The tour begins overlooking Richardson's Bay and Mount Tamalpias as your guide gives a brief overview of Sausalito's nautical history. Understand how wooden boat building has influenced the development of the town. The oldest surviving wooden hulled ferryboat on the West coast is first on the route. As we move from dock to dock you will hear a complete explanation of how these communities evolved. Permission to be creative and expressive is the order of the day, so don't be surprised if you find yourself dancing about and reciting Bohemian philosophies!
We then enter into the old shipyard to follow the path of the gantry cranes where the Liberty Ships were assembled during WWII. The WWII ship building operations here dramatically changed the character of the town and left behind an enormous piece of Bay fill we affectionately refer to as our historic Marinship district.
Tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the shipyard are the famous Sausalito art studios. Here we visit the studio of the first artist to inhabit this old WWII mold loft, American Expressionist, Walter Kuhlman. The work of hundreds of other artists are posted on the walls including painters, sculptors, fashion designers, graphic artists, photographers, architects, and more.
If this tour has a heart is would have to be the "cathedral of wooden boat building" known as the Spaulding Boatworks. Understand the who, why, when and where of this time honored craft. Here underway is the restoration of the oldest wooden sailing yacht west of the Mississippi, The Arques School of Traditional Boat Building, a working boat yard and youth boat building and sailing program. Learn about Myron Spaulding and see his trophy collection, take in the fragrance of fresh sawdust and understand why Sausalito has a 'wooden boat soul'. On Sundays, when the center is closed, it's out to the docks to view the Arques School wooden boat collection as well as several other wooden vessels of historic significance and view the Spaulding operation from dockside.
Finally, we are in the heart of the historic Marinship where the Liberty Ships were launched. Four of the original launch ways are still in use today. Here floating homes are built and restored, along with classic yachts, San Francisco fire boats and Alcatraz ferry boats. Its a rough and tumble area with an undeniable rustic charm and repleat with little wooden boat building shops and maritme crafts people.
Tour finishes up with a fine table of tea and cookies at the old boat lettering shack adjacent to the WWII ship ways inside of Sausalito's working waterfront.