Located in Milan, OH, USA

Big Ship Salvage Blog

Date: Feb, 22nd, 2023

Ahoy there, fellow sailors and seafarers! I am thrilled to share with you my recap of our recent trip to Everglade City for the Everglade City Seafood Festival. This was our first year attending this festival, since it happened to fall on the weekend before the Islamorada Nautical Flea Market. We thought that it’s location in Florid was a good opportunity to showcase our nautical lighting and antiques to seafood lovers and maritime enthusiasts from all over Southern Florida.

First of all, I have to say that Everglade City is an absolute gem of a town, tucked away in the heart of the Florida Everglades. The festival takes place in the historic downtown area, which is home to charming old buildings and friendly locals who are proud to showcase their unique coastal heritage.

As soon as we arrived, we set up our booth and began showcasing our brass nautical lighting fixtures, ship salvage items, and other maritime antiques to festival-goers. We were thrilled to see how much interest there was in our products, and many visitors stopped by to chat with us and ask questions about our inventory.

One of the highlights of the festival was, of course, the seafood. Everglade City is famous for its fresh seafood, and the festival did not disappoint. We saw people walking around with plates of succulent shrimp, freshly shucked oysters, and fresh lobster dishes. The atmosphere was lively, with music playing, people laughing, and the salty scent of the sea wafting through the air.

Another highlight of the festival was the array of activities and events on offer. The Marshall Tucker Band was a big draw for people attending, amongst a number of other live entertainment on the mainstage. We were thrilled to meet so many fellow nautical enthusiasts and to share our love of maritime antiques and lighting with them. If you haven’t been to Everglade City, I would recommend checking it out if you’re in the area. The town’s rich maritime heritage and delicious seafood make it a unique experience. Thanks for reading, and we’ll see you at the next festival!

Date: Jan, 6th, 2023

Aluminum Portholes in Bathroom

When it comes to home decor, nautical themes are always a popular choice. From seashell accents to ship wheel decor, there’s something about the ocean that brings a sense of calm and relaxation to our daily lives. And when it comes to incorporating nautical elements into the bathroom, lighting is a great place to start.

Not only does nautical lighting add a touch of coastal charm to the space, it can also create a relaxing and tranquil atmosphere. And if you’re working with a small bathroom, the right lighting can make it feel larger and more open. But with so many options available, how do you choose the right nautical lighting for your bathroom?

First, consider the size of the space and the amount of natural light it receives. This will help you determine the appropriate size and style of lighting fixtures. Next, think about the overall design and aesthetic of the bathroom. Do you want a more traditional, antique look or a more modern, coastal vibe? Determine your lighting needs as well. Do you need task lighting for grooming or ambient lighting for a relaxing soak in the tub?

One option to consider is using antique and vintage ship lights in your bathroom. These authentic and often well-preserved lights not only add a touch of coastal charm and history to the space, but they also bring a unique and one-of-a-kind element to the room. Whether you go for wall sconces with a nautical theme, pendant lights with a coastal design, or salvaged ship lights, there are endless ways to incorporate antique and vintage ship lights into your bathroom.

If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional, consider nautical-themed pendants or ceiling fixtures. These can add a grand, elegant touch to the space and are great for larger bathrooms or those with high ceilings. Wall sconces are a great option for smaller spaces or for added task lighting. And pendant lights are a versatile choice that can be used as both task and ambient lighting.

No matter what type of nautical lighting you choose, be sure to look for authentic and well-preserved pieces. These will not only add a touch of history and authenticity to the space, but they’ll also be built to last. And when it comes to antique and vintage ship lights, we’ve got you covered here at Big Ship Salvage!

Date: Dec, 15th, 2022

Kelvin Hughes is a nautical company with a wonderful history. We had the pleasure to dive deep into their past and were fascinated by the details. We’d like to share just a few tid-bits about William Thomson that we learned while researching our listings.

William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, was a Scottish engineer and physicist who played a significant role in the development of nautical navigation instruments. Born in 1824 in Belfast, Ireland, Thomson received his education at the University of Glasgow and went on to become one of the most influential scientists of his time.

Thomson’s work in the field of nautical navigation began in the 1850s, when he was asked to design a compass for use on ocean-going vessels. The result of his efforts was the Kelvin compass, which was a major improvement over existing designs and became widely used on ships around the world.

