homepage logo

View from Pioneer Inn inspires T-shirt design

By Staff | Dec 3, 2009

The shirt commemorates the grounding of the sailboat near Lahaina Harbor on Oct. 31, 2004.

LAHAINA – The newest T-shirt to hit the market on the West Side memorializes the Oct. 31, 2004 shipwreck in Lahaina.

The design — tagged in the copyright as “What Boat?” — is the brainchild of Robin Ritchie and Barry Malloy.

“Barry and I were having a sunset drink at the Pioneer Inn bar. Looking out the window, we saw a perfect composition of the Lahaina Lighthouse on the left and a leggy tree branch on the right. In the middle was Front Street, Cheeseburger in Paradise and the sailboat still on the reef,” Ritchie explained.

Malloy and Ritchie went home and researched Hawaii Oct. 31 shipwrecks.

They found the Dolphin — the Oct. 31, 2004 wreck where the sailboat dragged anchor and became perched on the Lahaina reef. 

The second incident was the first recorded shipwreck in Hawaii. It happened on Halloween night in 1796 at Barbers Point on the southwest tip of Oahu.

With this added information, Ritchie and Malloy were inspired.

“We had the composition, and we worked with a graphic artist to prepare it for printing on T-shirts,” Ritchie said.

Printed on black or on white, the now familiar image of the Lahaina wreck, the historic Lahaina Light House and the Front Street buildings at the north end of the seawall adorn the back of the shirt.

These words surround the encapsulated image: “Got wrecked in Lahaina.”

A small map of the island chain is depicted on the front of the shirt, indicating the locations of the two wrecks.

The cost is $20 for all sizes except extra-extra large, which is $22.

The purchase includes a free postcard, with the design printed on the front and the written history of the two wrecks on the back.

The shirts can be purchased at the Lahaina Civic Center Gift Fairs on two weekends a month or mail ordered over the Internet at Sealevelmaui@msn.com.

“Halloween night was the fifth anniversary of the shipwreck, and sales were good that day. But, overall, the sales have been steady to residents. I think residents are making a statement by buying the shirt,” Ritchie commented.