Welcome to Big Ship Salvage! Our warehouse operation is located in Pauline, South Carolina. We have been in business since 2002 and have grown into the largest inventory of original nautical lighting and related nautical antiques in the US. It is no secret – we work with some of the largest ship breaking operations around the world, and we buy scrap from the shipyards by the ton! The inventory you see on our web site has been transformed from salvaged pieces to polished working pieces of art! Many people are shocked to learn that from the time we buy our items to the time it lands on the web-site for sale can take as long as 9 months. Most everything is painted when we buy it, so the process of removing the paint and then polishing takes a fair amount of time. Since most items have been removed from a working class vessel being cut up for scrap, we also spend many hours making general repairs.
The company is owned by John and Carla Clifford. John was born and raised in the Midwest and in 1979 left home to join the Air Force. He spent 6 years in the military and moved on to work with Lockheed on the Space Shuttle program and then moved into the Insurance business. In the spring of 2002 he started a full time antique business that grew into Big Ship Salvage. Today he spends a lot of his time buying inventory for the warehouse and vending at some of the larger nautical related shows up and down the East Coast. You may even catch him on the other end of the phone if you call in to place an order!! In the fall of 2012 he built a new warehouse operation and ended up planting new roots just outside of Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Carla met John in High School and enjoys horses and painting as her hobbies. She has been involved with Big Ship Salvage since day one, but now plays an even more involved role since the business moved to the new warehouse operation in South Carolina. Carla manages the packing and shipping of orders, takes phone orders, and does most all the clerical duties in the office.
Our warehouse operation in Pauline, South Carolina is not normally open to the public, but we do schedule appointments for buyers to pick up products if in the area. Please understand, the warehouse is not set up for retail sales, it is a working warehouse operation with a full machine shop for repairing and wiring the lights we sell.