50 votes

Marine Specialties Inc

235 Commercial St, Provincetown, Massachusetts 02657 USA

Open Now
Wed 11a-5p
  • Independent
  • Credit Cards
  • Wifi
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“jam-packed curiosities shop”

One of the town's largest and oldest "shops", Marine Specialties occupies a 1940s trap-fishing shed right on the harbor in the center of Provincetown. For a large part of Provincetown's history, fish sheds, rather than gift shops, lined the waterfront. The town's fishing industry has long been one of the most active in the state, invigorated by some of the thousands of Portuguese immigrants who arrived in Southeastern New England on whale ships, fishing schooners, and packet ships beginning in the nineteenth century. In sheds like this one, our local fishers mended nets, gave each other their famous nicknames, and honed wild rum-running stories beneath rafters laden with old gear and salvage from Provincetown beaches. The "Shop"Bob Patrick and Elizabeth Livingstone started Marine Specialties in 1961. They began by selling marine knives, rigging tools, and books to boaters through a small retail mail order catalog. In 1964, they opened the first incarnation of the store in a small location on the alley next to the present location. The year after that, they moved the business next door into 235 Commercial Street, where it has remained, in spite of hurricanes and two fires, for over forty years. Customers who remember visiting the store as children have been returning with their children to share the experience. "Marspec International" began when the Patricks expanded into the wholesale business in 1974, selling many of their items to other retailers around the U.S. They built a large warehouse on Route 6 in 1976-77. The retail store's access to smaller quantities of the wholesale business's finds results in a mix of retail items found almost nowhere else. One-of-a-kind items stand alongside more mainstream goods, and our prices allow most shoppers to find something they can afford. This helps to make it one of the town's top tourist attractions. The business is family-owned and operated. We hope that continuing this way will preserve the kind of old-fashioned care and concern for both employees and customers that is so often left behind in the world of mall retailing and chain stores. Today, in true Provincetown style, anything goes in this nontraditional "shop". We sell men's, women's, and children's name brand clothing at deep discounts, army-navy surplus, ship's salvage, and whatever else we come across, including nautical decor, wooden buoys, lobster pots, fishnet, life rings, glass bottles, reproduction toys, vintage license plates, candles, sea sponges, starfish and seashells. We stock bulk thrift items for artists' collages and teachers' projects, and also offer 600 different knives, including Swiss Army, Victorinox, and Spyderco brands. And you can outfit yourself in leather jackets and pants, whips, outrageous hats, vintage prom dresses, feather boas, and similar everyday Provincetown streetwear beneath a ceiling hung with old lanterns, clam rakes, and a complete deep sea diving suit. ServicesWe continue to stock rope, chain, anchors, and other basic supplies for camping, boating, and diving. We provide old-fashioned marine services such as custom hand rope splicing, custom dock lines, and complete moorings made to spec. Our SCUBA air station operates in season.

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Reviewed by
Dave Doster

  • 133 Reviews
  • 121 Helpful
July 14, 2014
Rated 4.0

Do you like browsing in funky, offbeat shops that sell weird stuff? Well my friend, check this place out!! Even if you don't buy anything, it's still fun to look!

1 person found this review helpful

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Marine Specialties Inc

235 Commercial St
Provincetown, Massachusetts
02657 USA


Open now until 5:00 pm
  • Sun - Fri: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
  • Sat: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm

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  • Parking
  • Pets Allowed
  • Restrooms
  • Wifi
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Credit Cards Accepted
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