

wood grinding base

large steamer trunks with brass embellishments

a few more very nice ship wheels

some 15' red and white lifeboat oars

salvaged line 1" to 2" gauge

rectangular brass inside-out portholes / escape hatches

handheld military style compass

20" OD brass portholes - 22 of them, all taken off the MC Ocean Star Pacific (not to be confused for the Pacific/Pacific Princess which was scrapped in Turkey; see photos of that vessel below from our 2013 trip)

very nice large wheel

very cool wood capstan
Indonesia 2015

old grinding base

new production grates in our custom sizes using salvaged teakwood from scrapped boats

new production buxom lady figurehead

more of the new production grates made with salvaged boat teak

beautifully crafted apothecary dresser from salvaged / reused boatwood

hand carved suar wood sea turtle and baby

old teak root made into stools

on the beach in front of one of the colorful outrigger boats; when fisherman switch to lighterweight fiberglass canoes, they sell these beautifully decorated teakwood boats which are then recycled, reused and repurposed into accessories, furniture and art

teakwood root bowl

made from salvaged boatwood, these cut out letters are unique and still have their original paint

we love the shape and construction of the reuse teak boatwood furniture - with original color

one of the old colorful boats and a great old wood rudder with original color

these wood panels were salvaged from old fishing canoes

table for 10 - made with original reused boatwood

teak root coffee table

gorgeous tamarind wood stools

bronze sea turtle

reused boatwood furniture - adirondack chairs

slabs of the hull of a fishing canoe are used to make the seat and back of this beautiful bench

the original color from the reused boatwood makes each piece unique

hand carved suar wood fish - these are about 5' tall and double sided

teak root carving - mermaid in relief

stone carvings of tropical underwater and floral scenes

two of our new, custom hand carved wall
mounted mermaid figureheads
Buying Trip 2014:
Turkey - India
This year we rented a huge van (a la American Pickers) and drove down the west coast of Turkey around the Sea of Marmara
and along the Aegean Sea stopping at every boat yard we came upon.  We found some great salvage and headed off to India
with some great new <old> stuff and in search of even more!
Turkey 2014

The Istanbul II at work - still a long way from the scrap yard

a lifeboat from the Japanese Ferry Bni Nsar

brass 4-bar lights after polishing

block pulleys after reconditioning

teak handrails with brass endcaps

Chadburn telegraph

some nice pie shaped grates

lifeboat oars

seats from the lifeboat of a Togo flagged general cargo ship "Breadbox Acacia"

aluminum running lights after polishing

brass bell 1980 Liberte

gunbay sounding boards

The Moldovan general cargo ship M/V Zakmar being cut up for scrap

boarding the M/V Zakmar while she was being scrapped - probably not OSHA approved!

inside the vessel once we reached the top of the ladder

teak or mahogany ship doors

hitting the local fish market for dinner

And back in Istanbul waiting for the next ferry
India 2014

crew whereabouts board

lifeboat #1 from the Star Prince, a Zanzibar flagged general cargo ship IMO #7625706

storage / cargo boxes from a Russian flagged vessel

fiberglass lifeboat escape hatch

lifeboat oars


binnacle compass by John Lilley & Gillie Ltd England

electric ship log

alminum instrument panel

brass builder's plate Chantiers Du Nord Et De La Mediterranee Dunkerque 1986

brass builder's plate FIAT

brass double stacked running light

copper single stacked running light

architectural salvage transoms

steamer trunks

aluminum running lights

canvas lifeboat anchors

who DOESN'T need this on their door?!  "No admittance without permission -Master"

hostess stand from the United Kingdom flagged container ship Maersk Darlington IMO# 9005558

A framed notice called "Bar Guidelines" from the Iron Prince bulk carrier vessel, IMO# 8018041, reminds us that no "crew member or visitor shall consume more than 4 units of alcohol in any 24 hour period"

tank sounding board

ship's recycle bins

teak and mahogany handrails

from the M/V Dalmatia, a Singapore flagged general cargo ship, IMO# 9548835

a vessel's code and country flag storage cabinet

searching for better furniture in the shipyard - it's pretty hard with all the plywood

crockery - this is becoming harder to find

20" OD brass portholes - before polishing

two unique EOTs

miles of jacob's ladders

ship's water cannons

aluminum rectangular portholes - before polishing

a few of the running and cargo lights as they come off the ships - coated with paint and patina

two brass tranberg running lights before polishing

ship's comment box

some ship doors before refinishing
Turkey - India
This trip to Turkey was slightly easier and more fruitful as our learning of the language had progressed a bit beyond "where's the bathroom" and
"coffee please".  We got to see a few of the ships up close and board a couple that were actively being scrapped.
After buying all we could at the breaking yard, we visited the ancient city of Ephesus and the Deniz Musei (Museum of the Sea).
Found lots of great salvage in India although the supply of certain items has become really hard to find including any brass or copper
lighting (especially foxlights), crockery and ship wheels.
Turkey 2013

Sunrise over the Aegean Sea in Izmir, Turkey

some medium sized foxlights before being stripped of paint and polished

The worker in the foreground is standing in front of a massive pile of salvaged copper wire and tubing that will be sold and recycled

Murat is a polishing genius - he uses a soft buffer on a polish wheel and takes the patina right off the copper binnacle hood

