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

We enjoy getting opportunities to show how and where our salvage was actually used onboard - we're lucky enough to have Elissa in our backyard (and the USS Texas just up the road) to help demonstrate, but we also jump at the chance to visit other historic nautical sites wherever we can find them!

The 1877 Tall Ship Elissa rests in Galveston Bay at Pier 21 - just three blocks away from us here at Nautical Antiques & Decor.  She is a 205-foot long, three-masted, iron-hulled sailing ship built in 1877originally as a freighter and was rescued from the scrap yard out of Piraeus Harbor, Greece.  Today, she is a functional vessel that has undergone an incredible restoration (thanks to the Galveston Historical Foundation and the amazing dedication of the volunteers who continue to work on and with her) and visitors can purchase tickets to board her and learn about her story at the Texas Seaport Museum.

The USS Olympia is docked in Philadelphia, PA as part of the Independence Seaport Museum.  344' long, she is the oldest steel US warship still afloat and was built in 1893 by "Union Iron Works" of San Francisco.  She saw service in the US Navy during WWI and through 1922 and we were able to step aboard the summer of 2013...

The USS Texas (BB-35), nicknamed "Mighty T", is actually the second US Navy ship named after the State and is a New York-class battleship 574' in length.  She was built by Newport News Shipbuilding in Virginia, launched May 18, 1912 and commissioned on March 12, 1914. 
We boarded her in LaPorte, Texas on Pearl Harbor Day: December 7, 2016.

above left: 1877 Tall Ship Elissa (Galv, TX), above center: 1893 Steel Warship USS Olympia (Phila, PA), above left: 1910 Battleship USS Texas (LaPorte, TX).



The binnacle houses the main compass on board
top left: Elissa's binnacle is on the deck in front of the helm
 left center: One of our salvaged binnacles - a Madrid- made "Plath Geomar" with 1951 compass mounted inside on gimbals
which allow it to stay level while the ship is tossed or rolled. There may have been a light source attached to the binnacle and in some
cases a clinometer was attached. The iron spheres on either side of the hood are adjustable and were used to compensate
for discrepancies in the magnetism of the compass caused by the iron in/on the ship.
(Some call these "Kelvin Balls" or "Navigator Balls")
right center
: a repeater compass on board the Olympia just outside the bridge.
far right: repeater compass on deck of Texas

The helm, or steering station is where you steer the ship. These can be mechanical, electric or hydraulic
and have generally been replaced on newer ships with a much smaller joystick-like unit that remotely controlls the rudder
via a rudder or "position indicator".

top left: Elissa's helm, center left: one of our geared steering stations, center right: Olympia's helm with binnacle #2 and EOT in background, far right: Texas' pilot house including steering station.

There are many names for the contraption that allows air to pass below the ship's deck and into the cabins and engine room below:
"vent/ventilator", "cowl/cowling",or "air scoop". Its design allows air, but not rain or sea spray to come in and out.

top left: air vent on Elissa's main deck
 center left: one of our salvaged cowlings
 center right: Olympia's cowlings on the aft deck
far right: who needs an air vent when you have to make room for TEN 45 caliber guns on Texas' deck?!
Notice that the door on the left is situated a bit above the grade of the main deck. As you might imagine, sea spray and rain could
inundate the decks of ships, so it was common for the doors to sit above a lip that you'd step over to access a cabin.
This is the reason why
our salvaged doors are not a "standard" height, but it's easy to add to the bottom of any of our doors to suit your needs.
A brass kickplate finishes off the look!

top left: mahogany door to Elissa's "Donkey room"
 center left: one of our salvaged doors
 center right: doors along each side of the officer's passage on Olympia
far right: officer's galley on board Texas - note the sliding mahogany door on the right.

Even with the air vents doing their job, it got hot below deck. Porthole windows helped with ventilation and light.
We carry a range of sizes of porthole windows both in aluminum and in brass - all salvaged off various ships.
top left: porthole window in Elissa's bulkhead in the crew's quarters
center left
: a variety of our salvaged porthole sizes
 center right: Olympia's officer's cabins each had their own view to the outside.
far right: a brass porthole in the crew's head (aka W.C.) on board the Texas.
Grates were often used as flooring in the engine room to keep dry feet from standing moisture, in front of the
binnacle for added height, or to cover hatches/holes in the decks of ships.  Hatch covers were typically solid
planks, grates would have had drainage holes.
Our salvaged grates make unique pot racks, headboards, coffee tables or wall art.
top left: inside the crew's quarters on Elissa
 center: one of our salvaged pieces as a hanging rack
 right: a solid hatch cover on the Olympia.
Generally made of teak or mahogany, stairs helped access different levels of the ship and usually had attached iron handrails.
salvaged ship stairs are open or closed-back and are fun to use in new construction, remodel jobs or even as shelving.
top left: stairs to Elissa's main deck, center: a set of our salvaged stairs, right: stairs to Olympia's bridge.
Passageway - aka "bulkhead" lights - come in different shapes and sizes.
They're typically solid brass and will naturally patina over time to a beautiful green shade. 

top left: our 90 degree curved passageway lights
center left: passageway lights in Elissa's galley
 center right: a passageway light on Olympia
far right: red bulkhead light on Texas

Although our inventory varies, we have carried all of the items above in our shop. Each shipment brings new unique pieces
so check back often - or join our email list from the homepage to receive notifications when they come in.
top row: a mahogany caprail, cleats and a bollard on Elissa
 bottom row: belaying pins on Olympia's caprail, the ship's bell and aft wheels.

A few more pics from the USS Texas (left to right); the bell (fun fact: the first Battleship TEXAS was renamed SAN MARCOS in
1911 to make way for this vessel, technically the second Battleship TEXAS), the chain winch, one of the lifeboats, a search light
above the main deck with one of the 45 caliber guns.

Above and below are various portholes on the Texas.  Many customers buying our salvaged portholes ask how these are finished out on board a ship...  As you can see in the center image above, the porthole opens inward toward the pilot house.  Below, you can see a rectangular brass porthole cover in use; note where the paint has worn off from use and the brass shows through.