How to fix Willy’s boat and reach Ginger Island in Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley Willy's boat repair guide

A quick rundown: After completing the Community Center, you’ll need supplies to repair Willy’s boat before you can sail to Ginger Island

Stardew Valley added a whole new island to explore with update 1.5 on PC and consoles, and it’s surprisingly fleshed out. You can even set up a new home if you want. There’s a lot to it! If you’re looking for a straight-to-the-point starter guide, here goes nothing.

To reach Ginger Island, which is essentially your home away from home once you’ve established yourself, you’ll first need to complete the Community Center bundles — or the equivalent JojaMart questline, if you’re a Stardew Valley player with a wild side.

This means there’s potentially a ton of setup if you’re a new player who hasn’t already gone through the game’s “main quest.” If you have, there isn’t too much extra work.

Trust me, though, it’s worth it — Ginger Island is one of the best parts of Stardew.

First, wait for Willy to mail you a letter

Once you’ve finished up your Community Center bundles or — let’s call them what they are — JojaMart bribes, Willy will mail you a letter saying that he has unlocked the back room in the Fish Shop. It can take two days for the letter to show up, so hang in there.

How to open the back door in the Fish Shop

Prior to update 1.5, this door didn’t serve a purpose in Stardew Valley. Now, it’s your ticket to Ginger Island. Inside the Fish Shop’s unlocked room, you’ll find a decades-old boat in need of repairs. As is often the case in this game, your job is only just getting started.

You’ll need specific supplies to repair Willy’s boat

How to fix Willy's boat in Stardew Valley

To get the boat in working order, you’ll need to pack these items:

  • Five iridium bars to fix the anchor.
    • Reddit has some tips on accumulating iridium ore and bars. I know spelunking the Skull Cavern is a pain for most players, so if you’re patient and willing to invest the time, I’d strive for the Statue of Perfection — it’s a constant source of iridium. Make Grandpa proud and he’ll pay dividends.
  • Five battery packs to fix the ticket machine.
    • If you don’t want to invest in Lightning Rods, swing by the Traveling Cart southwest of your farm to see if any battery packs are in stock.
  • 200 pieces of hardwood to fix the hull.
    • The best bet is usually the Secret Woods, at a rate of 12 hardwood per day.

Until all three boat components are repaired, you can’t sail to Ginger Island.

It’s a one-time expense to shore up Willy’s boat, but if you aren’t fully stocked — I sure wasn’t! — then the repair is quite a resource hog. I had to make a bunch of trips to the Secret Woods, though thankfully I had some battery reserves piled away in a chest.

Once the boat is fixed, you can buy a ticket

How to sail to Ginger Island in Stardew Valley

After repairing Willy’s boat, you’ll be allowed into the Fish Shop at 8:00 a.m. every day. This is worth mentioning since time is money in Stardew Valley, and it’s important to maximize it until you can set up a new beachfront property. You don’t want to doze off.

Much like hitching a ride to the desert, you can pay 1,000g for a ticket to Ginger Island.

One last note! Before you take off with Willy, make sure you bring a watering can on your first trip — it’s not necessarily a tool that you use day-to-day at this point in your Stardew playthrough, but you’ll need it if you end up poking around the Volcano Dungeon.

Welcome to… Ginger Island

Ginger Island

Once you set sail, you’ll see a cute little cutscene.

Without revealing too much about the nature of Ginger Island, there are several noteworthy things to find, including one of Stardew Valley‘s most intriguing NPCs and a really neat self-contained economy of collectible Golden Coconuts that are used to open up more areas. If it’s tempting to consult a guide, I won’t deter you. But try to deduce some of these puzzles on your own; they can be a blast.

I’ve only scratched the surface of life on the island, but let’s put it this way: I love the new storyline, and it’s fun to see how it connects with the residents of Pelican Town.

ConcernedApe pretty much did the impossible — even though Ginger Island joined the game years after its original release, it feels like it was somehow always a part of Stardew.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.