In addition to his work on the Kelvin compass, Thomson also developed other navigation instruments, including a tidal predictor and a sounding machine. These tools greatly improved the accuracy and reliability of navigation at sea, and paved the way for the development of more advanced technologies in the future.

Despite his many achievements, Thomson is perhaps best known for his work on the theory of thermodynamics, which he developed in the 1860s. This theory, which remains an important part of modern physics, was instrumental in the development of the steam engine and other technologies that have had a profound impact on society.

Overall, William Thomson was a pioneer in the field of nautical navigation, and his contributions continue to be felt to this day. His work laid the foundation for many of the technologies that are used to navigate ships safely and efficiently, and he remains an important figure in the history of science and technology.

In 1913, Thomson joined forces with a UK-based company called Kelvin Hughes, which had been founded by a group of engineers and entrepreneurs who were interested in developing navigation instruments for the maritime industry.

Together, Thomson and Kelvin Hughes set out to develop new technologies that would improve the accuracy and reliability of navigation at sea. One of their key innovations was the MantaDigital radar system, which used advanced digital signal processing technology to provide highly accurate information about the surrounding environment, including the position of other vessels, obstacles, and potential hazards.

In addition to radar systems, Kelvin Hughes also developed a range of other navigation instruments, including electronic chart display and information systems (ECDIS), which provided detailed information about the vessel’s position and surrounding environment. These systems greatly improved the safety and efficiency of navigation at sea, and were widely adopted by the maritime industry.

Despite his many achievements, Thomson is perhaps best known for his work on the theory of thermodynamics, which he developed in the 1860s. This theory, which remains an important part of modern physics, was instrumental in the development of the steam engine and other technologies that have had a profound impact on society.

Overall, the partnership between William Thomson and Kelvin Hughes was an important one, and their contributions to the field of nautical navigation continue to be felt to this day. Their work paved the way for many of the technologies that are used to navigate ships safely and efficiently, and they remain an important part of the history of science and technology.

Date: Dec, 8th, 2022

This Old House is a popular American television series that focuses on home renovation and restoration. The show first premiered in 1979 and has since become a beloved staple on public television.

Each episode of This Old House follows a team of expert craftsmen as they work on restoring and renovating a historic home. The show showcases the various challenges and triumphs that come with preserving and updating old homes, and offers viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the skills and techniques required to do the job right.

One of the things that sets This Old House apart is its focus on sustainability and green building practices. The team often incorporates energy-efficient materials and appliances into their renovations, and they strive to preserve as much of the original structure and character of the homes as possible.

In addition to the main television show, This Old House also produces a magazine, offers a website with extensive resources for homeowners, and hosts live events and workshops.

The success of This Old House can be attributed to its engaging hosts, skilled craftsmen, and focus on sustainability and preservation. It’s no wonder that the show has been entertaining and educating viewers for over four decades.

The most recent season features the restoration of an 1890s Victorian house over 10 episodes. All of the episodes are available online! We were lucky enough to be featured in this season and they shouted us out on their website/social media sites. Here is a link to the final episode if you want to see the finished product: https://www.thisoldhouse.com/atlanta-postmasters-house/23458494/s44-e8-families-meet

Date: Nov, 23rd, 2022

Have you been looking for a pair of navigation lights with red and green glass globes? As you’ve probably noticed, it’s uncommon to find an authentic set of Portside and Starboard lights in this day and age. A set of navigation lights is an iconic item in the nautical antiques world – and we wish that we could keep them in stock more for our customers. One day we were talking to a customer on the phone about a set of lights, inquiring if we had them with red and green glass globes, instead of the clear globes.

Realizing how many people probably had this same thought, we knew that if we could find a creative solution, it could benefit more than just this one customer. Seeing that we couldn’t source red and green glass globes that would fit our unique lights – the only other option was the light bulb. We ran to our nearest big box store and looked for a set of red/green LED light bulbs.

The end result turned out great! The lighting in our warehouse for this video wasn’t great, so the green light appears a lot brighter. These could also be wired with dimmers, which would allow for a softer light. Additionally, when you’re done showing off the Portside and Starboard lights, you could insert clear light bulbs back into the lights.

