Cement Sinker? 2


SS Selma

Cement shipwreck

Photo by John Wiley

Concrete seemed not to be the best choice for shipbuilding. Who would have thought? The U.S. government tried using it during World War I because steel was in short supply. One of those ships, the SS Selma wasn’t completed until the war was over, so she was used as an  oil tanker for 11 months.  It wasn’t her fault that a reckless steersman put a hole in her, or that no one knew how to fix it.  She’s still toughing it out in the shallows off Galveston almost 100 years after she was abandoned there.
As a shipwreck she’s a grabber. I wish I could say why, but the best I can do is that there’s something evocative about her ruin. Maybe the pictures will help you see for yourselves why you need to see her for yourselves.

The Texas Seaport Museum’s harbor tour will take you there and tell you her story.


About breathtakebyways

Ann Williams’ travel articles have appeared in publications all over the country including The Washington Post, Roads to Adventure, and Jack and Jill. Between researching and writing books, she specializes in creative lectures.


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2 thoughts on “Cement Sinker?

  • Pat Hamann

    My daughter designed and built concrete canoes for an engineering competition when she attended Colorado School of Mines. It was quite a challenge. The cement was so thin that stepping into the canoe could break it. She had to be lowered into it to paddle it across the lake. Most of them didn’t make it.

    • breathtakebyways Post author

      I was thinking about Mary Beth when I wrote this post, Pat. Didn’t she win the Concrete Canoe contest at least once? Too bad she wasn’t available when the Selma needed help.