Many Liberty Ships were built here during WW II
Marinship, Sausalito, is a quiet place now. However, during World War II it was a busy, busy shipyard where three shifts of 20,000 workers each worked around the clock. For three years, starting in 1942 and ending in 1945, about once every 13 days a vessel was christened and sent to war. A world record was set when the S.S. Huntington Hills, a tanker ship 523′ long x 68′ wide, was built almost twice as fast as usual in just 33 days from start to finish. A total of 93 ships were built — 15 Liberty cargo ships and 78 tankers.
During World War II this 210 acre shipyard was a buzzing giant assembly line filled with ship parts, large open skids, and huge traveling cranes that lifted pre-assembled sections to a hull where they were welded to it. Good wages which attracted more than 75,000 workers from around the U.S. to this location. Marin City, across Hwy 101 from northern Marinship, was built to house some of these workers and within a year it became the second largest city in Marin County. Given the shortage of males due to the war 25% of this large workforce were women. The term “Rosie the Riveter” was named after these women who took jobs previously held only by men.
Most of the shipyard is now gone having been sold for commercial development. There still remains the 110,000 sf Industrial Center Building (the ICB Building and formerly the Yard Office) currently housing over 120 artist studios; the Marinship Warehouse (see “You Are Here” in the photo above or the big white building in the satellite view in the map below) which holds the Marinship Exhibit and San Francisco Bay Model; and Marinship Park (where the “Outfitting Shops” in the photo above were formerly located) now a grassy park used once a year for the Sausalito Art Festival. The north end of Marinship is now home to over 500 houseboats.
Admission is FREE to an exhibit about Marinship Shipyards which is housed in the same Warehouse building as the Bay Model Visitor Center. It’s a small but very interesting reminder of the important WWII shipyard once located here.
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Phone: (415) 332-3871
Hours & more Info: Marinship Exhibit & SF Bay Model.
- SF Bay Model – Info about the Bay Model where the Marinship Exhibit is also housed
- Marinship exhibit – Hours and other exhibit information
- Le Garage – A French bistro on the pier within short walking distance
- Sausalito Things To Do – Read the sections about Marinship and about houseboats
- Sausalito Map and Tiburon Map – Show precise locations of different things to do
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