Date: Oct, 25th, 2022

Big Ship Salvage was down in Georgetown, South Carolina last weekend for the 33rd Annual Wooden Boat Show. This is always a great show to attend and this year was no different! The crowd was full and the weather was perfect for a southern Fall weekend. Many of our previous customers stopped by again to say hello and share how they’ve used their lights. One couple, even invited us to their bar to check the lighting out ourselves! We obliged and took some pictures in between enjoying the fine drinks and food by Between The Antlers.

Next year’s show will be October 21-22, 2023. https://woodenboatshow.com/

Date: Oct, 6th, 2022

“Founded by brothers and lifelong sailors, Alex and Miles Pincus, Crew is an innovative hospitality group that creates and operates experience focused restaurants and maritime ventures.” Alex and Miles have been working with Big Ship Salvage for several years now. They began their business ventures in 2006 with a sailing camp for kids while also providing sailing lessons for adults and occasional sailboat charters. Seeing how much fun everyone had on their boats, traveling up and down the Hudson gave the brothers an idea that changed the course of their life. They opened up the Grand Banks, the Pilot, and eventually four other maritime themed restaurants. All of a sudden, they were providing one of the most unique dining experiences that anyone could have in New York City. Full service dining, on a boat, while taking in the view of the New York skyline. Articles from Forbes, the Times, and critically acclaimed foodie review websites began pouring in.

The Pincus brothers have purchased post lights, portholes, bells, wall sconces and much more from us. If you ever have a chance, be sure to stop by one of their beautiful restaurants.

Crew Restaurants

Grand Banks
Drift In
Island Oyster

Full Blog Post – Click Here

Date: Sep, 21st, 2022

We’ve been looking forward to seeing Top Gun 2 for many years now. After the movie release had numerous delays, Jim took the Big Ship Salvage team to the theater to watch the film. We had to try to keep our excitement to a respectable level when we saw our lights on the big screen. Everything from the action to the plotline to the set decoration, the movie was astounding. We’re happy to share with you some still shots from the film.

Without spoilers, our lights are used on the porch of Penny Benjamin and in the bar that Penny owns.

Date: Aug, 17th, 2022

A few months ago, we received a media request for a feature in a story on kitchens for the upcoming August 2022 Country Living Magazine. They wanted a picture of our two small brass marine wall lights as well as the price + web link. We responded promptly with the requested information and then went about our business. Last night we received an order for the exact lights that were featured but we didn’t think anything of it. When speaking with the customer this morning, she told us that she came directly from the August issue of Country Living Magazine. If you happen to see the magazine, be sure to flip through and read through that kitchen story!

Date: Aug, 10th, 2022

Big Ship Salvage made it’s way out to Rockland, Maine for the 75th iteration of the Maine Lobster Festival. This even started out as a local marine festival to revive their midcoastal Maine community but turned into an internationally recognized celebration of Maine seafood. This is one of those festivals where there truly is something for everyone. The children are able to participate in races, events and arts/crafts, while the parents are able to indulge in a variety of lobster based dishes. Of course, individual vendors sold their own food but the featured lobster meal was a lobster dinner, presented by the festival itself.

We were located over in the marine tent with a handful of other nautically themed vendors. Everything from pendant lights to fishing floats, we had it all at the lobster festival. We really got to experience the international aspect of the event firsthand as we met with people from all over the country! We even had a visit from Neptune himself! A handful of visitors were people who had been to the website but wanted to stop by and see the items in person. Some customers walked away with their items while others had them shipped directly to their house. We look forward to going back to this show next year!

Date: Jul, 28th, 2022

A gentleman reached out to us earlier this year to inquire if we were interested in liberty hatch doors. Of course, that grabbed our interest, but the problem with these doors is that they’re too large to ship normally. Freight shipping would be unprofitable for a single hatch door. We kept talking to the man and learned that he actually had 10 of them, stacked up in his barn alongside a few completed tables. At this point, we knew that we had to go out and see them. There were only about 200 Victory ships while 1,000 WWII Liberty Ships were made.  Each Victory Ship had 500 hatch doors to provide access to cargo areas, while each Liberty Ship had 500 hatch covers. We couldn’t miss out on this chance for some great historical salvage pieces. We packed up our truck and trailer and headed out the next week.

We were lucky enough to fit in another purchase during this trip and traveled to a suburb south of Chicago to purchase a binnacle, anchor, and a few other nautical antiques. After that stop, we headed north of Chicago to meet our new friends at the barn. As we got closer, it was evident that we were really in the middle-of-nowhere. It’s funny to think about how your perception of that phrase changes once you travel somewhere else. I thought I knew middle-of-nowhere being from Ohio, but Illinois middle-of-nowhere brought the phrase another meaning.

