The steam schooner -- a wooden-hulled steamer designed for the coastal lumber trade -- is unique to the West Coast. The Wapama is the last of 235 steam schooners built on that Coast. She was built in 1915 for the run between Oregon and California. The long shallow hulls of the steam schooners made for a weak structure, prone to sag at the bow and stern. As age and decay sapped the strength of the Wapamas massive timbers this hogging process became so bad that she could not remain afloat. Placed on a barge in 1980 the Wapama remains a unique and impressive piece of naval architecture. Given suitable systems for rot control, physical support and weather protection, it will be possible to preserve the ship indefinitely out of the water.
This painting was done while the Wapama was in the historic Oakland estuary, Oakland, California. In the distance behind the ship are the buildings of the U. S. Coast Guard base at Alameda. Currently, the Wapama is located in Richmond California.