Nellie’s Cove held the boathouse that sheltered two 36-foot motor lifeboats. Men rushing to perform a sea rescue had to descend 280 feet below the main station area via a steep 532-step wood and concrete staircase. There they used a cradle mounted on rails to launch each boat. A concrete breakwater constructed between the rocks allowed safe passage through the narrow channel to open waters towards the south. When work was done the boats had to be hauled up the rails again to wait safely in the boathouse for the next emergency.
Sadly the boathouse burned down in the late 1970s (presumed arson). Its concrete pilings remain and can be seen from Cove trail. Eventually Cape Blanco Heritage Society and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department hope to restore a portion of the steps and build a landing above the boathouse site for better viewing.