‘Gilligan’s Island’: Bob Denver Purchased a Boat of His Own After the Show Ended

by Joe Rutland

Working on a sitcom that would become classic TV royalty like Gilligan’s Island simply took the sails, albeit briefly, out of Bob Denver. The show starring Denver as klutzy Gilligan opposite Alan Hale Jr.’s Skipper brought him fame and fortune. Yet Denver would be the first person to admit that he was one tired dude. See, before Gilligan’s Island, people became familiar with him through his Maynard G. Krebs character on The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis.

It’s a lot of work to put on sitcoms. Denver found himself in need of a break and he got one…in a boat. Nope, we’re not talking about the S.S. Minnow at all. With his sitcom fortune, the actor bought a 14-foot sailboat. It had a cabin and could have two sleepers on it. On Lake Sherwood, it turns out that Denver’s boat was the only one with a cabin on it.

Bob Denver of ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Found Time to Relax After Show

“Right after I got the house, I discovered that I hadn’t relaxed for an hour in the past seven years,” Denver said in a 1967 interview with The Wichita Beacon. This would take place after Gilligan’s Island had been canceled. Now, Denver could find time to, as he put it, “fall apart.” What was his new favorite pastime at that moment? It was simply watching people go about their lives.

“It’s such a gas!” Denver said. “Every morning the businessmen who live around the lake are out rowing themselves into shape. Then, after they go to work, the kids show up and play pirate in the marshes.” As it turned out, his location the lake was 30 minutes from the production studios. Denver would mention in another interview with United Press International that he’d only had one day off in three years as of 1967. He also reflected back on the popularity of his two famed characters at the time.

Lead Actor Would Point Out His Awareness of Scathing Reviews

“The kids dig Maynard and Gilligan,” Denver, then 32, told UPI. “The kids still think of me as one of them and I can’t knock that.” Gilligan’s Island continues to be popular among classic TV fans. New generations discover the antics of the seven stranded castaways day after day.

Denver also knew that the show received scathing reviews but remained a fan favorite. “Yeah, it’s interesting,” he said in a 1994 radio interview. “The critics just killed our show. I think out of 100 reviews there were 99 bad and one good one. But it didn’t bother us because we knew we were doing something really silly and something very, very broad. You know, a lot of physical comedy.”