The number one question asked today by visitors and customers alike is "Why did you move from your riverfront location?" For those that are knowledgeable of our history, it does make sense to wonder why. The simple answer is, the building was sold and the new owners are renovating the building and converting into luxury apartments. Our lease was until the end of September 2015 which gave us 6 months from time of notice to find a new location and move.
With numerous trips north up as far as Massachusetts and south through florida, we visited many coastal seaport towns in search for a new viable location to relocate the store. There were many location opportunities of which we considered and one we would have leased on the spot in Savannah Georgia. This was a large riverfront warehouse just outside of the historic district that featured wide open spaces with yellow pine beamed ceilings and old brick walls, but we missed leasing it by a few weeks! The other was a smaller store in St. Augustine in the heart of the shopping/tourist district, but again was just leased prior to our arrival. Other potential locations that we liked were Beaufort, SC, Charleston, SC, Annapolis, MD and Alexandria,Virginia, Norfolk, VA and areas around coastal Massachusetts and Rhode Island. All of these were good choices for Skipjack, but most offered but a few locations to look at and all came with considerably higher per sq. ft. pricing. So we once again chose to stay local and focus on potential spaces located here in the Olde Towne Portsmouth area.
It was now early summer and time was running out. We previewed a dozen locations, some with great potential, but none of them truly met our needs and most with rental limitations that made them undesirable.
A close friend and associate called and informed us of a property that would be perfect, but the problem was that it was already occupied. But, discussions led to an opportunity that could work for both parties. The owners and business that occupied the building was Way Back Yonder Antiques, and after nearly 20 years of operation at 620 High Street, they considering downsizing the operation and moving to a smaller building that they owned a block away. After rounds of negotiating, we struck a deal and leased the building. The challenge now was for the owners of Way Back Yonder Antiques to reduce their inventory and clear the space in time for us to take possession and move in. Thankfully, we worked together and with considerable help from friends here in the Olde Towne community were able to make the transition from the riverfront to our new home, now referred to as Skipjack 4.0!
Dealers of authentic nautical antiques and collectibles, Skipjack Nautical Wares is also known for it's fine collection of maritime lamps, lighting, furniture, and decor. Skipjack also buys and sells genuine navigational instruments, clocks and barometers, telescopes, compasses, binnacles and telegraphs (E.O.T.'s) and US Navy and Coast Guard collectibles. Our maritime ship and yacht salvage includes ship wheels, portholes and windows, doors, ship lights, anchors, brass signs, builders plates, nameboards, marine hardware, glass floats, flags, life rings, buoys, boarding ladders and much more.
Skipjack's Marine Art Gallery features antique, vintage and contemporary art specializing in maritime and marine subjects. Our gallery includes works in bronze and ceramic and wood sculpture, scrimshaw, folk and sailor art, oil, acrylic and watercolor paintings and giclee prints. Our ship model gallery features both antique and handcrafted scaled models, half hulls and ship-in-bottles of exceptional quality from artists around the globe.