We pulled into the parking lot and met with the gentleman, who told us that this collection was passed down to him from his father who worked at a boat salvage yard. The son thought they were cool so he kept them, intending to eventually transform them into tables, like a few of them had been so far. Time passed and other interests took a place in his heart that the hatch tables once had. We struck a deal and loaded up the 10 liberty hatch doors as well as the various already assembled tables. We are currently selling them as-is, so that you can restore these however you see fit.. but we might be converting some of these ourselves soon.

Date: Jul, 22nd, 2022

Big Ship Salvage will be at Black River Landing in Lorain, Ohio this weekend for the Summer Market! Enjoy the nice weather, have some drinks, listen to some music and enjoy the sunset! While we were setting up for the show, a Great Lakes freighter named the Joseph H. Thompson was passing by, undergoing a bridge. Below is a pull quote from The Summer Market’s website, explaining the details of the event.



July 22nd from 3 to 9 pm

July 23rd from 9 am to 5 pm

Held at Black River Landing
421 Black River Lane
Lorain, Ohio 44052

The Summer Market is a unique, outdoor festival held right along the Black River in Lorain, Ohio.  Thousands of guests visit the Market each year to shop for furniture, architectural salvage, vintage finds, art & jewelry, coastal décor, fresh produce and a variety of other goods from more than 100 vendors.

Guests can grab a bite from several featured restaurants and food trucks, enjoy a cocktail by the water, enjoy some yacht rock, watch the sun set or shop in the summer sun.

The Summer Market is a fundraising event for our non-profit, Girls Give Back.  Proceeds benefit local families and organizations in need.

It is a wonderful, feel good event that should not be missed!

Oh, and bring a truck! There will be so much here you will want to take home!


Date: Jul, 8th, 2022

For the first time in several years, Cleveland is hosting it’s Tall Ships Festival this upcoming weekend, July 7th – July 10th. This four day event will feature 7 replica and restored ships, docked near the north side of the FirstEnergy Stadium. General admission is $20 and you’ll be able to step onboard the ships, walk around, take pictures, listen to music, have a drink and more! The ships that will be visiting are:

• Appledore IV
• Empire Sandy
• Inland Seas
• Nao Trinidad
• Pride of Baltimore II
• St. Lawrence II
• U.S. Brig Niagara

In addition to these travelling tall ships, there will be two local Cleveland Maritime Attractions present at the event:

• USS Cod
• William G. Mather Steamship

Date: Jul, 7th, 2022

Thanks to everyone who came out to our warehouse during our open house hours! We sold a few large items during this weekend, which saved on shipping costs for both us and the customer! We were happy to meet new and old customers, who came through to get hands on with their shopping experience. While we might have limited hours posted online, we’re always willing to schedule an appointment for you to stop by when you’re in the area! We live nearby, so it’s not a hassle to us – just give us a call!

Date: May, 25th, 2022

Brimfield Antique Show

2022 Update

We attended the May show and were featured on Martha Stewart’s blog. She stopped by the tent while we were away but she shared some pictures of our lights and talked about our tent at the show. We won’t be at the July show but we will be there for September. If there are any items that you would like to purchase and pick up at the show, order now to reserve the item, save on shipping costs and we’ll pack it with us!

2020-2021 Update

Most of the shows were canceled due to COVID concerns. We attended the few shows that happened during this time period.

2019 Update

Big Ship Salvage was on full display at the famous Brimfield Antique show in Brimfield, MA.  New owner Jim Unger spent the week showing off the new items BSS has purchased this past year.  Attendance for the July ’19 show was down a bit due to the extreme heat, but thousands still showed to the worlds largest antique show.  The Brimfield show is three times per year, May, July and September where as many as 5000 vendors set up for the week-long event.  Visitors come from around the globe to this gigantic show taking vacations just to experience the event.  The TV show, Flea Market Flip with Laura Spencer occasionally shows up with the film crew because of the huge section of antiques.  Big Ship Salvage will continue to attend the three Brimfield shows each year and showcase it’s unique nautical antiques for those that love everything nautical. The dates for 2020 have not been officially set yet. We’d love for you to come by our spot at the next Brimfield show! For more information, you can check out their website here.