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People & Places

Best Floating Movie Prop 


Despite its bit role in the 1935 movie classic Mutiny on the Bounty, the Balclutha was never a pirate ship. Yet the image has been a long time fading. Indeed, the famed windjammer's brush with Hollywood is an undeniably alluring component of its colorful history. As any local fifth-grader can attest, the Balclutha, built in Scotland in 1886, was among the last great sailing ships constructed before the age of steam ships. And even though it spent decades sailing the world hauling cargo (including a reputed 17 trips around Cape Horn), it's hard to see it next to the Hyde Street Pier and not think of Clark Gable as Lt. Fletcher Christian and Charles Laughton as Captain Bligh. The Balclutha is one of several landmark vessels associated with the San Francisco Maritime Museum, administered by the National Park Service. A $5 museum entry fee for adults (children are free) gets you a hands-on look.

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