A new waterfront ship?

The Showboat moored on Stockton Channel at Oak Street and Yale Avenue on Dec. 3, 1955.

I love to see new ships seek a home on Stockton’s waterfront, like the 90-year-old steam ferry, the Sherman, which was towed into Stockton on Tuesday afternoon. They’re a natural.

If private entrepreneurs take the risk, what’s the harm?

That said, one line in this story did set off warning lights: “(Investor William) Bills … acknowledged that paperwork for the purchase of the Sherman is still not final.”

That may be a mere formality … but the more you know about the Delta, the more you wonder if the Sherman is a litigious mess like the San Leandro or a wing-and-a-prayer like the Aurora.

Presumably the city will vet the ship’s title, financing and business plan. And I wish the entrepreneurs success. But now is the right time to introduce Fitzgerald’s rule of the Delta, to wit: Always give historic Delta ships love — but keep an eye out for pirates.

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    Michael Fitzgerald

    Mike Fitzgerald is The Record’s award-winning metro columnist. His column runs in the paper three times a week. Born in San Francisco, he was raised in Stockton. His column covers diverse beats including, sometimes, the offbeat. Read Full
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