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GW Kneass Boatyard



HISTORY OF THE KNEASS BOATWORKS

      Kneass Boat     Kneass boatworks was know as one of San Francisco’s most innovative wooden               oat                                          boat builders in business continually
                                              From 1868-1970
                     

Mark                     Mark Jess  Kneass is the fifth generation descendant of George Washington Kneass, who opened his first boat shop at 22 Mission Street.We thank Mark who recently visited Tahoe and assisted us with a unique historical presentation that dealt with the history of his family

 The original founder of the boatyard was George W Kneass who was the son of Dallas Alexander Kneass, a registered "pioneer “in our nation's history, Kneass Boatworks proved to be one of the most innovative and diverse wooden boatbuilders on the West Coast. In over a century of service, they survived the Great Earth Quake, four huge fires and the Great Depression


       

           Mark exhibiting priceless archives during his presentation of photos, tools, ledgers and more to share the history of the boatyard. Tales of piracy, tragedy, and many triumphs, From the early beginnings, during the Gold Rush, to WWI & WWII the Kneass firm built a class of boats like no others. Eventually the yard was closed in 1970 and the landmark is now slated for historic redevelopment. The two remaining Kneass buildings are the oldest on the whole of San Francisco's Central Water front.

      The modern-day salmon boat, sardine boat, lifeboats and so many other modern-day craft, have a "Kneass influence". The U.S. Navy still uses a lifeboat that was originally designed by George Kneass. The first solo Trans-Pacific crossing was made in a Kneass boat. The 18-foot "Pacific" sailed by Bernard Gilboy in 1882, completed the 162-day, 7000-mile journey from San Francisco to Australia. He was left for dead, out of food and water, and eventually got picked up off the Australian coastline ultimately surviving the journey. In 1945 the United States Government awarded Webster Lincoln Kneass (George's son) a certificate of Outstanding Service to the Country for both its WWI and WWII efforts. Kneass supplied over 5000 craft in wartime efforts, from lifeboats and patrol boats, to 150-foot minesweepers.


Mark Kneass has allowed us to use many of the great old pictures  he has recently uncovered. Many of the old photos date back to the early 1880's

Line Drawings Courtesy of the late naval architect Al Mason's daughter, 
Anita C. Mason
 
         Photos below courtesy of Kneass family

        

           

           

                   

                

                              



 









                          
                           
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