SS Red Oak Victory to be moved Friday, right before waterfront winery’s grand opening


The SS Red Oak Victory, the gorgeous WWII-era ship that is now a popular floating museum in Richmond, will be moved to a nearby basin on Friday in order to provide a new waterfront winery with sweeping Bay views.

The ship will begin its transport to Basin 5 Friday morning, which will take several hours. At 3 p.m. on the same day, city leaders, port officials and representatives of the Richmond Museum Association will celebrate the grand opening of Riggers Loft Wine Company, located at 1325 Canal Blvd.

The new, fully-equipped winery operated by Alameda-based winery R&B Cellars signed a 20-year lease to take up a portion of the Riggers Loft warehouse, which during war times housed a ship parts assembly plant. The 27,140-square-foot warehouse was recently renovated.

City officials promised the new winery it would enjoy gorgeous 270 degree view of the Bay, but that meant moving the SS Red Oak Victory, which is currently blocking some of that view. After often contentious negotiations on City Council regarding where to move the ship, the final decision was to move it to Basin 5, a space that had been occupied by towing company Foss Maritime, which agreed to relocate to another basin.

RedOakVictory-2013-07-20Mayor Tom Butt had advocated moving the ship to Basin 5 so that it can be “close to other historic shipyard structures including the General Warehouse, the Whirley Crane, and the Riggers Loft building,” the Contra Costa Times reported back in July.

City officials believe that moving the ship was the right move, as Riggers Loft Wine Company, which will accommodate patrons using the nearby San Francisco Bay Trial, is part of a positive and potentially lucrative shift on the city’s waterfront that is attracting more visitors. The waterfront of course is also home to the Rosie the Riveter WWII Home Front National Historical Park.

“The winery will feature a wine production facility, wine tasting room, banquet facility and panoramic views of San Francisco Bay, including unparalleled views of downtown San Francisco and the East Bay,” according to a statement by the Mayor’s Office.