With the rise of celebrity-centered reality TV shows, flipping series come across as a breath of fresh air on TV for their concepts and designs. However, while most renovation shows focus on giving homes and cars a new face, series such as “Flipping Ships” shows how even in the almost forgotten field of recreational boats, there’s always a place for innovation and new ideas.
That being said, having the 1990s hit-writer Edwin McCain heading the show, and his crew of experts doing the heavy work, made “Flipping Ships” a show to remember, regardless of its short run on air.
So why was “Flipping Ships” canceled? Was it a production issue, or problems between the cast? And what are Edwin and the rest of the cast doing?
Why Was It Canceled?
If you were one of those people who really enjoyed seeing Edwin McCain and his crew bringing several boats back to life, you were surely heartbroken when news of the show’s cancellation was announced. As Edwin said on Twitter a couple of months after the first season wrapped up in mid-2015, the cancellation was solely a network’s decision: ‘We got word from Animal Planet. Unfortunately, there will not be a season 2 of “Flipping ships”. We sure did have fun making season 1! Thanks’, he wrote.
While no further explanation regarding the end of “Flipping Ships” came from either Edwin or Animal Planet, and the show’s audience ratings are unknown, there’s always room to speculate what might have happened. Going back to a Facebook post of Edwin prior to the show’s premiere, he confessed that the show had taken him and his crew ‘two years getting this project off the ground’. Given that the show only had six episodes but took years in pre-production and filming, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to assume “Flipping Ships” was ultimately canceled due to its extensive creation times, and most probably cost.
Though this is just a theory, and we will probably never get a specific answer about the show’s cancellation, at least Edwin and his crew gave us a season full of entertaining flipped boats.
Was Darius Rucker In The Show?
Many people remember Edwin McCain from his many romantic hits from the 1990s, but he was certainly not the only pop star in “Flipping Ships”. The internationally famous Darius Rucker was there to rock the show’s premiere episode, entitled “Country Superstar on Deck”, in which he challenged Edwin to turn an old and ugly-looking 1968 Sea King into a Rock n’ Roll boat.
Needless to say, working together wasn’t a hard job for either man, who actually met back in the 1990s when Edwin’s self-titled band and Rucker’s Hootie & the Blowfish toured together. Fast forward to present days, with both having more-than-established careers, they agreed to renovate the initially beaten down boat for the show, with the condition of then giving it away to charity.
With the challenge of making a $500 boat worth thousands, Edwin and his team took 15 days to renovate the engine and exteriors of the ship, which was apparently exhausting effort-wise, but worth it in the end: ‘it was fun, because no one would ever hire you to do that with a little boat. It’s a piece of history from an era of boating’, he said in an interview with the Medical University of South Carolina Foundation, where Rucker auctioned the boat for $82,000.
To make each “Flipping Ships” project a reality, Edwin McCain worked with a vast crew of experts. However, four guys stood apart from the others for taking matters into their own hands, when it came to successfully completing every project.
With the mindset of having experts in all areas, Edwin first contacted Robbie Cauley to work on the mechanics, as ‘they had been doing projects together for years’, as he told Boating Mag. Then he contacted his neighbor Howie Mauldin to work on the projects’ details, while Doug Tent became the team’s star painter. Last but not least, Wayne Burgess joined the project to demolish and destroy whatever was needed to be done: ‘I’d known (him) for more than 20 years, and I’d often said he needed his own show’, Edwin confessed.
Needless to say, while these four men were Edwin’s key to success to bring every project into completion, there was always a big team behind the scenes making everything possible as well.
An RV and a boat have a baby… The Yukon Delta! But can the team flip this ship…? Tonight on the NEW to Quest #FlippingShips at 10pm!
Posted by Quest on Tuesday, August 15, 2017
What Happened To Edwin’s Business
Although television often makes us believe everything is easier than it seems, the truth is that flipping boats and ships isn’t as simple as it seems. To make everything you saw in “Flipping Ships” possible, Edwin McCain had his business Boats Have Souls doing the hard work.
Although his company seemed to be in a good place in the show, many might be surprised to know that Boats Have Souls went out of business not long after the show’s cancellation. As seen on the company’s social media, Boats Have Souls haven’t made any updates since February 2016, and even prior to that, its online accounts weren’t very active either. Considering the business website and online store is unavailable, and Edwin himself doesn’t talk about Boats Have Souls anymore, it’s safe to assume that his time renovating boats is long over.
How Long Was Edwin In The Business?
Despite the unfortunate fate of Boats Have Souls following the show’s end, Edwin McCain wasn’t new to the boat renovation business before the show even came alive. In fact, the first time he got his hands on a boat with the intention of making it useful again, was in 2010, when he found an abandoned 1986 Chris-Craft Scorpion in a warehouse; as he told Boating Magazine in 2016: ‘I figured if I could fix this boat up, they could do whatever they wanted in it, and I wouldn’t be stressed about it’, he said in reference to his kids, who were small children at the time.
Admittedly unable to afford a boat at the time, Edwin turned the 1986 Scorpion into a functional boat again by renovating its most essential parts. Following that first project, he bought a 50-foot Hatteras with the same intentions, though he didn’t expect it to be exceptionally hard: ‘I bit off more than I could chew. But I had to do it. Hatteras is such an American story; it’s what I want to believe about myself’.
Aware of not being able to lead the project alone, Edwin kept working on smaller boats, but never forgot about the Hatteras.
How Was The Show Created?
As the Hatteras project sat in the back of his mind, Edwin resorted to learning more about the boat, leading his mind to the right conclusion: ‘You don’t have to know exactly what you’re doing; you’ve just got to get started and figure it out’, he told Greenville News.