The salvaged bow with beautiful brasswork would make a great bar.  It's too wide to fit into a container, though.

a nice wheel on gears

a shipping line logo on the mast of one of the vessels being scrapped - below the Turkish flag

three vessels lined up being scrapped

vessels being scrapped

rescue boat from the Lady Lamina

a passenger / cruise ship being dismantled

ship's mast and funnel

a ro-ro vessel being cut up and dismantled

a porthole window from the outside of the bridge

some nice anchor chain

two carriers await being dismantled

the skyline of crane tops and masts at the breaking yard

scrap iron with a shipping line's logo attached

more vessels being scrapped

landside - the "door pile"

day trip to Ephesus, Turkey (built 356 BC)

architectural column at Ephesus

the Great Theatre at Ephesus

the library at Ephesus

Galata Tower from the ground in Instanbul, Turkey

from the top of the Galata Tower over Istanbul

taking a Bosphorus cruise on the Sehir Hatlari ferry

on the Bosphorus ferry

nice ship doors on the ferry

fishing vessels along the coast

At the Deniz Musei in Istanbul

rectangular brass portholes at the Deniz Musei

One of the Ataturk era caiques (term for traditional fishing boat on the Ionian sea) used between the 1920s and 1930s; note the grates in the seat and below

grates in another Ataturk caique

next to the 8' Albatross figurehead from the year 1830

below the similarly sized lion figurehead
India 2013

shipyard builder plate from Osaka Japan as found in the
salvage yard

interesting ship doors with square windows

A nice Japanese EOT pre-stripping and polishing;
this one may have been recently scrapped as it's not entirely covered in dirt yet...

various sized line

a pair of nice aluminum search lights off the bow

a sea of aluminum foxlights

lots of aluminum portholes

a rescue boat's medic stretcher

rescue boat from the Ducky Symphony, a Panamanian flagged ro-ro cargo vessel IMO# 7713280

sounding board of transfer procedures for the German flagged Hanjin Punta Arenas container ship built in 1995 and scrapped this year IMO# 9110561

rescue raft equipment

rescue boat from the Philadephia

found crockery but much of it is plain white - harder to find pieces with the company flag or funnel

mostly white, non logo-ed crockery

a sign reminds those coming to the breaking yard of the potential for accidents

some nice steamer trunks

the "carriage goods" trucks that travel to and from the breaking yard all day, every day with the bridge of a ship being dismantled in the background

a truck load of rubber being taken from the scrap yard to be resold

carpooling, India style

compact vehicles, Indian style

and of course you learn to share the road when travelling in India

getting in a quick game of cricket with some neighborhood kids

At the "India Gate" in Mumbai
India - Turkey (-Hungary & Czech Rep.)
Started this voyage in sunny India and got progressively colder the farther north we traveled.  We did NOT pack accordingly!
In Turkey, we got to see the Pacific (aka MS Pacific / Pacific Princess / The Love Boat) but only from afar as it was
 under quarrantine following a recent fatal explosion on board that was caused by gasses leaked during the scrapping.
Budapest, Hungary and Prague, Czech Republic don't have breaking yards, but they're both on major rivers so we checked them out for fun...
India 2012

passageway lights waiting to be stripped and polished

different style brass 4-bar light

copper and brass signal light - Japanese origin,
before stripping and polishing


some scrapped block pulleys before being reconditioned

a scrapped deadeye

aluminum foxlights before stripping

salvaged line

lifeboat oars - and perhaps the only tree in Alang

scrapped aluminum portholes before stripping

an anemometer as it was salvaged from the ship

medium sized copper and brass foxlight as salvaged from the vessel before polishing

scrapped aluminum portholes

small scrapped iron wheels

salvaged crockery; there are PILES of this stuff everywhere - we have to dig through and find pieces that match

some crockery was salvaged from the ship with food
 still in it - yuk, but nothing in the breaking yard
is ever clean
Turkey 2012
Istanbul to Izmir and the ship breaking yard in Aliaga.


instruments waiting to be polished and refurbished

this was too large and clunky to load into a container

a couple nice kedge anchors

mountains in the backround on the Aegean Sea
in the breaking yard

air vents/cowls headed to scrap

an anemometer after polishing in one of the slip owner's showroom

some scrapped ship doors

looking for some good doors

a vessel being stripped of any fuel or hazardous liquids before the cutting starts

rescue boats

aluminum portholes

scrapped grates being used as a gangway

some small fishing vessels

a buoy

boarding the vessel mid-scrap

at least they made us wear hard hats!

vessels docked with little to no space between actively being scrapped

a rescue boat as a pleasure craft

The Pacific, formerly known as the MS Pacific, Pacific Princess and The Love Boat - she was listing badly following a fatal accident and explosion on board during the preliminary stages of dismantle
Hungary & Czech Republic 2012
Budapest and Prague

from the "Buda" side looking across the Danube to "Pest"

the funicular

a waterway between homes in Prague

on Prague's Vltava river next to the
Charles Bridge built in 1402
India - China 2011
India - Indonesia - China 2009
2008 Buying trip hiatus due to damage to shop from Hurricane Ike;
relocated business from 621 23rd Street to 2202 Mechanic in Galveston
 India - Indonesia - China intermittently from 2000-2007