Inside John Wayne’s ‘Wild Goose’ WWII Houseboat

Actor John Wayne loved both land and sea. However, he took his love for the water to another level when he purchased a boat that he spent a lot of time on. The Wayne houseboat is a beautiful piece of history that fans continue to admire long after the actor’s death. Here’s a look inside of Wild Goose.

John Wayne owned a WWII houseboat called ‘Wild Goose’

John Wayne aboard Wild Goose, his houseboat, wearing a collared shirt, captain hat, sitting next to American flag
John Wayne | REPORTERS ASSOCIES/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The Daze with Jordan the Lion YouTube channel takes viewers on a tour inside of the Wayne houseboat. The actor spent a lot of time on the houseboat and owned it for 18 years. However, he sold it shortly before he died in 1979. Jordan explained that Wayne had some of his favorite moments of all time on the Wild Goose. He even convalesced on the boat after he knew that he was going to die.

The Wayne houseboat was a decommissioned World War II Naval minesweeper. However, he wasn’t the original owner. Billionaire Max Wyman purchased the boat, but he wanted to sell it when he grew tired of it. Wayne purchased it off his hands and had to have the ceilings raised to accommodate his height without bumping his head.

Jordan explained that Wayne spent time in between his movie sets on the Wild Goose houseboat. Wyman gave the ship the name “Wild Goose II,” but the actor decided to simply drop the two off the name.

The entrance, bar area, and Bridge room areas

Jordan pointed out a plaque staring at him in the face the moment he stepped foot on the Wayne houseboat with the name “Wild Goose” printed on it. There’s a sign next to it that reads “National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior,” marking it a place of significance.

The host shared that Wayne’s Wild Goose now occasionally operates as a location for guests to enjoy dinner cruises. The ship will take folks on the route that Wayne took around Newport Beach.

Wild Goose has gorgeous wood detail around the entire houseboat, but this is particularly apparent in the bar area. This is where the Duke enjoyed spending time having a few drinks served by a bartender.

Next, Jordan took his viewers to one of Wayne’s favorite rooms, which is where he would play Bridge. In the actor’s later years, he didn’t always have the strength to go upstairs, so he would rest on the couch in that room. There is a battleship mural above the resting area, which the actor had commissioned by an art director from one of the movie studios.

Wayne kept as much of the Wild Goose houseboat intact with naval requirements as possible. There are pictures of the actor that line the walls, although most of them weren’t originally on the walls. Wayne preferred having photographs of his family, but his movie posters and other images of him were added after his death. However, viewers can see paintings that were pained by his third wife, Pilar.

The John Wayne kitchen, engine room, and bathroom

Jordan went to the other side of the boat to take a quick look at the kitchen, where the Duke had meals prepared for him. Next, he went into the engine room. The host explained that the ship’s engine was originally a locomotive or train engine that they repurposed when the military had the ship. The ladder at the end of the room leads to the bar area.

The host exited the engine room to head to the second level of the ship, using gold-detailed stairs to get there. He explored a second Bride room, where guests can purchase Wayne and Wild Goose merchandise. Jordan explained that the Wayne houseboat’s captain is still alive and participates in the dinner cruises.

This second Bridge room hosts the Duke’s book collection, as he was an avid reader. Leopard-skin-printed chairs sit around tables. However, the Wild Goose houseboat looked a little bit different when Wayne owned it. The area was an open back deck that gave incredible panoramic views. More wood carvings line the room.

Jordan finished this section in the bathroom attached to the second Bridge room. It has gold finishes that tie in with the rest of the houseboat.

The Duke’s and his kids’ bedrooms

Jordan’s next section included Wayne’s kids‘ room, which is where Ethan and Aissa would stay. The room has small bunk beds perfect for young children. However, the Duke would lock the door from the outside at night, so that they wouldn’t wander out and fall overboard. The children would have to pass through their father’s room to access the outside.

Next, the Wayne houseboat bedroom remains entirely intact. The bed and the chairs are the same ones that the Duke owned. The bedsheets have beautiful gold accents to them. Above the bed, there is another battleship mural reminiscent of the one in the first Bridge room.

There is a bathroom attached to the bedroom with an image of the Wild Goose and a bamboo mirror on the wall.

Pilothouse and the third level

In the final segment of the video, Jordan took a look at the anchor and where Wayne had his final interview with Barbara Walters standing at the front. He explained that the actor wore a wig when he had company for an interview. Otherwise, he never wore it.

Jordan brought viewers to the pilothouse, where Wayne was very particular regarding his Wild Goose houseboat. He was truly the captain of the ship, as he didn’t permit anyone else to touch the brass on the wheel. The wooden paneling is all-new, but most of the devices are original. There’s a small sleeping area beneath the pilothouse.

The final portion of the Wayne houseboat tour is on the third level, which is where dinner guests can enjoy their food while overlooking the beautiful scenery. This wasn’t originally there, but the bar area is where Wayne did his weightlifting.

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