The vessels that plied in and out of Mendocino’s doghole ports bringing in machinery and supplies and taking out lumber products had to deal with frequent foul weather and rock strewn approaches. During storms along the Mendocino coast, ships lying at coast landings had to put out to sea to avoid being lost. If you were a sailing vessel that was no easy task. Steam powered schooners which started to supplant sail around 1900 fared better because they get up steam quickly and ride out the storm at sea.
According to the shipwreck data base of the California State Lands Commission, there were 218 shipwrecks off the Mendocino Coast between 1850-1950. The details from the database are included in the list below.
Not all the ships have pictures but nearly all do have a description. Click on the photo at right to see a line drawing you may refer to in the absence of a picture.
Here are the ships, in alphabetical order, on which we have some information. Regretfully, much of that information is because of their frightful end.
How to use
There is information on over 450 ships! To make this manageable, they've been broken down into sections in the tabs shown above above. In any tab or section, you can scroll to peruse the list of ships and their details. For many, the information is brief, but where you see this button click it to see more information. Click this button to close this extra information.
In common with the rest of this site, clicking a thumbnail photo will open a larger version overlay. To remove the expanded photo, just click anywhere on the large photo, the small X top right of the large photo, or anywhere on the page. The overlay can also be moved by 'click and drag'.