Concrete ship.

Crumbling Wreck of a Concrete Ship

Field review by the editors.

Cape May Point, New Jersey

The scarcity of steel during World War I forced America to build ships out of a counter-intuitive substitute -- concrete. The same stuff that was used to fashion cement overshoes for Mob victims actually floats when it's shaped like a boat.

The S.S. Atlantus was one of a dozen concrete ships that were built, and it criss-crossed the Atlantic several times, hauling cargo and troops. But when steel again became available, the S.S. Atlantus was mothballed.

In 1926 she was docked in Cape May when a storm broke her loose and ran her aground, just off of Sunset Beach. She couldn't be pried off of the bottom because she was made of, well, concrete. For the last 80+ years her slowly crumbling hulk has been a tourist attraction, although not much of her is left to see.

Historical Marker and Concrete Ship S.S. Atlantus.

Crumbling Wreck of a Concrete Ship

Address:
Sunset Blvd, Cape May Point, NJ
Directions:
Drive south to Cape May, then turn right onto Bank St./Jackson St. Jackson St. turns into Perry St., which turns into Sunset Blvd. Take Sunset Blvd two miles until it ends at a parking lot on the beach. The ship is just off-shore.
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

The Ugly MugThe Ugly Mug, Cape May, NJ - 3 mi.
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In the region:
Shark from Jaws, Ice Cream Cowboy, Berlin, MD - 46 mi.

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November 20, 2014

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