235 Commercial Street

Marine Specialties

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; 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, life rings, glass bottles, sea sponges, starfish and seashells. “And you can outfit yourself in leather jackets and pants, whips, outrageous hats, vintage prom dresses, feather boas and similar everyday Provincetown streetwear.”

The entire pilot house of the tugboat Betsy Ross was installed in the store in 1966. In 1967, Marine Specialties offered such items as $1.25 well buckets, $1.95 megaphones, $2.97 “genuine G.I. gas cans” and a “large lot of unidentifiable kitchen equipment.” The company continues to provide services like “custom hand rope splicing, custom dock lines and complete moorings made to spec.”

















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