In 1962 the pier was extended to accommodate Hunt's latest attraction…The Pirate Ship! Designed by John Allen and constructed by Hunt's crack staff, the Pirate Ship was a custom built walk-thru funhouse. The ship's name, "SKUA" (a large Antarctic carnivorous seabird) was chosen after the winning entry of a model building contest held by Mr. Hunt to "build and name the Pirate Ship". Fifteen year old Wayne Achilles of North Wildwood was the top winner.

 To view newspaper clips click here.

With the completion of construction and special effects supplied by Bill Tracy and Messmore and Damon, the "SKUA" was ready to open for the 1962 season. The ship would slowly rock above as you traveled through shadowy passages of the cavern below, leading you into the belly of the ship. The first tunnel would take you through large skeleton key shaped doorways. Along the way you would encounter many spooky scenes and mechanical pirates. Some sections of the ship include a barrel room, a torture chamber, a mirror maze, and the famous tilted room. At one point you would come out onto the deck on the upper level, where you could observe the crowds below before venturing back inside the ship to continue an adventure that would eventually lead you back to the cavern - where even more pirates await. This was the last section of the ship before exiting. Crossing the bouncy rope bridge stretched out over hapless victims buried in quicksand below - you make your way out through the giant skull and back to reality.

Let's go in again!


The Funni-Frite stunt pictured above is called "Thing" and was one of the many tricks featured inside the Pirate Ship Skua.
The above advertisment is from 1983.
The above photo shows the TV monitor where people could catch a glimpse of the fun being had inside the Skua. See article on page two .
Pictured aboard the "Skua" is Wildwood Catholic's Class of 1989. In just a matter of months of this picture being taken the Skua was demolished.

Copyright 2009 Ralph Grassi