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Nautical antiques, nautical furniture, Marine art, nautical art, nautical lamps and lamp shades, nautical apparel, nautical jewelry, Skipjack Nautical Wares in Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia
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About Us

The idea for Skipjack as a store originated from a sail and dive trip through the British Virgin Islands and Virgin Gorda. We visited the legendary Pusser's in Tortolla and Marina Cay where I pretty much fell in love with their restaurants and stores. But I wanted to buy the artwork and cased models that were store decorations and not for sale.

Years later Alison and I were visiting her parents in Florida and made friends with a nautical import business filled of great ship's hardware and unique nautical decor. What if we created a great ship's store with our own line of nautical products and apparel but was also filled with authentic nautical antiques and instruments, exceptional marine art and high quality nautical/coastal furnishings for the coastal homeowner and lifestyle? The seed was planted.

Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery's first store was opened in the spring of 2003 at 614 Norfolk Avenue, Virginia Beach, Virginia just a few blocks from the oceanfront and close to Rudee Inlet in what once was the original Wave Riding Vehicle Surf Shop. The store slowly began to find an audience and has grown to represent the seafaring way of life in all its wonderful forms. Alison and I personally live the nautical/coastal lifestyle and strive to offer to you the products that we would want to own and wear ourselves. Whether itís an item from our maritime antiques, a great marine painting created by one of our fine artists, a custom grate table, a nautical chart lampshade or a Skipjack T-shirt, all of our fine things are selected and designed to create the perfect nautical lifestyle.

In 2005 we purchased an old warehouse building in historic Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia situated on a block full of great antique shops, art galleries and specialty stores. This was to be the permanent address for Skipjack. Skipjack had found a home until just a few days before Christmas, 2007 when a fire broke out in a church located adjacent to us and severely damaged our building. The building together with all of our store inventory and our second story residence above with all of our personal belongings was destroyed when the city of Portsmouth hired a demolition company the same day and bulldozed down our building, demolishing the structure and all of the valuable antiques and fine arts still inside! Now homeless and without a business, we pulled ourselves up by the boot straps and started to rebuild Skipjack and our lives with the help of family members, friends and neighbors out of what little was left after demolition.

Fall of 2008 gave rebirth to Skipjack in a historic Olde Towne Portsmouth waterfront building overlooking the Elizabeth River just a stones throw away from the 0 miles marker of the Atlantic Intra-coastal waterway. The new gallery was double the size of the previous location and offered a broader selection of everything nautical for your home, yacht and coastal lifestyle.


First, we considered a new direction for Skipjack as a web-only business like a number of our competitors have recently done, but we thought that to be unwise since so many of our customers like to come and visit our gallery to touch and feel the items prior to purchasing them. So we set out two or three times a month we set out in search of a new home for Skipjack. Our travels took us as far north as Massachusetts and south to Palm Beach. Our search was focused on similar historic seaport towns and cities that would be a perfect fit for our nautical wares business. Two properties would have suited us well, one in Saint Augustine, Florida and the other, a great old warehouse on the Savannah River just outside the historic district of Savannah, Georgia. But as luck has it, other businesses just beat us to leasing the spaces. We also considered a storefront in Beaufort, South Caroling, but the rent was just to high for our needs. There were also other viable locations but the cost of leasing a space in a new market plus the cost of moving both our store and residence was simply to much.

We focused our search locally and looked at numerous available retail spaces all around Hampton Roads, Virginia. After all of our hunting, we decided to stay right here in our beloved Olde Towne Portsmouth and set sites to what might work for us. After months of travel and searching the east coast, we narrowed our choice down to two stores, both within 8 blocks of where we were presently located! The new Skipjack nautical Wares & Marine Gallery is an exceptional 6500 square foot nautical store is stocked full of our ever-changing maritime inventory. Come and visit us at our new store located at 620 High Street (across the street from our second store). Hopefully Skipjack 4.0 will be the final storefront for Skipjack. I'm not sure we have another move in us! Joe & Alison Elder

Live the life you love, love the life you live!



Skipjack 4.0 Bigger and Better than Ever -- 620 High Street -- 2015

Artist's Rendering



skipjack nautical wares & marine gallery store showroom storefront

skipjack nautical wares & marine gallery store showroom storefront

skipjack nautical wares & marine gallery store showroom storefront

skipjack nautical wares & marine gallery store showroom accessories decor




Skipjack 3.0 on the Riverfront -- One High Street -- 2008-2015

Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery. Click here for a 360 view of Skipjack's store front on the Elizabeth River, including the High Street Landing and the Hog Island Lighthouse fresnel lens. Photography by Allen Graves.
Don't have Flash? Click here for a Quicktime version.





Aerial view of the Elizabeth River, High Street Landing and Historic Seaboard Building. Skipjack is located on the riverside.




























































Skipjack 2.0 -- The Old 629 High Street Showroom -- 2005-2007

A view of our previous showroom located at 629 High Street in Olde Towne Portsmouth

A second view of our previous showroom located at 629 High Street in Olde Towne Portsmouth


Skipjack I -- The Original Virginia Beach Showroom -- 2003-2005

Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery owners Alison & Joe Elder with antique ships figurehead.

Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery specializes in Maritime Paintings and Marine Art, Nautical Antiques,
Nautical Furniture, Nautical Furnishings and Nautical Accessories,Chelsea Clocks, Schooner Virginia.

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Skipjack Nautical Wares & Marine Gallery

620 High Street
Portsmouth, Virginia 23704

LATITUDE: 36.83487 LONGITUDE: -76.296412


SHOWROOM HOURS JANUARY - APRIL

Tuesday - Saturday, 10am-5pm
Additional times by chance or appointment.



Copyright 2003-2017 Skipjack Nautical Wares. All rights reserved.