With renovated inspiration, Edwin put his expert team of experts together to work on the Hatteras, though the idea of television sparked in his mind at the same time. A couple of months later, Animal Planet and O’Malley Productions were on board with the idea, ultimately bringing life to “Flipping Ships”.
It’s a truck #camper! It’s a #boat! It’s a truck #camping boat? Animal Planet’s Flipping Ships dredges up an #Avion #truckcamper, and sets it to sea. Not a new concept – the #amphicamper! #vintagecamper #houseboathttps://t.co/g0eCXO7L7o pic.twitter.com/JHBKRDcT89
— TruckCamperMagazine (@TruckCamperMag) April 23, 2020
However, having a production company and a big network in your project doesn’t mean the work was done. As Edwin admitted, they worked on the project for a couple of years, often for 15 hours a day, which in his words was just as hard as when he was a struggling musician in the 1990s, though that wasn’t enough to deter him: ‘I think at the beginning of any endeavor you have that period of just head-down, nose-to-the-grindstone, work-until-you-fall-down effort, to get that boulder moving. Otherwise, it just isn’t gonna move’. His and Boats Have Souls’ crew’s efforts were worth it in the end, as their commitment to their work and love for boats ultimately made the show possible.
Who Is Edwin McCain?
For those who know their way in pop music, the name Edwin McCain isn’t unheard at all. However, his beginnings and first career steps aren’t surprisingly as well-known as expected.
A native of South Carolina, Edwin Cole McCain had a tough time at school, as his attention deficit disorder and dyslexia made his learning process difficult. However, he was exceptionally good at singing as a child, soon passing from performing at his Catholic school choir to joining small theater productions in his community: ‘Music gave me purpose and identity. I was no longer Edwin the bad student, I was performing for people and being recognized and acknowledged, it was a great blessing’, he told InternationalMusician.org.
Surprisingly, Edwin never learned to read music in the traditional way. Instead, he followed his instinct, which made learning guitar at 11 years a not-so-difficult process: ‘I preferred listening to music and understanding how it was all put together, by ear, and making sense of it in my head.’.
Deeply influenced by Jazz, soul and country sounds, Edwin spent his early years making music and furthering his song-writing skills. Although he spent a short time studying at Coastal Carolina University, and later in the College of Charleston, music always found a way back into his life.
After leaving college, Edwin moved from Greenville to Charleston, where music took him to perform in several pubs and bars. Soon he became acquainted with the Columbia-native band and tour pals Hootie and the Blowfish, who opened doors for him to officially sign with Atlantic Records. That resulted in the creation of his eponymous band, and the release of his first major album in 1995, entitled “Honor Among Thieves”, out of which the single “Solitude” achieved moderate commercial success.
Two years later, the Edwin McCain band released “Misguided Roses”. Though this second album initially achieved moderate success, the release in late 1998 of the single “I’ll Be” gained Edwin and his band nation-wide fame, and a spot in the top ten of Billboard’s main charts. “I’ll Be” soon became a classic, and besides being played at weddings all over North America, it was featured in movies such as “A Cinderella Story”, and the drama series “Higher Ground”.
1999 saw Edwin releasing his third album – “Messenger” – which included the very successful single “I Could Not Ask For More”, written by Diane Warren but performed for the first time by Edwin. Just as his previous hit, “I Could Not Ask For More” gained Edwin high spots in America’s major music charts, and a feature in the movie’s “Message in a Bottle” soundtrack.
Change of Label & Independent Run
The year 2001 saw Edwin McCain release his fourth album, “Far From Over”, then leave Atlantic Records for good. Almost a year later, he released his fifth album “The Austin Sessions” under the independent record label ATC Records, which allowed him to channel an acoustic, raw sound, while at the same time bringing back some of his early career songs. The compilation album was recorded in less than a month, and was complemented by his DVD “Mile Marker”, which featured many live performances, and shots behind the scenes.
While changing his style at the peak of his career was an unexpected move, it was Edwin’s thank you note for his longtime fans: “the whole package is sort of saying, ‘I’m back doing what I started doing’,’ he revealed in an interview with Billboard at the time. The next year, Edwin released “Scream & Whisper”, his second and last release under an independent record label, before his seventh album “Lost in America” was released under Vanguard Records in 2006. It was followed by “Nobody’s Fault But Mine” in 2008, and a year later the release of “The Best of Edwin McCain” marked the 20th anniversary of his career. Other memorable releases afterwards are the 2011 album “Mercy Bound”, and the extended play “Phoenix” in 2015.
Charity and Life Nowadays
Ever since his early career, Edwin McCain has been committed to several charity organizations and causes. The first time he did so was with his song “Solitude”, featured in the first “Live in the X Lounge” album in 1998. In 2005, he released the song “Hold Out a Hand”, donating all its profits to the victims of that year’s Hurricane Katrina., without forgetting his donation to the Medical University of South Carolina along with Darius Rucker, through his show “Flipping Ships” in 2015.
5 shows in 5 nights! Comment what city I’ll see you in this week. pic.twitter.com/8wzYv8hWQ3
— Edwin McCain (@TheEdwinMcCain) March 16, 2022
Considering his altruist nature and staying true to his art, Edwin is still a legend whose music hasn’t been forgotten by a whole generation. That is why his comeback to music in 2019 with his holiday album “Merry Christmas, Baby” was welcomed by the audience. Needless to say, Edwin is clearly grateful for his career: ‘now, as a 45-year-old father of three, I’m so grateful to be known as a wedding singer’, he told The Washington Post back in 2015. Fast forward to the present day, it’s for sure he’s still grateful to people who not only supported him throughout his changes of style and sound, but also during his boat renovation escapades.