The Museum’s permanent exhibits tell the comprehensive story of Texas’ maritime history. The exhibits relate to four main themes:
- Exploration and Settlement
- Oil and Gas Exploration Image
- Commercial and Sports Fishing
- Boat and Shipbuilding
Exploration and Settlement is told through the LaSalle Odyssey and an exhibit focusing on the development of the maritime communities Indianola, and Galveston. The LaSalle Odyssey is a seven member coalition of museums from Corpus Christi to Bay City which tells the story of the ill-fated French expedition in search of the Mississippi River in 1685-86. The Age of Steam exhibits how maritime communities developed further inland, and goods were transported from Gulf of Mexico ports along the rivers.
Oil and Gas Exploration is a vital economic resource for the Texas Coast and Gulf waters. The museum explores the technology used in the extraction of petroleum from several feet, to several thousand feet below sea level. The exhibit features an interactive kiosk and a scale model of Bullwinkle, the largest offshore drilling platform in history. A marvel of civil engineering, Bullwinkle was constructed for Shell Oil at Gulf Marine in Ingleside.
Commercial and Sports Fishing Allure of Fishing focuses on sports fishing through the development of outboard motors, lures, and tackle. The commercial fishing industry along the Gulf coast is an important source of income for the state. The exhibit explores how the large scale fishing and shrimping industries developed.
Boat and Shipbuilding has been integral part of local economies providing vessels for area fisherman, the oil and gas industry, and ships for military use in the theater of war. The exhibit explores the different shipyards and area boat builders. Military shipyards Heldenfels, Westergard-Rice, and Platzer Boat Works provided ships to the military during both World Wars. Local boat builders the Farley Brothers, Rockport Yacht and Supply Company, and Jacob Schultz crafted vessels specifically for the coastal waters, offshore fishing and shrimping.