The wooden shrimp boat Santa Maria has been part of Galveston’s famous “Mosquito Fleet” since she was launched in 1937. GHF’s Texas Seaport Museum became the owner of Santa Maria in 2002, and she is still berthed among her colleagues in the Galveston Bay shrimping business at pier 19.
The vessel was purchased from Joe and Edna Grillo, whose family had operated the boat for most of her career. Such a save is what maritime preservationists can usually only dream of. But like any wooden boat of her age, Santa Maria required, and continues to require, a great deal of repair and replacement. And like Elissa, this work is being done by a corps of dedicated volunteers. To join them (at any level of dedication), call (409) 763-1877.
Santa Maria may be viewed at her slip but not boarded by the general public. While she is taken out by staff and volunteers as often as possible, she is not licensed for passengers.
Please visit the exhibit at the Texas Seaport Museum explaining Galveston’s historic and still-vital shrimping industry, and stroll the few blocks to view the Santa Maria with an informed appreciation for the boat and her context.