The Unseen Pilot

The Story of the SS Minnow

This is the Original Minnow, the first of four. It was in a shipyard in Honolulu and the only thing wrong with it was a broken engine. Every worker in the shipyard wanted to buy it because it was in such good shape. So, there they were, working one day, when two men dressed in suits and one man dressed like them, carrying a sledgehammer, walked into the boatyard. The men walked to the Minnow and around it a few times – finally, one of the suits pointed toward the bow, and the man with the sledgehammer walked over and banged a huge hole in it, then, much to the disbelief of the onlookers, he walked to the stern, lifted the hammer and did the very same thing!

All the workers in the yard dropped their tools, stopped in their tracks and just stared. Then a crane came, lifted the Minnow onto a barge, and a tugboat towed it out of sight. There was no more work in the yard that day, believe me. Everyone ran to the nearest bar to tell everyone what they had seen. As far as they were concerned, “Those crazy haoles (mainlanders) had done it again !”

The second Minnow was the one we used in the opening credits, the one that took the passengers on their three-hour tour. About 10 years ago, it was out on the ocean and started sinking. The Coast Guard had to rescue the fisherman owner.

The third Minnow was used for the color shows in the opening credits, which were shot in Marina Del Ray in LA, California.

The fourth Minnow is the one you see in the episode where the Castaways tried to glue it back together again.
We did our usual very bad job! ~  as told by Bob


The Pilot Episode

‘Unseen’ for almost 30 years, the original GI pilot was finally aired by Turner Broadcasting on October 16th, 1992. Filmed at Moloaa Bay on the island of Kauai, the pilot was the only episode of the show filmed on a real, honest-to-goodness island . . . . and what an island it was. Bob loved Kauai like no other place on earth and the picture on your right shows you why. Yes, that’s Moloaa Bay in the photo. No matter what gags were filmed on any given day, no matter how many hours he spent fully clothed in the water, working in paradise stayed with Bob his entire life. When the going got tough, and after his son’s diagnosis, it did, Bob and Dreama always had Kauai.


The Original Cast

Once upon a time on an island in the south pacific, there were seven stranded castaways . . .

Gilligan  . . . the Skipper too . . . the Millioniare and his wife . . . the Secretary . . . the Professor and Bunny too  . . .


Bob’s words ~ John Gabriel was a hunky Hollywood leading man type, who originally landed the role of the Professor. He was a nice man, great to work with. All three actors were very good in their parts. After all, their work helped sell the pilot. This might make you wonder why they were let go.

John Gabriel & Kit Smythe

Nancy McCarthy and Kit


Meddlesome interference from the networks is the answer to that one – always trying to ‘fix’ things. Their reasons for wanting changes were lame, but the producers were forced into the recasting process anyway.

You’ve gotta remember, these were the same network people who thought it would be a really good idea if Gilligan had a pet dinosaur. Somehow Sherwood managed to sidestep that one!