235 Commercial Street

235 Commercial Street, Marine Specialties, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

235 Commercial Street, Marine Specialties, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Bob Patrick, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

Bob Patrick, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

Marine Specialties is a sui generis establishment in a sui generic town. Its baroque offerings couldn’t contrast more sharply with its spartan home, which some sources describe as an early 20th-century automotive garage and others as a 1940s trap-fishing shed. The store was founded in 1961 and is owned by the Patrick family, sixth-generation Provincetown (Bob Patrick is pictured); indeed, for a time it was called Patrick’s Marine Specialties. Their motto, “Everything You Never Knew You Needed,” is worth keeping in mind if you’re seriously tempted by that 57-year-old Minnesota license plate. The store says it offers “army-navy surplus, ship’s salvage, and whatever else we come across.” That includes nautical décor, wooden buoys, lobster pots, fishnet, sea sponges, and feather boas. The entire pilot house of the tugboat Betsy Ross was installed in the store in 1966. See if you can spot it in the photo.


More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.

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