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The S. S. Minnow is a fictional charter boat on the hit 1960s television sitcom Gilligan's Island.

The ship ran aground on the shore of "an uncharted desert isle" (in the south Pacific Oceanmarker), setting the stage for one of the most successful situation comedies of all time.

Origin of its name

A minnow is a very small bait fish, but the TV boat was actually named for Newton Minow, who Gilligan's Island executive producer Sherwood Schwartz believed "ruined television". Minow was chairman of the FCC in 1961, and is noted for a speech in which he called American television "a vast wasteland". The inclusion of the ship prefix S.S. in the name indicates it was powered by steam.

S. S. Minnow II

The S. S. Minnow II was a successor boat purchased by the Skipper from insurance money for the first in the 1978 made-for-TV movie Rescue From Gilligan's Island. At the end of that movie, the cast and boat are wrecked on the same island, as shown by Gilligan's discovery of a plank with "Minnow I" on it. How they knew to call the first vessel "I" before there was a second is not explained.

Minnow III

The Minnow III is the plane built by the Professor in the made-for-TV movie The Castaways on Gilligan's Island, the sequel to Rescue From Gilligan's Island. It does not have the prefix "S. S.", as it is not a steamboat.

S.S. Minnow today

The S.S. Minnow used in the opening of the second and third season color episodes, also previously known as the Bluejacket, now resides at Schooner Cove Marina on the east side of Vancouver Island, in Nanoose Bay, British Columbiamarker. Having put the boat through a major restoration, the new owner plans to use it for charters and sight seeing tours. It is equipped with an old life preserver with "S.S. Minnow" on it, as well as other show items.

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