Photographer's Note

The remains of the SS Palo Alto lie crumbling just off Seacliff Beach near Santa Cruz, California as the sun sets on her final resting place.

The Concrete Boat was a victim of bad timing. Begun during WW I as a tanker built of alternative local materials, she was completed in 1919, just after the end of the war. For the next ten years she lay anchored in various places in San Francisco Bay as she was bought and sold by speculators.

In 1930, she was brought here to start a second life as a casino and dance hall. The Great Depression soon put an end to such frivolous entertainment. By 1934, she had been stripped of all fixtures and salvageable materials.

Each winter storm batters her a little more and now she is just another sand castle, crumbling in the advancing tide.


Yes, Jose, the ship was made of concrete. The sand and lime are local to the area, so it was a low cost material. One of 12 experimental ships built during WWI.

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Additional Photos by Peter Jennings (Geo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 208 W: 55 N: 182] (1245)
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